Actors - stage and movies back
Marguerite Martha Allan
Born Montreal, Quebec 1895. Died March 31,
1942. She organized the Montreal amateur dramatic group which would come to
be known as the Montreal Repertory Theatre and would become one of the most
successful amateur dramatic groups in Canada. In 1935 she received the
Canadian Drama Award for outstanding service in the development of the
Canadian theatre. At the annual Dominion Drama Festival the Martha Allan
Trophy is awarded in her memory for the best visual performance. She also
wrote three plays: What fools we mortals be; All of a summer's day; and
Born Manchester, England 1920. She was a shy child but family soon coaxed
her to sing and dance and she even began to appear in local productions. A
student in fashion design at the beginning of World War ll she worked in an
aircraft factory and then became a Red Cross Nurse eventually meeting and
marring a young Canadian forces man, Frank Ames. In 1946 she and her infant
daughter were aboard the Queen Mary on their way to Canada with other war
brides and 750 babies!!! The family moved to Prince Edward Island in 1961
and Mae became involved actively in the Charlottetown Little Theatre. When
Frank was next posted to Halifax Mae retained her interest in Theatre in
Halifax and also taught at the Ladies College. In 1979 with the death of her
husband, Mae moved back to PEI to be close to her daughter and reunited with
the Theatre. She eventually active with a seniors theatric group, The
Venerable, touring group traveling across Canada to the National Arts
Centre in Ottawa, farther west to Victoria and even to New York City. She
has also appeared on the TV Series Emilie of New Moon.
Source: : Making History ::a Celebration of Prince Edward Island Women of
the 20th Century. Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown,
Mary Margaret Anglin.
Born Ottawa, Ontario April 3, 1876 Died January 7, 1958, Toronto,
Ontario. Margaret was actually born in the Houses of Parliament Speaker’s
Chambers . Her father Timothy Warren Anglin(1822-1986) was, at that time,
Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons. A strong willed individual she
headed for a career in acting in New York City in the 1890’s much against
the wishes of her family. In 1894 she graduated from the Empire School of
Dramatic Acting. By 1896 she was touring on stage in the U.S.A. and Canada.
By 1905 she had earned wide recognition for her dramatic skills and was
invited to work with the renowned Sarah Bernhardt. In 1911 she married a
colleague Howard Hill who had little reputable acting talent. By 1913 she
was appearing in Shakespearian performances of her own acting group. When her
husband did not receive roles she was absent from the stage for many years.
She did return to the stage however with her last Broadway appearance was in
1936. The Encyclopedia Britannica called her one of the most
brilliant actresses of her era.
Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed
2000. : Encyclopedia Britannica online. Accessed 2000. Suggested
reading Margaret Anglin: A stage life by John Levay 1989.
Ida Lewis; married name Julia Arthur Cheney) Born May 2, 1869, Hamilton,
Ontario. Died March 28, 1950, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Her stage name
was Julia Arthur. She started acting at 11 in a local amateur dramatic club.
In 1883 she made her professional debut. In 1884 she travelled to England
and Germany to study violin and dramatic art. Back in New York she played in
the Black Masque and was asked to join the A.M. Palmer Acting group.
In 1893 she had perhaps the greatest of her early stage works in Mercedes.
She was back in England making her debut in the famous Lyceum on February 1,
1895. Back touring in the U.S.A., it was said that she had no equal on
stage. In 1898 she married Benjamin Pierce Cheney Jr. of Boston. She
contemplated retirement but returned to Broadway in October 1899. In 1908
she appeared in her first silent film but 1915 she returned to the East
coast and was performing live on stage. In 1918 she played Edith Cavell in :The
woman the Germans Shot. She made her last film The Common Cause,
to benefit victims of World War l. In 1921 she made her last stage
appearance opposite the famous Lionel Barrymore in Macbeth.
Men and Women of the Time. Henry James Morgan (Toronto, Briggs, 1912) ;
IMDB online (Accessed March 2014)
November 1, 1912.A prominent stage actor who debuted on stage in 1902 and
achieved "star" quality by 1905. She had great success in 1908 in New York
with he BLUE MOUSE. By 1911 she was forced to retire from the stage because
of serious ill health.
Born April 3, 1911 St. Georges, Quebec. Died September 20, 1956 Los Angeles,
California. Her birth name was Hélène Olivine Veilleux. She moved with her
family to New York City, U.S.A. in the 1930’s and she began to audition for
theater work. In 1938 she did a screen test for Hal Roach Studios and won
out over 50 other actors. She had several small roles in the 1940’s using
the stage name Francine Bordeaux. In 1949 she was hired by Columbia
Pictures where she began appearing with the famous comedians, the Three
Stooges. Since she had a natural French accent when was often cast as Fifi
in these films. She also learned to mask her accent to be more American for
Ester Evalyn Sera Owen Bowen.
Born June 18, 1911. Died 1999.
