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 My goal was to have at least one name for each day of the year! Believe it or not, it took 20 years. But hey, I made it!

Want to know who was born the same year as you?  Check out the Famous Canadian Women's Historical Timeline!

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January 1 Florence Lawrence. Born January 1, 1890, Hamilton, Ontario. Died December 28, 1938, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A. This petite Canadian born actor is universally acknowledged as the world’s 1st movie star. At age four she was performing as “Baby Flo, the Wonder Whistler” on vaudeville. In the pioneer days of filmmaking, credits with the names of actors were not important. She became known simply as the "Biograph Girl". In 1915 she tried to help someone in a studio fire and was badly burned. She never achieved her former active career. By the time of her death she had appeared in 250 films! Her biographyFlorence Lawrence, the Biograph Girl: America's First Movie Star was written by Kelly R Brown and published by McFarland, 1999. (2020)
  Annie Linda Jack. née Hayr. Born January 1, 1839, Northampton, England. Died February 15, 1912, Chateauguay, Quebec. She was Canada’s 1st professional woman garden writer. Annie moved to Troy, New York, U.S.A. and attended Troy Female Seminary. She married a Scottish born fruit farmer, Robert Jack (died 1900) and the couple settled on his farm in Chateauguay, Quebec. Here the couple would raise eleven children. When she moved to Canada, she used her gardening skills to experiment and make a profit. She developed one acre to horticulture of her choice and wrote a column in The Rural New Yorker called A Woman's Acre. She also wrote a column on flowers in the Montreal Daily Witness and contributed to the Canadian Horticulturalist. Her skills became known throughout North America. While she wrote and published short stories and poems, it is her horticultural articles for which she is remembered. Her book The Canadian Gardener: A pocket Help of the Amateur  was published in 1903 and set the gardening standard for all of pre World War 1 Canada. (2020)
January 2 Hannah Jarvis. née Peters. Born January 2, 1763, Hebron, Connecticut, U.S.A. Died September 9,1845, Toronto, Canada West (now Ontario). During the American revolution the family to Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. and left Hannah with family while he fled in exile to England and France. Joining her father they lived in poverty in London, England and then in France. At 20 years of age Hannah married William Jarvis, a loyalist military officer, who was appointed provincial secretary and Registrar of Upper Canada (now Ontario). The family including their three children settled in the area of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1792. The couple would have four more children born in Canada. Hannah was not only a prolific letter writer but she also kept a diary where she wrote of items she was kept from talking about in the political era of early colonial Canada. Her family life, struggles, hardship of providing daily necessities, her anger and other emotions which society required that a lady should not voice. Hannah was left bankrupt with the death of her husband in 1817 since all the estate had been transferred to her son Samuel. She received a modest pension of $100.00 a year from the government but all other finances had to come from her son. Her journals and letters are in the Archives at the University of Guelph. (2020)
  Barbara Lally Pentland. Born January 2, 1912, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died February 5, 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia. Barbara studied music at the Juilliard School of Music, New York City, U.S.A. and the Bershire Music Centre in Massacheutts, U.S.A. One of the 1st Canadian composers to use avant-garde techniques, she has helped introduce two generations of young Canadians to modern Music. She taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music from 1943 through 1949 and then at the University of British Columbia until 1963. In 1977 she received a Diplôme d'honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts. She composed for piano, orchestra, chamber ensemble and voice. She was named to the Order of Canada in 1989. (2020)
January 3 Lucella 'Lu' Catherine Ross. née MacLean. Born January 3, 1921, Lloydminster, Alberta Died June 25, 2012, Lloydminster, Alberta. She always enjoyed sports of all kinds. She began to skate when she was four at  school she played field hockey, basketball, softball and even track and field. From 1935 through to 1942 she played softball with teams such as Lloydminster’s womens team who won the Ester Trophy from 1937 through 1940. In 1940 she joined the Saskatoon Pat’s who in 1941 won the provincial Hunking Trophy. Most players had jobs to pay for “life” and Lu worked as a telephone clerk. She was scouted for the newly formed All American Girls Professional Baseball League that offered $50.00 a week for playing ball there was only one decision to make. She played for the South Bend Blue Sox in 1943 and 1944. Back in Canada in 1945 she played with the Army Navy Pats in Edmonton, Alberta. She retuned to the U.S.A. and from 1946 through 1953 she played with the National Girls Baseball League. In 1951 she married Jesse More but in 1957 she became a widow. She married George Ross in 1960. November 5,1988 the AAGPBL was included into the Cooperstown, New York, U.S.A. National Baseball Hall of Fame. April 6, 1991 she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. In 1998 the AAGPBL Canadian members were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.  Source; AAGPBL  (2020)
  Letitia Youmans. née Creighton. Born January 3, 1827, Hamilton Township, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Died July 18, 1896, Toronto, Ontario. Letitia swore a pledge of total abstinence from alcohol while in elementary school.  She went on to attended Cobourg Ladies' Seminary when she was 16 and continued her studies at the Burlington Academy, Hamilton Ontario where she taught for two years after graduation. She moved to teach at the Picton Academy and it was there that she met Arthur Youmans, a widower with eight children. On August 29, 1850 the two were married. She would run a school in her home to educate her stepchildren. After visiting a rally of the American Women's Temperance Crusade in 1874, Letitia returned to Canada full of determination. She encouraged the local women in her cause  and by 1877 she was forming the Ontario WCTU and served as 1st president. She became a popular speaker throughout North America, as well as Britain and Europe. In 1882, after the death of her husband she relocated to Toronto.  In 1883 the Dominion WCTU was formed and she again served as the 1st president. She would remain, after 1889, as honorary president for the rest of her life. She was forced to retire from her activities due to severe rheumatism. Read more about her determination in her autobiography Campaign Echoes. (2020)
January 4 Jeanne Le Ber. Born January 4, 1662,  Montreal, Quebec. Died October 3, 1714. As a young girl she had a dowry of 50,000 écrus and was the most eligible girl in New France. However, Jeanne decided to live a secluded life for 5 years. On the 24 of June 1685 she took a vow of perpetual seclusion, chastity, and poverty. Because of her social rank she retained an attendant. She gave large financial assistance to the building of a new church and a three floor apartment directly behind the alter became her living quarters. She has been studied and her life used as a character in a modern mystery novel Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs in 1998. (2020)
  Marie Emilie Fortin Tremblay. née Fortin. Born January 4, 1872, Hébertville, Quebec. Died April 21, 1949, Victoria, British Columbia. She and her family lived in Cohoes, New York,Image result for Marie Emilie Fortin Tremblay. images U.S.A. for a period of time and it was there that she met and married Pierre-Nolasque 'Jack' Tremblay (d. 1935).  A pioneer of the Yukon she was the 1st white woman to climb the Chilkoot trail leading to the Yukon Gold fields in 1894. The couple made their home at Miller Creek. Emilie returned sough to Cohoes to attend to her sick mother for two years. By 1898 they were settling in Bonanza, Yukon where they earned enough money to live comfortable and even to travel to Europe. The couple adopted Emilie's nice. Retiring from mining the family settled in Dawson. She became a businesswoman in Dawson operating a dry goods store in the Yukon. Her store is now a heritage building. Emilie became the founder and 1st president of the Society of the Ladies of the Golden North. She was also president of the Yukon Order of Pioneers Auxiliary. She was also a life member of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE)In 1937 she received the King George VI Coronation medal. She traveled to Quebec City and to New York City describing her northern adventures. In 1940 she married miner Louis Lagrois. She retired to Victoria. The 1st francophone school in the Yukon was named in her honour. Sources: Canadian encyclopedia.  (2020)
