|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.
Born March 1, 1926 Vienna, Austria. Anne immigrated to
Montreal with her parents when she was 5 years old. It was at the
Montreal Ecole des beaux arts that she took her early formal art
sculptor emigrated from Austria with her parents in 1925. During the
mid 1940's Anne studied at Cooper Union School, New York City,
U.S.A. In 1953
she was the only Canadian winning international prizes for her3-dimensional
figures carved in wood, works. Her woodcarvings
are the decorative panels for the Winnipeg airport, Winnipeg General
Hospital, and Montreal’s Place des Arts. Her work
has been shown nationally and internationally, representing Canada
at the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Canadian
Pavilion at the Worlds Fair, Brussels, and at Expo 67 in Montreal Abandoning
wood in the late 1970's she began to work with sheets of aluminum
with her first showing of this new medium at McMaster University,
Hamilton, Ontario in 1980-1982.
Born March 1,1936 Rome, Italy. She was born in Europe while her
French-Canadian father was working overseas. The family escaped to
Portugal and back to Canada at the breakout of World War 11. Monique
earned a teacher's certificate and then went on to study sociology
at the Université de Montreal before living in Paris, France for two
years. She began working as executive secretary to the Royal
Commission on the Status of Women once back in Canada. . She was
woman from Québec to be elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in
1972. She distinguished herself as the executive
secretary-general of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women.
During her political Career she would serve as Minister of National
Revenue, then as Minister of National Health and Welfare. She was
responsible for increases in old-age supplements for needy senior
citizens and the child tax credit and a new health law which strengthened
the health insurance system. Leaving politics in 1984 Monique taught
at the University of Ottawa. In 2004
she participated in a play celebrating the 100th anniversary of the
Canadian Women's Press Club. In 2017 she earned the Maclean's
Magazine lifetime award at the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards.
Born March 2, 1923 Montreal, Quebec. Died November 25, 2005. Ghitta
attended the Parsons School of Design, New York, U.S.A. from
1939-1943. Returning to Montreal in 1947 she opened the
Montreal Artists School. She served as school principal with
the school accommodating many returned war veterans until it was
sold in 1952. At the beginning of the 1960's she studied at the
Ecole des beaux arts, Montreal. Here she mixed her appreciation of
art she had seen during trips to Mexico where she studied murals. A very talented artist she is considered an outstanding
example of creativity of women artists that have characterized a century
of art in Montreal. She was a member of the Royal Canadian
Academy. She was part of the Jewish Painters of Montreal which have
left a legacy depicting expressionistic images of social realism of
the 1930's and 1940's. She received the Canadian Centennial Medal in
1967 and in 1975 she earned the Purchase Prize and Best Graphic
Imaage Award from the Ontario Society of Artists. In 200 she became
the 1st artist to win the Governor General's Award.
Jarret de Verchères.
Born March 3, 1678, Verchères. Quebec. Died August 8, 1747,
Sainte-Anne –de-La Pérade, Quebec. . when she, with only a handful
of helpers would successfully defend the family fort against attack.
She and her family lived in a “fort” which had been built as
protection against marauding bands of Iroquois. Her mother had “held
the fort” successfully fending off attacks in 1690. On October 22,
1692, while her parents were away in Montreal, she was in charge of
her home. She was 14 years old. She was outside the walls of the
fort when the attackers approached causing her to scramble and ran
for the fortifications and safety. There was only one soldier at
home at the time and Madelaine donned a soldiers hat and made
motions of being in charge of a larger group of defenders. She had
the cannon fired as a warning not only to the attackers but to other
“forts” along the river that there was danger. By the time help
arrived from Montreal the attackers had fled. There are various
written reports about the successful defense that day. No doubt
recalled in the aftermath of the events and in later years the
reports may have exaggerated or did they? Her exploits have been
written up in several books, plays and even movies, extolling the
young Madelaine as one of Canada's first youth heroines. Even though
it was not unusual for girls to be married in their early teens but
Madeleine married only on September 1706 to Pierre Thomas Tarieu de
couple would have 5 children. It seems that she summoned her
courage again in 1722 saving her husband from attack of two Indians.
In turn her son, Charles-Francois, who was 10 at the time, fended
off 4 native women who came to help out the male attackers. It seems
that both Madeleine and her husband were not held in high esteem as
landlords. They were involved in numerous law suit concerning land
ownership and Madeleine even sailed to France in attempts to have
courts solve the disputes. In 1923 the Canadian Government
designated Madeleine as a Person of National Historic Significance.
Source: André Vachon, “JARRET
DE VERCHÈRES, MARIE-MADELEINE,” in Dictionary of Canadian
Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval,
2003–, accessed July 27, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/jarret_de_vercheres_marie_madeleine_3E.html.
(Accessed July 2014)
Thakkar. Born March 3, 1942 Bombay, India. She came
to Canada in 1972 to visit her brother and to perform classical dance
of India. Her acceptance was so warm that she made Canada
her home. She has founded a dance company and been a major influence
in the development and appreciation for Indian classical dance in
Canada. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work
both in Canada and in India.