She left her native Wales to go to theatre in London and later, while
working in a touring theatre, she would be introduced to Canada. She
immigrated to Canada in 1956 and found work in Montreal acting and writing.
It would however be Nova Scotia that she chose to live. In 1967 she was
appointed Artistic Advisor for the Nova Scotia Centennial celebration. She
organized and directed the first all Negro drama group in Canada. She wrote
plays, directed and taught drama to the youth of her chosen home province.
To learn more about this talented woman read Great Dames, edited by
Elspeth Cameron and Janice Dickin, [Toronto, University of Toronto Press,
Born 1910 (?)
Died February 1, 1988. A stage and radio actress she created
Theatre Under the Stars. Through the 1940’s and 1950’s the group saw her in
more than 50 productions. She also worked in CBC productions. Along with her
husband William the pair were known as Mr. and Mrs Theatre. They had one
son. The couple was honoured in the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of
Fame Starwalk at the Orpheum which honours BC residents who have made
outstanding contributions to entertainment on the local, national and
Kate M. Horn Buckland
Horn. Born 1826? Ireland. Died September 10. 1896 Montreal, Quebec. Kate
made her stage debut in Charleston South Carolina, U.S.A.. In 1841 she
acting in New York City, U.S.A. where she had her 1st
breakthrough on March 24, 1845 at the Park Theatre. She married John
Wellington Buckland ( -1872) a theatre manager in 1862. John accepted a
position as director of the new Royal Theatre in Montreal where he worked
with English language productions. Kate spent time in productions in
Montreal and New York City. After the death of her husband, Kate assumed
control of the management of the theater in Montreal and served there until
1879-80. She continued her interest id theatre life until her death in
Montreal. She was considered a popular and accomplished actress.
Joy Dorothy Coghill-Thorne
Coghill. Born May 13, 1926 Findlater, Saskatchewan. Died January 20, 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her early education occurred in
Scotland and then Kitsilano High School in Vancouver, British Columbia. In
1949 she earned a bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia
and followed this in 1951 with a Master of Fine Art from the Art Institute
of Chicago, U.S.A. In 1953 she and Myra Benson founded Canada’s 1st
professional touring children’s theater called Holiday Theatre. She would
marry John Thorne, a producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and
the couple had three children. Joy enjoyed writing and her bet play was the
Song of This Place about Emily Carr. Joy acted on stage and in several
Canadian television shows. She earned four Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards
for her work including Outstanding Performance by and actress in a leading
role in 1991. In 1994 she founded the Western Gold Theatre Company in
Vancouver. She earned a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for
Lifetime Artistic Achievement, the Gemini Humanitarian Award, the
Dominion Drama Festival
acting award and a Canadian drama award. On October 25, 1990, she was made a
Member of the
Order of Canada
Born July 26, 1920, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. Died March 27, 2002,
Victoria, British Columbia. As a child she moved with her family to British
Columbia. At the age of 18, Dorothy received a Licentiateship in Speech
Arts and Drama from Trinity College of Music, London. Ten years later, she
was named a Fellow of that College. Also while in her teens, she became
secretary to Major William Bullock-Webster, superintendent of schools in
British Columbia and an ardent supporter of school drama. In her position,
Dorothy was instrumental in the foundation of the British Columbia Drama
Association (now Theatre BC).She played “Mary” on “The Carson Family” CBC
radio serial 1947-65 and other radio and TV roles through 1984. She was an
original member, Totem and Everyman Theatres. She earned an award as Best
Director in the 1955 Dominion Drama Festival. She was the 1st recipient,
Jessie Richardson Award for lifetime achievement. She also won the Sam
Payne Award for developing young talent and is a charter member of the
British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame . In 1988 Dorothy and her
husband moved to Victoria, where she produced a CD of nonsense poems called
"The Other Day ...", performed by herself, with musical settings by Amanda
Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia of Theater online accessed January
2013; Vancouver Hall of Fame on line accessed December 2012.
Katherine 'Katie' Paula
née Lester. Born June 29, 1911, Vancouver, British
Columbia. Died April 27, 1995 Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. Katherine's father was
killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge during World War 1. Her mother died of
tuberculosis when she was just 9 years old. She was adopted at 11 from an
orphanage by famed movie director Cecil De Mille (1881-1959) and his wife
Constance. Attending high school in Santa Barbara, California she played
roles in school theatre productions and just knew she wanted to be an actor.
