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David Blackwood

David Lloyd Blackwood, CM, O Ont, printmaker, painter (born 7 November 1941 in Wesleyville [now New-Wes-Valley], NL; died 2 July 2022 in Port Hope, ON). David Blackwood was considered one of Canada's most important etchers (see printmaking). Dubbed “Newfoundland’s gothic master” by the Globe and Mail, Blackwood’s work often depicts the treacherous seafaring life of his native Newfoundland. He taught at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, and served as honorary chair of the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973

Filmmaking is a powerful form of cultural and artistic expression, as well as a highly profitable commercial enterprise. From a practical standpoint, filmmaking is a business involving large sums of money and a complex division of labour. This labour is involved, roughly speaking, in three sectors: production, distributionand exhibition. The history of the Canadian film industry has been one of sporadic achievement accomplished in isolation against great odds. Canadian cinema has existed within an environment where access to capital for production, to the marketplace for distribution and to theatres for exhibition has been extremely difficult. The Canadian film industry, particularly in English Canada, has struggled against the Hollywood entertainment monopoly for the attention of an audience that remains largely indifferent toward the domestic industry. The major distribution and exhibition outlets in Canada have been owned and controlled by foreign interests. The lack of domestic production throughout much of the industry’s history can only be understood against this economic backdrop.

This article is one of four that surveys the history of the film industry in Canada. The entire series includes: Canadian Film History: 1896 to 1938; Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973; Canadian Film History: 1974 to Present; Canadian Film History: Regional Cinema and Auteurs, 1980 to Present.


Quebec Film History: 1896 to 1969

This entry presents an overview of Quebec cinema, from its beginnings in the silent film era to the burgeoning of a distinctly Quebec cinema in the 1960s. It highlights the most important films, whether in terms of box office success or international acclaim, and covers both narrative features and documentaries. It also draws attention to an aspect of filmmaking that still has difficulty finding its place: women’s cinema.


Seth Rogen

Seth Aaron Rogen, actor, comedian, writer, producer, director (born 15 April 1982 in Vancouver, BC). Seth Rogen is one of Hollywood’s leading comedic stars. He is famous for playing characters that are at once sweetly naïve, slyly intelligent and utterly profane. Initially known for his collaborations with writer-producer Judd Apatow on such films as The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007) and Superbad (2007), he eventually began producing and co-directing his own comedies, such as This Is the End (2013) and The Interview (2014). Known as “the stoner king of comedy,” Rogen was named Comedy Star of the Year in 2008 by the US National Association of Theater Owners. He has twice been named Canadian Comedy Person of the Year at the Canadian Comedy Awards.


Michel Dumont

Michel Dumont, OQ, actor, artistic director, translator and narrator (born 29 January 1941 in Kénogami [now Saguenay], QC; died 13 August 2020 in Saint-Lambert, QC). As artistic director of the Théâtre Jean-Duceppe for more than 30 years, Michel Dumont was regarded as a leading figure in Quebec theatre. He acted in more than 70 plays, some 15 TV series and a number of films. He won the Prix Gémeaux for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series three times (1998, 2003, 2013) and was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2013.


Judy Kang

Judy Kang, violinist (born 13 July 1979 in Toronto, ON ). A child prodigy who has become a world-renowned musician, Judy Kang began violin lessons at age four and made her orchestral debut when she was 10. She studied at the Curtis Institute, Julliard and the Manhattan School of Music, and has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras, composers and conductors around the world. A versatile performer with a strong interest in improvisation, she transitions easily between classical and contemporary pop music — she was the violinist for Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball world tour (2010–11) — as well as indie rock, hip hop, jazz and electronica.


Jean-Paul Desbiens

Jean-Paul Desbiens, member of the Marist order of brothers, teacher, philosopher, writer, journalist (born on 7 March 1927 at Métabetchouan, QC; died on 23 July 2006 at Château-Richer). Desbiens’ book on the failures of Quebec’s education system, Les Insolences du Frère Untel (published in English as The Insolences of Brother Anonymous), received unprecedented success.


Tommy Banks

The Honourable Thomas Benjamin Banks, OCAOE, pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, TV personality, actor, producer, politician (born 17 December 1936 in Calgary, AB; died 25 January 2018 in Edmonton, AB). The multi-talented Tommy Banks had an unparalleled, multi-faceted career spanning more than 60 years in virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry in Canada. A professional jazz pianist at age 14, he went on to lead his own bands, conduct symphony orchestras around the world, direct musical ceremonies at international events, host his own long-running television show, and act in film and television. He also served nearly 12 years in the Senate as a member of the Liberal Parliamentary Caucus.


Mac Beattie

John McNab "Mac" Beattie, singer, songwriter (born 21 December 1916 in Arnprior, ON; died 14 June 1982 in Arnprior).


Rita Joe

Rita Joe (née Rita Bernard), PC, CM, Mi’kmaq poet (born 15 March 1932 in Whycocomagh, NS; died 20 March 2007 in Sydney, NS). Often referred to as the poet laureate of the Mi’kmaq people, Rita Joe wrote powerful poetry that spoke about Indigenous identity and the legacy of residential schools in Canada. Her works continue to influence Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers and artists alike.