Nellie J. Cournoyea.
Born March 4, 1940 Aklavik, Northwest Territories. Nellie grew up
traveling and hunting in the traditional manner of her people. She
married a Canadian Forces officer and the couple were posted in
Halifax and Ottawa prior to heading back to the Northwest
Territories with their 2 children. Shortly after the couple
divorced. In the 1960’s she worked as an announcer for the CBC
radio. In 1969 she co-founded with Agnes Semmler a political
association to help the people of Inuvialuit which gave her an
active role in the 1984
land claim. In 1979 she
was elected to the Legislature of the Northwest Territories and
served on various cabinet positions prior to becoming the
1st native woman to lead a provincial
territorial government in Canada.
She served as Premier of the Northwest
Territories from November 14, 1991 to November 2, 1995. Nellie was
awarded the Woman of the Year for NWT in 1982 and in 1986 she
received the Wallace Goose Award. She was recognized with the
National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994. In 2004 she received
the Energy Person of the Year from the Energy Council of Canada.
In 2008 the Governor General of Canada
awarded Nellie Cournoyea the Northern Medal in recognition for her
significant contributions to the evolution and reaffirmation of the
Canadian North as part of our national identity.
She volunteers as Director of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Center in
Inuvik and is a founding member of the Northern Games Society. She
is also a volunteer in Inuvialuit historical and cultural
Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2006);
Nellie J. Cournoyea, Collections Canada. National Library of
Canada, (Accessed 2006).
Born March 4, 1949 Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Carroll was
performing at the age of 4. At 16, Carroll and her family relocated
to Toronto. Carroll had her 1st single song hit in 1970.
She dominated the country music scene in the 1970's winning several
Juno Awards as Country Female vocalist in 1977, 1978 and 1979.
In 1976, she won a Big Country Award for best album
of the year, and in 1978 and 1977 she was named top female country
singer at the same awards
She produced over 20 albums of her music. In the summer of 1983 she
hosted her own television show and was always a welcome guest on the
long running Tommy Hunter show. She decided to take partial
retirement in the early 1990's. She was inducted into the Canadian
Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1997 she received a lifetime
achievement award from the Nova Scotia Country Music Association. In
2010 she became a Member of the Order of Canada for her singing and
Born March 4,1954 Toronto, Ontario. She was a waitress at the Firehall Theatre in Toronto
when she convinced Canadian actor John Candy to listen to her comedy routine.
She joined the Second City TV troupe in 1973. She began her
film career in 1980 and has appeared in such films as Beetlejuice,
Dick Tracey, Home Alone,
and such TV series as Tales
From the Crypt. In 1981 she won a Primetime Emmy Award for
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. In 1988 she had the
staring role in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice. In 1992 she married
production designer Bo Welch and the couple have two sons. She has
also stared in additional Tim Burton productions including the
Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie. In 2000 she
won a Genie Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in the
film the Life Before This. She played the mother in the two
Home Alone movies. After 2000 she has done mainly voice over
work for animated stories. In 2001 she won the Funniest Supporting
Actress in a Motion Picture from the American Comedy Awards. In 2006
she won the National Film Board Review for Best Supporting Actress
in For Your Consideration. In 2016 she was playing in
the series Schitt's Creek. and won the Canadian Screen Award
for Bst Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic
Role for this series. Her role also garnered her an ACTRA Toronto
Award for Outstanding Performance.
She has won two
Canadian Screen Awards for Best
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, at the
4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016
5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017.
Born March 5, 1916 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Died April 8, 1961
Toronto, Ontario. As a young swimmer she earned the nickname “Moose
Jaw Mermaid. In 1934 & 1935 she held every single Canadian freestyle
swimming record from 100 yards to one mile! She set records and won
a 4 gold medals at the 1934 British Empire Games in London, England.
That same year she won the Velma Springstead Trophy as Canadian
female athlete of the year,. She returned to the British Empire
Games in Australia 1938 for another gold medal in the 4 X 110 yard
freestyle relay. She married Murray Lowery and the couple have 4
children. In 1967 she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports
Hall of Fame and in 1971 she was inducted into the Canadian Sports
Hall of Fame followed in 1972 with a membership in the Canadian
Olympic Hall of Fame. Sources:
who in Canadian Sport by Bob Ferguson, (Scarborough: Prentice Hall,
1977; Phyllis Dewar (1916-1961), The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan,
Online, Accessed March 2016)
March 5, 1882 Montreal, Quebec. Died October
22, 1970. Pauline was educate at Royal Victoria College, McGill
University, Montreal. In 1902 she went to study at the Conservatoire
de Paris, France on a grant from Donald Smith (1820-1914), Lord
Strathcona. It was here that she adopted the stage name Donalda in
honour of her patron. In 1904 she made her singing debut in Nice,
France. In November 1906, Returning to Montreal with her husband
Paul Seveilhac, to make her North American debut. In December 1906
she began a season with Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera House in
New York City, U.S.A. By 1907 she was once again singing in Europe.