Her 1st movie role was in 1930. On October 3, 1937 she married actor Anthony
Quinn (1915-2001) and the couple had 5 children. Tragedy struck the family
when their oldest son, Christopher drowned in a friends pool at 3 years of
age. In 1959 she decided to retire from the film industry. In 1965 she and
née Rickets. Born September 15, 1936 London, England. Died December 20, 2015
London, Ontario. Hazel studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic
Art in London, England and started her career in British television. In the
early 1950’s she immigrated to Canada with her 1st husband Ray
Bidwell and she continued to work in television and was a reporter for
current affairs programs at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and
Global Television Network. Divorced by 1961 she married Anthony Snowsill a
CBC technician. This marriage dissolved shortly after the birth of their
daughter. In 1968 she married Peter Reilly and the family settled in Ottawa
where Hazel worked a new anchor at CJOH and another daughter and a son were
born. At home she co-authored a cookbook with friends. In September 1979
she married for the 4th time to Peter Hullett Desbarats, Dean of
Journalism, University of Western Ontario and the family relocated to
London, Ontario. It was hear that she would begin her second career as an
actress. A Dora Award winning actress she performed on stages across the
country including the Soulkeeper Theatre Company, the Canadian Stage in
Toronto and the Stratford Theatre.
Sources: Obituary The Toronto Star December 22, 2015; Susan Ferrier Mackay,
From Newswoman to celebrated actress. Globe and Mail January 6, 2016.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Born Montreal, Quebec April 16, 1904. Died
December 2, 1983. Could you guess that this is a stage name? Her real name
is Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier. After several successful acts in
Vaudeville, she began her Hollywood movie career in 1929. She was in movies
and television as well as live stage for 40 years and worked with famous
male stars like Will Rogers. Billed as a French bombshell from Paris, she
never even traveled outside of North America. Her life story was featured on
the TV show This is your life.
Born Weyburn, Saskatchewan. 1934. As a
youth she had been involved in church dram and music activities. At 16 she
began to take acting seriously and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in
Alberta. She also attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London
England prior to acting in British stage and television. Her second marriage
to Donald Sutherland took her and her family of three children, including
twins Kiefer and Rachael to California to live. It was here that she threw
her energies into the American protest movement of the 1960's and 1970's.
Returning to Toronto as a single mother in 1977 she resumed a successful
stage, television and movie career. In 2000 she received a Gemini Award for
Best Featured Actress followed in 2001 with a Diamond Award from the Variety
Club. In October 2003 she was presented the Order of Canada and in 2004 she
received her own star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto along with her
son, actor Kiefer Sutherland who became a star on the Walk in 2005.
(real name Leila Marie Koeber) Born Cobourg,
Ontario. November 9, 1869(?) Died July 28, 1934) Marie made it to
Broadway in 1892 and became a vaudeville star comedienne headliner shortly
after 1900. She stared in films with such top actors as Charlie Chaplin .
She easily made the move to ‘talkies’ .when many top silent film heroines
did not survive. More homely than beautiful she was also an
over-weight woman. This was an unlikely star material. However, she was
talented and she won the Academy Award in 1930. She became the first woman
to ever appear on the cover of Time magazine. For information try:
http://mdle.com/ClassicFilms/FeaturedStar/dresslra.htm There is some dispute
as to her true birth date with various sources using 1868, 1869 and her
grave using 1871.
Born Bronte-on-the-Lake, Ontario
November 10, 1875. Died
October 15, 1960. She began her acting career on stage and by 1914
she had made her Broadway debut. She switched to a movie
career in 1930 appearing in the move ”The
Bat Whispers”. She
would in her career of the next 21 years appear in 92 movies. She
retired from acting in 1951.
3, 1979, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Since she was a teenager she has been
an active volunteer. She was ‘discovered’ by the Ford Modeling Agency. She
decided not to pursue a career as a model but worked with the Ford agency to
earn funds to attend the University of British Columbia. In addition to help
pay for university she worked as an extra on film sets. In 2003 she RaDragon
but the marriage was ended the following year. In 2004 she stared on the
Television series Lost and was voted one of the breakout stars by
Entertainment Weekly Magazine. In 2005 she was names second on the Hot
100 of the Year. Returning to modeling she earned a position of Super Model
with L’Oreal starting in 2009. In 2011 she gave birth to a son with her
boyfriend Norman Kali.
Born January 30, 1980. Born in London she moved
to Vancouver in 1989 and studied with the Vancouver Youth Theatre. She has
acted in numerous films including: Misery Harbor, Opposite Sex, In
Cold Blood, and The Adventures of Yellow Dog.
née Halprin. Born Winnipeg Manitoba June 2, 1950. As a
daughter of TV game show host Monty Hall she was exposed to TV life. She
first received a taste of TV work as a child in repeat appearances in the TV
series Different Strokes. She took time to study at the University of
Manitoba and then acted on Broadway where she received a Tony Award as best
actress in a musical. Her main exposure is still TV with numerous
appearances on programs such as Friends and West Wing most recently. Movies
are also a form of work she enjoys. Check out www.imdb.com for a list of her
Linda Pauline Griffiths
7, 1953, Montreal, Quebec. Died September 21, 2014. As a youth she did
puppet shows for her brother and in High School participated in the Drama
Club. She attended Dawson College in Montreal and was accepted into the
National Theatre School’s acting program. She dropped out and felt she had
failed and obtained a teaching certificate at McGill University instead of
acting. However she decided to give acting another try. She relocated to
Saskatchewan in 1973 and helped to found the 25th Street Theater.
