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ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

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Famous Canadian Women's
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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









































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.
July 1 Hon Rosalie Silberman Abella.  Born July 1, 1946, Germany. Rosalie was actually born in a displaced persons camp, one of several such camps that sprang up after World War ll.   Rosalie and her family came to Canada in 1950 as refugees. She completed her education as a lawyer and became Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal. A Human Rights activist, she was also the Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Equity in Employment. August 30, 2004 she was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
  Genevieve Bujold.  Born July 1, 1942 Montreal, Quebec. She trained at the Quebec Conservatory of Dramatic Art and began her acting career in French Canadian theater. During a trip to Europe she was "noticed' by French director Alain Resnais who placed her in several of his films. She has received recognition for her dramatic talents with a Golden Globe award and Oscar nomination for the role in “Anne of a Thousand Days”.  If you like historical movies give this production of one of King Henry VI's wives a try and enjoy the talent of this Canadian actress.
  Pamela Denise Anderson. Born  July 1, 1967,Ladysmith, British Columbia. She has also been known as Pamela Lee and has been involved with movies and been a popular doing “guest appearances “ on popular TV programs.
July 2Evelyn Lau Born July 2, 1971 Vancouver, British Columbia. This author published her first work while still a teenager!  In 1989 she recorded her experiences as a street kid in Vancouver in a best selling work, Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. The book was made into a movie for the CBC.  In 1992 she became the youngest poet to be nominated for a Governor General's Award.
July 3 Thérèse Renaud.  Born July 3, 1927 Montreal, Quebec. Died December 12, 2005 Paris, France.  An author, poet and a painter she is best remembered for her memoirs that broke the silence of the life of women in the belle province of Quebec. She would sign the 1948 Refus Global (Total Refusal), the manifesto that denounced the conservative and church-dominated values that held Quebec in a straight jacket. The manifesto was signed by a small group of artistes was a passionate statement affirming the link between artistic creation and social transformation.
  Renée Claude. née Bélanger. Born July 3,1939  Montreal, Quebec. A well known French-Canadian singer her real name is Renée Bélanger. She has performed in the US, France, Belgium, Poland, USSR, Japan to name some countries. In 1990 she also began acting.
July 4 Beverly Boys. Born July 4, 1951 Toronto, Ontario. For 10 years (1966-77) this diver won 34 Canadian championships in springboard and platform competition.  She holds gold medals from Commonwealth Games and was a member of three Canadian Olympic teams.  She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
July 5 Susan Riva Bellan.  Born July 5,1952. An import and retail executive she showed promise of achievement early in life with achievements in music at the Winnipeg Music Festival 1968. She would work early in the field of small business and enterprise and use her knowledge and experience to write a book, Small Business and the Big Banks. (1995) Combining an interest in world crafts where is the owner/manager of Frida Craft Stores. She is also a mother of a family of three. 
July 6 Jeanne Fisher Manery.  Born July 6, 1908, Chelsey, Ontario. Died September 6, 1986 Toronto, Ontario. She became the 1st woman appointed professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto in 1964. She was president of the Royal Canadian Institute in 1980. She has received honours for her scientific achievements and has promoted the role of women within her field.
  Viola Desmond. Born July 6, 1914 Halifax, Nova Scotia . Died February 7, 1965. New York, U.S.A. Viola was a successful Halifax beautician and businesswoman working with her husband Jack Desmond, who was a barber. She would become embroiled in one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history. On November 8, 1946, while visiting New Glasgow, Nova Scotia she attended a movie at the Roseland Theatre. She chose to sit downstairs in the racially segregated theatre instead of upstairs in the balcony where Blacks were forced to sit. She was arrested and thrown into jail overnight. She had refused to pay the once cent amusement tax difference charged to clients sitting downstairs instead of the balcony. She refused to pay more than white customers at the show. At trial, where she had no counsel, she was sentenced to a fine of $20.00. Later she, and newspaper editor Carrie Best would encourage a lobby group to force the Nova Scotia government to finally repeal the law of segregation in 1954. After her trial she closed her shop and moved to Montreal where she enrolled in a business college. In 2000, Desmond and other Canadian civil rights activists were the subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary Journey to Justice. On April 14, 2010, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, invoked Royal Prerogative and granted Desmond a posthumous pardon, the 1st such to be granted in Canada. The government of Nova Scotia also apologized to her family.  Cape Breton University has a Viola Desmond Chair for Social Justice.  Source: Black History Canada, Viola Desmond Online : The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed January 2000)
  Rosemary Forsyth.  Born July 6, 1945  Montreal, Quebec.  This actress has appeared in numerous movies since she began her career in 1965. More recently she has been busy with day time drama in TV series such as “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital”.