She remained in North America during World War l returning to Paris
in 1917 to marry her second husband, Mischa Leon in 1918. 1n 1922
she opened a teaching studio in Paris, France returning to Montreal
only in 1937 to open her studio there. She founded the Montreal Opera Guild in 1942
where she served as president and artistic director until 1969. In
1967 she became an Officer in the Order of Canada.
© Public Domain
F. Whittome. Born
March 6, 1942 Vancouver, British Columbia. After her early studies
at the Vancouver School of Art in British Columbia she went on study
in Paris France where
she chose etchings as her 1st major form of artistic expression.
Returning to Canada she attended Concordia University, Montreal,
By 1975 she had produced a series of sculptures and went on to use
the medium of hand made paper relief and sculptures to produce several
one-woman shows in many Canadian galleries and museums. Her modern
works continue to receive acclaim and awards, including the Victor-Martyn-Staunton
Award in 1991. In 1992, she
received an award from the Gershon-Iskowitz Foundation. In 1997 she
was awarded Québec's Prix Paul Émile Borduas and in 2002 she
received a Governor General's Visual and Media Arts Award. in 2005
she became an officer in the Order of Canada.
Born March 7, 1951 Vancouver, British Columbia. As an athlete, she competed in
and track and field internationally in 1967. She would go on to win
gold medals in the 1975 and 1979 Pan-American Games, as well as gold
in t he 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games. After leaving competition
she continued her career as an amateur sports administrator. Her work
included working with the Alberta Sports Council until 1994.
She is a Member of the Order of Canada.
March 8,1896 Renfrew, Ontario. Died January 25, 1975. This social worker,
politician, and feminist was a colourful, energetic, outspoken,
flamboyant individual. In the 1920’s she was a relentless
crusader for professional standards of juvenile immigrants and
neglected children. She was the spark that ignited the Canadian
Council on Child Welfare. She
was in demand across North America as a lecturer on social programs.
When she became mayor of Ottawa in 1951 she was the first
woman in Canada to be a mayor of a major metropolitan area. In
November 1950 , Whitton entered Ottawa City politics when she won a
seat on what was then called the board of control. When the elected
mayor died the next year she succeeded him. She was elected mayor in
1952, 1954, 1960 and 1964 and later served as an alderman until 1972.
||Flavia Elliott Redelmeier.
Born March 9, 1926. Flavia received her BA in 1948 from the
University of Toronto, on the same day as her mother received her
degree. On December 29, 1950 she married Ernest Redelmeier and
the couple would have two sons. Her wedding dress was the
adapted gown from her grandmother's wedding in 1897. By 1951 she had
graduated with a Masters degree. This volunteer has donated her life time to such organizations
as the Girl Guides of Canada where she was an executive member and
camping commissioner for Canada. She has served on hospital
and museum boards including as a board member at the Canadian
Museum of Nature. May 8, 2013 Flavia was honoured by the
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) with the Distinguished Service
Award tor the incredible impact and support for the ROM.
née Stewart. Born March 9, 1934 Cereal, Alberta.
powerful golfer she would win the Canadian ladies champion title 11
times between 1951 and 1973. She was the Canadian Female Athlete of
the Year in 1951 and 1956. In 1967 she was inducted as an officer in
the Order of Canada. During her golfing career she would win 24
Canadian Ladies Golf Association Championships and by 2003 she had a
career total of 30 national or international championships with at
least one championship each decade .
She claimed her third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 2003,
the oldest person to ever triumph in that event.
She is the only person to have won the Australian, British, Canadian
and United States womens’ amateur championships! She is a member of
the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and in 2004 she became the first
Canadian member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Arlene Chow. Born March 9, 1941. After her studies in science at university
she entered the field of research. She also has an interest in recognizing
women's work and has contributed to Women In Science. She has herself
become a teacher at the Department of Immunology at the University
of Manitoba and has been recognized at the YWCA Woman of Distinction
in 1992. She is also a recipient of the the Canada 125 medal.
Born March 9, 1955. A business woman
who managers her own lumber yard and has owned several businesses
including a funeral home and flower business. She is a well known
motivational speaker. In her spare time she found time to be a member
of the 1996 Canadian and World Championship Curling teams. She has
also co-authored a book on the sport of curling. She is a member of
the St Catherines Ontario Hall of Fame.
née Beckwith. Born March 10, 1796 Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died November 28, 1867.
She wrote the first work of fiction by a native born Canadian
to be published in Canada. Her
novel was called::
Convent or The Nun of Canada, Containing Scenes from Real Life”
published in 1824. She wrote this book when she was only 17 years old!
would continue publishing her writings while she raised 6 children!
Born March 10, 1861 Six Nations Indian Reserve, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 7, 1913. Canada’s first renowned native
poet she was also the first native born cultural ambassador. She was
working towards unity for all peoples and the land when most settlers
were only thinking of human unity.
She took her works all over Europe where she performed her
readings in her native dress. Her native name was Tekahionwake.
The latest biography by Charlotte Gray was published in 2002 and is
available at your public library.
© Canada Post Corporation
'Kim' Phaedra Campbell.