It was here that she began to write and create plays. Back east in Montreal
near the end of the 1970’s she played the personality of Prime Minister
Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In 1980 her play Maggie and Pierre became an instant
hit and eventually she was doing a cross country tour with the play. She
would go on to create additional plays and give memorable performances on
stage. Source: J. Kelly Nestruck Leading Lady liked to showcase outsiders,
Globe and Mail October 4, 2014.
Born January 30, 1934 Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Died October 30, 2016
Englewood New Jersey, U.S.A. Tammy graduated from Stephens College in
Missouri. She worked for West Port County Playhouse in Connecticut. In 1955
she saw a young Canadian actor, Christopher Plumber in a Broadway comedy and
fell in love. They married in 1956. By 1958 she was on stage at the
Stratford Theatre, Ontario with her husband Christopher Plumber. The couple
had one daughter, Amanda who is also an actress. Sadly they were divorced in
1960. In 1964 she stared in High Spirits with the incomparable
Canadian Beatrice Lilly (1894-1989). At 26 she was the winner of her 1st
Tony Award for her role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown By 1969 she had
a 2nd Tony Award for her role in the Noel Coward play Private
Lives. In 1966 she married actory Jeremy Slate and was divorced a year
later. Her 3rd marriage was in 1971 to musician and composer
Richard Bell ( -2005).
Source: Anita Gates, Obituary, Globe and Mail November 3, 2016.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Born Vancouver, British Columbia November 8, 1916. Her mother
wanted stardom for June and her older sister Louise ( who would become known
professionally as Gypsy Rose Lee) June was featured on Vaudeville as Baby
June and her Farmboys and the act continued into the 1920's when her name
'Dainty June" June resented Vaudeville and at 13 she married on of the boys
in the chorus line to escape. June's mother simply regrouped her energies
around her older daughter. Although her marriage did not last she gathered
her talents and enjoyed life. June would remain on the edge of the industry
and was nominated for her work as a director on Broadway in 1964
Jane Watson Heffelfinger
née Sayler. Born Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.A. Died June 22, 2011, Victoria,
British Columbia. Jane graduated from the University of Minnesota, U.S.A.
She would later enroll in special studies at the University of Manitoba and
the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She also attended Université
Laval, Quebec and studied at L’Alliance française in Paris, France. In 1951
she moved to Winnipeg with her husband George. The couple had 5 children.
She began her career as a puppeteer and producer with the Winnipeg
Children’s Theatre and went on to act on stage at the Manitoba Theatre
Centre and for many ears she was an actor and broadcaster on the CBC Radio
and Television in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1958 she was known for her role in
the Bird in a Gilded Cage a made for TV movie. She was enthusiastic
about her adopted country and ran twice for political office. She shared her
passions for the Pacific Opera in Victoria and charity work with the Greater
Victoria Hospital foundation. She was a member of the University of Victoria
Foundation Board and was a member of the Television Association
Board of the Public Broadcasting Station KCTV in Seattle Washington, U.S.A.
In 1992 she received the Confederation Medal marking the 125th
anniversary of Canadian Confederation. She also received a Certificate of
Merit Award from the McPherson Foundation and was named Arts leader of the
Year in 1989 from CFAX Community Awards.
née Buhs. Born February 17, 1938 Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. She studied
acting at the Carnegie Tech, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and after
graduation she came to audition for the Toronto Crest Theatre. After a
couple of years she resumed her training at the National Theatre School in
Montreal and later was a leading actress at the Stratford Festival form the
late 1960’s until the 1980’s. She adopted the stage surname Henry which is
the legal surname of her 1st husband, Canadian actor Donnelly
Rhodes (1937- ). In 1980 she won her 1st Genie Award as best
actress for her performance in The Newcomers. In 1984 she won a Genie
for her work in the film adaptation of The Wars. In 1986 she earned
the best actress Genie Award for her performance in the film adaptation of a
Long Day’s Journey into Night. In 1988 she received a Gemini Award for
the TV work in Mount Royal and the following year for Glory Enough For All.
She worked as artistic director at the Grand Theatre in London Ontario from
1988 through 1995. In 1994 she returned to perform again in Stratford.
During her 22nd season at the 1996 Stratford Theater Festival she
played in Little Foxes. In 1989 she received the Toronto Drama Bench Award
for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre. In 1990 she was promoted
to Companion in the Order of Canada in in 1994 the Order of Ontario. In
1996 she received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for her
lifetime contribution to Canadian Theatre. In February 2007 she was
appointed director of Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory for Classical
Source: Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed 2002.