July 7 Cree Summer.  Born July 7, 1970 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Her father wanted to raise his children away from the hustle and bustle of American society and he moved his young family to rural Saskatchewan where Cree would live for eight years. This actress is more known for her voice than her face.  She has been doing voices for animated movies since 1985. She began with the “Care Bears Movie” and can also be heard in the cartoon shows of “Inspector Gadget”,Rugrats”, and “Tiny Toons” among others.
July 8Elizabeth Josephine Allin.  Born July 8, 1905. Died 1993.  Elizabeth graduated from university with a degree in physics.  She would go on to become the first woman to be appointed to the Physics Department at the University of Toronto.  She was also a founding member of the Canadian Association of Professional Physicists. A loyal University of Toronto employee,  she wrote the history of the university Physics Department. You can read about her place and struggle for recognition of her ability  to  work in a dominant male occupation in the book Great Dames. Source: Alison Prentice, Elizabeth Alin: physicist in Elspeth Cameron and Janice Dicken, eds. Great dames. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.
July 9Margie Gillis.  Born July 9, 1953 Montreal, Quebec. She is a solo artist who has presented modern ballet around the world.  She has hip-length chestnut hair and wears remarkable costumes.  She introduced modern dance to contemporary China.  She was named Canadian Cultural Ambassador in 1981 and in 1986 Quebec Cultural Ambassador. In 1988 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. 
July 10 Thésèse Casgrain. née Forget.  Born July 10, 1896 Montreal, Quebec. Died November 2, 1981. She is remembered for her campaign for women’s right to vote (suffrage) in the province of Québec before WW II. (Quebec, the last province to grant women the vote, passing  legislation only in 1940.) She continued a career in politics becoming the first Canadian woman to lead a provincial political party. She was the leader of the Quebec CCF Party from 1951-1957. In 1970 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. She is considered a leading woman of 20th century Canada.

Public domain

  Alice Munro.  Born July 10, 1931 Wingham, Ontario .  Her short stories appear in magazines such as the New Yorker and The Atlantic.  She has collected her stories and published numerous books of stories. A novel, Lives of girls and women, grew from her short stories.  She has received 3 Governor General’s awards for her works.  She also has won the Canada-Australia Literary Prize and the Marion Engel Award and the W. H. Smith Award from Great Britain. In 2013 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
July 11 Helen Griffith Wylie Watson. née McArthur Born July 11, 1911 Stettler, Alberta. Died December 15, 1974.  After nursing the Peace River Country of Alberta, she joined the Red Cross Society and later became president of the organization.  She would also serve as president of the Canadian Nurses Association.  In 1954 she earned the Florence Nightingale Award for her work in Korea. She was and officer of the Order of Canada.

Liona Boyd. Born July 11, 1949, London, England. On the ocean voyage’ when her family immigrated to Canada’ she entertained in a children’s talent show. At 13 she received a guitar as a Christmas gift. The following year she saw English guitarist, Julian Beam, perform and she was smitten with the power of the music. In 1972 she graduated from the University of Toronto, won the Canadian National Music Competition and toured with British guitarist John Mills. Studying in Europe 1972 -1974 she also busked in Italy and performed recitals in Belgium, Holland and France.  1975, back in North America, she had her 1st Carnegie Hall performance and in Canada she graced the cover of the Canadian Magazine. The story tag line was “The first lady of guitar”. In 1978 she would use this stage line as a title for one of her many recordings. She performs for world leaders and royalty bringing classical guitar to new recognition by performing with such notables as Tracy Chapman, George Zamphir, Roger Whitaker, Eric Clapton, Gordon Lightfoot, and Chet Atkins. She is also known for her solo performances with symphony orchestras and her performances for numerous charitable performances. In 1988 she published In My Own Key: My Life in Love and Music (Stoddard Publishing).  In 1992 she married John B. Simon and settled in California.   Divorced in 2004, she eventually returned to Toronto. She had a separation from the stage when she was diagnosed with Muscian Focal Dystopia which can produce muscle spasms. By 2009 she had reinvented her playing, added singing and songwriting to her repertoire and is back on stage and recording.  Her work has garnered her 5 Canadian Juno awards. She has been inducted into the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. Sources: In My Own Key by Liona Boyd (Stoddard, 1988) ; Liona Boyd web site (accessed March 2014)

July 12Barbara Astman. Born July 12, 1950 Rochester, New York U.S.A. As a photographer and multimedia artist, she is fascinated by current technological developments, which she mixes with a variety of traditional art forms. She is in the forefront of post-modern art activity.