Born March 10, 1947 Port Alberni, British Columbia. Known as “Kim” since a teen, she attended the University of
British Columbia and went on to earn a PhD at the London School of
Economics, London England. Entering politics as a member of the
Vancouver School Board from 1980-4. She moved to the British
Columbia Provincial Legislature, 1986-88 and was elected to the
Canadian House of Commons in 1988. In 1989 she was appointed
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The 1st woman
to serve as Minister of Justice, February 1990, by January 1993, she
also became the 1st woman Minister of Defense of a NATO country.
In June 1993 she became the 1st woman elected leader of the
Progressive Conservative Party and the 1st woman Prime Minister of
Canada. She resigned after election defeat in, November 1993.
Appointed Consul General to Los Angeles, California from 1996-2000,
she was also chair, 1999 – 2003, for the Council of Women World
Leaders. Working with a group of national leaders to strengthen
democracy in the world, she was founder and acting President of the
Club de Madrid, and was appointed Secretary General in 2004. A
lecturer of public policy at Harvard, she currently describes
herself as a teacher and recovering politician. Sources: Canadian
Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2004); Canadian Who's Who.
© Famous Canadian
March 10, 1953, Mission British Columbia. She began competitive
track and Field in 1966 when she was just 13 years old and appeared
in her 1st international event at 15. At 16 she became
the 1st North American woman to cleat 6’ in the high
jump. She used a style of jump that became known as the “Brill
Bend”. It was a style that revolutionized this event. Debbie has
held the Canadian high jump record since 1969. That year she won a
gold medal at the 1st Pacific Conference Games. She took
gold again at the 1977 games. In 1970 she earned gold at the
Commonwealth games and in 1971 gold at the Pan Am Games. She was
disillusioned in the 1972 Olympic Games and retired from
competition. In 1975, confidence returned and she returned to place
4th at the 1977 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the
World Cup. In 1978 she earned a silver at the Commonwealth Games in
Edmonton, Alberta. In 1979 she took a gold at the World Cup in
Montreal and was ranked #1 in the world. Canada boycotted the 1980
Olympics so Debbie continued to compete and in 1982 jumped 1.99
meters at the World Indoor High Jump Record just 5 months after
giving birth to her son and went on to earn gold in the Commonwealth
Games that year. In 1983 she was presented with the Order of
Canada. She set her final outdoor record 1.98 meters (6’6”) in
September 1984. In 1989 she was inducted into the British Columbia
Sports Hall of Fame. During her days of competition she would attend
65 National and International competitions. In 1999 she broke the
World Masters (athletes over 45 years) record and in 2004 she broke
the over 50 Masters record in Australia.
Source: British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame Online (Accessed March
Born March 10, 1957. This
native Newfoundlander has been busy with appearing in 49 movies and
TV productions since 1978. She made her debut in
“Of Unknown Origin” and she has been on the TV series
Crest from 1978-1983, daytime drama with
of Our Lives as well as Pacific
Blue in 1996 and more recently Diaries of Darkness and My Guide to Becoming a Rockstar.
March 11, 1955, Vancouver, British Columbia. Leslie was a strong
competitor in the 1970 Commonwealth Games and showed future promise.
She studied at the University of British Columbia. In the 1971
Pan-Am Games she won 3 gold 2 silver. 1971 to 1973 British
Columbia’s Swimmer of the Year and in 1971 she was British
Columbia’s Junior Athlete of the year. In the 1972 Olympic Games,
Munich, Germany she won a silver medal in the 400 meter individual
medley. In 1971-2 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of
Canada and in 1972 she was presented with the Beatrice Pines Trophy
as Canada’s Outstanding Female Swimmer. In 1974 she won 2 gold
medals, one in the 200 meter individual medley and one in the 400
meter individual medley at Commonwealth Games. During her
competitive swimming career she received a total of 33 medals! After
retiring from competitive sport she co-founded the Zajac annual swim
camps organized by the alumni of Canada’s Swim Team. In 1976 she was
inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. In 1984 she
became a member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. In 1989 she
founded a financial management firms, Genus Capital Management. In
1997 she entered the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.
Source: Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Online. Accessed February 2016.
March 12, 1951 Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.
She published her first book of poems, Songs of the Sea-Witch,
at 17. She would find her personal life embroiled in a love
affair that would end in a marriage in prison. Her life and
relationship is recorded in the CBC series Life and Times. She
continues her prolific writing from her family tree house in Victoria,
née Margolick. Born March 13, 1947. A versatile dancer who has danced with
les Grands Ballets Canadiens,
the Bat-Dor of Israel, and
the Ballet Rambert of England.
She now prefers choreography.
née Jackson. Born March 14, 1830. Died 1905. At eight she married a widower
who was a trapper by profession and lived at Long Point Island, Lake
Erie. In November 1854 she became a heroine when she was instrumental
in saving the lives of the master and the six crew members of the
schooner, Conductor, which was wrecked off of Long Point Island.
The story of her heroism was reported in the Atlantic Monthly
in 1869 and in 1899 a book entitled The story of Abigail
Becker was published. Since the turn of the 20th century
her story seems to have been forgotten by most.
