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Copyright © 1998-2013 Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved

ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

Activities and Games
Famous Canadian Women's
Famous Firsts
Famous Canadian Women's
Historical Timeline
Famous Canadian Women
on Canadian Postage Stamps
On the Job
Over 1,000 Names
Quotes from
Famous Canadian Women
 


 

 

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Use your mouse pointer to touch a date on the
calendar to the left and see which Famous
Canadian Woman has a birthday on that date.
April 1 Tobie Thelma Steinhouse.  (née Davis) Born Montreal, Quebec 1925. This artist was a printmaker and painter.  Her specialty is intricate abstracts that gleam through effects of prism - coloured glass, fishnets or cobwebs.  
April 2 Lise Thibault. (née Trudel) Born Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec 1939. As Lieutenant Governor of Quebec she has earned the right to use the title The Honourable Lise Thibault. She has worked with many public and community organizations. She has  served as an adult education teacher, worker for Health and Safety Board, the Canadian Red Cross, she served for disabled person for the Quebecers NO Committee, the Liberal Party of Canada, and founded journals and associations to promote women in Canada. Among her many awards is the Personality of the year award from Chatelaine Magazine. 
  Stephanie Lemelin.  Born 1960. She studied her beloved music all the way through university. She was the winner of the Canadian Music Competitions in 1977, the CBC National Competition in 1979, the Robert Casadesus International Competition in 1983 and has performed on the piano as a soloist and with orchestras across Canada, the U.S., France England, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil! She is frequently heard on the CBC Radio and has recorded for CBC Records. She taught music at Yale University before returning to teach in Canada at the University of Alberta. 
April 3 Mary Margaret Anglin. Born Ottawa, Ontario April 3, 1876 Died January 7, 1958, Toronto, Ontario. Margaret was actually born in the Houses of Parliament Speaker’s Chambers  . Her father Timothy Warren Anglin(1822-1986) was, at that time, Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons. A strong willed individual she headed for a career in acting in New York City in the 1890’s much against the wishes of her family. In 1894 she graduated from the Empire School of Dramatic Acting. By 1896 she was touring on stage in the U.S.A. and Canada. By 1905 she had earned wide recognition for her dramatic skills and was invited to work with the renowned Sarah Bernhardt. In 1911 she married a colleague Howard Hill who had little reputable acting talent. By 1913 she was appearing in Shakespearian performances of her own acting group. When her husband did not receive roles she was absent from the stage for many years. She did return to the stage however with her last Broadway appearance was in 1936. The Encyclopedia Britannica called her one of the most brilliant actresses of her era. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2000. : Encyclopedia Britannica online. Accessed 2000. Suggested reading Margaret Anglin: A stage life by John Levay 1989.
  Nanette Bordeaux. Born St Georges, Quebec 1911. Died September 20, 1956. Her real name was Helene Olivine Veilleux. She was an actress who is perhaps best remembered for roles she played in a series of movies with the Three Stooges in the early 1950's. 
  Sandra Bell Lundy. Born 1958. She studied French at Brock University but it would be her talent as an cartoonist that would become her profession. She is the author of the worldwide syndicated comic strip "Between Friends".  She is married and the mother of two active children. 
April 4 Karen Diane Magnussen.  Born North Vancouver, British Columbia 1952. A accomplished free-skating performer, Karen was Canadian champion in 1968. She withdrew from 1969 world championships because of stress fractures in both legs but returned to become Canadian champion 1970-1973 and world champion in 1973.  The doll that was made and sold as the Karen Magnussen doll did not have any of the characteristics of the determined young athlete.
Karen Magnussen
Reference source
  Evelyn Hart.   Born 1956. An award-winning ballerina, Evelyn Hart is an international renowned dancer and one of Canada’s most treasured artists. She was the first Canadian to be awarded a Gold Medal at the international Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria as well as the rarely awarded Certificate of Exceptional Artistic Achievement.