  Margaret 'Pegi' Kathleen Nicol MacLeod. née Nicol. Born January 4, 1904, Listowel, Ontario. Died February 12, 1949, New York, U.S.A .In 1908 the family relocated to Ottawa. At the beginning of World War l in 1914 the family moved to Toronto. but soon found themselves back in Ottawa. In 1921 Pegi studied at the school of the Art Association of Ottawa. By 1923 she was at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Montreal. In 1932 she won the Willingdon Arts Competition in painting. In the id 1930's she was living in Toronto In 1935-36 she served as editor of the Canadian Forum and helped establish the Picture Loan society.  In 1936 she married Norman MacLeod and the couple settled in New York City. In 1940 she was co-founder of an art centre for arts at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick. She was apposed to war but in 1944 she worked for the National Gallery of Canada painting scenes of the Women's Division of the Armed Forces. A painter she was among the first wave of artists of Canadian modernism. After the war ended she was once again painting in New York City. In the late 1940 she exhibited her works not only in New York but also in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Vancouver, and Fredericton.  She left over 1000 works of art in many media including designs for hooked rugs. (2020)
January 5 Myrtle Alice Cook McGowan. née Cook.  Born January 5, 1902, Toronto, Ontario. Died March 18, 1985, Elora, Ontario. A true sporting enthusiast Myrtle excelled at tennis, ice hockey, basketball, bowling, cycling, and canoeing. In 1917 she became a member of the women’s national track and field team. In 1923 she helped established the Toronto Ladies Athletic Club, the 1st of its kind for women in Canada. Later formed the Mercury Athletic Club with Hilda Strike (1910-1989). Myrtle was one of the six women, known as the ‘Matchless Six’, to compete in the Olympic Games for Canada. In the Amsterdam Olympic Games of 1928 she won the gold medal in the women’s 4 X 100 meters with Fanny Rosenfeld (1904-1969), Ethel Smith (1907-1978), and Jane Bell (1910-1998). In 1929 she married journalist Lloyd McGowan. Continuing in competitions in the 100 meter and 60 yard events were also won by Myrtle through to 1931. After the 1928 Games she took up journalism with the Montreal Star writing a weekly column ‘In the Women’s Sport Light’. It was as a ski journalist that she was inducted into the Laurentian Ski Hall of Fame. She was even asked to coach the Montreal Royals men’s baseball team in base running. She was involved in training military recruits during World War ll. She was a member of British Empire/Commonwealth Games Committee throughout her life and a member of the Olympic Committee from 1932 through 1972. Myrtle became known as "Canada's First Lady of Sport," and in 1949 she was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame followed in 1955 with inclusion in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Temple de la renommée du pantheon des sports du Québec in 1974. Athletic Canada presents the Myrtle Cook Trophy for Young Athlete of the Year. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2008); Paul Patton, “Cook led the way for women athletes” in the Globe and Mail, March 22, 1985 Page 23.(2020)
  Elizabeth Joan Smith. Born January 5, 1928. Died February 9, 2016, St. Lucia. Joan graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts. She was a founding member of Mme. Vanier Children's Services and Diocesan Catholic Services in London, Ontario. She also served on the Board of Governors at the University of Western Ontario, London. She married Don Smith and the couple raised seven children. In 1976 she ran and was elected to London City Council where she served for nine years. In 1985 she ran and was elected to the Ontario legislature in 1985 and was re-elected in 1987 when she was appointed as Solicitor General. She resigned on June 6, 1989 amidst controversy. While she would run in two additional elections she was not successful in re-election. (2020)
January 6 Nancy Ruth [Jackman]Born January 6, 1942, Toronto, Ontario. Nancy Ruth describes herself as Canada's 1st feminist philanthropist. With less that 5% of funding from private foundations and corporations going to women and girls her philosophy remains : "If women don't give to women and girls, who will?" As an activist, Nancy Ruth was part of the  1981 push for the inclusion of the equity clauses (15 & 28) in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She is a founding mother of Canada's largest women's history website  of The Womens' Legal Education and Action Fund - LEAF/FARJ.     ( Be sure check out the teen pages at the site ) and of the Canadian Women's Foundation/Foundation des Femmes Canadiennes, who founded among other things the "White Ribbon Campaign". Nancy Ruth holds three honourary degrees and the Order of Canada. In March 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed her to the Senate of Canada. (2020)
January 7 Helen Emma Gregory MacGill.  Born January 7, 1864, Hamilton, Ontario. Died February 27, 1947, Vancouver, British Columbia. She was the first woman to graduate from Trinity College of the University of Toronto having earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's Degree in 1889. She was the only woman in her class and the 1st woman graduate and the 1st woman in the British Empire to earn a degree in music. After graduation she worked as a journalist for Cosmopolitan magazine. She married F. C. 'Lee' Flesher (died 1901) in 1890 and the couple had two boys. In 1902 she married Henry 'Jim' MacGill and the couple had two daughters. When she settled with her young family in British Columbia she was the first woman of the region to be appointed a judge of the juvenile Court, a post she held for 23 years. She was a member of the British Columbia Minimum Wage Board and co-founder of the Vancouver Business Professional Women Clubs. In 1930 she pushed to found the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Club. Her daughter, Elsie Gregory MacGill (1905-1980), a renowned engineer, wrote her mother's biography, My Mother the Judge in 1955. (2020)

Margaret 'Peggy' Ann Wilson Thompson. née Wilson. Born  January 7, 1920, Isle of Man, United Kingdom. Died November 3, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. When Peggy was six her family immigrated to Saskatchewan. She completed Normal School (Teacher’s College) and taught in rural prairie schools prior to earning her biology degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1943. By 1948 she had earned her PhD, from the University of Toronto, in zoology specializing in metabolic genetics. She Married James Jimmy’ Thompson and began teaching at the University of Western Ontario before moving to the University of Alberta. While in Alberta she served on the Alberta Eugenics Board 1960 to 1962, a fact little known even by closest colleagues. The couple with their two sons relocated Toronto in 1963 where Peggy worked at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. She and James wrote the 1st textbook on human genetics which would become a standard throughout North America. She was a founding member of the Genetics Society of Canada and the Canadian College of Medical Genetics where she served as president in 1983 through 1985. This society and the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences offer annual trainee awards in Peggy’s honour. In 1988 she was presented with the Order of Canada. She was also a member of the American Society of Human Genetics where she served on the Board of Directors in 1977-78. In 1995 the ASHG presented her with the 1st award for excellence in Human Genetics Education. Peggy had a passion for research in Muscular Dystrophy and inspired many students and researchers in this field. Sources: Ron Csillag, “Gifted Scientist Margaret Thompson had a lasting impact on Health Care’, Globe and Mail, December 14, 2014; Lou Siminovitch and Ron Worton, ‘A tribute to Margaret W. Thompson …1920-2014’, Globe and Mail November 26, 2014; The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed December 2014 (2020)

January 8 Elizabeth Annie McGillivray Knowles. née Beach. Born January 8, 1866, Ottawa, Ontario.  Died October 4, 1928, Lancaster, New Hampshire, U.S.A. Elizabeth married her art instructor, Farquhar McGillivray Knowles, in 1895. The couple made an extended study tour of Europe and returned to Canada to establish their studio in Toronto. In 1908 Elizabeth was elected as an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She was also an executive member of the Heliconian Club which consisted of women involved in arts and letters in Toronto. A painter of considerable recognition she specialized in nature studies. She was elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Art in 1908. In 1915 the couple relocated to New York City, U.S.A. In 1919 she became an elected member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. During this time in the U.S. the couple continued exhibiting their works in Toronto and Montreal as well as throughout the U.S.A. Elizabeth Knowles became a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Miniature Painters, the Brooklyn Society of Miniature Painters, the Washington Watercolor Club, the American Watercolor Society, and the League of American Pen Women. Samples of her works are preserved in the National Gallery of Canada and Parkwood Museum, the home of Sam McLaughlin, Oshawa. (2020)
  Sarah Polly.  Born January 8, 1979 Toronto, Ontario. This actress became best known in Canada for her role in “Road to Avonlea”. She had however been working with Disney Studios since she was four years old. She is currently making the rare successful change from a child actor to adult actor.  She is pursuing her education and has strong pacifist political views.
