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Serena Ryder

Serena Ryder, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, mental health advocate (born 8 December 1982 in Millbrook, ON). Folk-rock singer-songwriter Serena Ryder is known for her raspy, soulful vocals and raw, emotional lyrics. She first gained attention with her gold-certified albums If Your Memory Serves You Well (2006) and Is It O.K. (2008). She won the Juno Award for New Artist of the Year in 2008 and achieved international stardom with her fifth album, Harmony (2012), and her smash hit “Stompa,” which went triple platinum in Canada. She has won a Canadian Screen Award, a MuchMusic Video Award, a SOCAN Award and seven Juno Awards, including Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2014. She received the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour from Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2021.

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Coeur de pirate

Béatrice Martin (a.k.a. Cœur de pirate), writer, composer, singer, lyricist, pianist (born 22 September 1989, in Montreal, QC). Winner of several Félix Awards, including New Artist of the Year in 2009 and Most Famous Quebec Artist outside Quebec in 2012, Cœur de pirate has made their mark with the Quebec public and French. After the release of their bilingual album Roses in 2015, Cœur de pirate's fame spread across English-speaking Canada, the United States and several European countries.

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Shawn Mendes

Shawn Peter Raul Mendes, singer, songwriter, model, mental health advocate (born 8 August 1998 in Pickering, ON). Pop phenom Shawn Mendes followed in the footsteps of earlier Canadian pop music star Justin Bieber, building a following online in his teens before signing with a major label. Mendes is the only artist to have four No. 1 singles on the Adult Pop Songs chart before the age of 20. Released when he was 16, his first full-length studio album, Handwritten (2015), debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and quickly went platinum in the US. In fact, his first four albums all debuted at No. 1. Together they have sold more than 4 million copies in the US, while Mendes’s singles have sold more than 13 million copies. He has received 13 Juno Awards and 20 SOCAN Awards, as well as three Grammy Award nominations.

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Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado. Singer, songwriter, b Victoria, BC, 2 Dec 1978. Furtado grew up in a working-class Portuguese household, and the sounds of her ethnic heritage had a strong influence on her even when she was listening to hip-hop, pop, dance, R&B, rock, Brazilian and Indian music.

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Guido Nincheri

Guido Nincheri, stained glass artist (b at Prato, Italy on 29 Sept 1885; d at Providence, Rhode Island on 1 Mar 1973), was possibly the most prolific religious artist in Canada during the 20th century. His stained glass and decorative work graces innumerable churches across the country as well as many New England states.

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Nino Ricci

Nino Ricci, novelist (b at Leamington, Ont 1959). Nino Ricci was born and grew up in Leamington, Ont, the new Canadian home of his Italian immigrant parents. His university studies took him to York University, Concordia University, and the University of Florence. Ricci has taught literature and creative writing, and was the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor in 2005-06. He has also served as president of PEN Canada.

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Drew Hayden Taylor

Drew Hayden Taylor, playwright, broadcaster, writer (born 1 July 1962 in Curve Lake First Nation near Peterborough, ON). Drew Hayden Taylor is a leading Indigenous playwright and humorist. His award-winning plays have been produced in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His novels have been nominated for several awards, including the Governor General’s Award for fiction. He has also written numerous scripts for television series including The Beachcombers, North of 60, and Mixed Blessings. Taylor’s writings have significantly contributed to Indigenous literature in Canada. (See also Influential Indigenous Authors in Canada.)

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Elliot Page

Elliot Page (born Ellen Philpotts-Page), actor, activist, producer (born 21 February 1987 in Halifax, NS). Elliot Page is a serious, soulful and intelligent actor, and one of Canada’s biggest movie stars. A seasoned child performer, Page started out in Canadian feature films and TV series, winning two Gemini Awards by the age of 18. Page’s intense performance in the American indie Hard Candy (2005) led to high-profile roles in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and the indie smash Juno (2007). Juno earned Page an Independent Spirit Award and an Oscar nomination. Adept at quirky comedy (Whip It, Super), intimate drama (Marion Bridge, Mouth to Mouth) and big-budget blockbusters (Inception, the X-Men franchise), Page is equally well-known for environmental activism, advocacy for LGBTQ rights and a grounded, socially-conscious persona.

