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Eleanor Collins

Elnora Ruth Collins (née Procter), CM, singer, actor (born 21 November 1919 in Edmonton, Alberta). Canada’s “first lady of jazz,” Eleanor Collins was the first Canadian woman and the first Black entertainer in Canada to have her own national television show, CBC TV’s The Eleanor Show (1955). Often compared to American singer Lena Horne, Collins performed on many television and radio variety shows, as well as in clubs. She is a member of the Order of Canada and the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame and the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards. Canada Post released a commemorative stamp in her honour in January 2022.


Bertha Wilson

Bertha Wilson, née Wernham, lawyer, judge (b at Kirkcaldy, Scot 18 Sept 1923; d at Ottawa 28 April, 2007), first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.


Edwin A. Baker

Edwin Albert Baker, CC, OBE, MC, co-founder of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) (born 9 January 1893 in Ernestown Township, ON; died 7 April 1968 in Collins Bay, ON). After he was blinded as a soldier during the First World War, Baker was motivated to create employment opportunities and training for people with blindness and vision loss (see Blindness and Visual Impairment). He assisted in the establishment of the CNIB, a national organization. As managing director, Baker championed rights and broadened research and awareness of blindness. His work was recognized by prominent figures around the world.


Catherine Lafortune

Catherine Lafortune, ballet dancer (born 17 February 1961 in Montreal, QC). At the age of seven, Catherine Lafortune enthusiastically responded to the call of dance and took courses in the Cecchetti method at the La Volière studio. Completing her examinations with distinction, she entered the dance academy of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Through the years of her apprenticeship (ages 15 to 17) she undertook intensive training at York University, where her talent was noticed by the teaching staff.


Claude Lagacé

Claude Pierre Édouard Lagacé, organist, choirmaster, educator (born 1 May 1917 in Sorel, QC; died 7 February 2019 in Quebec City). BA (Laval) 1938, B PH (Laval) 1939, B MUS (Laval) 1954, Associate American Guild of Organists 1957.


Jagmeet Singh

Jagmeet Singh “Jimmy” Dhaliwal, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada 2017–present, MP, MPP, lawyer (born 2 January 1979 in Scarborough, ON). Jagmeet Singh served as an Ontario MPP from 2011 until 2017, when he won the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). This made him the first racialized leader of a major national political party in Canada. He was also the first turban-wearing Sikh elected to the Ontario legislature. Singh has consistently rated higher than other federal party leaders in public opinion polls but has yet to translate that into national electoral success. He has been the Member of Parliament for Burnaby South since 2019.


Colored Hockey League

The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL) was an all-Black men’s hockey league. It was organized by Black Baptists and Black intellectuals and was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1895. It was defunct during and after the First World War, reformed in 1921 and then fell apart during the Depression in the 1930s. Play was known to be fast, physical and innovative. The league was designed to attract young Black men to Sunday worship with the promise of a hockey game between rival churches after the services. Later, with the influence of the Black Nationalism Movement — and with rising interest in the sport of hockey — the league came to be seen as a potential driving force for the equality of Black Canadians. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the league in January 2020.


André Lortie

André Lortie, tenor (born 11 May 1930 in Montreal, Quebec). André Lortie handled tragic roles as easily as comic parts. His performances of Beppe in I Pagliacci and Spoletta in Tosca established his reputation in Canada as a singer of character roles.



Anahareo, or Gertrude Philomen Bernard, CM, conservationist, prospector (born 18 June 1906 in Mattawa, ON; died 17 June 1986 in Kamloops, BC). An independent, forceful animal welfare advocate, Anahareo is credited with converting her well-known husband, Grey Owl, into a conservationist.