April 5 Minna Keen. (née Bergman). Born Arolsen, Germany 1861. Died November 1943. A self taught photographer in the pioneering days of photography she was the first woman to become a fellow to the Royal Photographic Society. She came to Canada in 1913 where commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway to photograph the Rockies. She opened her studio in Toronto and was recognized with awards from Japan, South Africa, and Australia. The National Archives of Canada and the Smithsonian Institution in the U.S.A. collect her works.
April 6 Maria Campbell. Born 1940. In Edmonton she assisted in founding a halfway house for women and a women's emergency shelter. She began writing because she was upset that so few people knew about historic and contemporary Native Cultures. She has written screenplays and books.
  Margaret Gibson.  Born 1948. This writer started off with a bang when one of her first published works, The Butterfly Ward, made her a co-winner of the Best Canadian Short Story. She shared this award with Margaret Atwood. It would later be made into a TV movie for CBC. The movie Outrageous was also based on her work entitled Making it. More recently the made for CBS TV movie For the love of Aaron was based on an aspect of her life. 
April 7 Elsie Dorothy Knowles.  Born 1927.  She is an artist who enjoys water colour landscapes as her form of expression.  She has been able to have her works shown in Vancouver; Edmonton; London, England; Paris, France, Chicago; Los Angeles  and more recently in a 1994 traveling exhibition by the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. 
April 8 Lois Miriam Wilson.  (née Freeman) Born Winnipeg, Manitoba 1927.  After 15 years as a homemaker she became an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada. In 1976 she became the first woman to be president of the Canadian Council of Churches, and in 1980 she was appointed as the first woman to the top position of Moderator of the United Church. She is a member of the Order of Canada and has received the Pearson Peace Prize and the World Federalist Peace Award.
April 9 Katherine (Kit) Brennan Watters. Born 1957. During her studies at Queens University she received awards including the Lorne Green Award. She acted for several years but prefers writing plays. One of her works, Spring Planting has received the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award
  Karen Clark. Born 1972. She is a member of our Canadian Olympic Synchronized Swim Team. She earned a sliver medal at the Atlanta Olympic Gamed in 1996. She holds several Canadian titles and has won medals at the Pan American Games and the World Cup. She is also continuing her studies at the University of Calgary.
April 10 Esther Wheelwright. Born Wells Massachusetts (now Maine), U.S.A. 1696. Died November 28, 1780.  Born to a Congregationalist protestant family, she would be re-baptized as Marie-Joseph dite L'Enfant-Jésus when she became a nun in Quebec. She was kidnapped by the Indian allies of the French who were at war against the British. The French missionaries introduced her to the Catholic Faith. Her family tried to obtain her return home but there were too many barriers and the girl was placed in a school run by the Ursuline Sisters. She decided to become an nun and refused to return to her home. She would become the Mother Superior and maintain good relations between the Ursulines and the new British authorities after the fall of Quebec. She helped her religious community to become strong through 20 of its most difficult years. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Volume iv pages 764-65.
April 11 Agnes Dennis. (née Miller). Born Truro, Nova Scotia 1859. Died April 21, 1949. President of the Victoria Order of Nurses (1901 - 1946) and the Halifax Council of Women (1906 - 1920) she mobilized women in World War I for the Red Cross for which she was also President at the provincial level (1914-1920). She also helped co-ordinate relief efforts for the Halifax Explosion of 1917. Even with all this work she found time to raise ten children of her own!
April 12 Patricia Lorraine Tutty.  Born 1953.  Known as Paddy, she and her sister began performing folk music in the late 1960's. She developed a serious interest in English and Celtic traditional music.  She traveled to England to perform and collect fold music.  She is and active member of the Canadian Fold Music Society and has produced albums of this popular and growing form of music. 
April 13 Margaret Marshall Saunders. Born Milton, Nova Scotia 1861. Died February 15, 1947.  Margaret originally wrote under the name Marshall Saunders to hide her identity. While it was just becoming somewhat respectable for women to be writers when Margaret was publishing her works, writings by women were not best sellers. In 1894 she wrote Beautiful Joe, a story of an abused dog, for a competition sponsored by the American Humane Society.  It won first prize! Beautiful Joe would  became the first Canadian book to sell more than 1,000,000 copies.  It was translated into more than 14 different languages.