Born May 24, 1909 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died January 22, 2007 Romney
Marsh, Kent, England. In 1922 she immigrated to England with her family. In
the 1930’s she appeared on stage and was mentored by actor, director and
producer Basil Dean (1888-1978( . She Married Mr Dean in August 1934 and
continued with her successful career. She was a popular actor on stage and
in film. She appeared in a dozen films between 1933 and 1948. She had the
leading role in the film Lorna Doone in 1934 and again leading role in
Laburnum Grove in 1936. Her career became somewhat stalemated after her
divorce in 1948. She dis some made for television movies in 1950’s but was
largely ignored as an actress. In 1951 she married actor Peter Walker
(1915-1993). In the last years of her life she lived as a recluse.
Kate M. Horn
See Kate M. Horn Buckland
(Real name Georgina May
Campbell) Born Whitby, Ontario June 27, 1862. Died October 22, 1938. As
early as 1872 she and her sister Flora were singing on stage. Once the
sister act split up, May would go on and become a well known Broadway
performer. Her movie career was short but historically significant. Thomas
Edison, the famous inventor, placed May in the staring role in his
pioneering one minute moving picture called The Kiss. It was the first kiss
of the movies!!! It was considered scandalous by early movie audiences and
the clergy! It is considered to be the first moving picture to ever be shown
in Canada! May would make only one other movie Mrs. Black is Back before she
retired to live with her husband and two children. She is also credited with
having named the famous Thousand Island Salad Dressing. She and her family
owned a vacation home in the 1000 islands.
Born Halifax, Nova
Scotia August 25, 1909. Died
February 28, 1993. A former speakeasy dancer and Broadway lead, she married musical
star Al Jolson in 1928. After several films she retired from the screen in 1941.
She charmed audiences again in 1971 with a return to Broadway in the musical "No
No Nanette". She always contended that she had a horrible singing voice,
could not act, and that her dancing skills were not that good either. Even so
she was popular on screen.
née Cloutman Born December 16, 1907.. Gadsby, Alberta. Died Palm Desert,
California October 13, 2011.Barbara and her family moved to California when
she was a teenager. In 1925 she won the Miss Hollywood Beauty pageant.
Described as gorgeous , full-figured, and baby faced, and even though she
had never acted previously, she was signed up by Universal Studios. Her
debut was as the only woman in the western Prowlers of the Night,
batting her eyelashes as she nursed the wounded sheriff back to health. In
the landmark 1926 film Flesh and the Devil, opposite
Greta Garbo, the lovelorn Kent
displayed her broken heart in an Oscar-worthy supporting performance. She
starred in Lonesome , the last great silent American film in 1928.
Kent's natural voice was a bit too “tinny” and her career in the talkies
was in doubt. Determined she took voice lessons. Her career peaked when she
Harold Lloyd's love interest in
his first two talkies, Welcome Danger and Feet First. In 1932
she married Harry Edington, a longtime Hollywood producer He tried to
revive his wife’s career in the late 1930s, but her roles became smaller and
films less prestigious. Her last film was Guard That Girl in 1935.
After her husband died in 1949, Barbara retired from show business
retreating from public view and refusing all demands for photographs and
interviews. She married a second time to engineer Jack Monroe who died in
1998. She had been living in a retirement home in Sun Valley, where
neighbors were unaware she had once graced the silver screen. At the age of
103 she was one of the last surviving silent screen actors.
Ronald “Alberta –born silent film star transitioned to talkies, then
retired” The Globe and Mail October 31, 2011 page R9 : NNDB.com
(Accessed November 2011. )
submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
Hamilton, Ontario January 1 1890. Died December 28, 1938. This petite
Canadian born actress is universally acknowledged as the world’s first movie
star. At age 4 she was performing as “Baby Flo, the Wonder Whistler” on
vaudeville. In the pioneer days of filmmaking, credits with the names of
actors were not important. She became known simply as the "Biograph Girl".
In 1915 she tried to help someone in a studio fire and was badly burned.
She never achieved her former active career. At the time of her death she
had appeared in 250 films! For more information check out
http://www.biographcompany.com. or read Florence Lawrence, the
Biograph Girl : America's First Movie Star by Kelly R Brown
Born El Centro, California, U.S.A. June 22, 1945. Marti came to Canada with
her then husband in 1968 to avoid the draft for the military in the U.S.A.
She took up the stage and from 1974—1979 she appeared at the famous
Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario. Her roles provided a Variety of
experience and even played Reagan apposite the renouned Peter Ustinov.
Taking on New York City in 1980 she did some off Broadway work and was
encouraged to try directing. She liked it. Returning to Canada in the late
1980’s and 1990’s she acted and directed at the Shaw Festival Theatre at
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. She went all to productions in numerous
Canadian stages with the Canadian Stage Co., the Grand Theatre, Montreal
Theatre Centre, Children’s Theatre Co., and the National Arts Centre. From
1997 through 2005 she was the Artistic Director, English Theatre at the
National Arts Centre, Ottawa.
