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Black History in Canada: 1960 to Present

Black people have lived in Canada since the 17th century. Some of the earliest arrivals were enslaved persons brought from what we now call the United States of America and from the Caribbean. (See Black Canadians; Caribbean Canadians.) From the 18th century to the 1960s, most Black immigrants to Canada were fleeing enslavement and/or discrimination in the United States. Since then, changes to Canadian immigration policy have led to an influx of immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. (See African Canadians.) In the 2016 Canadian census, 1.2 million people (3.5 per cent of the Canadian population) reported being Black.. Despite ongoing challenges, including discrimination and systemic racism, Black Canadians have excelled in sectors and industries across the country.

See also Black History in Canada until 1900 and Black History in Canada: 1900–1960.

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Patrick Chan

​Patrick Lewis Wai-Kuan Chan, figure skater (born 31 December 1990 in Ottawa,ON). Patrick Chan is a Canadian champion and world champion men’s singles figure skater. A three-time world champion, he has won 10 national championships in the singles competition, breaking the record set by Montgomery Wilson in 1939. Known for dazzling artistry, Chan has repeatedly won major international competitions such as the World Figure Skating Championships and the Skate Canada, Grand Prix, Trophée Eric Bompard, and Four Continents events. He has set world records for points at competitions including the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2013 Trophée Bompard, and has won three medals at the Olympic Winter Games: a silver in the men’s competition (2014) and a gold (2018) and silver (2014) in the team event.

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Kelsey Jones

(Herbert) Kelsey Jones. Composer, harpsichordist, organist, pianist, teacher, b South Norwalk, Conn, 17 Jun 1922, naturalized Canadian 1956, d Montreal 10 Oct 2004; B MUS (Mount Allison) 1945, B MUS (Toronto) 1947, D MUS (Toronto) 1951.

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Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Louise Clarkson, PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD, 26th governor general of Canada 1999–2005, television personality, journalist, novelist, public servant, publisher (born 10 February 1939 in Hong Kong). In 1999, Clarkson was appointed as Canada’s 26th governor general by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. She was the first racialized person, the first person of Asian heritage and the first without a political or military background appointed to the vice-regal position. Her appointment came after an award-winning career in broadcast and print journalism, where she was best known as host and reporter of CBC’s the fifth estate. After her tenure as governor general, Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, launched the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, an organization that aims to accelerate the cultural integration of new citizens into Canadian society. She is the author of two novels and five works of nonfiction.

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Angela Cheng

Angela Cheng came to Edmonton with her family as a child, and studied piano at the Alberta College with Vera Shean (1972-6) and at the University of Alberta with Ernesto Lejano (1976-80).

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Timothy Eaton

The introduction of the Eaton catalogue in 1884 gave Canadians, particularly those in pioneer farming communities, access to a variety of merchandise.

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German Writing

German Canadians, Canada's third-largest ethnic group, hail from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds: German, Austrian, Swiss, Mennonite and others.

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James Howden MacBrien

James Howden MacBrien, soldier, policeman (b at Port Perry, Ont 30 June 1878; d at Toronto 5 Mar 1938). MacBrien served in the militia, the North-West Mounted Police and then the South African Constabulary 1901-06.

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Samuel Lount

Samuel Lount, blacksmith, politician, rebel (b at Cattawissa, Pa 24 Sept 1791; d at Toronto 12 Apr 1838). Variously employed after settling south of Lake Simcoe, Upper Canada, in 1815, Lount was best known as a blacksmith.

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Sir William Edmond Logan

From 1831 Logan managed the Forest Copper Works near Swansea, in South Wales. A systematic thinker by nature, and anxious to find a reliable source of coal, he mapped the nearby coal seams topographically and cross-sectionally.

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Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, violinist, b Montreal, 2 Oct 1974; BA (English) (McGill) 1998. Sam Roberts' parents hailed from South Africa and immigrated to Montreal before the eldest of their four sons, Sam, was born.

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Canadian Peacekeepers in Somalia

In 1992–93, Canada contributed military forces to UNITAF, a United Nations–backed humanitarian mission in the African nation of Somalia. The mission was hampered by the fact that some of the warring factions in the Somalia conflict attacked the international forces that were trying to restore order and deliver food to a starving population. The Canadian effort was also clouded by the murder of a Somali teenager by Canadian troops. The crime — and alleged cover-up by Defence officials in Ottawa — became one of the most infamous scandals in Canadian history.

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Sandra Oh

Sandra Miju Oh, OC, 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. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2022.

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Kim Echlin

Kim Echlin, writer (born 1955 in Burlington, ON). Kim Echlin earned a doctorate in Ojibway storytelling from York University, after attending McGill University and the Sorbonne, Paris. Echlin has worked as a documentarian for CBC and served as fiction editor for the Ottawa Citizen.

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Anthony Genge

Anthony (Charles) Genge. Composer, pianist, teacher, b Vancouver 22 May 1952; B MUS (Victoria) 1979, M MUS (McGill) 1981, PH D (State U of New York, Buffalo) 1985. He began to play jazz piano professionally as a teenager.