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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Tessa Virtue, figure skater (born 17 May 1989 in London, ON) and Scott Moir, figure skater (born 2 September 1987 in London, ON). Virtue and Moir are the most successful Canadian ice dance team of the early 21st century, and were the first North Americans to win the Olympic Gold Medal for ice dance, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. At the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, they won silver in ice dance and in the team competition. They won gold in ice dance and in the team competition at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, becoming the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history. They have also won four world championships (three senior and one junior), three Four Continents championships, nine Canadian championships (eight senior and one junior) and multiple Grand Prix events, including a Grand Prix Final.

Article

Arthur Tremblay

Arthur Julien Tremblay, PC, OC, OQ, professor, educational reformer, senior public servant, senator, author (born 18 June 1917 in St-Bruno, QC; died 27 October 1996).

Article

Backbencher

A backbencher is a member of Parliament (MP) or of a provincial or territorial legislature who is in neither the governing cabinet nor the oppositions’ shadow cabinets. Backbenchers occupy seats in the back of the legislature, behind the cabinet and shadow cabinets. (The name derives from the British parliament, where they sit on benches.) Like all MPs, backbenchers represent their constituents. They participate in debates and in question period, serve on committees, and bring private member’s bills to the House. Above all, backbenchers are expected to support their party and its leader.

Article

Cartography in Canada: Indigenous Mapmaking

Mapmaking was a widespread and well-developed art among Indigenous peoples in what is now Canada. However, this fact has been largely ignored in the history of cartography. Most common were navigational maps, because the more nomadic hunting and gathering bands depended on effective navigation over great expanses of wilderness. Indigenous peoples also drew maps to facilitate trade and warfare over long distances. Groups, in particular the equestrian Plains Indigenous people, used military maps to venture into the unfamiliar regions. (See also History of Cartography in Canada.)

Article

Palbinder Kaur Shergill

Palbinder Kaur Shergill, QC, judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster (born in Rurka Kalan, Punjab, India). Shergill spent 26 years practising law before she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was the first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed as a judge in Canada.

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Maxime Bernier

Maxime Bernier, businessman, lawyer, politician, leader of the People’s Party of Canada 2018–present (born 18 January 1963 in St-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec). Maxime Bernier served as Member of Parliament for Beauce from 2006 to 2019. He was a prominent Cabinet minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. After narrowly losing the Conservative leadership race to Andrew Scheer in 2017, Bernier left the party in 2018 and formed the far-right People’s Party of Canada (PPC). Bernier opposes government intervention in society, culture, the economy. He also criticizes multiculturalism and increased immigration as well as government policies to fight climate change.

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Franco-Americans

Between 1840 and 1930, nearly a million francophones from Canada emigrated to the United States. (See also Canada and United States.) Most emigrants came from Quebec. There were also Acadians from the Atlantic provinces. These emigrants lived throughout the Northern US, but most settled in New England. The largest cohort worked in the textile industry. The 1880s and 1890s were the crest of several waves of emigration that ended with the Great Depression. Also known as Franco-Americans, about two million French Canadian descendants live in New England today.

Article

Mary Two-Axe Earley

Mary Two-Axe Earley, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) elder, advocate for women and children, human rights activist (born 4 October 1911 on the Kahnawà:ke reserve, QC; died 21 August 1996 in the same place). Mary Two-Axe Earley was a pioneer and architect of the Canadian women’s movement. Her political activism helped to forge a coalition of allies to challenge Canadian laws that discriminated against Indigenous women. The great bulk of her political advocacy spanned the last three decades of her life, and she was particularly active in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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Jeanne Landry

Jeanne Landry, pianist, accompanist, teacher, composer (born 3 May 1922 in Ottawa, ON; died 2 August 2011 in Quebec City, QC.) 