January 9 Félicité Angers. Born January 9, 1845, La Malbaie, Lower Canada (Now Quebec). Died June 6, 1924, Quebec City, Quebec. Félicité was educated by the Ursuline nuns in Quebec where she became fluently bilingual in English and French and also learned German. While she never married she had had a suitor, Pierre-Alexis Tremblay, who would marry another woman. Félicité remained heartbroken. This was the pen name of Laure Conan, she would author of nine novels of French Canadian life. Her 1st work appeared as a short story Un amour vrai which was published in the Revue de Montréal in 1878 and 1879. She was also a contributor to Le Journal de Françoise, a bimonthly paper edited by the acclaimed Robertine Barry (1863-1910), Félicité was a witness to her time. She was the 1st French Canadian female novelist with her book Angeline de Montbrun which was first published in serial form and then as a book in 1884. All her novels centered on the three driving forces of French Canadian life, family, nation, and religion.  It was unusual at this era for a women to make a living by writing which Félicité did by contributing articles to newspapers, journals, and by writing plays.  (2020)
  Catherine Parr Traill. née Strickland. Born January 9, 1802, London, England. Died August 29, 1899, Selwyn, Ontario. After the death of their father in 1818 the Strickland daughters, There were five sisters turned to writing to supplement the family income. at 16, Catherine was writing children's books. Her 1st book The Tell Tale: an Original Collection of Moral and Amusing Stories was published anonymously in 1818. This pioneer came to Upper Canada (now Ontario) with heRelated imager retired army lieutenant husband, Thomas Traill in 1832.The young couple were no doubt encouraged on this endeavour by Catherine's sister, Susanna Moodie (1803-1885) who also soon immigrated. The couple settled near what is now Peterborough, Ontario which at that time was a backwoods area. Catherine wrote of the life around her in what was then The Canadas in her book, The Backwoods of Canada in 1836. In 1854 she published the Female Emigrant's Guide which outlined the skills necessary for a new settled in the Canadian backwoods. This book would later be republished as the Canadian Settler's Guide.  Her sister, Susanna Moodie would also become a well known Canadian author. In 1840 the Trails and Moodies both moved to the city of Belleville, Ontario. in 1865 Catherine would also note the flora of the region in her Canadian Wild Flowers, Studies of Plant Life in Canada in 1885 and Rambles in the Canadian Forest. In 1996 the book I Bless You in My Heart: Selected Correspondence of Catherine Parr Trail was published. Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario named their downtown campus after her. Catharine Parr Traill College is the University's main college for graduate studies. In 2008 as par of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Library of Canada Canada post issued a series of stamps featuring early Canadian writers that included both Catherine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie. (2020)
January 10 Honorah 'Norah' Mary Holland.  Born January 19, 1876, Collingwood, Ontario. Died April 27, 1925.  Norah moved to Toronto with her family in 1889. After completing high school she worked for the Dominion Press Clipping Bureau for several years prior to joining the Toronto Daily News as a staff member. She was a member of the Canadian Women's Press Club (CWPC). She went on to become an assistant editor of the Canadian Courrier and then a worked with the Macmillan Publishing Company. A cousin to the famous Irish writer, W. B. Yeats, this Canadian writer toured Ireland on foot in 1904. Her poems appeared in The Canadian Courrier, Canadian Magazine, the Daily News, and the Globe. She would publish her 1st poem in the Globe and signed the name 'Bridget'. She published several of her works of poetry beginning in 1918 and in her own day she was a well-respected poet. She married at 46 to Lionel William Claxton (1857-1929). She also published short stories and a play When Half Gods Go in 1929.  This play was a regular Christmas performance for the London (Ontario( Drama League for many years. Later in life she wrote lyrics for various composers. (2020)
  Ludmilla Alexandrovna Chiriaeff. née Otzoup-Goeny. Born January 10,1924, Riga, Latvia. Died September 22, 1996, Montreal, Quebec. She was trained in ballet in Berlin, Germany. During World War ll she was confined to a Nazi labour camp as she was was suspected of being Jewish. Escaping the camp she found her way to Switzerland where she could resume her career in dance. Here she married a Russian Artist Alexis Shiriaev. The family name became Chiriaeff in French. In 1952 the family immigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal, Quebec.  Founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens she was a strong force in the development of dance in Quebec and Canada. The company was brought to international attention during Canada's Centennial year at Expo '67 World Festival. This success was followed by tours throughout North America and Europe. In 1969 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada and in 1984 she was promoted to the rank of Companion in the Order. Ludmilla retired as co-artistic director in 1974. In 1978 she was proclaimed a Grande Montréalaise by the City of Montreal, and in 1985 she was made a Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Québec. In 1993 she received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award and that same year she earned the Denise Pelletier Award for the Performing Arts. (2020)
January 11 Mabel McIntosh. née Ashton. Born January 11, 1922. In 1944 Mabel married Alex McIntosh. In the early 1960's Mabel took an interest in the Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds (PQSPB). She read to educate herself and practiced what she learned in the field and learned additionally from other expert bird watchers. To finance her field trips she sold Avon Products out of her home. She even lectured at local schools and became interested in the scientific study of birds. Mabel was the mother of three children but sadly her married life was not a happy one. It was difficult for her being totally dependant on her husband for her living expenses. She was elected to the Board of the PQSPB and was editor of the Newsletter. She saved what she could and in 1971 Alex moved out of the family home. After the breakdown of her marriage her passion became an obsession. She became involved with scientific activities such as the Breeding Bird Survey. She attended night school to learn commercial art and soon took a position as a draughtsman with Bell Telephone Company. She would grow and develop into a noted North American ornithologist. She travelled to South America and Africa. She has contributed data to scientific studies and published articles on hawk migration. Source: Great Dames. (2019)
  Anne Heggtveit. Born January 11,1939, Ottawa, Ontario. A member of a skiing family, Anne learned to ski at Camp Fortune in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec. In 1946 was racing at the age of sever at Lake Placid, New York, U.S.A. Anne, came to international attention at the age of 15 when she won the 1954 Holmenkollen Giant Slalom event in Norway as the youngest winner in the events’ 50 year history. She also won the slalom and giant slalom junior U.S. championships. At the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics she won Canada's 1st Olympic Gold Medal in skiing. That same year she won the giant slalom and combined women’s alpine titles the 1st time ever by a non European. She was also winner of the 1960 Lou Marsh Trophy as top Canadian athlete of the year and was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. In 1961 she was awarded the John Semmelink Memorial Award. She married James Ross Hamilton in August 1962 and the couple had two children.  She was the 1st North American to win the Arlberg-Kandahar Trophy, Austria, which is the most prestigious event in alpine skiing. In 1971 she became a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1976 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 1982 she became an inaugural member of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame. In 1995 she was installed as a member of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. Collingwood Blue Mountain Ski Resort, Ontario, has a road named in her honour and Camp Fortune, Gatineau, Quebec has named a difficult ski run named for her. (2020)
January 12

Frances Brooke. née Moore. Born January 12, 1724, Claypole, Lincolnshire England. Died Jan 23, 1789, Seaford, England. She used the pseudonym Mary Singleton Spinster for her early writings and in 1755-1755 she founded a magazine she called The Old Maid which ran for 37 issues. Married in 1756 she gave up her publication. She joined her husband, the Rev. John Brooke, garrison chaplain at Quebec, from 1764-1768. She wrote what may be described as the 1st Canadian novel The History of Emily Montague (4 vols. London 1769 reprinted in 1931) which was set in Quebec City. The work provides a vivid description of the Canadian landscape and social life including scandals of the time. Back in England she would pen additional novels but no more with a Canadian setting. She was also a playwright, essayist, librettist and stage director. She was well known in the London literary and theatrical circles.(2020)