Source/copyright

  Lydia Longley.  Born Groton, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1674. Died July 20, 1758. When she was 20 she was captured by the Abenakis , who were Indian allies of the French during the war against the British. She was taken to Ville Marie (Modern Montreal) where she became accustomed so much to life in New France that she refused to return to the US when captives were exchanged at the end of the war. She embraced the religion of her new home and entered life as a nun in 1695 as Sister Sainte-Madeleine. In a romantic novel, author Helen A. McCarthy called her "the First American Nun". 
April 14 Nina Raginsky.  Born 1941.  Choosing a career as a photographer, by 1964 she was doing freelance work for the National Film Board of Canada. She first expanded her photographic expression by hand colouring sepia prints and then began to create oil paintings based on photographs.  She is perhaps best known for her formal full figure portraits.  She is an Officer in the Order of Canada.
April 15 Hugette Labelle. (née Rochon). Born 1939.  This nursing teacher was one of the few women of her generation to achieve senior administrative status with the federal government.  She was appointed to nursing's highest administrative position as principal nursing officer at Health and Welfare Canada in 1973.  She became under secretary of state in 1988 and Deputy Clerk of Privy Council in 1985.
April 16 Fifi D’Orsay. Born Montreal, Quebec 1904.  Died December 2, 1983. Could you guess that this is a stage name? Her real name is Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier.  After several successful acts in Vaudeville,  she began her Hollywood movie career in 1929. She was in movies and television as well as live stage for 40 years and worked with famous male stars like Will Rogers. Billed as a French bombshell from Paris, she never even traveled outside of North America. Her life story was featured on the TV show This is your life.
  Lily Dougall. Born Montreal, Quebec 1858. Died October 9, 1923. She visited England and in 1900 decided to make it her permanent residence. However, as a novelist and religious writer she set the background for 4 of her novels in her home country of Canada. Her works are carefully structured. She used humor and lively dialog to describe her unusual plots and twists. .
April 17 Marguerite Bourgeoys. Born Troyes, France 1620. Died January 12, 1700. She Came to Canada as a nun to work in the colony of New France. She would founded the Congregation de Notre-Dame de Montreal to encourage young women to work for their community with Devine guidance. The Sisters taught and set up schools in New France.  Today the order has several thousand members and has expanded their work to the USA and Japan.   Mother Marguerite Bourgeoys was canonized ( declared a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church) in October 1982.
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April 18 Jane Austin Coop.  Born 1950.  A pianist and teacher she has played with a number of Canadian orchestras. In the 1990’s she extended her playing tours to the Orient.  She has developed a significant reputation as an artist of insight and splendid musicianship.
April 19 Sharon Pollock.  Born Fredericton, New Brunswick 1936.  Her birth name was Mary Sharon Chalmers. Her first published play , A compulsory Option, won the 1971 Alberta Playwriting Competition. After teaching at several western Canadian institutions she became, in 1984, the first woman artistic director of a major western Canadian theatre.  She has written several plays of children as well as TV and radio scripts. Her play DOC earned her the 1984 Governor General's Award.  In 1988 she was awarded the Canada-Australia Literary Prize.
April 20 Elizabeth Goudie. (née Blake) Born Mud Lake, Labrador 1902. Died Happy Valley, Labrador 1982. She was a wife and mother in Labrador.  After the death of her trapper husband in 1963 she wrote her autobiography, Woman of Labrador (published in 1993).The book became an international best seller.  It is the first recorded history of family life in the wilds of Labrador.
April 21 Jenny (Jennie) Kidd Trout (née Gowanlock) Born Kelso, Scotland 1841. Died November 10, 1921. After her marriage in 1865 Jenny decided to become a medical doctor.  However, no Canadian medical school accepted women.  She studied in the United States.  In 1875 on passing the Ontario registration exam she became the first Canadian woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada.
  Judith Crawley. Born Ottawa 1914 Died September 15, 1986. A film producer, director, and scriptwriter, she and her husband Frank “Budge” Crawley formed Crawley Films, which became one of Canada’s foremost independent production companies.  She was also president of the Canadian Film Institute.