Source: Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005)
1, 1956, Toronto, Ontario. At ten years of age she was on stage as the
Wicket Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. She soon learned that
she could be funny and enjoy the laughter of the audience. She attempted
university on the west coast but soon returned to acting. She went off to
New York City with a Canada Council Grant to study acting. She Married actor
Peter Donaldson and the couple had two daughters. She began her adult acting
career in the 1970’s working at regional theatres across Canada including
the Vancouver Theatre and Ontario’s Shaw Festival Theatre. She has twice won
the Dora Mavor More Award for the best actress in Toronto. In 1987 she won
the Genie Award for Best Actress for I’ve heard the mermaids singing. That
same year she won the People’s Choice Award at the international Cannes Film
Festival. In 1994 she again earned a Genie Award for her performance in the
Lotus Eaters. She spent four seasons on the CBC television series
Emily of New Moon for which she won a Gemini as best actress in 1999. In
2000 she won another Gemini for Best Featured Actress in Swane Street.
She starred in the popular television Comedy series Little House on the
Prairie as a white woman married to a Muslim. She says she tried to make
the character Sara the Laura Petrie ( of Dick Van Dyke Show, played
by Mary Tyler Moore) of the Muslim world. As well as television and movie
work she continues doing live theatre at the famous Canadian Stratford
Shakespeare Theatre Festival.
“Profile: Little Mosque Big Talent” by Peter Femal in Good Times
Montagne) Born Toronto March 17, 1848. 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.
Marigold "Goldie" Semple
Born Richmond, British Columbia. December 11, 1952. Died
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario December 9, 2009. She studied at the University
of British Columbia where she met her husband, Lorne Kennedy. The couple had
one daughter. The young couple continued their studies and began their
career at the Bristol, England, Old Vic Theater. After traveling to gain
roles the couple settled in Ontario where Goldie honed her craft and gained
a solid reputation garnering lead stage roles at Stratford Festival and the
Shaw Festival. She combined unequalled grace beauty and elegance on stage.
Although diagnosed with cancer she continued on stage. Her last performance
was in a Noel Coward play, Brief Encounters in 2009.
Source: Goldie Semple by Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star
December 9, 2009 online accessed August 2011.
Daphne Katherine "Kate" Reid.
Born London, England November 4, 1930. Died
March 27, 1993. This warm and vulnerable performer thrived
while working live theatre. She also appeared in some 50 movies and
did numerous television productions. She was nominated for Tony and
Emmy Awards and holds many Canadian awards including an A C T R A.
Perth, Scotland. Died December 12, 2012 France. She studied in Belgium and
at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1949 she joined what is now the
Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford on Avon, England working on stage set
up and earning promotions to the level of assistant director. In Canada she
worked at the Crest Theatre, Toronto, and the Red Barn Summer Theatre at
Jackson Point, Ontario. In Ottawa she established the theatre section at the
National Arts Centre where she worked from 1971-1977. At the NAC she
preferred not to import talent but rather use our own Canadian talent. She
became Director of Theatre and Artistic Director of English Theatre at the
NAC before moving to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to develop and
produce television drama. She also taught directing and production of plays
as a freelancer. She received the Maggie Basset Award and the Toronto
Theatre Alliance Award in 1984. In the mid 1990’s she retired to France. She
was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2006. Upon her death the
flags at the NAC were flown at half staff in her honour.
Source: Jean Roberts by Kate Taylor, the Globe and Mail January 2,
submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
Anna Claudia Russell
27, 1911, London, England. Died October 18, 2006, Rosedale, New South Wales,
Australia. Her mother was Canadian and in 1939, after the death of her
father the family settled in Toronto. Anna married twice: John Denison from
1934- 1946 and Charles Goldhamer 1948-1954 but sadly both marriages ended in
divorce. Although she had appeared as a fold singer on the British
Broadcasting Network in England in 1931 it was not until the family was in
Canada that she found success. By 1940 she was successful on stage as a solo
artist. Her one woman comedy show debuted in New York City in 1948 and there
as a U.S., Britain and Australian tour that would be one of many English
Language country tours. By 1953 “Anna Russell’s Little Show” was on
Broadway, the 1st of several Broadway shows. She also appeared on
the Ed Sullivan television show, performed at Carnegie Hall as well as for
the Canadian and Metropolitan Opera Companies. Her operatic parodies were
famous. Some even said she was the funniest woman in the world. In the
1960’s she retired to Unionville, Ontario , living on a street names in her
honour. In the next 2 decades she would come back to the stage in several
farewell tours to satisfy public demand. In 1985 her auto biography was
published under the title; I didn’t make this up you know. She spent
the last years of her life in Australia. Source: Obituary by Patrick
O’Connor, The Guardian, October 24, 2006.