  Helen Vanderburg.  Born January 12, 1959, Calgary, Alberta.  A synchronized swimmer who won the 1973 Canadian Junior Championship. By 1977 she placed first  at the Pan Pacific Games and swept the Canadian championships with six gold medals.  In 1978 she became  the 1st Canadian to win the world championship with gold medals in the solo and duet events.  In 1979 she defeated 90 competitors to win the solo title at the world aquatic championships. She was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. (2020)
January 13 Marie-Geneviève Drapeau. née Noel.  Born January 13, 1766, Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec. Died November 17, 1829, Quebec City, Quebec. Marie-Geneviève married Joseph Drapeau in 1782.She became a widow with his death in 1810.  As a wife she had no rights nor power but as a widow she had the same rights as an adult male. This was a law entitled 'Coutume de Paris'. She took over the family businesses and rented out houses, businesses and lands. The monies were invested in real estate. She was a well known and respected business personality of her day. Upon her death her estate was divided evenly among her six daughters who ably continued the family businesses. (2020)
  Florence Bayard Bird. née Rhein. Born January 13, 1908, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.  Died July 18, 1998, Ottawa, Ontario. Florence graduated Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and in 1928 married journalist, John Bird. The couple settled in Montreal, Quebec in 1931. By 1937 the couple relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where John worked at the Winnipeg Tribune. Florence appeared on CBC Radio and Television as Anne Francis, a political analyst.  A member of the Canadian Senate, under the pen name of 'Anne Francis' she was also an author. In 1967 she was appointed Chairperson of the Royal Commission of the Status of Women which produced its report in 1970. She was appointed to the Canadian Senate March 23, 1978 serving until January 15, 1983.  In 1971 she was a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1983 she received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. In 1996 the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, Montreal established the Florence Bird Award to honour women working in communications who increase public awareness of women's rights. In 1999 the Status of Women Canada opened the Florence Bird Memorial Library, Ottawa. (2020)
January 14 Carrie Matilda Derick. Born January 14, 1862, Clarenceville, Quebec. Died November 10, 1941, Montreal, Quebec. Carrie attended Clarenceville Academy and received her teacher training at McGill Normal School in 1881. She was teaching when she was just 15 and by the time she was 19 she was a school principal!  She would go onto study for her Bachelor degree at McGill University, Montreal in 1890 as top of her class. She began teaching at the Trafalgar Institute for Girls in 1890, while also working part-time as McGill's first female botany demonstrator. She went on to earn her Master's degree in 1896 and then on to study at the Academy of Science, London England, Harvard University, USA, and Bonn University, Germany. Although she completed the required research to earn a PhD from University of Bonn, Germany she did not receive her degrees because the university did not give degrees to women.  Returning to Canada to Canada and McGill in 1905 she was promoted to Assistant professor at one-third the salary of male colleagues. In 1909 she took on the role of chair for the Department of Biology when the former head was ill. Upon the death of the ill professor in 1910 Carrie continued as Chair of the department for another three years. In the 1910 American Men of Sciences Carrie was listed as one of the few women in the publication. In 1912 McGill searched for a male head of the department. In 1912 she  was officially appointed as professor and Carrie became the 1st woman professor at an university in Canada. A feminist and activist she was President of the Montreal Suffrage Association from 1913 through 1919. She believed strongly in Birth control the need for mandatory school attendance and care for 'abnormal' children.  From 1920 to 1937 Carrie was the 1st Woman on the Protestant Committee of Public Health in Quebec. She did not receive a raise in pay for this promotion or a seat on the faculty as she was considered  to hold 'courtesy title' only. Carrie would found the McGill University Genetics Department. Upon retirement from McGill in 1929 due to poor health she was awarded the honorary title of Professor Emerita making her the 1st Canadian woman to hold this tile.  She was also and activist in women's rights. and a co-founder and a life member of the National Council of Women.  Montreal boasts of a Carrie Derick street. McGill University created the Carrie M. Derick Award for Graduate Supervising and Training. In 2007 Carrie Derick became designated as a National Historic Person. Google, the internet search engine created a 'Google Doodle' in recognition of her 155th birthday January 14, 2017. (2020)
  Lucille Wheeler. Born January 14, 1935, Montreal, Quebec. Lucille first skied when she was two years old! At 12 she was the national junior ski champion and named to the Canadian National Ski Team at 14!. Her father paid for her to spend several winters in Kitzbhel, Austria to train. She competed in her 1st world event in 1950 and represented Canada in the 1952 Olympics. In 1956 she won bronze at the Cortina, Italy, Olympic Games and became the 1st ever Canadian Olympic ski Medalist. In 1958 she won both the downhill and giant slalom event at the World Championships, the 1st North American to win a world title in downhill. Her medal winning performances encouraged the government funding for other Canadian skiers. In 1958 she received the Lou Marsh Trophy as outstanding athlete of the year and was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame..  She retired from competition at 24 and became an instructor. In 1960 she appeared in a documentary film about skiing. Lucille married in June 1960 to American football star Kaye Vaughn. The couple had two children they brought up in Knowlton, Quebec where Lucille organized the local high school ski program. In 1976 she became a member of the Order of Canada. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame. (2020)
January 15
Victoria Tennant.  Born January 15,1947, London, England. Victoria immigrated to Canada at the age of nine and attended the National Ballet School. This prima ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada won international acclaim for her extraordinary versatility and dramatic power as she danced herself around the world for 25 years.  Retired from dance she turned her talents to writing and producing for television and theatre. She has written books for children and is doing freelance writing for notable Canadian magazines. In 1975 she was inducted, as the 1st dancer, into the Order of Canada. She volunteers for charity and has been chairperson for UNICEF. Beginning in 1989 she turned her energies to film making, directing and producing films In 1998 she she produced and directed arts performance shows. In 2001 she was give a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. She has also earned  Governor General's Performing Arts Award for lifetime Achievement. In 2004 she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre. In 2006 a studio at the National Ballet School was named in her honour. (2020)
  Andrea Louise Martin.  Born January 15, 1947, Portland, Maine U.S.A. As a young actor she worked with a touring company which made several visits to Toronto. In 1970 she left New York City, New York, U.S.A. and settled in Toronto to work in television, film, and theater. This actor, mother of two boys, is well remembered for her work on Second City TV, Kate and Allie, and Sesame Street. She has had guest appearances since the 1950’s in such series as Maverick, Carol Barnet Show, Superman, and doing voices on The Simpson’s. In 1980 she married fellow actor and director Bob Dolman. She has won two Emmy Awards in 1982 and 1983 for her program writing and she won a Tony Award for My Favorite Year. She has also appeared on Broadway. She has toured throughout North America in her one-woman show: Andrea Martin: Final Days, Everything Must Go!  In 2017 she announced that she had become a Canadian citizen. In 2018 she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. (2020)
  Mazo de la Roche. Born January 15, 1897, Newmarket, Ontario. Died July 12, 1961, Toronto, Ontario. As a child growing up the family lived in numerous locations in Ontario following the father's jobs. When she was seven her parents adopted her orphaned cousin, Caroline Clement, who was a year older. The two were inseparable throughout their lives. While studying at the Metropolitan School of Music, the University of Toronto, and the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, in 1902 she would publish her first short story in Munsey's Magazine. She would go on the write for the Atlantic Monthly, the Canadian Magazine and the Women's home Companion. In 1923 she would publish her first novel followed in 1925 with an one act play. In 1927 she won a $10,000.00 award for her novel Jelna. This novel would be the first of 16 novels about the Whiteoak family. In 1929 she ad Caroline took an extended trip to Europe living in Italy and the United Kingdom. Even the adoption of two children in 1931 did not deter her writing. By 1939 they were settled in Toronto. In her 60's and 70's she suffered from arthritis in her hands and she dictated her works to Caroline. The books were sold in 92 foreign editions and in 1935 the film, Jelna, was released. In 1954-55 the novels were adopted for television by the British Broadcasting Corporation. There was a renewed interest when the CBC TV produced a Jelna series in 1972.  However in current times the novels are not on popular reading lists. After her death Caroling burned most of Mazo's personal diaries. In 2012 the Mystery of Mazo de la Roche premiered at the Festival international du film sur l'art, Montreal.  There is a Whiteoaks Park named to honour the series as well as street names, Mazo Crescent, Jalna Avenue, Roche Court, and Whiteoaks Avenue. (2020)