Robert Davidson

Robert Charles Davidson, CM (also called Guud San Glans, meaning “Eagle of the Dawn" in the Haida language), artist (born on 4 November 1946 in Hydaburg, Alaska). Of Haida and Tlingit descent, Davidson is a highly respected painter, master carver, and printmaker. In his long artistic career, he has expanded the boundaries of Northwest Coast image and design in increasingly complex and unconventional serigraphs, jewellery and sculpture. His work has been displayed across Canada, including at the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Canadian Museum of History, as well as internationally. Davidson was appointed an Officer to the Order of Canada in 1996 and was promoted to Member in 2022. (See also Northwest Coast Indigenous Art in Canada.)


Richard Wagamese

Richard Wagamese, Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) novelist, journalist, mentor (born 4 October 1955 in northwestern ON; died 10 March 2017 in Kamloops, BC). A well-known Indigenous writer in Canada, Wagamese won several awards including the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize (2013) and the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Matt Cohen Award (2015). His works speak about the historical and contemporary socio-economic issues affecting Indigenous communities in Canada. They also bring attention to issues regarding Indigenous identity, culture and truth and reconciliation. A beloved writer, Wagamese’s works have inspired many Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and writers alike.


Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell, O.C., Cree-Métis writer, playwright, filmmaker, scholar, teacher and elder (born 26 April 1940 in Park Valley, SK). Campbell’s memoir Halfbreed (1973) is regarded as a foundational piece of Indigenous literature in Canada for its attention to the discrimination, oppression and poverty that some Métis women (and Indigenous people, in general) experience in Canada. Campbell has authored several other books and plays, and has directed and written scripts for a number of films. As an artist, Campbell has worked with Indigenous youth in community theatre and advocated for the hiring and recognition of Indigenous people in the arts. She has mentored many Indigenous artists during her career.


Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway, OC, playwright, novelist, pianist and songwriter (born 6 December 1951 in northwestern Manitoba). Highway is one of the most prominent and influential Indigenous writers in Canada. His works discuss and explore important issues affecting First Nations people, including residential schools, reserve life, Indigenous identity and more. Highway is an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1998 was named one of the 100 most important people in Canadian history by Maclean’s. Tomson received the Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement at the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards in 2022. (See also Influential Indigenous Writers in Canada.)


Tedd Robinson

Edward “Tedd” Alan Buels Robinson, choreographer, dancer, artistic director, mentor (born 26 September 1952 in Ottawa, ON; died 27 August 2022 in Shawville, QC). Tedd Robinson was resident choreographer and artistic director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers for much of the 1980s. He established the first Festival of Canadian Modern Dance, in Winnipeg in 1985. In 1990, he founded his own company, 10 Gates Dancing, in Ottawa. He won the 1998 Chalmers National Dance Award and the Prix en art de la scène l'Avant-Première at the 2009 Culturiades de l'Outaouais. He was also an associate dance artist with the National Arts Centre.


Audrey Farnell

Audrey Bernice Farnell, soprano, teacher (born 28 July 1921 in Amherst, NS; died 11 September 1995 in Toronto, ON). Audrey Farnell enjoyed a prominent career as both a soloist and recitalist. After winning the 1945–46 Singing Stars of Tomorrow competition, she performed with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Montreal Elgar Choir, the Halifax Choral Society and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among others. She also performed for Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their first Royal Tour of Canada in 1951. Farnell later taught at the Alberta College Music Centre and at the Royal Conservatory of Music.


Children’s Books About Residential Schools in Canada

Church-run schools for Indigenous children were created in Canada in the 1600s. In 1883, the Canadian government funded and helped establish more church-run schools. The goal was to assimilate Indigenous children into the dominant white, Christian society. By the time the last residential school closed in 1996, more than 150,000 First Nation, Métis and Inuit children had been forced to attend against their will and the wishes of their parents. Many children were physically, emotionally and sexually abused at the schools. Thousands died. The multigenerational social and psychological effects of the schools have been devastating and ongoing. The federal government and churches have apologized for what is now widely considered a form of genocide. (See also Genocide and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

Knowledge of what happened at the schools is an essential part of reconciliation and healing. Many children’s books have been written about residential schools as part of that essential effort. This list includes titles for toddlers to preteens. Together, these books explore a variety of themes related to residential schools, including intergenerational trauma, language revitalization, commemoration and the power of resistance.


Yves Lambert

Yves Lambert, CM, singer, musician (born 15 September 1956 in Joliette, QC). Yves Lambert rose to fame in Quebec as a founding member of La Bottine souriante. The folk music group had three platinum albums and four gold albums in Canada and won multiple Juno Awards and Félix Awards. Lambert has been credited with popularizing traditional Québécois folk music while also reinventing it. His musical style blends folk music with traditional Quebec, Acadian, Celtic and country music styles. He has been described as a pillar of Quebec’s living heritage. Lambert was named Traditional Singer of the Year at the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards and has twice won the Conseil québécois de la musique (Québec Music Council) Opus Award. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.


John Murray Gibbon

John Murray Gibbon, railway publicist and author (born 12 April 1875 in Udeweller, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]; died 2 July 1952 in Montreal, QC). A publicist with the Canadian Pacific Railway, Gibbon also actively promoted Canadian arts and culture. He organized cultural festivals, organizations that promoted tourism in the Rockies and founded the Canadian Authors Association. Gibbon also authored several articles, poems and novels. His book Canadian Mosaic (1938) popularized the "mosaic" as a metaphor for the diversity of "the Canadian people.” It has since been used by politicians, educators and policy makers to describe the cultural makeup of the country.