Born Marbleton, Quebec August 1, 1879 *
Died January 11, 1947. She began her career on stage at the age of 8. Her
true medium was vaudeville and musical comedy. She would become known as the
"I don't care girl" after a song "I don't care what happens to me" that she
sang in a show called the Chaperons in 1904. In 1912 she was one of the most
highly paid women actors in the United States. She made a couple of musical
recordings and was the star of two movies Energetic Eva (1916) and The Wild
Girl (1918). In 1929 she suffered from ill health and was losing her
eyesight forcing her to retire from acting in 1930. In 1953 a movie The I
don't care girl was loosely based on her life and career. Evidently her
ghost spends time just off stage left in the centre of balcony row at Cohoes
Theatre in Albany New York, U.S.A. * Her birth year is
sometimes reported as 1878
Actors - TV
Born Toronto, Ontario April 2, 1935. An
actress in movies and television her career spans from the 1950"s through to
the late 1980's. A supporting actress she has appeared in such TV shows as
Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Cannon, McMillan and Wife, Barnaby Jones, The
Rockford Files, Quincy and Murder She Wrote. She also played Della Street in
the TV Movie the New Perry Mason.
Hamilton, Ontario June 13, 1873. Died May 11, 1953. This actress appeared
in numerous films in the 1940’s but perhaps she is best remembered as one of
the sweet, but murderous aunts in “Arsenic and Old Lace”.
Born Ladysmith, British
Columbia July 1, 1967. 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 Dauphin, Manitoba January 1, 1918. Died Tarzana, California, U.S.A.
September 15, 2011. She was a young stage actress in Winnipeg and during
World War ll she hosted CBC Radio's weekly Everybody's Program for the
Canadian Troops. This radio stint earned her the title "Girlfriend of the
Canadian Forces". After the war she and her husband Charles lived in New
York an Boston where she did more stage work. The couple had one son who
committed suicide when her was 23. It was not until she was 60 did
Frances find herself immersed in the world of TV and movies. In 1978 she
played a small part in the movie Foul Play and both she and the industry
became ‘hooked’ on each other. She would go on to become “Hollywood’s
Granny” in such movies as The Karate Kid, Twins, Little Red Riding Hood
(Faerie Tale Theatre) and Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler. Her TV Granny
appearances were also numerous and included Happy Days, Hill Street Blues,
Touched by an Angel and The Golden Girls. In total she has played in over
140 roles. She has also played roles both on and off Broadway stage
and regional theatre. Her work has won her 2 Drama Lodge Awards and a Gemini
Award for her role in Road to Avonlea. In 2002, as the result of an auto
accident, she had to have part of a leg amputated. That same year she
suffered the death of her husband Charles. Once recovered and walking with
an artificial leg she is back at work and in 2008 she had a star placed on
Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Source: Online Canada’s Walk of Fame ( accessed July 2008) ; Obituaries.
Globe and Mail September 23, 2011
Born September 1963,
Montreal Quebec. Died April 15, 2014. As a youth she and her brother Thor
both worked as models. Kirsten made her acting debut on the stage at
Stratford Theatre, Ontario. At 11 years of age she had a role in a David
Croninburg thriller movie. She studied drama at Dawson College, Montreal and
in 1983 she spent a year at Stratford. She had a distinctive voice and had
numerous jobs doing voice over animation as well as her screen roles for
movies and television. Some of her role credits appear under the name
Kirsten Bishop. For 20 years she helped others learn acting in The Monday
Night Group in Toronto. She married but did not use her married name Roberts
professional. The couple had two sons.
Source: Kirsten Bishopric, A distinctive Voice Silenced Too Soon by Fred
Langan. The Globe and Mail June 4, 2014.
Suggested by June Coxon,
19, 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" (2002).
Born St Georges, Quebec April
3, 1911. Died September 20, 1956. Her real name was Helene Olivine Veilleux.
She was an actress who is perhaps best remembered for roles she played in a
series of movies with the Three Stooges in the early 1950's.
Montreal, Quebec July 1, 1942. 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.
Born Guelph, Ontario
October 3, 1973. This Canadian starlet is making a name for herself in acting
in television (Party of Five) and some 30 movies. She has even played a real
princess, Elizabeth Windsor in Churchill: the Hollywood years.(2004)
.She has also written scripts
for movies and is a known producer of movies.
Kim Victoria Cattral
21, 1956 Mossley Hill, Liverpool, England. She immigrated as an infant with
her family to Courtney, British Columbia. At 11 she lived with her
grandmother in England and studied at the London Academy of Music and
Dramatic Arts. Returning to Canada she completed High School and earned a
scholarship at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She
made her movie debut with director Otto Premanger in Rosebud in 1975.
She then worked in television series including Quincy, Columbo
and The Hulk before returning to the movies and live theatre. She has
enjoyed stage work in both the U.S.A and in England. She has been married
three times: 1977 to Larry Davis; in 1982 to Andre J. Lyson and in 1998
through 2004 to audio designer Mark Levinson. She has earned numerous awards
including a Genie Award for best leading lady in 1980, 2 Gemini Awards (2006
and 2010) ad a 2010 Razzie award with co-stars for worst actresses in Sex
in the City 2. On September 9, 2009 she received a star on Canada’s Walk
of Fame in Toronto.