  Bonita 'Bonnie' Amelia Huctwith Burnad.  née Huctwith. Born January 15, 1945, Petrolia, Ontario. Died March 4, 2017, London, Ontario. In 1967 she graduated from the University of Western Ontario (UWO), London, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. In 1973 she married Ronald Burnard and the couple lived in Regina, Saskatchewan. This mother of three was a teacher and guest lecturer. She served as a Board Member at Coteau Books and the Saskatchewan Writer's Guild. In 1992 she was living in London, Ontario where she was Writer in Residence at UWO and was a welcome guest lecturer at conferences around the world. She has toured South Africa, Sweden, Germany, and England.  Her short stories, she has been awarded the Commonwealth Best First Book Award 1989,  Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award 1994, and  the Marian Engel Award 1994. She earned the Giller Award 1999 for her 1st novel, A Good House  Between 1999 and 2002 the book was published in 12 countries. Her second novel appeared in 2009. She taught at the Humber School for Writers, The University of British Columbia, and the University of Windsor. (2020)
January 16
Octavia Grace England. née Ritchie. Born January 16, 1868, Montreal, Quebec. Died February 1, 1948. Olivia graduated in 1888 from McGill University, Montreal and was the 1st woman to be valedictorian of a graduating class. While she wished to continue her education and study medicine she was refused because the institution did not accept women. She attended instead the Kingston Women's Medical College in Ontario. She transferred to Bishop's College, Lennoxville, Quebec and graduated in 1891 as the first woman to graduate from a medical school in Quebec. While at Bishop's she and Maude Abbott forme the Association for the Professional Education of women to help other women become medical students. She worked as a demonstrator in anatomy at Bishop's and as an assistant gynaecologist at Western Hospital. In 1897 she married Dr. Frank Richardson England and the couple had one child. She served as president of the local Council of Women from 1911 to 1917. In 1914 she represented Canada at the International Council of Women conference in Rome Italy. She was president of the Montreal Women's Liberal Club in 1921 and attended the Pan-American Conference of Women, Baltimore, U.S.A. She would also serve as vice president of the National Council of Women. A suffragist she was an active member of La Ligue des droits de la femme. In 1930 she ran for the Canadian Parliament as the Liberal Candidate in Mount Royal, Montreal. The McGill University Alumnae established the Octavia Grace Ritchie England Scholarship in her honour in 1979. (2020)
  Marie Bottrell. Born January 16, 1961, London, Ontario. To her it seems she has always written and sang. When she was a teen, her brothers sent he son tapes to various country and western groups and she was soon hired as a writer and then she began recording and singing herself. Her first album, Just reach out came out when she was 17 years old. She has toured all over North America doing public and TV appearances. After a tour of Germany in 1980 she has maintained a loyal fan base there.  She received the Best Country Awards for outstanding performance, country female singer in 1979 and best single recording for the Star in 1980. She was the Canadian Country Music Awards best female vocalist of the year in 1983 and 1984. She was nominated annually from 1979 through 1986 for Juno Awards. In 1991 she made a comeback with the hit 'Lasso Your Love' recorded in Nashville, U.S.A. (2020)
January 17 Hannah Maynard. née Hatherly. Born January 17 1834, Bude, Cornwall, England.  Died May 15, 1918, Victoria, British Columbia.  She and her new husband, Richard, immigrated to Canada in 1852 settling in Bowmanville Canada West (now Ontario). The couple would have five children.  Hannah learned photography and followed her gold prospecting husband to British Columbia where she began her own gallery, Mrs. R. Maynard's Photographic Gallery. Richard leaned the trade from her and became a landscape photographer.  Hannah was well known for her portraits She also printed cartes de visite, a fashion of the day. The couple published their works including the series Gems of British Columbia from 1881 through to 1895 which provided recognition throughout North America. She experimented with double and multiple exposure photographs and Bas-relied which involves embossing of photographs. At the turn of the century she worked with the Victoria Police Department taking mug shots. She retired and sold the business in 1912. In 2001 a play based on her life, Be Still was produced. (2020)
  Nancy Argentanée Herbison. Born January 15, 1957, Nelson, British Columbia. Nancy spent her early years in the settlement of Argenta, near Nelson, which she would later take as her professional name. Raised in a musical family where her mother taught piano, she soon found herself studying voice in Vancouver. Canada Council Grants allowed her to continue her studies in Europe. In 1983 she had her first major international performance at Aix-en-Provence, France. In 1989 she was performing farther afield in the Middle East and Japan. In 1992 she recorded with Tafelmusic in Toronto and won a Juno Award. Her strong soprano voice and her hard work have allowed her to work with most of the leading Early Music conductors on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. (2020)
January 18 Thérése de Couagne. Born January 18, 1697, Montreal, New France, (now Quebec). Died February 26, 1764, Montreal, Quebec  Thérése married Francois Poulin de Francheville, a merchant trader, in 1718 and was a widow in 1733. She owned the slave Marie-Joseph Angelique who was convicted of setting her house on fire beginning the Montreal fire. She became interested in business after her husband's death. She would be known as an astute business woman and played an active role in New France economy.  She was the owner of the slave Marie Joseph Angelique. It was this slave who while trying to cover her escape would set fire to the widow's house in 1734 and the fire would get out of control burning much of the settlement. (2020)
  Gwethalyn Graham. (real name Gwethalyn Graham Erichse-Brown).  Born January 18, 1913, Toronto, Ontario. Died November 25, 1965, Montreal, Quebec. This author would use only her first 2 names. The 1st novel she wrote, she used her own experiences at a Swiss Boarding school as a background. Swiss Sonata (1938) won a Governor General's AwardHer novel Earth and High Heaven was the first Canadian novel to top the American bestseller list (1945). This same novel would win a Governor Generals Award, would sell for movie rights (alas it was never to be a movie) and would be translated into Braille and 18 different languages! She continued to write but always in the shadow that she could never do as well with another novel.  She wrote articles on immigration, anti-Semitism and women’s issues. Later in her career, she successfully turned her talents to writing TV Scripts. (2020)
  Elizabeth Smith–Shortt. Born January 18, 1859,  Vinemount, Canada West (now Ontario). Died January 14, 1949, Ottawa, Ontario. One of Canada’s early women doctors, the third to earn a medical degree in Canada, she almost single handedly fought for Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario to become co-educational and accept women as students in medicine. As a student at Queens she had been expelled by medical school at Queen's following a hostile backlash from male students and staff who did not want female students on campus. Elizabeth completed her medical training at the Women's College Medical School, which was established in Kingston so these expelled women could continue their studies. Elizabeth opened her own medical practice in Hamilton, Ontario in 1884. In December 1886 Elizabeth married Adam Short (1859-1931), an economic historian at Queen's. The couple had three children. In 1887 she was lecturing at the Kingston Women's Medical School at Queen's University and by 1908 she had relocated to Ottawa where she campaigned on public health matters. She championed the cause for mothers' allowances and in 1913 wrote a report for the National Council of Women on this matter which let to a petition which in turn went on to fore the Mothers' Allowance Act in parliament. Her pamphlet The Social Aspects of Tuberculosis aided in the eventual establishment of the Canadian Tuberculosis Society. In 1911 she served as president of the Ottawa Local Council of Women. In 1914 she was elected as vice president of the Provincial Council of women She was an enthusiastic champion of women’s rights and was elected vice president of the National Council of Women. Elizabeth maintained a diary and to collection of her diaries have been published. The 1st publication covered her experiences at medical school and the second covered her travels in Europe in 1911. (2020)