Born March 14, 1868 Cookstown, Ontario. Died
October 27, 1933. Emily
was journalist who would write about the adventures of the famous
"Janey Canuck" character. She became the first woman in
the British Empire to become a judge when she was appointed a
police magistrate for Edmonton, Alberta in 1916. She is also a member
of the Famous Five who would be part of the Persons Case in 1929 which
would have women declared "persons" in the eye of the law. If
you watch the "Historical Moments" which appear on Canadian
TV be sure to watch for her story.
Born March 14, 1968 Toronto, Ontario. In December 1985 Megan became a household name in Canada
as six million viewers tuned in to the CBC to watch her Gemini Award
winning performance as Anne Shirley in “Anne of Green Gables” Since
then she has appeared in numerous TV and screen movies, as well as
live theatre and documentaries. In 2000 she returned to the role of
Anne in a controversial adaptation of the life of the adult Anne in
a CBC mini series. She married Christopher Porter in 1991 and is the
mother of a son and a daughter.
née West. Born March 15, 1935 Fredericton, New Brunswick. Mary
studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University It was while at
university she met Christopher Pratt. The couple married September
12, 1957 and relocated to Scotland were their first two children
were born. Upon returning to Newfoundland Mary completed her Fine
Arts Degree and two more children rounded out the family. This artist is perhaps best described as a photo
realist. Her paintings of common household items look so real, you might think that there were
a photograph! Many of the subjects of her works are thins found in
the kitchen of her home, like the work entitled ”Christmas Turkey”
Her works have been exhibited since 1967 in major
Canadian galleries and form part of the collections of the National
Gallery of Canada, the Rooms, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the
New Brunswick Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Vancouver Art
Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Canada House, London
England. Her works have often toured including the 2013-2015
solo exhibition simply entitled Mary Pratt. Mary has served her
community by holding positions on the Government Task Force on
Education in 1973 Newfoundland, the Federal cultural Policy Review
Committee. She chaired the Sir Wilfred Grenfel College, Corner
Brook, Newfoundland Committee to advise the creation of the School
of Fine Arts. She has also held position on the Canada Council
1987-1993 and being a member of the Board of Regents of Mount
Allison University 1983-1991. In 1996 Mary was inducted a Companion
of the Order of Canada. Sadly she and her husband Christopher
separated in 2004. In 2007 Canada Post honored Mary with a series of
postage stamps. In 2013 she became a member of the Royal Canadian
Academy of Arts.
She is an opera singer who has performed exclusively in Canada. She
has performed major choral works with most of Canada’s leading orchestras
and choral societies. .She specializes in contemporary Canadian music.
Bruce Mather wrote Madrigals Three for her. She is a
fine and committed performer of modern music.
Patricia Colleen Nelligan.
Born March 16, 1950. She was born in London,
Ontario, and studied at York University and in London, England. As
an actress, she has appeared in films for over 30 years. She is at
home in both cinema and TV. In the movie “Up Close and Personal”
she worked along side of leading actor Robert Redford. A count shows
29 movies and TV productions since 1990 alone! She has also worked
on several TV specials including the mini series "A Wrinkle
in Time A" in 2002.
née La Montagne. ..Born March 17, 1848 Toronto, Ontario. Died
November 20, 1925. Her stage name was Clara Morris and she was known
as the “Queen of the Melodrama”. She is said to have had the ability
to bring a whole audience to tears with her acting.
She would later write her life story in three volumes of memoirs.
Born March 17, 1887
Died 1983. Graduating with her BA from the University of Toronto in 1910
Lillian trained as a children's librarian at he Carnegie Library in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. In 1911 she worked at the Children's
Department of the New York Public Library and within three weeks of being
hired she was in charge of the children's room at the Washington Heights
Branch Library in New York City, U.S.A. The following year in 1912 she was
hired to organize the children's department for the city of Toronto. She
would devote the next 40 years of her working life to the development of the
children's collection within the Toronto Public Library. Lillian was the 1st trained
children's librarian in Canada. Lillian also led the idea of the importance
of libraries in schools. In 1928, when the University of Toronto established
its post graduate Library School, Lillian was on staff to teach Children's
literature until she retired in 1952.In the early 30's she served on the
Executive Board of the American Library Association and chaired it's
Children's Services Division thorough the 1940's. In 1930 she
developed a special classification system fitted to children's books. This
system was in use for some 30 years before it was accepted that the Dewey
Classification would be used in the Toronto Board of Education. Up until
1999 some public libraries still used the Smith classification for picture
books. Retiring in 1952 her legacy was in print with her book The
Unreluctant Years. The book was also translated into Italian and Japanese.