July 13Hélène Brodeur. Born July 13,1923 Saint Léon de Val Racine, Quebec. Died August 15, 2010 Ottawa, Ontario. The family relocated to Ontario and she grew up in Val Gagné near Timmins. After university she married Robert Nantais and she d became mother of five children. Like many of her generation she turned 1st to teaching and then became a successful civil servant. Through all of this her desire to write remained strong. She has published works in both English and French . She has earned the Prix Champlain, Prix du Nouvel-Ontario and Prix due Droit. In 1983 she wrote the the TV script Les Ontariens. ( 1997).
  Gail Greenough.  Born July 13, 1960 Edmonton, Alberta. She took up equestrian sports at age 11.  She joined the Canadian Equestrian Team in 1983 and in 1986  became the first Canadian and first woman to win the world show jumping championships.  She is a member of the Order of Canada. 
July 14 Grace Hartman.  Born July 14, 1918 Toronto, Ontario. Died December 18, 1993. She was the 1st woman to hold the top position in a Canadian Union. In 1975 she was elected to the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). She was elected as Vice President as early as 1963 when this union was firs formed from the merger of two previous unions.
  Doreen Hume.  Born July 14, 1926 Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. An operatic soprano, she started performing on CBC radio in the late 1940’s and in 1954 she moved to England to become principal soprano soloist in the BBC’s light Music Department for 15 years. She made 12 albums of light classical music and musical comedy before returning to Toronto in 1970.
July 15Isobel Finnerty. Born July 15, 1930 Timmins, Ontario. She has blazed a trail for women in the field of political activism, earning a national and international recognition and respect for her skills. She made an indelible mark in the field of political organization at the federal and provincial levels. Her talent and her reputation have seen her invited to work or train others in every province in Canada. In 1994 she was invited to Benin, Africa, as an International Trainer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She was appointed a member of the Senate of Canada in 1999 and retired July 15, 2005. 
July 16 Sally Wishart Armstrong. Born July 16, 1943, Montreal , Quebec. Sally earned her Bachelor of Education at McGill University, Montreal in 1966. In 2001 she would return to university to earn her Master’s at the University of Toronto. She started working as a physical education teacher but soon found herself involved in journalism where she became editor in chief for Homemakers magazine from 1988 through 1999. Along with numerous magazine articles she has published several books including Mila, the biography of Mila Mulroney, wife of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1982. Her works have brought the political and cultural struggles of women around the world to her readers. She has highlighted strife of women in Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan. She has chronicled lives of women who have opposed efforts of the Taliban to subjugate women. Her writings have earned her the Amnesty International’s Media Award in both 200 and again in 2002. She has also produced award winning documentaries for the CBC spotlighting international struggles for women’s rights. She is a founder of WILLOW a resource for Breast Cancer in Canada. As well she serves on the Council of Advisors for the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has been granted numerous honourary degrees from universities and in 1998 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2002 she was UNICEF’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and in 2008 she received the Canadian Journalism Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Source: ‘Sally Armstrong’ by Dana Schwab New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia 2009. Online (Accessed May 2014)
 Louise Forchette. Born July 16, 1946 Montreal, Quebec. In 1970 she earned her BA from Université de Montréal. In 1978 she earned an advanced Master’s Degree from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. In 1971 she began her career at the Canadian Department of External Affairs. Her 1st posting as a diplomat was in Athens, Greece and in 1978 she joined the Canadian delegation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1985 she was a three point Canadian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The government of Canada was impressed by her secret mission to Cuba in 1989 that she was named as the 1st female Canadian ambassador to the United Nations in 1992. Leaving the diplomatic corps in 1995 she became assistant Deputy Minister  of National Defense, again the 1st woman to hold such a position. March 2, 1998, she was the 1st person to be appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary General, a position she held until March 31, 2006. That same year she was inducted into the Order of Canada. She is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and the International Advisory Board at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Source: Former Deputy-Secretary-General, www.un.org (accessed September 2010.); Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995)  
July 17Geneviére Cadieux.  Born July 17,1955 Montreal, Quebec. She is an artist who uses large photographic pieces as her medium of expression.  She is also a sculptor.  Her work has been chosen to represent Canada at 3 international expositions.  She also had solo exhibitions in Europe.  She has been a guest professor in Paris and Grenoble, France. (1997).
