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Charlie Biddle

Charles Reed Biddle (familiarly, "Biddles"), jazz bassist (born 28 July 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died 4 February 2003 in Montréal, QC). Somewhat limited as a bassist but a tireless supporter and promoter of jazz in Montréal, Biddle organized festivals of local musicians in 1979 and 1983, which sowed the seeds for the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

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Don Owen

Donald Owen, director, producer, editor, writer (born 19 September 1931 in Toronto, ON; died 21 February 2016 in Toronto).

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Arthur Lipsett

Arthur Lipsett, filmmaker (born at Montréal 13 May 1936; died April 1986), worked at the National Film Board of Canada (1958- 70) where he was one of very few to make experimental films.

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Charles Dutoit

In 1977, Dutoit was appointed principal conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (having guest-conducted it 15 Feb 1977) and began what was unarguably the most successful conductor-orchestra partnership in Canadian history.

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Denis Héroux

Denis Héroux, film director, producer (born 15 July 1940 in Montréal, Qc; died 10 December 2015 in Montréal).

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Charles Dutoit

Charles Dutoit, conductor (b at Lausanne, Switzerland, 7 Oct 1936). He received his musical education (in violin, viola, piano, percussion, composition and orchestral conducting) at the conservatories of Lausanne and Geneva, where he obtained a premier prix in conducting in 1958.

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Ralph Gustafson

Ralph Gustafson, poet, professor (b at Lime Ridge, Qué 16 Aug 1909; d at North Hatley, Qué 29 May 1995). Gustafson wrote more than 20 books of poetry and edited several important anthologies of Canadian verse; he has also published 2 books of short stories.

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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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Sun Dance

The Sun Dance (also Sundance) is an annual Plains Indigenous cultural ceremony performed in honour of the sun, during which participants prove bravery by overcoming pain. Historically, the ceremony took place at midsummer when bands congregated at a predetermined location. The Sun Dance was forbidden under the Indian Act of 1895, but this ban was generally ignored and dropped from the Act in 1951. Some communities continue to celebrate the ceremony today.

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Oscar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, CC, CQ, OOnt, jazz pianist, composer, educator (born 15 August 1925 in Montréal, QC; died 23 December 2007 in Mississauga, ON). Oscar Peterson is one of Canada’s most honoured musicians. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. He was renowned for his remarkable speed and dexterity, meticulous and ornate technique, and dazzling, swinging style. He earned the nicknames “the brown bomber of boogie-woogie” and “master of swing.” A prolific recording artist, he typically released several albums a year from the 1950s until his death. He also appeared on more than 200 albums by other artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, who called him “the man with four hands.” His sensitivity in these supporting roles, as well as his acclaimed compositions such as Canadiana Suite and “Hymn to Freedom,” was overshadowed by his stunning virtuosity as a soloist. Also a noted jazz educator and advocate for racial equality, Peterson won a Juno Award and eight Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement. The first recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the International Jazz Hall of Fame. He was also made an Officer and then Companion of the Order of Canada, and an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters in France, among many other honours.

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Shingoose

Shingoose (also Curtis Jonnie), Ojibwe singer-songwriter, guitarist, folk musician, Indigenous activist (born on 26 October 1946 in Winnipeg, MB; died on 12 January 2021 in Winnipeg, MB). Shingoose rose to popularity in Canada and the US in the late 1960s. A well-respected musician, Shingoose was also a strong advocate of Indigenous issues and strove to highlight Indigenous culture on the world stage. (See also Music of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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Jean Cuthand Goodwill

Jean Cuthand Goodwill, OC, nurse, public servant and Indigenous health and education advocate (born 14 August 1928 on the Poundmaker Cree Nation, SK; died 25 August 1997 in Regina, SK). Cuthand Goodwill was one of the first Indigenous registered nurses in Canada. In 1974, she cofounded Indian and Inuit Nurses of Canada (now known as the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association). She was a lifelong organizer, writer and educator who promoted First Nations health and culture.

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Camille Turner

Camille Turner, artist (born 11 March 1960 in Kingston, Jamaica). Camille Turner’s new media and performance works question Canadian identity and notions of belonging, and interrogate the erasure of Black history from Canadian narratives. Turner is active throughout Canada and internationally, where she regularly performs as her beauty queen persona, Miss Canadiana.

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Group of Seven

The Group of Seven, also known as the Algonquin School, was a school of landscape painters. It was founded in 1920 as an organization of self-proclaimed modern artists and disbanded in 1933. The group presented the dense, northern boreal forest of the Canadian Shield as a transcendent, spiritual force. Their depictions of Canada’s rugged wind-swept forest panoramas were eventually equated with a romanticized notion of Canadian strength and independence. Their works were noted for their bright colours, tactile paint handling, and simple yet dynamic forms. In addition to Tom ThomsonDavid Milne and Emily Carr, the Group of Seven were the most important Canadian artists of the early 20th century. Their influence is seen in artists as diverse as abstract painter Jack Bush, the Painters Eleven, and Scottish painter Peter Doig.

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Brian Law

Brian (John Taylor) Law. Conductor, organist, harpsichordist, b London 14 Apr 1943; LRAM 1963, FRCO 1963, ARSCM 1973. Moving to Canada in 1965, Law became conductor of Ottawa's St.