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Bronfman Family

Descendants of Russian immigrant tobacco farmer Yechiel (Ekiel) Bronfman and his wife, Mindel, members of the Bronfman family have owned and controlled huge financial empires built from the profits of the family liquor business (see Seagram). The best-known members of the family are Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagram and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1939–62), and his descendants. Samuel’s wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman, was an influential philanthropist who supported the arts in Canada and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for organizing work on the home front during the Second World War. Sons Edgar and Charles Bronfman ran Seagram for decades, while grandson Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. oversaw the sale of Seagram to Vivendi. Charles was also co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada and Heritage Minutes, as well as chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos. His sister Phyllis Lambert is a well-known architect who founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Their cousins, Edward and Peter Bronfman (sons of Allan Bronfman), developed a financial empire in their own right. The family has given generously to several charitable organizations and been involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress. 

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Northwest Coast Indigenous Art

More than 3,000 years ago, Indigenous peoples of the coast of British Columbia (and adjacent areas of Washington State and southeastern Alaska) such as the Haida and Kwakwaka'wakw developed artistic traditions that are heralded throughout the world for their imaginative and stylistic qualities.

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Fathers of Confederation

Thirty-six men are traditionally regarded as the Fathers of Confederation. They represented the British North American colonies at one or more of the conferences that led to Confederation and the creation of the Dominion of Canada. These meetings included the Charlottetown Conference (September 1864), the Quebec Conference (October 1864) and the London Conference (December 1866 to March 1867). Beyond the original 36 men, the subject of who should be included among the Fathers of Confederation has been a matter of some debate. The definition can be expanded to include those who were instrumental in the creation of Manitoba, bringing British Columbia and Newfoundland into Confederation, and the creation of Nunavut. (See also  Fathers of Confederation: Table.)

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Stompin' Tom Connors

Charles Thomas "Stompin’ Tom" Connors, OC, singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler (born 9 February 1936 in Saint John, NB; died 6 March 2013 in Ballinafad, ON). One of the most iconic figures in Canadian music, Stompin’ Tom Connors was a working-class, salt-of-the-earth troubadour and perhaps the most overtly nationalist songwriter Canada has ever produced. His traditional country songs about Canadian people and places — such as “Bud the Spud,” “Sudbury Saturday Night” and “Big Joe Mufferaw” — were humorous, patriotic and widely popular, and reflected his extensive travels throughout the country. He was a passionate activist for Canadian music and culture, going so far as to return six Juno Awards in protest of what he saw as the organization’s favouring of expatriate Canadians over those with only domestic success. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the East Coast Music Awards, the Toronto Musician’s Union and SOCAN. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

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Dan Aykroyd

Daniel Edward Aykroyd, CM, OOnt, comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, entrepreneur (born 1 July 1952 in Ottawa, ON). Dan Aykroyd is a comedian, writer and actor best known for his four seasons on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and for such hit comedies as The Blues Brothers (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984), both of which he cowrote. He won an Emmy Award for his writing on SNL and received an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). He has also enjoyed considerable success as an entrepreneur, particularly in wine and spirits. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen O’Day Wynne, 25th premier of Ontario 2013–18, member of provincial parliament 2003–present, school trustee, community activist, mediator, teacher (born 21 May 1953 in Toronto, ON). The skills of a mediator, coupled with a strong sense of will, propelled Kathleen Wynne’s political career, making her Ontario’s first woman premier and Canada’s first openly gay head of government.

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Jim Prentice

​Jim Prentice, 16th Premier of Alberta and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta (2014–15), Federal Cabinet minister (2006–10), lawyer (born 20 July 1956 in South Porcupine, ON; died 13 October 2016 near ​Kelowna, ​BC).

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Šťastný Brothers

The Šťastný brothers — Marián, Peter and Anton — were a trio of star hockey forwards from Czechoslovakia. In the early 1980s they defected to Canada to play with the Québec Nordiques, and became one of the most exciting and successful scoring lines in National Hockey League history.

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John Le Carré (Profile)

Perhaps the only problem in taking tea with John le Carré is that it is never clear who will speak next. One moment, it is a Russian gangster named Dima; then Genrikh, a KGB operative - and then, a plummy-sounding Margaret Thatcher lackey.

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Bing Thom

Bing Wing Thom, CM, architect (born 8 December 1940 in Hong Kong; died 4 October 2016 in Hong Kong). A Member of the Order of Canada and a winner of the Governor General’s Award, Bing Thom’s strong design values and holistic approach in practice made him one of Canada’s top architects.

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Oscar Cahén

Oscar Cahén, visual artist (born 8 February 1916 in Copenhagen, Denmark; died 26 November 1956 in Oakville, ON).

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Art Dealers

Art dealers in Canada have served as art dealers everywhere, not only as sellers of art but as tastemakers. Since they act as a link between the work of art and the art-buying public, they have an important role in the identification of who is important in Canadian art.

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Léolo

The often astonishing Léolo is Québec director Jean-Claude Lauzon’s second and final feature film before his tragic death. A visually stunning, magical realist tale of a young boy’s coming-of-age in a wildly dysfunctional family, it won three Genie Awards and is generally considered one of the best Canadian films ever made. It was named the best film of 1992 by Maclean’s magazine and one of the top 10 films of 1993 by Time magazine, which also named it one of the 100 best films of all time in 2005. A 2015 poll conducted by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) ranked it No. 5 in a list of the Top 10 Canadian films of all time, while another in 2016 listed the film as one of 150 essential works in Canadian cinema history.

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The Band

The Band. Rock group, internationally popular in the late 1960s and the 1970s. First known as The Hawks, it evolved from a US group taken to Ontario in 1958 by Ronnie Hawkins.

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Stephen Chatman

Stephen (George) Chatman. Composer, teacher, b Faribault, Minn, 28 Feb 1950; B MUS (Oberlin) 1972, M MUS (Michigan) 1973, DMA (Michigan) 1977. Stephen Chatman studied with Ross Lee Finney, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom and Eugene Kurtz.

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Arnold Walter

Arnold Maria Walter, OC, musicologist, educator, administrator (born 30 August 1902 in Hannsdorf (Hanušovice), Moravia; died 6 October 1973 in Toronto, ON).

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William Lyon Mackenzie

William Lyon Mackenzie, journalist, politician (born 12 March 1795 in Dundee, Scotland; died 28 August 1861 in Toronto, ON). A journalist, Member of the Legislative Assembly, first mayor of Toronto and a leader of the Rebellions of 1837, Mackenzie was a central figure in pre-Confederation political life.

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Françoise David

Françoise David, CQ, community organizer, politician and feminist activist (born 13 January 1948 in Montréal, Quebec). Chair of the Fédération des femmes du Québec from 1994 to 2001, David was elected member of the National Assembly of Québec in 2012 and was co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire from 2006 to 2017.