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Richard Gwyn

Richard John Philip Jermy Gwyn, OC, journalist, author, bureaucrat (born 26 May 1934 in Bury St. Edmunds, England; died 15 August 2020 in Toronto, ON). Richard Gwyn was one of Canada’s preeminent political analysts. He spent 30 years as a columnist with the Toronto Star, winning two National Newspapers Awards and a National Magazine Award. He was a regular panelist on public affairs programs and published several award-winning books, including definitive biographies of Joey Smallwood, Pierre Trudeau and Sir John A. Macdonald. Gwyn was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 and served as Chancellor of St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo from 2002 to 2007.

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Jackie Shane

Jackie Shane, singer (born 15 May 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee; died 22 February 2019 in Nashville). Jackie Shane was a pioneering transgender performer who was a prominent figure in Toronto’s R&B scene in the 1960s. Her cover of William Bell’s “Any Other Way” reached No. 2 on the CHUM singles chart in 1963. Her 1967 live album, Jackie Shane Live, was reissued in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize’s 1960–1970 Heritage Award. Any Other Way, an anthology album of songs from Shane’s career and monologues from her live shows, was released in 2017. It was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award for Best Historical Album. Shane is featured in a mural on the side of a building in downtown Toronto commemorating the Yonge Street music scene of the 1960s.

Article

Josiah Henson

Josiah Henson, spiritual leader, author, founder of the Black community settlement at Dawn, Canada West (born 15 June 1789 in Charles County, Maryland; died 5 May 1883 in Dresden, ON). Born enslaved, Henson escaped to Upper Canada in 1830.

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George Godfrey

George Godfrey, boxer (born 20 March 1853 in Charlottetown, PEI; died 18 October 1901 in Revere, Massachusetts). George Godfrey was a successful Black Canadian boxer who began his career at the age of 26. He won the World Colored Heavyweight championship in 1883 and held the title for five years. Godfrey retired in 1896 after competing in over 100 fights. He was the first of many great Black Canadian boxers from the Maritimes; others included George Dixon and Sam Langford. Godfrey was inducted into the PEI Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

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Winnifred Eaton (Onoto Watanna)

Winnifred Eaton Babcock Reeve (a.k.a. Onoto Watanna), author, screenwriter (born 21 August 1875 in Montreal, QC; died 8 April 1954 in Butte, Montana). Winnifred Eaton achieved literary fame under the pseudonym Onoto Watanna. She was the first person of Asian descent to publish a novel in the United States — Miss Numè of Japan (1899) — and to reach a mainstream audience. Her novel A Japanese Nightingale (1901) was adapted into a Broadway play and a motion picture. She also wrote screenplays for Hollywood and two novels, Cattle (1924) and His Royal Nibs (1925), about ranching life in Alberta.

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Janette Bertrand

Janette Bertrand, CCCQ, journalist, actor, author, playwright, feminist (born 25 March 1925 in Montreal, Quebec). A leading figure in Quebec television, Janette Bertrand has left a profound mark on journalism and culture in Quebec. She is renowned for her frank, sincere approach to social issues that had never before been addressed on Quebec television, such as sexual relationships, homosexuality, AIDSsuicide, and violence against women. She has long been recognized for her progressive stances on social issues and her role in educating the public about them. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec.

Article

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Rodney Reynolds, actor (born 23 October 1976 in Vancouver, BC). Charming, affable and boyishly handsome, Ryan Reynolds is one of the most recognized Canadian actors in Hollywood. He established his persona as a charismatic, quirky and quick-witted smart aleck in a wide range of Canadian and Hollywood films. They include the college comedy National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002); the heist movie Foolproof (2003); the romantic comedies Definitely, Maybe (2008) and The Proposal (2009); and the action movies X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Green Lantern (2011), Deadpool (2016) and Deadpool 2 (2018). He has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has won two People’s Choice Awards, including Favourite Movie Actor in 2017, and has pursued a variety of successful business ventures.

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André Gagnon

André Gagnon, OC, OQ, pianist, composer, conductor, arranger, actor (born 2 August 1936 in St-Pacôme-de-Kamouraska, QC; died 3 December 2020). André Gagnon was renowned for an eclectic mix of pop and classical music. He worked as accompanist, conductor or arranger for some of the great Quebec chansonniers before his career as a soloist. His compositions span a wide variety of musical styles and were especially popular in Japan. He won Juno Awards for his records Saga (1974) and Neiges (1975), and as best instrumentalist (1977 and 1995). He received the Prix Félix for instrumental album of the year 12 times between 1978 and 2017 and was awarded SOCAN’s William Harold Moon Award for his contribution to Canadian music. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and an Officier of the Ordre National du Québec.