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Susan Jacks

Susan Elizabeth Jacks (nee Pesklevits), singer, songwriter (born 19 August 1948 in Saskatoon, SK; died 25 April 2022 in Surrey, BC). Susan Jacks was the second Canadian woman (after Lucille Starr) to earn a gold record in the US, for "Which Way You Goin' Billy." The song earned her and her first husband, Terry Jacks, two Juno Awards in 1970. Three solo Juno nominations followed, as did a Grammy Award nomination for a children's song. Susan Jacks was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Fabienne Larouche

Fabienne Larouche, (born Saint-André-du Lac-Saint-Jean, QC, 26 Oct 1958- ) A native of Lac-Saint-Jean, Fabienne Larouche grew up in Sainte-Thérèse on the outskirts of Montréal. She quickly discovered that her chosen career of teaching (like her mother and maternal grandmother) did not suit her.

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Xavier Dolan

Xavier Dolan (born Xavier Dolan-Tadros), CM, actor, director, writer, producer, editor, costume designer (born 20 March 1989 in Montreal, QC). A precocious practitioner of auteurist art cinema, Xavier Dolan garnered international acclaim at age 20 for his debut feature, J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother, 2009). His next four award-winning films — Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats, 2010), Laurence Anyways (2012), Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm, 2013) and Mommy (2014) — were completed by the time he was 25. His sixth movie, Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World, 2016), won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and six Canadian Screen Awards. Dolan has also directed notable music videos for Adele and won a 2022 Juno Award for “Easy On Me.” He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019.

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Alfred Garson

Alfred Henrik Garson, violinist, teacher, composer, author (born 22 October 1924 in Berthier-en-Haut (now Berthierville), QC; died 23 May 2022 in Montreal, QC). Violin teacher Alfred Garson was one of Canada’s leading advocates of the Suzuki method. He studied with Shinichi Suzuki at the Eastman School of Music and was named director of the Suzuki program at McGill University in 1970. He is the author of The Suzuki Teaching Method and wrote widely on the subject.

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Christopher Pratt

John Christopher Pratt, CC, ONL, painter, printmaker (born 9 December 1935 in St John's, NL; died 5 June 2022 in Salmonier River, NL). Christopher Pratt is considered one of the greatest classicists of contemporary Canadian painting, alongside his mentor, Alex Colville. Pratt is well known for his meticulous and pristine studies with typically Atlantic settings. He designed Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial flag in 1980 and was called “Canada’s most famous living painter” by the Globe and Mail in 2013. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1983 and received the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2018.

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Gustavo Uriel da Roza

Gustavo Uriel da Roza II, OC, architect (born 24 February 1933 in Hong Kong; died 24 April 2022 in Surrey, BC). Da Roza completed his architectural training in Hong Kong and moved to Winnipeg, MB in 1960. (See also Architecture.) He taught at the University of Manitoba and became well-recognized for his architectural work, including the design of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Da Roza was of Chinese and Portuguese descent and was active among Winnipeg’s Portuguese community (see Portuguese Canadians).

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Denny Christianson

Dennis Richard Christianson, trumpeter, flugelhornist, arranger, composer, bandleader, educator (born 12 September 1942 in Rockford, Illinois; died 10 February 2021). Denny Christianson was an important figure in the big band scene in Quebec. He formed the Denny Christianson Big Band in Montreal in 1981. It appeared annually at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and played internationally. Christianson also played and wrote for studio orchestras; recorded with such artists as Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder; and taught at the University of Montreal, Concordia University, and McGill University. From 2001 until 2018, he was director of music studies at Toronto’s Humber College, where he developed one of the best jazz programs in the country.

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Eberhard Zeidler

Eberhard Heinrich Zeidler, OC, OOnt, architect (born 11 January 1926 in Braunsdorf, Germany; died 7 January 2022). Eberhard Zeidler was one of the most successful Canadian exponents of building technology as a central theme for architectural design, along with Ron Keenbergof IKOY Architects. Zeidler was known for both the technical innovations of his projects and the humanity of his designs. A friend of Jane Jacobs, Zeidler incorporated the role of the building in the city in which it is set and its role in the lives of the people who use it.

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David Skulski

Murray David Skulski, oboist, English horn player, early music specialist, teacher (born 29 November 1942 in Moose Jaw, SK). David Skulski began performing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1960 at the age of 17. He began playing with the Vancouver Folk Orchestra in 1991 and was its conductor from 1997 to 2004. He has since been principal oboe for several orchestras. He also founded Hortulani Musicae in 1968 and the Vancouver Society for Early Music in 1970. He has been president of the Peretz Centre for Secular Jewish Culture and serves on the board of the Vancouver Chamber Music Society.

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Lola MacLaughlin

Lola Elizabeth Harris MacLaughlin, choreographer, dancer (b at Oliver, BC 1 Mar 1952, d at Vancouver 6 March 2009). Founder and artistic director of Lola Dance, a Vancouver-based company that supports the production and distribution of her work, Lola MacLaughlin made dances that were meticulously constructed, balancing compelling stage images with closely detailed movement phrases.