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Sheila Na Geira

According to legend, Sheila Na Geira (also spelled NaGeira and Nagira) was an Irish aristocrat or princess who, 300 or 400 years ago, while travelling between France and Ireland, was captured by a Dutch warship and then rescued by British privateers. She fell in love and was married to one of the privateers, Lieutenant Gilbert Pike. They settled at western Conception Bay. By the early 20th century, the legend was being told as part of Newfoundland’s oral tradition, and has since been popularized by poems, novels, scholarly articles and several plays.

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Pierre Falcon

Pierre Falcon (a.k.a. Pierriche, Pierre the Rhymer), poet, balladeer (born 4 June 1793 in Elbow Fort, Rupert’s Land, near present-day Swan River, MB; died 26 October 1876 in Grantown, now St. François Xavier, MB). Falcon worked as a fur trader, farmer and magistrate, but is best remembered as the author of many poems and ballads that recount the events and experiences of early Métis settlers. Falcon Lake, on the Manitoba-Ontario border, was named in his honour.

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Buffalo Child Long Lance

Buffalo Child Long Lance, writer, actor, impostor (born Sylvester Long at Winston-Salem, North Carolina on 1 December 1890; died in Arcadia, California on 20 March 1932). Of mixed Indigenous and white (and possibly black) ancestry, he was able to escape the segregated southern US because he looked "Indian."

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David Rimmer

David Rimmer, filmmaker, photographer (born 20 January 1942 in Vancouver, BC; died 27 January 2023). David Rimmer was an exemplary craftsperson and one of the finest technicians in experimental filmmaking. His work is consistently subtle and intricate, and often rather sly. Rimmer worked extensively with contact and optical printing and with videographics (in, for example, Divine Mannequin, 1989). He was one of the most consistent, most painstaking film artists in Canada.

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Pierre Perrault

Pierre Perrault, OQ, film director, poet, writer (born 29 June 1927 in MontréalQC; died 23 June 1999 in Montréal). Pierre Perrault was one of Quebec’s most significant and celebrated artists. His collective work in radio, film, television and print explores the genesis and nature of French Canadian culture and identity. A pioneer of direct cinema, his elegiac 1963 documentary Pour la suite du monde, co-directed with Michel Brault, is a landmark in Canadian cinema. His writing received three Governor General’s Literary Awards: for poetry, theatre and non-fiction. An Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, Perrault received the Prix Ludger-Duvernay, Prix Albert-Tessier, Prix Victor-Barbeau, the Médaille des Arts et des Lettres from the Government of France, and the Médaille d’argent du Mouvement national des Québécois et Québécoises.

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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). Don Owen was a pioneering filmmaker who made two of the most significant English Canadian films of the 1960s. His first feature, the largely improvised Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964), was an important milestone in the development of narrative filmmaking in Canada, and his third, The Ernie Game (1967), won Canadian Film Awards for best feature film and direction. Owen’s films typically explore the role of artists and outcasts in society, and often blend dramatic, documentary and improvisational elements.

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The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd, singer, songwriter (born 16 February 1990 in Scarborough, ON). A global pop superstar, The Weeknd is known for his compelling brand of atmospheric, trip-hop-infused R&B and synth-driven pop music. His debut, House of Balloons (2011), sparked a storm of international attention. His chart-topping sophomore album, Beauty Behind the Madness (2015), solidified his status as a pop phenomenon. In 2015, he became the first artist to simultaneously hold the top three spots on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. In 2021, his song “Blinding Lights” supplanted Chubby Checker’s 1960 hit “The Twist” as Billboard’s No. 1 Song of All Time. The Weeknd was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 and performed solo at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021. He has won 17 Juno Awards from 35 nominations, four Grammy Awards and 30 SOCAN Awards, among many other honours.