July 18 Jean Margaret Laurence. née  Wemyss. Born July 18, 1926 Neepawa, Manitoba. Died January 5, 1987. From age seven she wrote stories. Her gift of writing leaves a permanent mark on contemporary Canadian Literature. Her first writing job was as a reporter and book reviewer for the Winnipeg Citizen. She has been able to write with experience of having lived in England, Somalilanc, Ghana, Greece, Crete, Palestine, India, Egypt and Spain but Canada was always home.  She is much beloved and remembered for her works, her personal warmth, strength and humor which she shared so generously.
©Famous Canadian
July 19 Jean Wilson. Born July 19, 1910 Glasgow, Scotland. Died September 3, 1933. In 1931 she was the North American indoor speed skating champion.  At the 1932 Olympics when women’s speed skating was a demonstration sport, Jean won the 500m race in 58 seconds and came second in the 1500 m event.  At only 23 years of age she died from a progressive muscular disease. She was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.
July 20 Tantoo Cardinal . Born July 20, 1950 Fort McMurray, Alberta.One of North America’s most widely recognized Native actresses she has won a Grammy award for her work as a guest appearance on the TV program “North of 60”. She has also won the American Indian Festival, best actress, and the 1st Rudy Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Native American in film (“Legends of the Fall”) In 1991 Maclean’s Magazine declared her Actress of the Year.
July 21Why not nominate a Canadian Woman of Achievement with this birth date?
July 22Isabelle Atkinson. Born July 22, 1891 Bramley England. Died Saskatoon, Saskatchewan August 11, 1968. She and her widowed mother immigrated to Waterbury Connecticut, U.S.A. as a teenager. She became a factory worker and found herself a women’s rights supporter. She moved to her brother’s farm near Strasbourg, Saskatchewan in 1914. By 1919 she moved to Kerrobert and worked as a bookkeeper. She worked to found the local library and pursued her own studies in Social issues. After her mother’s death in the early 1920’s she traveled abroad to continue her studies in commonwealth countries. She reported her experiences back to Canada and they were published in the Star Phoenix and other newspapers. It was the Winnipeg Free Press that would later publish a booklet of some of her articles. She was active in the Consumers Association of Canada serving as provincial president in 1954 and then as national President from 1956-1960 in Ottawa. She was also active in the Saskatoon Council of Women and took interest in the Liberal Party of Canada. Source: The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Online (Accessed January 2012) Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.
July 23Theresa Mary Gowanlock (née Johnson) Born  July 23, 1863 Tintern, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Died September 12 1899.   She was married in her home of Tintern, Lincoln County, Ontario on October 1, 1884. The newlyweds headed for western Canada to begin  life where she one of two white women at their settlement.  Her husband, John was massacred by the Cree Indians at Frog Lake, North West Territories (now Alberta) during the Northwest Rebellion on April 2, 1885.  Theresa was taken captive into the camp of Chief Big Bear, and held captive for two months before being rescued by the Northwest Mounted Police. Theresa and the other white women captive Theresa Delaney wrote of there experience. Theresa returned home to Ontario but never overcame the terrors of the ordeal which broke her spirit. A good biography may be found at:  http://www.rootsweb.com/-nwa/theresa.html
July 24Anna Paquin.  Born July 24, 1982 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She lived in New Zealand when her family moved there in 1986. This young actress won her 1st Academy Award in her 1st film “The Piano” in 1993.  She has appeared in 17 movies since her debut. She graduated from Windward School in West Los Angeles, California in June 2000. She completed the school's community service requirement by working in an LA soup kitchen and at a special education center. Anna enjoys music and she plays both the piano and the cello.
July 25 Grace Winona MacInnis.  Born July 25, 1905 Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Died July 10,1991. She was born into a political household as the daughter of J. S. Woodsworth, founder of the CCF party of Canada. She followed her home training by entering politics and being a known social activist. She served as a member of the legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1941 to 1945 and as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa from 1965 to 1974.
