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Wade Hemsworth

Albert Wade Hemsworth, draftsman, graphic artist, singer, songwriter (born 23 October 1916 in Brantford, ON; died 19 January 2002 in Montréal, QC). The composer of evocative songs celebrating Canadiana and the northern forests, draftsman Wade Hemsworth turned his folk music hobby into a lasting national legacy. Iconic compositions such as “The Black Fly Song” and “The Log Driver’s Waltz” made Hemsworth an elder statesman of Canadian folk music throughout the second half of the 20th century. Several of his songs gained wide popularity through their use in National Film Board productions. “The Black Fly Song” was featured in Christopher Hinton’s Oscar-nominated animated short Blackfly (1991) and inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

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Jill Hennessy

Jillian Noel Hennessy, actor, singer, musician (born 25 November 1968 in Edmonton, AB). Equal parts brassy and brainy, Jill Hennessy is a sultry, whip-smart actor who is best known for her roles in the American television series Law & Order and Crossing Jordan. She has also appeared in films and released two albums as a singer-songwriter. She was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2007.

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Hugh Fraser

Hugh Alexander Fraser, pianist, trombonist, composer, teacher (born 26 October 1958 in Victoria, BC; died 17 June 2020). Two-time Juno Award-winner Hugh Fraser enjoyed great success with his 13-piece big band Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI, or “Veggie”) and with the Hugh Fraser Quintet. He composed over 200 jazz works, including many commissions, and taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the University of Victoria. He set up the diploma jazz program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 2001. Jazz Report named Fraser Canadian trombonist of the year in 1996 and 1998.

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John McIntyre

John McIntyre, pianist, teacher (born 23 June 1938 in Sarnia, ON). John McIntyre is an award-winning pianist and professor of piano. He has performed with such distinguished conductors as Walter Susskind and Sir Ernest MacMillan. McIntyre has taught at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory since 1975.

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Marcel Dzama

Marcel Dzama, visual artist (born 1974 in Winnipeg, MB). Marcel Dzama is a contemporary artist best known for his pen-and-ink drawings, which feature human figures preoccupied by a sinister, otherworldly cast of flora and fauna.

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Norm Amadio

Albert Norman Benedict Amadio, pianist (born 14 April 1928 in Timmins, ON; died 22 January 2020). Norm Amadio was a prominent figure in Toronto’s jazz scene for more than 60 years. Journalist Peter Goddard called him “unquestionably the finest accompanist in Canadian jazz history.” He was also a member of many studio orchestras and a music director for the CBC for many years. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Toronto Musicians’ Association in 2016.

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Peter Mansbridge

Peter Mansbridge, OC, television news anchor, journalist, columnist (born 6 July 1948 in London, England). A widely respected journalist, Peter Mansbridge was the face of CBC News for nearly 30 years. As the chief correspondent and lead anchor of The National from 1988 to 2017, he won 12 Gemini Awards for broadcast excellence, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for best overall broadcast journalist in 1990 and 1998. His other honours include two Canadian Screen Awards as well as numerous honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards. He has been inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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Anik Bissonnette

Anik Bissonnette, OC, CQ, ballerina, arts administrator (born at Montréal 9 Feb 1962). Québec's best-known ballerina, Anik Bissonnette is renowned for her exceptional musicality, purity of line and extraordinary balances, and for using her technical assurance to plumb exciting emotional depths. After garnering wide acclaim in many performances with Louis Robitaille, she was a principal dancer at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (LGBC) from 1989 to 2007 and made annual appearances at Montréal's Gala des Étoiles from 1983 until 2006. She was artistic director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur from 2004 to 2014, and has been artistic director of the École supérière de ballet contemporain de Montréal since 2010. An Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalière of the National Order of Québec, she has received the Prix Denis Pelletier and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker)

Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), Cree chief (born circa 1842 in central SK; died 4 July 1886 in Blackfoot Crossing, AB). Remembered as a great leader, Pitikwahanapiwiyin strove to protect the interests of his people during the negotiation of Treaty 6. Considered a peacemaker, he did not take up arms in the North-West Resistance. However, a young and militant faction of his band did participate in the conflict, resulting in Pitikwahanapiwiyin’s arrest and imprisonment for treason. His legacy as a peacemaker lives on among many Cree peoples, including the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

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André Lortie

André Lortie, tenor (born 11 May 1930 in Montreal, Quebec). André Lortie handled tragic roles as easily as comic parts. His performances of Beppe in I Pagliacci and Spoletta in Tosca established his reputation in Canada as a singer of character roles.

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54-40

Alternative rock band 54-40 rose from the Vancouver punk scene of the late 1970s to achieve mainstream success in Canada in the late 1980s and the 1990s. They have had four platinum albums and one gold album and have been nominated for eight Juno Awards. They are perhaps best known for the hit singles “I Go Blind,” “Baby Ran,” “One Day in Your Life,” “Nice to Luv You,” “She La,” “Ocean Pearl” and “Since When,” among others. The band has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. “I Go Blind” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2021.

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André Jobin

André Jobin, tenor, actor, stage designer (born 20 January 1933 in Québec, QC). The son of tenor, Raoul Jobin, André began his artistic training in Paris, France. André had a successful career as a singer and actor, and he performed in operas and operettas throughout Europe and North America (see Opera Performance).

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King Ganam

King (Ameen Sied) Ganam. Fiddler, composer, b Swift Current, Sask, of Syrian-American parents, 9 Aug 1914, d Carlsbad, California, 26 Apr 1994. At first taught by oldtime fiddlers in his hometown, Ganam played for dances at nine and on CHWC radio, Regina, at 13. Later, his formal teachers were W.

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CCMC

CCMC. 'Free music orchestra' formed in 1974 in Toronto as the Canadian Creative Music Collective. Only the abbreviation was in use by 1978. Defining itself as 'a composing ensemble...

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Catherine Lafortune

Catherine Lafortune, ballet dancer (born 17 February 1961 in Montreal, QC). At the age of seven, Catherine Lafortune enthusiastically responded to the call of dance and took courses in the Cecchetti method at the La Volière studio. Completing her examinations with distinction, she entered the dance academy of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Through the years of her apprenticeship (ages 15 to 17) she undertook intensive training at York University, where her talent was noticed by the teaching staff.

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Claude Lagacé

Claude Pierre Édouard Lagacé, organist, choirmaster, educator (born 1 May 1917 in Sorel, QC; died 7 February 2019 in Quebec City). BA (Laval) 1938, B PH (Laval) 1939, B MUS (Laval) 1954, Associate American Guild of Organists 1957.

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Walter Boudreau

Walter Boudreau. Composer, saxophonist, conductor (born on 15 October 1947 in Montreal, Qc). He studied piano for several years in Sorel. and later saxophone with Doug Michaud in Montreal. However, he was initially self-taught as a composer. At 15, he became a member of a jazz band conducted by Arthur Romano.

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Jeanne Landry

Jeanne Landry, pianist, accompanist, teacher, composer (born 3 May 1922 in Ottawa, ON; died 2 August 2011 in Quebec City, QC.)

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Norm Macdonald

Norman Gene Macdonald, standup comedian, actor, writer, producer (born 17 October 1963 in Quebec City, QC; died 14 September 2021). Norm Macdonald was known for his irreverent humor and low-key delivery, and particularly for his work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL).