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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mac Beattie

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

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Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman, artist, filmmaker (born 13 November 1965 in St. Marys, ON). Kent Monkman is among the most skilled and successful artists of his generation. He works with traditional painting techniques, and with performance, film and installation methods. Monkman explores aspects of his Indigenous heritage and homosexuality, often addressing issues pertaining to both gay and Indigenous history. He assumes the traditional First Nations persona of the trickster through his alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, to subvert the viewer’s expectations. His visually lush, often mural-sized paintings present inverted narratives of Indigenous/settler interactions. His work offers provocative, scathing critiques of Canada’s history and the way it has been recorded. He has received many awards and honours, including an Indspire Award, an Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and an honorary doctorate from OCAD University.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.)

Article

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.

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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.

List

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.

Article

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.

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Dan Levy

Daniel Joseph Levy, actor, writer, producer, director, TV host (born 9 August 1983 in Toronto, ON). Dan Levy is best known for his role as David Rose on the CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek, a series he created and co-starred in with his father, comedy icon Eugene Levy. Schitt’s Creek is one of the most acclaimed Canadian TV series of all time. It was named Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021. It also became the first comedy series ever to win all seven of the top awards at the Primetime Emmy Awards; Levy won four — the most by a single person in one year. He has also been honoured for promoting acceptance of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

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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.

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Lisa LaFlamme

Lisa LaFlamme, OC, OOnt, journalist, broadcaster (born 1964 in Kitchener, ON). Lisa LaFlamme is known for her long and distinguished career as a high-profile television journalist. She was the first woman to host CTV National News, a role she held — as chief news anchor and senior editor — for over a decade. She was named Best National News Anchor at the Canadian Screen Awards five times. Her abrupt termination from CTV, announced in August 2022, was met with broad public outrage. She has been appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

List

Children’s Books about Inuit Culture in Canada

Inuit authors have brought the richness and diversity of Inuit culture into the public eye with several enchanting and powerful books. From oral histories to Arctic animals to supernatural creatures, the books on this list explore various elements of the Inuit culture and way of life. Titles listed are recommended for a range of age groups, from toddlers to preteens. These books support efforts to encourage literacy, preserve and promote culture, and educate others about Inuit and Indigenous peoples and history.

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Reg Schwager

Reginald Cornelis Egbert Schwager, CM, jazz guitarist, composer (born 7 May 1962 in Leiden, Netherlands). Reg Schwager is one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz guitarists. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has played with such notable musicians as Peter Appleyard, Diana Krall, Mel Tormé, Chet Baker, Rob McConnell and Oliver Jones. Schwager was named Guitarist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards four years in a row (2005–08) and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.