In 1962 she was the 1st Canadian to earn the Clarence Day Award . It is in her honor
that the Toronto main children's library is named; The Lillian H. Smith
Library. It houses an electronic resource center, the Osborne Collection of
Early Children's books, the Lillian H. Smith Collection, the science fiction
fantasy and horror collection (known as the Merrit Collection), the Bagshaw
collection of puppetry and children's drama, videos, CD's and lots and lots
of children's books to be read and loved. Sources:
Personnel Toronto Public Library 2002
Born March 17, 1954 Hamilton, Ontario. This former Girl Guide was the
first Canadian woman to win a world championship in waterskiing in
1979. She is also the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in
her sport. Pat won a bronze Olympic medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in
Munich, Germany. She holds 19 Canadian titles and 20 national records.
She is also the first Canadian woman to have won the United States
Master’s waterskiing title. She is the founder of the Water Ski and
Wakeboard Canadian Hall of Fame. In her spare time she has a career as
a high school teacher, musician and paramedic. She was inducted into
the Order of Canada in 1980, the youngest Canadian woman to ever
receive this honour.
© Famous Canadian
Born March 18, 1869 St. André Est, Quebec. Died September 2, 1940. This doctor wrote a successful
medical paper on heart murmurs, but a male friend had to present her
paper since women were not admitted to the hall where the paper was
presented! Later she would specialize on heart disease and eventually
published the “Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease" for which
she gained a good deal of respect. She also wrote a history of nursing,
a basic text for Canadian nursing schools. She was even made an honorary
member of the all-male Osler Society.
Died April 8,1730. She took her vows as a nun on October 27, 1671. She was the first
Canadian born woman to become a religious sister. She would become
bursar and superior of the Hospitalièrs of Montreal. She was also
one of the first women writers in New France. She wrote the annals
of the Hotel Dieu (1697-1725) and her own memoirs. She was a heroic
woman, a true product of the early days of New France.
Born March 19, 1928. An
artist who trained in Canada and Europe, her works are represented
in the collections on the National Gallery in Ottawa.
Born 1976 Toronto, Ontario,
She started her career in a McDonald’s commercial! She appeared
in “Are You Afraid of the Dark?
” before she landed her current role in the series “Clueless
Other movies she has appeared in are "Road Trip"
, "Nailed" (2001) and "Wild Dogs"
In March 1998, Caroline became the recipient of the Velma Springstead
Award to become Canada's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. Her
recognition began in 1995 when she won a gold and 2 silver medals
at the World Championships. In Atlanta's Olympic Games in 1997 she
claimed the silver medal. She swept the World Sprint Canoe Championships
in 1997 when she won three gold medals which represented "a best
ever" Canadian Kayak team performance. She gold medal also
represented a first for a Canadian woman in a singles event. She
also won a medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Patenaude. Born March 21,1904. Died November
24, 1987. This food consultant turned to TV as a medium
to explain Canadian cuisine to her home and native land.
She also published some 30 books to generate interest in her
field. She studied at the Cordon Bleu and held a degree as a food
chemist from the Sorbonne in France. She opened a cooking school in
Montreal. In 1973 she
became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Mackenzie. née Syms.
Born March 22,1825. Died March 30, 1893. She would become the second
wife of Alexander Mackenzie, second Prime Minister of Canada. The
Toronto Globe newspaper described her as "the best-known woman
of Canada...and one of the most admired and respected." It was
a role she did not really enjoy but she supported her husband and
entertained all of Ottawa's politicians.
Born March 22, 1909. Died July 13, 1983. A 3 time winner of the Governor General’s Award
in Literature as well as international award holder, she is one of
the most important Canadian writers of the Post World War II Era in
Canada. Some of her works have been translated into 15 different languages.
Born March 23, 1957 New York, New York, U.S.A. This daughter of actor Christopher Plummer was born in
New Your City. Following her fathers love for acting she won a Tony
in 1982 in Agnes of God. She has starred in such films
as The Fisher King, The World According to Garp, Pulp
Fiction, Dallmake, The Last Angel, and Triggerman. With
movies and TV she has had some 9 appearances in 2002 alone!
Born March 24, 1890 Preston Township, Grey County, Ontario. Died
February 13, 1954 Toronto, Ontario. Like many young women of her era
she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) after high school.
She taught in numerous schools in Ontario and Alberta.
She was the 1st
and only woman elected to the Canadian parliament in 1921 when women
finally had the right to vote.
A pacifist she was a member of the Women’s International League for
Peace and Freedom and in 1929 she became
the 1st woman nominated to
the Canadian delegation
to the League of Nations (forerunner to the United
Nations). As the 1st woman to inspect
left her a lifelong advocate for better conditions of
women in prison. In 1935 the Royal Commission to Investigate the
Penal System in Canada and the 1939 Penitentiary Bill with 88
recommendations for change were no doubt influenced by her efforts.
She became a founding member of the C.C.F., Co-operative
Commonwealth Federation (forerunner of the National Democratic
Party). Losing her federal seat in the 1940 election, she toured
giving lectures and wrote for the Toronto Globe and Mail
newspaper before turning her attention to provincial politics.
In 1943 she was 1 of 2 women elected to
the Ontario Legislative Assemble
where she continued to support farmers,
industrial workers, prison inmates and women’s rights.
1951 she saw the passage of the 1st equal pay legislation
in the province.
