Search for "south asian canadians"

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Robert Dunsmuir

Robert Dunsmuir, industrialist, politician (b at Hurlford, Scot 31 Aug 1825; d at Victoria 12 Apr 1889). Dunsmuir was best known as the coal king of British Columbia. He came to Vancouver Island in 1851 and worked as a coal miner

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Jacques Bougie

Jacques Bougie, administrator (b at Montréal, 1947). Jacques Bougie graduated from the Université de Montréal in law, and from l'École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in business administration. He began working for Alcan in 1979 as manager for the company's Beauharnois smelter.

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George Browne Jr

George Browne Jr, architect (b at Montréal, Canada East 1852 or 1853; d at South Nyack, NY 12 Mar 1919). After study with his father, a prominent Montréal architect, Browne travelled in Europe and went to South Kensington School of Art, London.

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Goldwin Smith

In 1866 Smith resigned to nurse his ailing father. After his father's death, Smith moved to the US to teach at Cornell. He settled in Toronto in 1871 to be near relatives.

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Ruth Elizabeth Borson

Ruth Elizabeth Borson, "Roo," poet (b at Berkeley, Ca 20 Jan 1952). Ruth Borson was raised in Berkeley, educated at Goddard College, Vermont, and moved to Vancouver in 1974, where she attended UBC.

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Wayson Choy

Wayson Choy, CM, writer, teacher (born 20 April 1939 in Vancouver. BC; died 28 April 2019 in Toronto, ON). Wayson Choy was an influential Chinese Canadian novelist, memoirist and short-story writer. His debut novel, The Jade Peony (1995), tells an intimate tale of an immigrant family living in Vancouver’s Chinatown during the Second World War. It won the Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award in 1996. His second novel, All That Matters (2004), won the Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first memoir, Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood (1999), won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. An openly gay man, Choy was also an advocate for LGBTQ2S rights as well as a dedicated teacher and mentor.

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Hyman Bress

Bress, Hyman. Violinist, b Cape Town, South Africa, 30 Jun 1931, naturalized Canadian 1952, d Montreal 30 Oct 1995. He took his first lessons with his father, making his debut with the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra at nine and performing extensively in South Africa afterwards.

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Hardial Bains

Hardial Bains, communist leader, microbiology lecturer (born 15 August 1939 in the village of Chak 6, British India; died on the 24 August 1997 in Hull, QC). He was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) from 1970­ to 1997. Bains was involved in a number of left wing political movements in Canada and in other nations as well. He was an “anti-revisionist” communist who rejected the doctrinal changes brought about by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev after Joseph Stalin’s death. Hardial Bains’ leadership helped the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada become the most successful Canadian communist organization in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Grace Breau-Theriault (Primary Source)

"We were a casualty clearing station on D Day. So we had boys back from the battlefield the same day."

See below for Ms. Breau-Theriault's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

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Don Garrard

Don (Donald) Garrard. Bass, born Vancouver 31 Jul 1929; died Johannesburg, South Africa, 21 Sept 2011.

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Chinese Immigration Act

The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, known also as the Chinese Exclusion Act, banned the entry of virtually all Chinese immigrants for 24 years. Although migration into Canada from most countries was controlled or restricted in some way, only Chinese people were singled out completely from entering on the basis of race. The four exceptions to the exclusion were students, merchants (excluding laundry, restaurant and retail operators), diplomats and Canadian-born Chinese returning from education in China. The limit on absence from Canada was two years, and the consequence for not returning on time was being barred re-entry. Additionally, every person of Chinese descent, whether Canadian-born or naturalized, was required to register for an identity card within 12 months. The penalty for noncompliance was imprisonment or a fine of up to $500. Though the Act was repealed in 1947, immigration restrictions on the basis of race and national origin were not fully scrubbed until 1967.

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James Dunsmuir

Dunsmuir withstood all attempts at unionizing his operations, becoming labour's chief target in western Canada. In 1905 he sold the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway to the CPR and in 1910 he sold his collieries to William MACKENZIE and Donald MANN for $10 million.

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David L. Kaplan

David L. (Leon) Kaplan. Administrator, conductor, clarinetist, b Chicago 12 Dec 1923; B MUS (Roosevelt) 1948, M MUS (Oberlin) 1950, PH D (Indiana) 1978. He taught at West Texas State U 1955-9 before moving to Canada in 1960.

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Latin American Canadians

Latin America refers to a group of republics in Central and South America. These countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Puerto Rico, the French West Indies and other islands of the West Indies may also be considered part of “Latin America.” The broader use of the term can also refer to countries where Romance languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese, prevail.

According to Statistics Canada, there were upward of 674,640 residents with a Latin American background in Canada in 2016.

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Chinese Music in Canada

The migration of Chinese to Canada began in 1858 as a result of the Fraser River Gold Rush in British Columbia. Most of the 19th-century migrants, including those contracted for CPR labour from 1882 to 1885, came from Kwangtung (Canton) Province, some via the USA.