Cartography in Canada: Indigenous Mapmaking

Mapmaking was a widespread and well-developed art among Indigenous peoples in what is now Canada. However, this fact has been largely ignored in the history of cartography. Most common were navigational maps, because the more nomadic hunting and gathering bands depended on effective navigation over great expanses of wilderness. Indigenous peoples also drew maps to facilitate trade and warfare over long distances. Groups, in particular the equestrian Plains Indigenous people, used military maps to venture into the unfamiliar regions. (See also History of Cartography in Canada.)


Jeanne Landry

Jeanne Landry, pianist, accompanist, teacher, composer (born 3 May 1922 in Ottawa, ON; died 2 August 2011 in Quebec City, QC.)


David Foster

David Walter Foster, OC, OBC, record producer, composer, arranger, pianist (born 1 November 1949 in Victoria, BC). David Foster is one of the most commercially successful and influential pop music producers of all time. He has been called “the real king of pop,” the “master of bombastic pop kitsch” and “the Hit Man.” He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Chicago, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Céline Dion, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban and Michael Bublé, and for the successful charity single “Tears Are Not Enough.” He has produced such international No. 1 hits as “I Swear,” “The Glory of Love,” “The Power of Love,” “Un-break My Heart” and “I Will Always Love You.” Foster is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the US Songwriters Hall of Fame. An Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of British Columbia, he has won five Juno Awards and 16 Grammy Awards.


Bob Rock

­Robert Jens Rock, record producer, engineer, guitarist, songwriter (born 19 April 1954 in Winnipeg, MB). Bob Rock started out as a recording engineer and enjoyed some success as a core member of the punk/new wave/pop band Payola$ before going on to produce top-selling albums by such artists as The Cult, Mötley Crüe, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Our Lady PeaceSimple PlanMichael Bublé and many others. Known for a big, muscular, radio-friendly sound, highly-polished production values and an ability to play to an artist’s strengths, Rock has produced or engineered some of the most commercially-successful rock records of all time. He has won multiple Juno Awards and been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.


Penny Oleksiak

Penelope “Penny” Oleksiak, swimmer (born 13 June 2000 in Scarborough, ON). Swimmer Penny Oleksiak is Canada’s most decorated Olympian, with seven medals overall. She also holds the record as the youngest Canadian to win Olympic gold (16 years and 59 days). In 2016, she became the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at a single Olympic Summer Games: gold in the 100 m freestyle; silver in the 100 m butterfly; bronze in the women’s 4x100 m freestyle relay; and bronze in the women’s 4x200 m freestyle relay. Oleksiak won three medals at the Tokyo Games in 2021: silver in the women’s 4x100 m freestyle relay; bronze in the women’s 200 m freestyle; and bronze in the women’s 4x100 m medley relay. She received the Lou Marsh Trophy and the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award in 2016.


Contemporary Indigenous Art in Canada

Contemporary Indigenous art is that which has been produced by Indigenous peoples between around 1945 to the present. Since that time, two major schools of Indigenous art have dominated the contemporary scene in Canada:  Northwest Coast Indigenous Art and the Woodlands school of Legend Painters. As well, a more widely scattered group of artists work independently in the context of mainstream Western artand may be described as internationalist in scope and intent.

Contemporary Inuit art has evolved in parallel with contemporary Indigenous art, producing celebrated artists like Zacharias Kunuk and Annie Pootoogook.


John Molson

John Molson, entrepreneur, politician, philanthropist (born 28 December 1763 near Moulton, Lincolnshire, England; died 11 January 1836 in BouchervilleLower Canada). John Molson founded Canada’s oldest and largest brewery and introduced steamship travel in Canada. His investments in Montreal helped to transform the city from a colonial outpost to a cosmopolitan centre. Today, the brewing business he founded continues as part of Molson Coors Beverage Company.


Editorial: The Wit and Wisdom of Sam Slick

Thomas Chandler Haliburton was born on 17 December 1796 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of a judge and grandson of a lawyer. An upper crust Tory, he was also a successful lawyer and businessman and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. He held office in England after his retirement from the bench. He was wealthy, respected and influential. But, despite his accomplishments, he was deeply frustrated.