She was also the founder of the Elizabeth
Fry Society of Canada which even today works to give help to women
in need. She died just prior to have been offered a seat in the
Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed
2001); Agnes Macphail website Online (accessed 2003)
March 25, 1951, Tulita, Northwest Territories. Ethel attended
various schools including residential school and Grandin College
Leadership Program at Fort Smith. She followed this with a teacher
certificate from Arctic College prior to earning her Bachelor of
Education from the University of Alberta in 1974. She was one
of the 1st accredited Aboriginal teachers in the North, teaching in
Tuktoyaktuk, Délįnę, Fort Providence, and Yellowknife, Northwest
Territories. From 1984-1986, she served as a Senior Public Servant
with the Public Service Commission in Ottawa and before returning to
the north to join the Government of the Northwest Territories as
Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture from 1986 to 1988 where she
served on the Arctic Institute of North America for two terms as
well as the Assembly of First Nations Language Committee and worked
on the Special Committee on Education for the Government of the
Northwest Territories. In 1988, Ethel was elected as a Liberal from
the District of the Western Arctic to the Canadian Parliament, the 1st
aboriginal woman elected to the House of Commons. She went on to win
the next four federal elections in 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2004. Under
Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin she would be appointed
to the Cabinet as Secretary of State, then Minister of State for
Children and Youth. She returned to the North to work as Chairperson
for Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated the organization created by the
Sahtu region’s seven land corporations to ensure the Sahtu land
claim (signed in 1994) is properly implemented.
Sources: Ethel Blondwin-Andrews. Canadian House of Commons. Online
(Accessed 2004) ; Ethel Blondwin-Andrews, Biography. Sahtu
Secretariat INC. Online (Accessed July 2015)
Legge. Born March 25, 1952. After university studies in Toronto
and England she became a curator of Fine Arts and worked at in Winnipeg
before returning to the U of T to teach post 1945 art and be curator
at the U of T Art College. She is also and author and editor in her
field. Her personal recreation is to create soft sculpture caricatures.
Catherine Pélissier Sales Laterière.
née Delezenne Born March 26, 1755. Died 1831. As a young woman she
was forced to marry a man more than twice her age, Christophe Pélissier,
in 1775. During her arranged marriage she continued her affair with
the man she really loved, Sale de Laterière. The lovers eventually
signed a marriage contract for which she was excommunicated from the
Catholic Church. In 1779 Laterière was imprisoned for treason. Marie
visited him in prison until his release in 1782. They became legally
married in 1799 with the death of Pélissier. She is perhaps a true
symbol of one who fought for the rights of individuals.
Phyllis Marion Boyd.
Born March 26,1946. In 1968 Marion graduated from Glendon College,
York University, Toronto, Ontario. She was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in
1990. She has held several cabinet posts including Minister responsible
for Women's Issues and Attorney-General for the Province of Ontario.
She is the 1st woman and the 1st non lawyer to have been Ontario's
Attorney General. She has been honoured many times for her work
on behalf of battered women, an area in which she still serves
with great zeal.
March 27, 1905 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died November 4, 1980
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
She became Canada’s 1st woman graduate to hold a degree in
electrical engineering. She
also held a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S.
During WW II her primary responsibility was the production of the
Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. Her staff of 4,500 people produced
more than 2000 aircraft. In
1937 she was the 1st woman to be admitted corporate membership in
the Engineering Institute of Canada. In
the 1940 an American comic book featured Elsie by her nickname
Queen of the Hurricanes referring to her role in the production of
the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. In 1943 she married an
aviation project works manager E. J. 'Bill' Souls and the couple
opened an aeronautical consulting business. In 1946 she became the
1st woman serving as a Technical Advisor for the International Civil
Aviation Organization. The following year she became the 1st
woman to chair a United Nations Committee becoming chairman of the
UN Stress Analysis Committee. In 1953 she was one of only
50 people, and the only woman, to have her picture in the Gervaert
Gallery of Canadian executives honour her contributions and
influence. That same year she published the biography of her mother:
My Mother the Judge: A Biography of Judge Helen Gregory
MacGill. She became an honourary member of the American Society
of Women Engineers and was named Woman Engineer of the Year becoming
the 1st woman out of the United States to earn this award. In
1967 she received the Canadian Centennial Medal and in 1971 she
received the Order of Canada. for her accomplishments as an engineer
and for being a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of
Women, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and the
Ontario Status of Women Committee. .
She is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and in 1992
she was among the 1st to be listed in the Canadian Science and
Engineering Hall of Fame.
Born March 27, 1962 Calgary, Alberta. Her full name is Jann Arden Richards. As a youth she wanted
to be a teacher but preferred life as a musician. She would fight
off alcoholism at age 26 and use her talents to release her first
album in 1993. She has been recognized with 19 Juno Award nomination
and received 8 including Songwriter of
the Year in 1995 and 2002, and Female Artist of the Year in 1995 and
In 2006 she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
November that year she received
the National Achievement Award from the
Society of Composers, Authors, and Music
Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) for having six singles reach
the 100,000 airplay mark on Canadian radio. In November 2007, Arden
was inducted into the
Canadian Association of Broadcasters
Hall of Fame, and was the winner of the International Achievement
Award at the 2007
Western Canadian Music Awards.
