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Habitants and French-Speaking Quebec

Habitants were once a symbol of French-speaking Quebec, in much the same way that cowboys became an iconic image of the American West and gauchos a symbol of Argentina. In the word’s most familiar meaning, going back to the late 17th century, a habitant was a farmer who worked and lived on a plot of land granted him by a wealthy seigneur (see Seigneurial System). Although the system of land tenure in Quebec changed in the wake of the British Conquest, for many decades afterwards the notion of a habitant remained crucial to the perceived identity of the province.


Paul Dolden

Having spent many years as a rock musician Dolden brings a concern with the visceral physicality of this form to the realm of tape composition. Often criticized for the extremely loud playback levels at his concerts, the composer explains that '... the listener is completely engulfed in sound.


Peter Barcza

(Joseph) Peter Barcza. Baritone, teacher, b Stockholm, of Hungarian parents, 23 Jun 1949, naturalized Canadian 1957; diploma, opera performance (Toronto) 1971.


Georges Vanier

Georges-Philéas Vanier, PC, governor general of Canada 1959-67, soldier, diplomat, (born 23 April 1888 in Montreal; died 5 March 1967 in Ottawa). Vanier was the first French Canadian to serve as governor general. As a diplomat, he and his wife helped many Europeans displaced by the Second World War. A devout Christian, he urged love and unity amid the emergence of Quebec separatism in the 1960s. In 1988 he was named the most important Canadian in history by Maclean’s magazine.


Robert Lalonde

Robert Lalonde, novelist and actor (b at Oka 22 Jul 1947). He completed classical studies at the Collège de Montréal and the Séminaire de Sainte-Therese earning a BA in 1968.


Black History

Black history refers to the stories, experiences, and accomplishments of people of African origin. Black history did not begin in recent times in Canada, but in ancient times in Africa. People connected by their common African history and ancestry have created Black history here. The African-Canadian population is made up of individuals from a range of places across the globe including the United States, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Canada.


Herbert Hollick-Kenyon

Herbert Hollick-Kenyon, aviator (b at London, Eng 17 Apr 1897; d at Vancouver 30 July 1975). He immigrated with his family in 1909 to Ewing's Landing, BC, and joined the Canadian Army in 1914. Twice wounded in France, he was invalided home and in 1917 joined the Royal Flying Corps.


Ephrem Longpré

Ephrem Longpré, historian, philosopher (b at Woonsocket, RI 24 Aug 1890; d at Paris, France 19 Oct 1965). His defence of the philosophy of Joannes Duns Scotus played a role in the background of Vatican II and in the opening of Catholic thought to traditions other than that of St Thomas.


Jean Girard

Jean Girard. Organist, serpent player, schoolmaster (b Bourges, France, 8 Aug 1696, d Montreal 23 Feb 1765). The son of a master baker, he was admitted 5 May 1704 to the choir school of Bourges' Sainte-Chapelle, where for eight years he received a thorough training as a church musician.


Hugh Cairns, VC

Hugh Cairns, VC, plumber, soldier (born 4 December 1896 in Ashington, Northumberland, England; died 2 November 1918 in Valenciennes, France). During the First World War, Sergeant Cairns was the last Canadian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for bravery among troops of the British Empire.


Leslie Holmes

Leslie Holmes. Baritone, teacher, b Lesser Slave Lake, Alta, 30 Apr 1901. His father was the bishop of Moosonee. Holmes studied singing in Toronto with Albert Ham at the Canadian Academy of Music and in London with Harry Plunkett Greene at the RCM. He also studied in France and Germany.


Pauline Boutal

Boutal emigrated with her family from Brittany to Manitoba in 1907. She studied art at the Winnipeg Art Club from 1911 to 1914 and, following a brief stay in France, returned to work as a women's fashion illustrator for the Eaton's catalogue at the graphic art firm Brigdens of Winnipeg Ltd.


Mireille Lagacé

Mireille Lagacé (nee Bégin), organist, harpsichordist, teacher (b at St-Jérôme, Qué, 8 Jun 1935). Lagacé studied in Montréal with Germaine Malépart (piano), Conrad Letendre (organ), and Gabriel Cusson (theory).


Maitland Farmer

Maitland (Adam Ernest) Farmer. Organist, choirmaster, teacher, pianist, harpsichordist, b London 24 Feb 1904, naturalized Canadian 1969, d Eastern Passage, NS, 12 Jun 1995; LRAM 1921, FRCO 1936, B MUS (Toronto) 1947, honorary DCL (King's College, Halifax) 1963, honorary FRCCO 1984.


Alain Thibault

Thibault, Alain. Composer, b Quebec City, 28 Dec 1956; B MUS composition (Montreal) 1983. He studied mainly at the University of Montreal and at Laval University and McGill University.