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Julien Hébert

Julien Hébert, visual artist and designer (born 19 August 1917 in Rigaud, Québec; died 24 May 1994 in Montréal). Hébert is considered the father of modern design in Québec. Inspired by the Scandinavian modernism movement, which unites design, industry and craft (see Industrial Design), he dedicated his career to creating objects and environments that were organic, simple and functional, to encouraging local industry, and to developing industrial design teaching in his home province.

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Florence Bird

Florence Bayard Bird (née Rhein, pseudonym Anne Francis), CC, senator, journalist, broadcaster and author (born 15 January 1908 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died 18 July 1998 in Ottawa, Ontario). Chair of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada from 1967 to 1970, Florence Bird made her name as a broadcast journalist for CBC/Radio-Canada, reporting news and producing documentaries on women’s working conditions and on conditions for women in Canada’s prisons.

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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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Wayson Choy

Wayson Choy, CM, writer, teacher (born 20 April 1939 in Vancouver. BC; died 28 April 2019 in Toronto, ON). Wayson Choy was an influential Chinese Canadian novelist, memoirist and short-story writer. His debut novel, The Jade Peony (1995), tells an intimate tale of an immigrant family living in Vancouver’s Chinatown during the Second World War. It won the Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award in 1996. His second novel, All That Matters (2004), won the Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first memoir, Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood (1999), won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. An openly gay man, Choy was also an advocate for LGBTQ2S rights as well as a dedicated teacher and mentor.

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Sylvia Hamilton

Sylvia D. Hamilton, filmmaker, writer, educator (born in Beechville, NS). Sylvia Hamilton specializes in re-evaluating Canadian history and focusing on the perspectives of Black Canadians, particularly Black Canadian women. Her films include Black Mother Black Daughter (1989); the Gemini Award winner Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia (1993); the biographical documentary Portia White: Think On Me (2000); and The Little Black School House (2007). She has received many honours and awards, including the Nova Scotia Portia White Prize and honorary degrees from several universities.

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Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, CC, O.Ont, singer, songwriter, guitarist (born 17 November 1938 in Orillia, Ontario). Gordon Lightfoot is one of the most acclaimed and respected songwriters of the 20th century, and one of the most significant musicians Canada has produced. The country’s top male recording artist of the 1970s, Lightfoot first drew attention in the early 1960s when songs such as “Early Morning Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me” became hits for artists like Ian and Sylvia and Peter, Paul and Mary. Lightfoot achieved international prominence as a solo artist with a series of pop and country hits, including “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway,” “Rainy Day People” and “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.” Ian Tyson has said that nobody “before or since has had the impact on Canadian culture, through popular music or folk music, that Gordon Lightfoot has had.” Lightfoot’s gold- and platinum-certified albums have combined to sell more than 10 million copies worldwide. He has won 12 Juno Awards from 27 nominations, including Male Vocalist of the Year four times (1971–73, 1975) and Folksinger of the Year five times (1970, 1975–78). A Member of the Order of Ontario and a Companion of the Order of Canada, he has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the US Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Folk Music Walk of Fame, among many other honours.

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Arcade Fire

Montreal’s Arcade Fire are an eclectic indie rock band with baroque and pop undertones. They are known for their expansive membership and almost orchestral instrumentation, serious lyrical and thematic concerns, an anthemic yet iconoclastic sound and dramatic build-ups to moments of catharsis. The band’s breakthrough debut album, Funeral (2004), is widely considered one of the best rock albums of the 21st century. Their third album, The Suburbs (2010), won Juno Awards, a Grammy Award and the Polaris Music Prize. Their theatrical, exuberant live shows have made them a popular touring act and enhanced their worldwide popularity. They have been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and more than two dozen Juno Awards, winning twice for Songwriter of the Year and three times each for Alternative Album of the Year and Album of the Year.

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Carl Ray

Carl Ray, Cree artist, illustrator, editor and art teacher (born January 1943 in Sandy Lake, ON; died 26 September 1978 in Sioux Lookout, ON). Ray was known for his innovative paintings in the Woodlands style and was a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. Ray’s work has influenced Indigenous art in Canada and can be found in the collections of various galleries and museums across the country.

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Francis Marion Beynon

Francis (née Frances) Marion Beynon, journalist, novelist, suffragist (born 26 May 1884 in Streetsville, ON; died 5 October 1951 in Winnipeg, MB). Francis Marion Beynon has been noted for her courage as a pacifist, her outspoken anti-religious views and her anti-racism.

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Don Messer

Donald Charles Frederick Messer, fiddler, band leader, radio broadcaster (born 9 May 1909 in Tweedside, NB; died 26 March 1973 in Halifax, NS). Don Messer was an icon of Canadian folk music.

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John Greyson

John Greyson, director, writer, producer, activist (born 13 March 1960 in Nelson, BC). John Greyson is a prolific award-winning film- and video-maker who has achieved international recognition on the queer cinema and film festival circuits.

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CBC Symphony Orchestra

CBC Symphony Orchestra. Broadcasting orchestra formed in Toronto in 1952 under the musical direction of Geoffrey Waddington and maintained until 1964. It made its broadcast debut 29 Sep 1952 playing the overture to Rossini's La Cenerentola and Sibelius' Symphony No. 3.

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Ken Wheeler

Ken or Kenny (Kenneth Vincent John) Wheeler. Trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, arranger (born 14 January 1930 in Toronto, ON; died 18 September 2014 in London, England).

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Howard Shore

Howard Shore. Composer, conductor, orchestrator, saxophonist, b Toronto 18 Oct 1946; B MUS (Berklee College of Music) 1969, honorary D LITT (York) 2007, honorary D MUS (Berklee) 2008.

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Jean-Marie Beaudet

Jean-Marie (or Jean) Beaudet. Conductor, pianist, administrator, organist, b Thetford-Mines, Que, south of Quebec City, 20 Feb 1908, d Ottawa 19 Mar 1971; BA (Séminaire de Québec) 1928, diplôme de virtuosité (Fontainebleau) ca 1930. Brother of Pierre Beaudet.

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Richard Johnston

(Albert) Richard Johnston. Teacher, administrator, composer, editor, critic, b Chicago 7 May 1917, naturalized Canadian 1957, d Calgary 16 Aug 1997; B MUS (Northwestern) 1942, M MUS (ESM, Rochester) 1945, PH D (ESM, Rochester) 1951. His first teacher was Ruth Crazier-Curtis.

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Alex Trebek

George Alexander Trebek, OC, television host, human rights spokesperson, journalist (born 22 July 1940 in Sudbury, ON; died 8 November 2020 in Los Angeles, California). Alex Trebek is a pop culture icon, best known as the long-time host of the TV game show Jeopardy! He began his broadcasting career at the CBC, where he hosted the music variety program Music Hop (1963–64) and the popular teen quiz show Reach for the Top (1966–73). He won five Daytime Emmy Awards from 30 nominations for Outstanding Game Show Host, and he holds the Guinness World Record for the most game shows hosted by the same presenter. An Officer of the Order of Canada, he received a Peabody Award and several lifetime achievement and hall of fame honours, including stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.