|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Board of Canada documentary Journey to Justice.
On April 14, 2010, the
Governor of Nova Scotia,
Prerogative and granted Desmond a
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
Source: Black History Canada, Viola Desmond Online : The
Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed January 2000)
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”.
Born July 7, 1970 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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).
Greenough. Born July 13, 1960 Edmonton,
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Source: ‘Sally Armstrong’ by Dana Schwab New Brunswick Literary
Encyclopedia 2009. Online (Accessed May 2014)
| ||Louise Forchette.
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)
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).
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.
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.
. 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.
21||Why not nominate a Canadian
Woman of Achievement with this birth date?
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
Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Online (Accessed January 2012)
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.
(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:
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, 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.
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.
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.
Born July 26, 1939 Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island. A politician
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.
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)
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.
July 27, 1942 Paquetville, New Brunswick.
Learning music in her home town of Caroquet, New Brunswick, she
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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