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Anna Leonowens

Anna Harriette Edwards Leonowens (born 6 November 1831 in Ahmadnagar, India; died 19 January 1915 in Montreal, Quebec). Anna Leonowens was an educator, author and lecturer who became famous as the British governess to the wives and children of King Mongkut (Rama IV) of Siam (now Thailand) in the 1860s. After leaving Siam, she emigrated to Canada, where she advocated for women’s suffrage, taught at McGill University and helped found what is now the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She was the inspiration for Margaret Landon’s historical novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), and the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I (1951).

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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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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

Catherine O'Hara

Catherine Anne O'Hara, actor, writer, singer (born 4 March 1954 in Toronto, ON). Catherine O’Hara is one of Canada’s most prominent comedic actors. She is perhaps best known for her work in television on SCTV (1976–79, 1981–83) and Schitt’s Creek (2015–20), as well as for her roles in Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and her many collaborations with director Christopher Guest. The winner of Emmy, Gemini, Genie and Canadian Screen Awards, she is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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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.

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.

Article

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.

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.

Article

Drake

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

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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.

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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.

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Don McKellar

Donald McKellar, CM, actor, screenwriter, director (born 17 August 1963 in Toronto, ON). One of Canada’s most acclaimed and prolific stars, the multi-talented Don McKellar has enjoyed success as an actor, writer and director in film, television and theatre, often assuming multiple roles in a production. Equal parts laconic and loopy, he is best known for playing quirky, unconventional leading men and collaborating on unique, visionary independent films. He was a key player in the Toronto New Wave, collaborating with Bruce McDonald and Atom Egoyan on such films as Roadkill (1989), Highway 61 (1991), The Adjuster (1991) and Exotica (1994). He received the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival for his directorial debut, Last Night (1998), and won a Tony Award for co-writing the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and has won multiple Genie and Canadian Screen Awards.

Article

Sandra Oh

Sandra Miju Oh, actor, producer (born 20 July 1971 in Nepean, ON). Sandra Oh is a versatile actor whose performances in film and television have won popular and critical acclaim. She won Genie Awards for her performances in Double Happiness (1994) and Last Night (1998) before gaining international recognition for her role in the successful ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy (2005–14). Her work has been groundbreaking for the visibility it has brought to roles for Asian actors in North America. With her lead role in the BBC America drama Killing Eve (2018–), Oh became the first actor of Asian heritage to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for best actress  and the first to win a Golden Globe in that category since 1981. She was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2011 and won a Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 2019.

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Peaches

​Merrill Beth Nisker (a.k.a. Peaches), singer, songwriter, musician, performance artist, filmmaker (born 11 November 1968 in Toronto, ON).

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