December 29, 2017 she became a Member of the Order of Canada not
only for her music but also in recognition of her extensive
charitable works. She has published her memoirs several times in
2002, t2004, 2011 and 2017.
Ramsey Simpson. née Simpson. Born March
28, 1812 London,
England. Died March 21, 1853. (Lady Simpson)
married her cousin, George Simpson, February 24 1830. His career a
Governor with the Hudson Bay Company would bring her to Canada. She
and her companion, Catherine Turner, wife of another HBC employee,
were the first white women to travel to remote Hudson Bay Company
areas. After a visit to Rainey Lake ( in modern Ontario) the
settlement was named Fort Frances in her honour. Living in Red River
she became homesick and lonely and remained semi invalided after the
birth and death of her first child. Eventually the family settled
permanently in Lachine Quebec in 1845 and raised their five Canadian
Born March 28 1951 Hamilton, Ontario. Karen trained at the National
Ballet School, Toronto, Ontario. She joined the Corps de Ballet of
the National Ballet of Canada in 1969. A prima ballerina, Karen has won international recognition
for her dancing. At 19 years of age she was the principal dancer of
the National Ballet of Canada. In 1973 she earned the silver medal in
the Women's category at the International Ballet Competition in
Moscow, Russia. In 1983 Karen married Ross Petty, a stage and film
actor. In 1991 she was elevate to the level of Companion of
the Order of Canada. In 1997 after her fair well tour she became
Artist-in-residence at the National Ballet. She has been named an
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. In 1997 she
received a Governor General's National Arts Centre Award and
received a Governor General's Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in
2002. From 2004 to 2008, she was
Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2007, she was presented
with the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award for demonstrating
excellence and professionalism in the performing arts. In 2008, the
Karen Kain School for the Arts officially opened,She
is the founding president and president for life of the Dancer
Transition Centre which is dedicated to helping retrain retiring
professional dancers. In 2005 she was named Artistic Director of the
National Ballet. In 2011 she received the Distinguished Artist Award
from the International Society for the Performing Arts. Her
Biography Movement Never Lies may be found at your library.
Carol Ann Cole. Born
March 28. She has
written 5 of books including Comfort Hearts; a personal memoir.
She is the founder of Comfort Heart Initiative which raised over
a million dollars for Cancer Research. Maclean's
Magazine recognized her as one of 12 outstanding Canadians in 1998.
Among the many awards she hold are the Terry Fox Citation of Honour,
the YWCA Women's Recognition Award and the Queen's Golden Jubilee
Medal in 2002. In 2001 she became a Member of the Order of Canada.
In 2005 she was listed as one of 1,000 Great Women of the 21st
Century from the American Biographical Institute.
née Le Sueur. Born March 29,1842. Died April 11, 1913. In 1878, after
the death of her medical doctor husband, Amelia and her daughter
Lillian decided to study medicine. Since there were no schools in Canada
accepting women as students the two women studied in the U.S. Both
specialized in midwifery (birth of children) and diseases affecting
women and children in the Canadian Midwest. Soon they were joined
by another daughter Charlotte who was a nurse. The medical trio became
champions of woman's suffrage ( votes for women), temperance (stopping
excess drinking of alcohol) and crusaded against prostitution and
the diseases of prostitution. Amelia had a great speaking presence
and lectured successfully for social equality and improvement of life.
Modern Canadian women owe a lot to these social pioneering women.
Born March 30,1960. Ski racing since the age of 9, Laurie Graham made the national
Ski team in 1978. The 1985-86 season was her most successful.
She recorded two World Cup Downhill victories along with 2
second and 3 third place finishes.
The winner of a total of 6 World Cup races, Laurie also
represented Canada at the Olympics in 1980, 1984 and 1988. Graham retired after
an eleven-year career. In 1991 she was inducted into the Canadian
Ski Hall of Fame and in 1993 the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1998 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2015 she was
inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. (2017)
Born March 30, 1968 Charlemagne, Quebec. . She
is an internationally known recording artist and superstar.
She began performing with her family when she was only five
years old! Her first song composed when she was 12 caught the
eye of manager René Angelil who financed the recording. Her career
advanced with the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in
1982. There was no looking back. She became the first Canadian
to receive a Gold Record in France. She recorded the sound track for
Disney's Beauty and the Beast which would win and Academy Award
and a Grammy. Other movie hit songs have been in Sleepless in Seattle
and Titanic. She married her manager and has chosen to
slow her career to have private time devoted to her family. . She
is a member of the Order of Canada.
© Famous Canadian
Born March 31, 1938 Flin Flon. Beverley studied at the Banff School
of Fine Arts, Alberta, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec and the
University of British Columbia. A playwright of dramatic works she drew from her own background
for some of her play settings.
She also wrote of women elders, studies of life in retirement
homes and of the contemporary human condition.
She is considered a Canadian playwright of significance.
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