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Article

Laotian Canadians

The immigration of Laotian nationals to Canada is relatively recent, having begun in earnest in the late 1970s. After the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam in March 1973, mainland Southeast Asia (former Indochina) was left at the mercy of revolutionary forces in the region. In 1975, at the end of a 20-year-long civil war, communist revolutionaries of the Pathet Lao (Lao State) movement took power, abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Living conditions deteriorated in Laos, as they did in Vietnam and Cambodia. Former civil and military officials were sent to labour camps and their families were denied access to employment and education. These difficult economic conditions, combined with an increasingly forceful communist regime and violations of human rights, sparked a mass migration in the region. Like Vietnamese, Laotians left their country in makeshift vessels, facing perilous conditions on the Mekong River and then the China Sea. This is the origin of the name often used to refer to these migrants: “boat people.” From 1979 to 1982, Canada welcomed nearly 8,000 Laotians. Approximately 20 per cent were of Chinese origin. Supported by the federal government and private sponsor groups, they resettled in various parts of Canada. Today, however, the Laotian population is concentrated in Québec and Ontario. In the 2016 Census of Canada, 24,590 people reported being of Laotian origin.

Article

Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson, entrepreneur, business executive, television personality (born 8 October 1956 in Germiston, South Africa). Dickinson is best known as a star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den and as the CEO of Venture Communications Ltd., one of Canada’s largest independent marketing agencies. With a reported net worth of $80 million, Dickinson is one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. Her success has been recognized by several honours and awards, such as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Article

Manzo Nagano

Manzo Nagano, businessman (born 26 November 1853 in Kuchinotsu [Minamishimabara], Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; died May 1924 in Kuchinotsu [Minamishimabara], Nagasaki Prefecture). Manzo Nagano is the first known Japanese immigrant to Canada. In March 1877, at age 24, he left Japan for the West aboard a British steamer, arriving in May in British Columbia. He eventually settled in Victoria, where he ran a number of businesses. He returned to Japan in failing health in 1923, and died the following year.

Article

Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Michael “Pinball” Clemons, O Ont, football player, coach, motivational speaker (born 15 January 1965 in Dunedin, Florida). Michael Clemons is one of the most accomplished athletes in Canadian Football League (CFL) history and the first African American to coach in the Grey Cup. Known to many simply as “Pinball,” he is a CFL Hall of Famer and four-time Grey Cup winner with the Toronto Argonauts, earning three championships as a player (1991, 1996, 1997) and one as a head coach (2004). He is the all-time leader in total combined yards in CFL history (25,438). Clemons, a naturalized Canadian citizen, moved into an executive role in the Argonauts’ front office after retiring from coaching. He is involved with a number of charities, including the Pinball Clemons Foundation.

Speech

George Brown: 1865 Speech in Favour of Confederation

George Brown played an instrumental role in establishing Confederation. As leader of the Clear Grits (forerunner of the Liberal Party) in Canada West, he set aside political differences and allied with his Conservative rivals John A. Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier in 1864, with whom he pitched Confederation to the Atlantic colonies at the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences. From 3 February to 13 March 1865, politicians in the Province of Canada debated the terms of Confederation, offering some of the most compelling defences and critiques of the union of British North American colonies. In the following speech, delivered before the legislature of the Province of Canada on 8 February 1865, Brown explains his reasons for supporting Confederation.

Article

92 Resolutions

Drafted in January 1834 by Louis-Joseph Papineau, leader of the Parti patriote, and Augustin-Norbert Morin, the 92 Resolutions were a list of grievances and demands made by the Parti patriote with regards to the state of the colonial political system. They were drafted following a long political struggle against the governor general and Château Clique and the Patriotes’ inability to produce any significant reforms. The document critiqued the division of authority in the colony and demanded a government that was responsible to the Legislative Assembly. The imperial government responded with the Russell Resolutions, which rejected their demands, preparing the way for the Canadian Rebellion.

