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Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan (born Atom Yeghoyan), CC, FRCA, writer, director, producer, artist (born 19 July 1960 in Cairo, Egypt). Atom Egoyan is one of Canada’s most acclaimed and influential filmmakers. Cerebral and unconventional, his films are often told in a non-linear style. They typically tackle such themes as personal and communal displacement, the alienating effects of media and technology, and the lingering effects of trauma and abuse. Perhaps best known for The Adjuster, Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter, Egoyan is a rare Canadian filmmaker to achieve auteur status on an international scale. His numerous accolades include two Oscar nominations, eight Genie Awards, five major prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement. In addition to cinema, he has also excelled at directing theatre and opera and is an acclaimed installation artist. He is an Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la France.

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Canadian Film History: 1974 to Present

Filmmaking is a powerful form of cultural and artistic expression, as well as a highly profitable commercial enterprise. From a practical standpoint, filmmaking is a business involving large sums of money and a complex division of labour. This labour is involved, roughly speaking, in three sectors: production, distributionand exhibition. The history of the Canadian film industry has been one of sporadic achievement accomplished in isolation against great odds. Canadian cinema has existed within an environment where access to capital for production, to the marketplace for distribution and to theatres for exhibition has been extremely difficult. The Canadian film industry, particularly in English Canada, has struggled against the Hollywood entertainment monopoly for the attention of an audience that remains largely indifferent toward the domestic industry. The major distribution and exhibition outlets in Canada have been owned and controlled by foreign interests. The lack of domestic production throughout much of the industry’s history can only be understood against this economic backdrop.

This article is one of four that surveys the history of the film industry in Canada. The entire series includes: Canadian Film History: 1896 to 1938; Canadian Film History: 1939 to 1973; Canadian Film History: 1974 to Present; Canadian Film History: Notable Films and Filmmakers 1980 to Present.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery, OBE, writer (born 30 November 1874 in Clifton (now New London), PEI; died 24 April 1942 in Toronto, ON). Lucy Maud Montgomery is arguably Canada’s most widely read author. Her first novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), became an instant best-seller. It has remained in print for more than a century, making the character of Anne Shirley a mythic icon of Canadian culture. Montgomery produced more than 500 short stories, 21 novels, two poetry collections, and numerous journal and essay anthologies. Her body of work has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide. Anne of Green Gables alone has been translated into at least 36 languages as well as braille. It has been adapted dozens of times in various mediums. Montgomery was named an Officer of both the Order of the British Empire and the Literary and Artistic Institute of France. She was the first Canadian woman to be made a member of the British Royal Society of Arts and she was declared a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada.

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Maureen Forrester

Maureen Kathleen Stewart Forrester, CC, O.ON, OQ, opera and recital singer, teacher, arts administrator (born 25 July 1930 in Montreal, QC; died 16 June 2010 in Toronto, ON). Maureen Forrester was one of Canada’s greatest and best-known classical singers. She was renowned for her remarkable trumpet-like contralto and her deeply emotive musical interpretations. The only classical performer other than Glenn Gould to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, she was admired greatly at home and abroad for her recitals, recordings and opera performances. She also served as chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, director of du Maurier Arts and chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. She received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, the Molson Prize, the Diplôme d’honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the Canadian Music Council Medal, as well as numerous other honours.

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R. Murray Schafer

Suppressing a youthful urge to become a painter, R. Murray Schafer entered the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto in 1952 to study with Alberto Guerrero (piano), Greta Kraus (harpsichord), John Weinzweig (composition), and Arnold Walter (musicology).