January 19 Charlotte Vale-AllenBorn January 19, 1941, Toronto, Ontario. Charlotte lived with an overbearing father who was physical with her. She left high school to take up her teen passion and studied formal night classes in acting. She once dressed as a messenger boy to take a fan letter to Bette Davis. Davis was smitten by the letter and she became friends with the young upstart. Escaping her home situation she moving to England and worked from 1961-64 in sleazy night spots to make a living. In the mid 1960’s she brought her career back to Canada. Married in 1970, she soon became an urban mother to a beautiful daughter. By 1975 the urge to write became strong and she wrote her only non-fiction book that would be called Daddy’s Girl about her abusive childhood. The subject of the book was not popular in that era and she would publish some fifteen works of fiction before she would get this ground breaking work to readers. She has penned over thirty books which have been grabbed up by the public, mainly in the United Kingdom where she is one of the most borrowed authors from libraries. Her books sell in over twenty countries but yet she is not overly recognized in Canada. She developed her own Press to publish her own commercial fiction  Her stories deal with strong feisty women who discover that they can take care of themselves when it comes to living with adversity. She also writes under the pen name of Katherine Marlowe. She divides her time between her home in Toronto and a second home in Connecticut. Sources: “Ignored at home. Successful abroad” by Diane Frances MacLean’s October 15, 1999: Canadian Who’s Who 2005 (University of Toronto Press, 2005)
  Alison Ruth Gordon. Born January 19, 1943, New York, U.S.A. Died February 12,  2015, Toronto, Ontario. Alison attended schools in New York, U.S.A., Tokyo, Japan, Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy as her father worked in various countries for the United Nations.  She came to Canada in 1960 to Attend Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. As a journalist she worked for CBC Radio  in various roles including being producer of the show As It Happens and being a news anchor in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1978 she earned a National Magazine Award for humour. She also worked beginning in 1979 for the Toronto Star newspaper. Alison was the 1st woman beat writer covering the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team surviving the waves she caused being a woman in the Jays locker room to win a National Newspaper Award citation for sports writing in 1979. She wrote a book about the Toronto Blue Jays but found her love to be writing mysteries centered on a sportswriter as a main character. She wrote five mystery novels.  If you like mysteries, visit your own public library and look up these books. Sources: Obituary, Toronto Star February 14, 2015.  (2020)
January 20 Marcelle Ferron. Born January 20, 1924 Louisville, Quebec. Died November 19, 2001, Montreal, Quebec. Marcelle began studies at the Ecole des beaux-arts de Québec but being unsatisfied with the classes she dropped out of the school. A member of Image result for Marcelle Ferron imagesa group of artists known as Les Automatists she has worked in medium such as stained glass. She was introduced to the art of stained glass during a decade plus stay in Paris, France to study art. She is primarily known for her dynamic paintings and her stained glass.  She used vibrant colours and fluid forms to cover her canvases. She produced several stained glass works for Montreal metro stations. In 1983 she was awarded the Paul-Emile Borduas Prize for visual arts from the provincial government of Quebec. In 1985 she became a Knight in the National Order of Quebec. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She was married to Rene Hamelin. A nursing home in Brossard, Quebec is named in her honour. September 7, 2019 a 'Google doodle' was created to make the anniversary of the unveiling of her window design installation at Montreal's Vendome station. (2020)
  Ethel Davis Wilson. née Bryant. Born January 20, 1888, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Died  December 22, 1980, Vancouver, British Columbia. After the death of her parents when she was ten she moved to Canada to live with her grandmother. She was educated at private schools in Canada and England before returning to attend the Vancouver Normal School (teacher’s college). After graduating in 1907 she taught public school until her marriage to Dr. Wallace Wilson in 1927.  Ethel began writing in 1937 with her early stories being published in British magazines. In 1947 she published her first novel, Hetty Dorva. From 1947-57, she wrote four more novels, best known being Swamp Angel. Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories, her last published work, appeared in 1964. She received a special Canada Council medal for contributions to Canadian literature and the  Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 1970 received the Canada Medal of Service.  British Columbia's top fiction prize is named for her. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia online : The Vancouver Hall of Fame Online accessed November 2012. Suggested reading: Ethel Wilson: Stories, essays and Letters. Edited by D. Stouck (1988) (2020)
January 21 Josefina Napravilova. Born January 21, 1914, Plzen, Czechoslovakia. Died February 20, 2014, Tabor, Czechoslovakia. When she was still an infant her father left to fight in World War l and he did not return. She was brought up by her mother who instilled in Josefina humanitarian valued and strong nationalism. She began studies in law but was interrupted with the outbreak of World War ll and Nazi Image result for Josefina Napravilova imagesoccupation of her homeland. She met and married Karel Napravil and the couple first lived in Prague. At the end of the War Josefina set out to find Czechoslovakian children who had been scattered throughout Europe by the Nazi invasion. In May 1945 she joined the Prague uprising serving to care for wounded during the fight to liberate the city from the Germans. She joined the Red Cross handing out food and supplies to people freed from the concentration camps. It was at this time that Josefina heard about Czech children taken during the war. Hitler’s Nazi soldiers murdered adults in Czech villages and took the children to live with German families. While many of the children ended up in consecration camps and were murdered some of the children were given German names so that they could be assimilated as Germans. Josefina wanted to being the children home to Czechoslovakia. . She traveled by any means she could and slept on benches at train stations if necessary. She followed clues and hunches using her deceive instinct and located 40 children. Josefina and Karel never had any children of their own and she loved to see the joy in the faces of the children she managed to help. After the death of her husband in 1948 she joined the International Refugee Organization which caused her to be stripped of her citizenship. She emigrated arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 6, 1949. She settled in British Columbia and worked in a bank. She retired in 1979 to Guelph, Ontario. A tireless volunteer in 1956 she helped Hungarians arriving in Canada and in 1968 she helped Czech refugees to Canada. Josephina was awarded the Masaryk Medal for her war efforts and in 1994 she returned to her beloved Czechoslovakia to live. In 2013 a book : Dreams and Memories by Josefina Napravilova was published. Source: Josefina Navratilova …second mother reunited Czech families by Katerina Cizek in the Globe and Mail March 8, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario. (2020)
It's twins!
Rhoda Isabella Wurtele-Eves. Born Montreal, Quebec January 21, 1922.. As a young girl she and her twin sister Rhona enjoyed competitive swimming winning both provincial and national swimming titles in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. With her twin sister Rhoda,  she won the Canadian Female Athlete of the year in 1944. She loved competitive skiing and while her promising sports career was interrupted by World War ll she earned placement in the winners circle in North American events prior to being  a member of the 1948 and 1952 Canadian Olympic ski teams.
Rhone Wurtele-Gellis. Born Montreal, Quebec January 21, 1922. She attended both, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, and the University of Oregon for her education. As a youth she excelled in competitive swimming winning both Quebec provincial and Canadian National swimming titles in the 50 and 100yard freestyle events. With her twin sister Rhoda,  she won the Canadian Female Athlete of the year in 1944. BY 1950 she was earning US National titles in skiing in slalom, downhill and giant slalom events. She was a member of the 1948 Canadian ski team for the Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. By 1973 she was showing her abilities as a member of the Quebec Ladies Interprovincial golf team. In 1982 she was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame.