Article

Penny Oleksiak

Penelope (Penny) Oleksiak, swimmer (born 13 June 2000 in Scarborough, Ontario). At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Oleksiak won four medals, setting the Canadian record for most medals won at a single Olympic Summer Games. Her four swimming medals came in the women’s 100 m freestyle (gold), women’s 100 m butterfly (silver), women’s 4 x 100 m freestyle relay (bronze) and women’s 4 x 200 m freestyle relay (bronze). In the 100 m freestyle, Oleksiak tied for gold with American Simone Manuel, with both swimmers setting an Olympic record of 52.70 seconds in the final. Oleksiak is tied with the late Victor Davis for the most Olympic career medals won by a Canadian swimmer (four) and holds the record as the youngest Canadian ever to win an Olympic gold medal (16 years and 59 days). In 2016, Oleksiak received the Lou Marsh Trophy (Canada’s athlete of the year) and the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canadian Press female athlete of the year).

Article

Douglas Maitland Gibson

Douglas Gibson, editor, publisher, writer, raconteur (b at Kilmarnock, Scotland 4 Dec 1943). Douglas Gibson was born and raised in Scotland, where he earned an MA at the University of St. Andrews.

Article

Plateau Indigenous Peoples in Canada

There are six cultural areas contained in what is now Canada, unrestricted by international boundaries. The Plateau cultural area consists of the high plateau between the British Columbia coastal mountains and the Rocky Mountains, and extends south to include parts of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. At lower elevations it is comprised of grasslands and subarctic forests. The Plateau peoples include, among others, the Secwepemc, Stl’atl’imc, Ktunaxa, and Tsilqot’in.

Article

Ka Nin Chan

Ka Nin Chan, composer, teacher (b at Hong Kong 3 Dec 1949, naturalized Canadian 1971). Chan moved with his family to Vancouver in 1965 and later studied composition at the University of British Columbia with Jean COULTHARD while pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.

Article

Gabriel Charpentier

Gabriel Charpentier, composer, poet, artistic adviser (b at Richmond, Qué 13 Sept 1925). He studied piano with Jean PAPINEAU-COUTURE, the Benedictine monks in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, and in France with Norbert Dufourcq, Annette Dieudonné and Nadia Boulanger.

Article

Neil Chotem

Neil Chotem, pianist, composer, conductor, teacher (b at Saskatoon 9 Sept 1920; d at Greenfield Park, Que 21 Feb 2008.). After the start of a promising career as a piano soloist was interrupted by WWII, Neil Chotem forged a new career in Montréal as performer, conductor and composer.

Article

James P. Clarke

James Paton Clarke, composer, conductor, organist, choirmaster, teacher (born 1807 or 1808, likely in Edinburgh, Scotland; died 27 August 1877 in Toronto, ON).

Article

Ron Collier

Ronald William Collier, OC, trombonist, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher (born 3 July 1930 in Coleman, AB; died 22 October 2003 in Toronto, ON).

Article

Jean Coulthard

Jean Coulthard, OC, OBC, composer, teacher (born 10 February 1908 in Vancouver, BC; died 9 March 2000 in North Vancouver, BC). A pioneering woman composer and the first composer from Canada's West Coast to receive wide recognition, Jean Coulthard’s music is remarkable for its integrity, purity of expression and deeply emotional language.

Article

Michel Cusson

Michel Cusson, composer and guitarist (b at Drummondville, Qc 22 Jan 1957). He was interested in jazz-fusion in his youth, and studied guitar at Boston's Berkeley College of Music. In the late seventies, he formed the group Uzeb with whom he made several tours in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Article

Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry, short-story writer, novelist (b at Bombay, India 3 Jul 1952). After graduating in 1973 in mathematics and economics from Bombay University, Rohinton Mistry immigrated 2 years later to Toronto, where he found employment as a clerk in the accounting department of a bank.