  Maureen Forrester. Born July 25, 1930 Montreal, Quebec 1930. Died June 16, 2010 Toronto, Ontario. An internationally famous soprano, Maureen has sung all over the world in such sites as the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Whenever she was performing a series of songs she would always include a song by a Canadian artist. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
July 26 Erminie Joy Cohen. Born July 26, 1926. For some 50 years she has been  respected businesswoman  of the Saint John business community. In 1991 she received a Certificate of Appreciation for distinguished service to the community from the United Nations Association. She married Edgar R. Cohen and the couple had three adult children. She was the 1st woman to be elected president of her synagogue. As a result of her work she was elected National Vice President of the Hadassah WIZO Organization of Canada.  She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1993. 
  Catherine Callbeck.  Born July 26, 1939 Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island. A politician and businesswoman, she succeeded Joe Ghz as Premier of her home province in 1993.  She was defeated in the election of 1997. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in September 1997. 
July 27 Anne Augusta Stowe-Gullen.  née Stowe. Born  July 27, 1857, Mount Pleasant, Toronto, Canada West (Now Ontario) . Died September 25, 1943, Toronto, Ontario. Augusta’s mother and mentor was Dr. Emily Stowe(1831-1903). Augusta was the 1st woman to earn a medical degree in Canada. She graduated from Victoria College, (an affiliate of the University of Toronto) Cobourg, Ontario in 1883. Upon graduation she married Dr. John B. Gullen, a future founder in 1896 of Toronto Western Hospital. After their marriage the couple did post graduate coursed in children’s medicine in New York, U.S.A. Augusta taught at the Ontario Medical College for Women (known 1883-94 as the Woman's Medical College, Toronto) and was on U of T Senate 1910-22. Both she and her mother were leading figures in the suffrage movement. Augusta succeeded her mother as president of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Assn in 1903. She was also a founder of the National Council of women. In 1935 she received the Order of the British Empire. Sources: Carla Hacker. The Indomitable Women Doctors. (1974) ; K. Smith. Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen; a pioneer of social conscience in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, January 15, 1982 ; The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed June 2003)
  Anne Douglas Savage. Born July 27, 1896 Montreal, Quebec. Died March 25, 1971. She was a pioneer in teaching children’s art. Her own works matured showing a lyrical quality and late in life she was attracted to the abstract form of painting. She was a teacher to several rising young Canadian artists.
  Edith Butler   Born July 27, 1942 Paquetville, New Brunswick.  Learning music in her home town of Caroquet, New Brunswick, she applauds the Acadian culture wherever she entertains. She has a strong singing voice and is a well rounded entertainer combining humor with her own music.  She has toured Europe and Japan. She won the award of the Académie Charles-Cros, in Paris.  She was made a member of the Order du Mérite de la culture française by the Canadian Senate and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.  She has recorded some 20 albums of Acadian music. 
July 28 Isabelle Brasseur. Born July 28, 1970 Kingsbury, Quebec. Isabelle and her partner Lloyd Eisler are one of Canada’s finest pairs figure skating teams. . They hold 5 Canadian Championships, 5 World Championship medals, and 2 Olympic Bronze medals. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
July 29 Patricia Louise Lowther.  Born July 29,1935 Vancouver, British Columbia.  Died September 24, 1975. She was Co–chair of the league of Canadian Poets in 1974 and later the British Columbia Arts Council.  She devoted herself to the promotion of poetry. She published 4 collections of her own poetry.  A mother of four children, she was murdered by her husband in 1975. The League of Canadian Poets annually awards the Pat Lowther Award.
  Annie Perreault. Born July 29,1971 Windsor, Quebec.  Annie, who hails from Windsor, Quebec, has been a member of the National Short Track Speed Skating Team for more than 12 years. She is one of Canada's most decorated female Olympians with credits of one bronze medal and two gold medals. She also coaches some of her family members who have also become recognized skaters. She enjoys her sport and wants to maintain her performance level and to have fun while doing it. 
July 30Alexina Louie.  Born July 30, 1949 Vancouver, British Columbia.  A musician and composer when writes music for orchestra, chamber music and electronic music.  She is known for a work that she dedicated to the memory of the famous Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. She has been inducted into the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.
July 31 Sylvie Fortier.  Born July 3,1953 Quebec City, Quebec. Between 1973 and 1976 Sylvie won 24 national level individual and team synchronized swimming gold medal! She also holds 7 medals from the 1975 & 1976 Pan American and Pan Pacific Games and won the world championship title in 1976. She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
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