April 22 Rita Margaret Johnston. (née Leichert). Born Melville, Saskatchewan 1935. She was first elected to the Surry, British Columbia, city council in 1970. In 1983 she was elected to the British Columbia provincial assembly becoming Minister of Municipal  Affairs and Transit in 1986. In 1991 she became the first woman to serve as a provincial premier in Canada. 
  Suhana Meharchand.  Born 1962. She is a television news journalist who was inspired by her uncle, also a journalist, who ran an underground newspaper in her native South Africa. She is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. Before becoming the host of the CBC Evening News in Toronto, she worked at TV stations in Hamilton, Windsor, and Ottawa   She has received 2 Gemini Award nominations for her work. 
  Robbyn Hermitage.  Born Montreal, Quebec 1970. Her profession is her sport of badminton.  She states the biggest thrill in her career was winning the gold medal in the doubles event at the Pan American Games in 1997. She had also won silver and bronze medals in 1995 in doubles and single events and was again a medalist in the 2002 doubles event. Her life goal is to coach young badminton players so that she can give a return to the sport that has given her so much.  
April 23 Margaret Avison. Born Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario 1918. She was a poet, librarian, historian and social worker. She won the Governor General's Award for literature in 1960. She used her writing to bring history alive for young readers in her "History of Ontario".
April 24 Violet Archer.  Born Montreal, Quebec 1913. Died February 21, 2000. She studied music with the best of her era.  As a composer she has produced a wide variety of scores for voice, instrumentals, films and even a comic opera.  She taught in the U.S. but moved to teach at the University of Alberta before she retired.  She was named composer of the Year in Canada and was the first North American woman composer to be honoured with a festival of her own works.
April 25 Melissa Hayden. (real name Mildred Herman). Born Toronto, Ontario 1923. This ballerina who trained as a young girl in Toronto, became an internationally known dancer.  She danced with the New York City Ballet. Upon retiring as a dancer she opened her own teaching studio in New York City.
  Francine Pelletier.  Born 1957. This author has written 14 novels for young adults and several novels for adults.  In 1988 she was awarded the "Grand Prix de la science-fiction du fantastique Quebecoise" for her work, La petite fille de silence, also the same year she was awarded the "Prix Boreal" for the work, les temps de migrations
April 26 Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé . (née Benoit) Born Prud'homme, Saskatchewan 1922. Died January 26, 1993. A journalist turned politician she became the first woman appointed as Speaker of the House of Commons in Ottawa and the first woman to be appointed Governor General of Canada. Did you know that her hair was so brilliantly white that she had to put a light blue colour in it to tone it down for the Commons TV cameras?
April 27 Janis G. Johnson. Born 1946. After university she would follow careers as a businesswoman, and a consultant . She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in September 1990. 
April 28 Ethel Catherwood. Born Haldamond Co., Ontario 1908. Died September 26, 1987. Ethel was on the 1928 Canadian Olympic team, the first Olympic games to allow women to compete. She won a gold medal for Canada in the high jump when she cleared 5 feet 2 inches (1.588m). She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
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Corporation
  Helena Jane Coleman. Born 1860. Died 1953.  A poet and journalist who, for a long period, contributed poems anonymously to a large number of Canadian and American journals. She did not use her real name until 1906 when she published her first book “Songs and sonnets”.
April 29 Paula Ross.  Born Vancouver, British Columbia 1941.  Her real name is Pauline Cecilia Isobel Teresa Campbell.  She began to study ballet at 5 years of age. . At 15 she left home to join a traveling performing group from Montreal.  By the early 1960's she had returned to western Canada and had become a principal dancer in a Vancouver company.  In 1965 she opened her own Paula Ross Dance Company.  The Company, although well presented in western Canada and the United States, dissolved due to financial problems in 1987. Paula was known for her dance creativity and continues to work in Canada, Japan, and France. 
April 30 Edith Margaret Fowke. (née Fulton). Born Lumsdon, Saskatchewan 1913. Died March 28, 1996. This folklorist, collector, writer, and teacher was interested in Ontario folklore. She presented the songs she recorded on the CBC radio on various shows featuring weekly programs on folklore from 1950 to 1974.  She was a founding member of the Canadian Folk Music Society and editor of the societies journal.
   
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ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF NAMES