January 22 Laverna Katie DollimoreBorn January 22, 1922, Toronto, Ontario. Died October 24, 2011. After graduating from high school in 1938 she worked for various companies in Toronto at secretarial or bookkeeping. In 1942 she joined the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service posted to HMCS Cornwallis in Halifax. After World War ll she returned to secretarial work in Toronto. In 1956 she passed the public service exam and began working at the Canadian Department of External Affairs and was posted in Egypt, Poland, and other countries. In 1969 she joined the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Laos where she earned the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal.  In 1977 she was working at the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, Iran with Ambassador Kenneth Taylor (1934-2015). She assisted in the ‘Canadian Caper’ which orchestrated the rescue of six American diplomats during the Iranian Revolution. Her heroic service was recognized with the Order of Canada. She retired from External Affairs in 1983. (2020)
  Doris Giller. Born January 22,1931, Montreal, Quebec. Died April 25, 1993, Toronto, Ontario. She began her working career as a secretary with a supermarket chain. She joined the staff of the Montreal Star newspaper in 1963 and thought persistence and hard work, never accepting the "Glass ceiling" that kept many women in low positions, she rose to be a reporter and editor at three of Canada's major daily newspapers. In 1972 she was a reporter in Israel in 1972. When the Star folded in 1979 she worked with the Montreal Gazette as book review editor. She and her husband Jack Rabinovitch relocated to Toronto in 1985 where she worked at the Toronto Star as a columnist and books editor. A year after her death Jack Rabinovitch established the Giller Prize which as grown into  Canada's premier literary prize for literary fiction. (2020)
January 23 Dora Isabel Ridout Hood. Born January 23, 1885, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1974. Dora was educated at private schools in Canada and England. After graduating Havergal College in 1905 she enjoyed extensive travel. She married Dr. Frederick C. Hood December 2, 1918. In 2927, As a young widow with two children, Dora supported herself by opening a small reading room in her house on Spadina Avenue, Toronto. She was one of the first book dealers in Toronto to specialize in 'out-of–print' Canadian books. In 1929 she published a catalogue of Canadiana and Americana. In 1951 she became a charter member of the Canadian Retail Booksellers Association. The Dora Hood Book Room received royal warrant from Buckingham Palace to acquire Canadiana!  After retiring from the Book Room in 1954, she became an author herself producing two books. Her work The Side Door,1958 provided her experiences as an antiquarian bookseller. She was an active member of the Ontario Historical Society, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Canadian Hearing Society. (2020)
  Margaret Peggy/Peg Seller.  Born January 23,1905, Edinburgh, Scotland. Died March 31, 1996, Montreal, Quebec. This Montreal athlete began her interest Image result for Peggy Sellerin sport by competing in track and hold provincial titles in javelin, broad jump and running relays. She also excelled in swimming and diving, holding the national record for the three meter diving championship. From 1925 through 1928 she earned the Gale Trophy as in National Synchronized Swimming and was known as the First Lady of Synchronized swimming.  from 1948 to 1950 she was the 1st woman to hold the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association. Perhaps her legacy is better shown in her writings of the rules of synchronized swimming. In 1952 she wrote the Federation Internationale de Natation synchronized swimming rules as well as the 1st descriptive book for the sport.  (2020)
January 24 Phyllis Barbara Lambert. née Bronfman. Born January 24, 1927, Montreal, Quebec. As a child she enjoyed drawing and sculpting. At eleven she was exhibiting her work in juried exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Société des sculpteurs du Canada. Phyllis earned her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie New York, U. S. A. in 1948. May 17, 1949 she married Jean Lambert. After the marriage ended in divorce in 1954 she worked in her studio enjoying doing sculpture. She also increased her knowledge and interest in architecture. The expanding family business, Seagram Company Ltd was convinced by Phyllis to change its plan for a new building in New York. She began studies at Yale School of Architecture1958 in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, U.S.A.  She went on to obtain a Master's degree in 1963. A trained and accomplished architect she designed the Saidy Bronfman Center in Montreal and served as consultant for the Toronto Dominion Center. She won the National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects for her work in Los Angeles. In 1975 she founded Heritage Montreal allowing conservation groups funding for projects. In 1979 she was the founder and director of the Canadian Center for Architecture, a world-class museum and study center in Montreal. In 1985 she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada and in 1992 she was elevated as an officer in the Order and to a Companion in 2001. In 1985 she became a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and was promoted to Grand Officer in 2005.In 1991 she received the Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.  In 2006 she earned the Vincent Scully Prize for lifetime achievement. In 2007 a documentary film Citizen Lambert; Joan of Architecture was produced. In 2014 she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Biennale of Architecture in Italy. In 2016 she was presented the Wolf Prize in Arts from the Wolf Foundation in Israel. (2020)
  Shae-Lynn Bourne. Born January 24, 1976, Chatham, Ontario. Shae-Lynn began skating in 1983 and competed in pair skating with Andrew Bertleff. Switching to ice dance and partnered with Victor Kraatz (1971-  ). The pair would be reigning champions in Canada winning 10 national titles between 1992 and 2002. They would compete in three Winter Olympic Games in 1994, 1998, and 2002 where they placed 4th. The couple were the 1st world Champions in ice dancing from North America to win gold in the World Championships in 2003. The pair retired from competition after 2003 with Shae-Lynn has toured around the world skating professionally as a solo skater. She appeared on the TV reality skating show Battle of the Blades and made other notable TV appearances. She also enjoys coaching and doing choreography. August 12, 2005 she married her skating coach Nikolai Morozov but became divorced in July 2007. In 2007 they were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.She married a second time to Bohdan Turok and the couple has one son. She worked as a coach and choreographer at the famed Granite Club, Toronto prior to settling in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. where she coaches at the Carolina Ice Palace. (2020)
January 25 Emoke Jolan Ezsebet Szathmary. Born January 25, 1944, Ungvar, Hungary. Emoke emigrated to Canada and studied for her BA at the University of Toronto. By 1974 she had earned her PhD. That same year she married George Alexander. The couple have two children. Her academic career began at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario and then to McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario. By 1989 she was Dean of Faculty, School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Ontario , London, Ontario where she went on to hold positions of Provost and Vice President (Academic). The family settled in Manitoba in 1996 where Emoke is President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. While working full time as a mother and academic administrator she was editor for the Journal of Physical Anthropology (1995-2001) and President of the Canadian Association of Physical Anthology as well as writing numerous published articles and papers. In 2003 she became a member of the Order of Canada. The next year she was named one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network and the Richard Ivy School of Business. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2005. Suggested sources : Canadian Who’s Who 2006 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press) (2020)
  Sara BarberBorn January 25, 1941, Brantford, Ontario. As a teen she was a member of the Canadian International Swim teams from 1954 through 1962.In 1956 she was one of the youngest team members at the Melbourne Australia Olympic Games. In 1959 she held the world record for the 100 meter back stroke. And won a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. In 1958 and 1969 she represented Canada at the British Empire Games and won silver and bronze medals. She is married to Donald Jenkins and they have three children. In 1964 she attended McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, for her Bachelor of Arts degree.   She is a member of the group of Olympians who were honoured in 2002 on the Brantford Walk of Fame. (2020)
January 26 Allison Hossack. Born January 26, 1965, Steinbach, Manitoba. Allison graduated from Brandon University in Manitoba in 1988 earning a Bachelor of Music. After graduation she was offered a part in the daytime TV series Another Word which she appeared in to 1992. She also has had roles in Cobra, Profit, Hope Island, and in 2004 Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. She has also appeared in such Canadian productions Da Vinci's Inquest, and Falcon Beach in 2006. She has made guest appearances through the years in numerous TV shows including The Killing and in 2017 The Good Witch. Allison makes her home in Toronto. (2020)
January 27
Blanche Margaret Meagher.  Born January 27, 1911, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died February 25, 1999, Halifax, Nova Scotia. This diplomat was one of four pioneering women in the administration of the Canadian federal government where she worked at the Department of External Affairs. She served in Mexico and London and then in 1958 she was the first woman to become appointed as an ambassador for Canada. She served as Canadian ambassador to Israel, Austria Sweden. (2020)
  Susan Aglukark. Born January 27, 1967, Churchill, Manitoba. Susan's Inuit name is Uuliniq. She is one of six children. She actually worked as a civil servant at the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in Ottawa for awhile but gave it up to pursue a career in singing. She had produced  albums and numerous hit singles that include original songs and including Amazing Grace in Inuktitut. In 1995 she earned a Junor Award as Best New Solo Artist and Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording, Arctic Rose.  The music video for Searching won best cinematography honors at the 1991 Canadian Music Video Awards. She is a committed family person and does motivational talks to youth advising that "staying in school is cool ." She endured sexual abuse as a child and has been vocal about her life to help others. She is spokes person for several groups working with aboriginal and Inuit youth holding workshops is such locations as Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario. In 2004 she won a Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording, Big Feeling. In 2005 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 2008 she was a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Alberta.  Her second Christmas Album was released in 2013. (2020)
January 28 Rt. Hon. Ellen Louks Fairclough. neée Cook. Born January 28, 1905, Hamilton, Ontario. Died November 13, 2004, Hamilton, Ontario. At 16 she said she was two years older in order to land a fulltime job. In 1931 the feisty Ellen married Gordon Fairclough and the couple had one son. Her first career was as an accountant and she owned her own firm beginning in 1935. She was elected to Hamilton City council in 1946. She was an executive member of the Girl Guides of Canada and an active in the Consumer Association of Canada, the I.O.D.E., the United Empire Loyalist Association, and the Zonta Club. In 1950 she was elected in a by-election as a Progressive Conservative to the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. In 1957 she became the 1st woman to be appointed to the post of a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Parliament when she became Secretary of State under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. In 1958 she became Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and served as Acting Prime Minister for two days in February becoming the 1st woman to be in this position. In 1962 she served as Postmaster General. Defeated in the 1963 federal election she worked for the Hamilton Trust and Savings Corporation and also served as chairperson of Hamilton Hydro. In 1975 she was named 'Woman lf the Year' by the province of Ontario. In 1979 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada and promoted to Companion in the Order in 1994. In 1989 she was presented with the Governor General's Persons Award. In 1992 the Queen invested her with the title "Right Honourable" as a pioneering woman in Canadian politics. In 1993 she would formally nominate Kim Campbell (1945-   ) at the Progressive Conservative leadership conference. In 1996 she was one of the first to be appointed to  the newly established Order of Ontario. June 21, 2005 Canada Post issued  a stamp in her honour. There is an Ellen Fairclough Building in Hamilton and an Ellen Fairclough Public School in Markham, Ontario. You can read about her remarkable life in her memoirs which were published in 1995 under the title Saturday's Child.