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Wauzhushk Onigum Nation

Wauzhushk Onigum Nation (pronounced Waa-JUSHK oh-KNEE-gum), commonly referred to as Rat Portage, is an Anishinaabe community based on the north shore of Lake of the Woods in northwestern Ontario. Wauzhushk Onigum’s primary reserve, Kenora 38B, is 22.3 km2. As of 2021, the First Nation has 802 registered members, 383 of whom live on this reserve. Wauzhushk Onigum is a member of Treaty 3, signed in 1873. The City of Kenora is 3 km northwest and is the closest service hub for the First Nation.

Article

Charmaine Hooper

Charmaine Elizabeth Hooper, soccer player (born 15 January 1968 in Georgetown, Guyana). Charmaine Hooper debuted with the Canadian women’s soccer team in 1986 and was a two-time NCAA first-team All-American. She represented Canada at three FIFA Women’s World Cups (1995, 1999, 2003) and won two silver medals for Canada at the CONCACAF Women’s Championships (1991, 1994). She also helped lead Canada to its first-ever CONCACAF gold in 1998. She was named Canadian Player of the Year in 1994, 1995, 2002 and 2003 and was the first player to have 100 caps for the women’s national team. She also played professionally in the US, Europe and Japan. She was named a member of the All-Time Canada XI women’s team and has been inducted into both the Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Article

Craig Forrest

Craig Lorne Forrest, soccer player (born 20 September 1967 in Coquitlam, BC). Craig Forrest is arguably the best goalkeeper to play for the Canadian men’s soccer team. He was named Canadian Player of the Year in 1994 and 2000, as well as the Most Valuable Player at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he carried Canada to their first and only CONCACAF championship. Forrest later became a well-known soccer analyst for Sportsnet. He has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the BC Sports Hall of Fame, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame, the Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia and the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named to the All-Time Canada XI men’s team in 2012.

Article

Mary Simon

Mary Jeannie May Simon (Ningiukudluk); diplomat, civil servant, (born 21 August 1947, in Kangirsualujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec). In addition to her roles in the civil service, Mary Simon is an advocate for international cooperation in the Arctic and Indigenous education and rights. She is also Canada’s 30th Governor General and first Indigenous person to serve in that role.

Article

Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker)

Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), Cree chief (born circa 1842 in central SK; died 4 July 1886 in Blackfoot Crossing, AB). Remembered as a great leader, Pitikwahanapiwiyin strove to protect the interests of his people during the negotiation of Treaty 6. Considered a peacemaker, he did not take up arms in the North-West Resistance. However, a young and militant faction of his band did participate in the conflict, resulting in Pitikwahanapiwiyin’s arrest and imprisonment for treason. His legacy as a peacemaker lives on among many Cree peoples, including the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

Article

Elsie MacGill

Elizabeth (Elsie) Muriel Gregory MacGill, OC, aeronautical engineer, feminist (born 27 March 1905 in Vancouver, BC; died 4 November 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Elsie MacGill was the first woman to earn a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (1929). She was also the first practising Canadian woman engineer. In 1938, she became chief aeronautical engineer of Canadian Car & Foundry (Can Car). There, she headed the Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during the Second World War. An active feminist, MacGill was national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (1962–64). She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967–70).

Key Facts
Born 27 March 1905, died 4 November 1980
First woman aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer
Key Canadian feminist
Oversaw production of fighter planes during WWII  
Nicknamed “Queen of the Hurricanes”

Article

André Lortie

André Lortie, tenor (born 11 May 1930 in Montreal, Quebec). André Lortie handled tragic roles as easily as comic parts. His performances of Beppe in I Pagliacci and Spoletta in Tosca established his reputation in Canada as a singer of character roles.

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King Ganam

King (Ameen Sied) Ganam. Fiddler, composer, b Swift Current, Sask, of Syrian-American parents, 9 Aug 1914, d Carlsbad, California, 26 Apr 1994. At first taught by oldtime fiddlers in his hometown, Ganam played for dances at nine and on CHWC radio, Regina, at 13. Later, his formal teachers were W.