Article

Arthur Lamothe

Arthur Lamothe, film director, producer, editor (born 7 December 1928 in St-Mont, France; died 18 September 2013 in Montreal, Quebec). Lamothe immigrated to Canada in 1953 and joined the National Film Board in the late 1950s as a researcher and writer. His first film was Bûcherons de la Manouane, a documentary made in 1962 about lumber camps.

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Stories of Remembrance: Mary Walsh

In 2005, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Canadian celebrities spoke about the meaning of remembrance as part of the Stories of Remembrance Campaign, a project of CanWest News Service (now Postmedia News), the Dominion Institute (now Historica Canada) and Veterans Affairs Canada. This article is reprinted from that campaign.

Article

Lennie Gallant

Lennie Gallant, CM, folk musician (born 1955 in Rustico, PEI). Lennie Gallant is an Acadian singer-songwriter who has released 13 albums, ten in English and three in French. He has toured extensively in North America and has won numerous awards and prizes. He has won 18 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) and was named the Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year in 2017. His 1994 song “Peter’s Dream” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2019. Gallant was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

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Frère Marie-Victorin

Frère Marie-Victorin (born Conrad Kirouac), member of the Brothers of the Christian Schoolsbotanist, teacher (born 3 April 1885 in Kingsey Falls, QC; died 15 July 1944 in St-Hyacinthe, QC). A self-taught botanist, Frère Marie-Victorin was the first chair of botany at Université de Montréal, founder of the Institut de Botanique and the Montréal Botanical Garden, and author of Flore laurentienne (1935). He also co-founded the Association canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences, the Société canadienne d'histoire naturelle, and the Cercles des jeunes naturalistes, and actively promoted science in popular as well as academic publications. A French Canadian nationalist, Marie-Victorin believed that knowledge of Québec’s natural world would inspire pride in French Canadians and enable them to take possession of their land.

Article

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery, OBE, writer (born 30 November 1874 in Clifton (now New London), PEI; died 24 April 1942 in Toronto, ON). Lucy Maud Montgomery is arguably Canada’s most widely read author. Her first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant best-seller. It has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. Montgomery produced more than 500 short stories, 21 novels, two poetry collections, and numerous journal and essay anthologies. Her body of work has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide. Anne of Green Gables alone has been translated into at least 36 languages as well as braille. It has been adapted dozens of times in various mediums. Montgomery was named an Officer of both the Order of the British Empire and the Literary and Artistic Institute of France. She was the first Canadian woman to be made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts and she was declared a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada.

Article

Eleanor Collins

Elnora Ruth Collins (née Procter), CM, singer, actor (born 21 November 1919 in Edmonton, Alberta). Vancouver’s “first lady of jazz,” Eleanor Collins was the first Canadian woman to have her own national television show, CBC TV’s The Eleanor Show (1955) and Eleanor 1964). Often compared to American singer Lena Horne, Collins performed on many television and radio variety shows, as well as in clubs. Collins is a member of the Order of Canada, the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards.

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Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight is a Canada-based superhero team created by John Byrne (b 1950) and published by Marvel Comics.

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Joe Shuster

Joe Shuster, cartoonist (born 10 July 1914 in Toronto, ON; died 30 July 1992 in Los Angeles, California). In 1933, along with writer Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster created the Superman comic book character.

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Drake

​Aubrey Drake Graham, rapper, singer, songwriter, actor (born 24 October 1986 in Toronto, ON).

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Pitseolak Ashoona

Pitseolak Ashoona, CM, artist (born between 1904 and 1908 on Nottingham Island (Tujajuak), NWT; died 28 May 1983 in Cape Dorset, NWT). Among the first generation of Inuit printmakers, Pitseolak Ashoona was born en route from Nunavik in arctic Québec to the south coast of Baffin Island (Qikagtaaluk). She is known for her lively prints and drawings, which show "the things we did long ago before there were many white men" and for her imaginative renderings of spirits and monsters.