  Anne Montming.  Born January 28,1975.  A member of the national Canadian Diving Team, Anne has won 19 international medals to date.  She won the gold medal in the Junior World Championships and she is the Canadian record holder in Women's Platform Diving. (2020)
  Sarah McLachlan. Born January 28, 1968, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sara was adapted by the McLachlan family. She began showing her musical abilities when she played the ukulele at the age of four. As a youth she enjoyed being a Girl Guide.  She studied classical guitar, piano, and voice at the Maritime Conservatory of Music. As a teen she was a member of a new wave band The October Game which had its first concert at Dalhousie University. Her parents insisted that she complete at least one year of college before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia to begin her recording career.  Since releasing TOUCH in 1988 she has explored her own unique musical interests being indifferent to current trends and fads. Her songs convey a passionate honesty rarely found in today’s music. She won two Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards for her album Surfacing. She is the founder of the Lilith Fair Tour which showcases female musicians in 1997 to 1999 and again in 2010. Judith Fitzgerald has written the book, Building a Mystery: the Story of Sarah McLachlan and Lilith Fair. In 1997 she married drummer Ashwin Sood. The couple had two daughters prior to their separation and divorce  in 2008.In 1997 she was a guest  performer on the Ellen TV show. In 2003 she released the album Afterglow followed with a live album Afterglow Live in 2004.In 2005 she took part in a tsunami disaster relief telethon on NBC.  As well as writing for her own albums she had been guest vocalist on albums of contemporary performers, performed and written songs for inclusion in movies. Her Christmas album, Wintersong was released in 2006 selling 1.1 million copies. In 2015 her album Shine On won a Juno for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. In 2016 she released he ninth studio album and a second Christmas album. In 2019 she was the host of the Juno Awards. She continues to write songs and produce albums. She funds a outreach program in Vancouver providing mused education for inner city children. The program evolved into the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in 2011 and expanded to Edmonton, Alberta in 2016. She is also a supporter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and appears in the organizations advertisements. (2020)
January 29 Leila Wightman. née Schnurr. Born January 29, 1899, Mildmay, Ontario. Died November 22, 1976, Clifford, Ontario. On October 14, 1925 Leila married Benjamin Wightman of Wightman Communications in Clifford, Ontario. His Father, Robert Wightman, had been a frustrated farmer whom Bell Telephone could not serve. Robert set up his own company in 1908 so he and his neighbors, could have a telephone. Leila acted as lead operator and office administrator for the telephone company after her marriage to Benjamin. At the same time the couple brought up a family of four children. In 1947 Benjamin died and Leila decided to keep the company going. This made her the 1st woman telephone company owner. In 1953 she instituted the superior four-diget dial service while the much larger Bell Telephone Company systems which were still cranking the old magneto telephones. The new system was the most modern of its day and heralded the arrival of 24 hour service telephone service. Leila had set the company on the path to modernization that kept the company going. Leila was inducted as member of the Telecommunications Hall of Fame in 2006. Sources: Telecommunications Hall of Fame (Accessed October 2011)  ; also family provided vital information. (2020)
  Lois Catherine Marshall. Born January 29, 1924, Toronto, Ontario. Died February 17, 1997, Toronto, Ontario. Though she suffered from polio as a child it did not stop this opera singer. She began studying voice when she was just twelve at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto  and graduated from the University of Toronto. She sang operatic arias, lieder, oratorios, and folk songs. She made her New York City, U.S.A. debut in 1952 and she began to produce recordings.  Her career took her all over the world to sing in the world’s greatest operatic productions and for solo appearances. She would marry her voice coach Weldon Kilburn in 1968. She received many acknowledgements for her contributions to Canadian society including the Molson Prize, the Ontario Arts Council Medal of Excellence, the University of Alberta National Award in Music, and being a companion in the Order of Canada. She taught voice at the University of Toronto starting in 1976.In 1982 she gave her farewell concert. In 1993 she was presented with A governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and was inducted into the Order of Ontario. Memorial Scholarships were created in her name at the University of Toronto. (2020)
January 30 Dr. Lucille Teasdale-Corti. Born January 30, 1929, Montreal, Quebec. Died August 1, 1996, Lombardy, Italy. From the age of 12 she knew just what she wanted to do, she wanted to be a doctor. She studies at the University of Montreal and in 1955 was the 1st woman in Quebec to receive a diploma as a surgeon. She attempted to obtain training abroad but was turned down by American hospitals because she was a women. During her internship in Montréal Lucille met Piero Corti, a young Italian doctor studying pediatrics. His dream to establish a world-class teaching hospital in Africa. He had already heard about a small clinic near Lacor, a town not far from Gulu, a city in northern Uganda. It was little more than a dispensary with a few dozen beds, but he saw it as a starting point. In 1961, she joined forces with Corti, her future husband, and they worked in Uganda for more than thirty years. Dr. Teasdale would tend to as many as 300 outpatients each morning and perform surgeries in the afternoon. Dr. Teasdale performed more the 13,000 surgeries working through Idi Admin’s dictatorship, civil wars, epidemics and massacres. She received many awards for her life work including being an Officer of the Order of the Merit of the Republic of Italy in 1981, inducted as a member of the Order of Canada 1991, named a Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec 1995, and awarded the Saskawa Prize with her husband in 1996. This is the most prestigious distinction awarded by the World Health Organization of the United Nations. She died from aids which she contracted while operating on an infected soldier. Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in her honour as part of the Millennium series, January 17, 2000. In 2001 she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Sources: Dr. Lucille Teasdale. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Online (Accessed 2005) ; Lucille Teasdale. The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2005) ; Dawson, Joanna and Beverly Tallon. “Helping Heroes: Canadians who made a difference in the world.’ In Canada’s History February- March 2013 (2020)
  Margot Finley. Born January 30,1980, London, Ontario. Margot  moved to Vancouver in 1989 and studied with the Vancouver Youth Theatre.  She has acted in numerous films including: Misery HarborOpposite Sex, In Cold Blood, and The Adventures of Yellow Dog. (2020)
January 31
Sylvie Bernier. Born January 31, 1964, Quebec City, Quebec. In 1982 Sylvie earned a silver medal in diving at the Commonwealth Games, Brisbane, Australia. The following year she earned a bronze medal at the Pan-American Games, Caracas, Venezuela and another bronze medal at the World University Games. Sylvie became the 1st Canadian to win a medal in Olympic diving by winning the gold in the three-meter springboard diving in the 1984 Olympics, in Los Angeles, U.S.A. In 1985 she became a Knight in the National of Quebec and was inducted into the Order of Canada. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2003 Sylvie completed her degree in management from Télé-université, which is part of Université du Québec in Montreal.  In 2006 she served as Assistant Chief de Mission for the Canadian Olympic team in Turin, Italy.  In 2008 she was Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic team in Beijing, China. In 2012 she returned as Assistant Chef de Mission for the Canadian Olympic team in London, England. (2020)
  Gathie Falk. Born January 31, 1928, Alexander, Manitoba. In 1930 the family moved to southern Manitoba before finally settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At 16 she left school to work to help her family. She would complete her high school education with correspondence courses. Image result for Gathie Falk. imagesAt 19 she and her lover relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia. She taught elementary school until 1965 when she decided to make her career in art. An artist who works with multimedia producing works in ceramics, painting, and papier-mâché. She took her subjects from daily life such as a ceramic sculpture of fruit pies. She has has had group and solo exhibitions of her works across North America, France and Japan. Her works are collected by the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery in Ottawa as well as by private collectors. In 2002 she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia. In 2013 she earned the Audrain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. (2020)

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