Born Ottawa, Ontario August 27, 1976. Beginning with children's television
shows, Sarah got her break in 1996 when she became Becky # 2 on Roseanne, the popular television show
about the Connor family . She has appeared in movies and television, including
Ernest Goes to School; Beyond Obsession; Dead Man's Gun; and Neon
Rider. When not acting Sarah can be found on the ski slopes where she is a
Edmonton, Alberta February 28. 1962. She began her movie career with a movie
in which there was no dialogue! Quest for Fire (1981). Since then she
has been busy with over 30 movie or television roles.
Born Calgary, Alberta November 30, 1982 Raised in Vancouver the
family moved to Montreal when she was 11. She had begun to model children’s
cloths when she was seven and by 11 she knew she wanted to act. She became
noticed on TV at 15 when she landed a globe trotting reporting role with
Popular Mechanics for Kids. After high school she headed for Los Angeles and
Hollywood. It was not long before she was cast as the daughter, Kim Bauer in
the series 24. Her photos began to appear on the covers of magazines. In
2001 she earned a Gemini Award for her work in the movie Lucky Girl. In 2004
she landed her first staring role in the innocent comedy movie The Girl Next
Door. In 2004 she filmed in Australia for the move House of Wax. 2005 found
her at the Toronto Film Festival with the premier of The Quiet and 2007
found her in another horror film Captivity. 2008 brought her back to TV with
the mini series Guns. Being brought up in Canada she loves hockey. In fact
her mother and brother are active players. She prefers to stay off the ice
and enjoys seasons tickets to Kings Games.
Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. Died March 27, 2002. She worked as a radio actress,
script writer and director on the CBC radio serial The Carson Family from
1947 through 1965. She was an original member of the Totem and Everyman
Theatres which were early professional troupes. In 1955 she won the Dominion
Drama Festival Award with a UBC Alumni production of The Crucible.
She was the first recipient of the Jessie Richardson Award for lifetime
achievement. She also won the Sam Payne Award for developing young talent.
She was a charter member of the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Source. The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – Hall of Fame
http://www.vancouverhistory.ca (accessed June 19, 2009.)
Yvonne De Carlo.
Middleton. Born September 1, 1922 West Point Grey (now Vancouver), British
Columbia. Died January 8, 2007. Her mother was Marie De Carlo who was an
aspiring actress. Her father abandoned the family when Yvonne was 3 years
old and she went to live with her grandparents. At ten she and her mother
were in Hollywood, California and she began dance school until their visas
expired and they returned to Vancouver. Mother and daughter made many trips
to Los Angeles where Yvonne entered beauty pageants. In 1941 with dancer
and showman Nils Granlund pledging his sponsorship and offer of steady work
Yvonne was back in the U.S.A. Within the year she quite dancing and landed
her 1st movie role in Harvard, Here I Come. She never looked back
and had sang, danced and acted her way through 95 movie roles during her
career. Television roles were also numerous on westerns Bonanza and
The Virginian, but she perhaps left her most distinctive mark as Lily
on the TV hit show The Munsters. In 1957 she earned a BoxOffice Blue
Ribbon Award for her role in the Ten Commandments and again in 1964 for
McLintock. In 1960 she was awarded two stars, one for movies and one for
TV, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yvonne had a daughter from her 1st
marriage and she married for a second time Bruce Ross in 1955 and the couple
had two sons, they divorced in 1974. In 1987 she won the Fantafestival Award
as Best Actress in American Gothic.
Adelaide 'Laddie' Dennis
Born Adelaide Margaret Eleanor Marie Boissonearu, Winnipeg Manitoba May 7,
1920 Died February 22, 2009. The outgoing young Laddie took courses and
performed at the Montreal Repertory Theatre. Moving to Toronto,. Adopting
her mother’s maiden name. she took a fashion model position which lead her
to fashion commentary. She became a writer and on-air-host for the Laura
Secord Music Box show, CFRB Radio. She worked with Monty Hall (later a
famous U.S. game show host of Let’s Make a Deal) and acted in CBC
radio dramas along with doing hundreds of radio commercials. In 1946 Laddie
wore dark pancake make-up, brown lipstick and green nail polish to provide
the best image on demonstration Television sponsored by Eaton’s Department
Stores. In 1951 she married novelist/editor James Burke The romance lasted
55 years. She became the first Canadian woman to appear on Canadian TV,
September 8, 1952. Laddie was named Liberty Magazine’s 1955 TV
Demonstrator of the Year. After a brush with cancer, Laddie found a job with
regular hours from 1970-1985 as Director, Public Relations Scarborough
Public Libraries. On vacation she travelled to Morocco. Upon return she sold
her travel story. Thus began a journalistic career that would cover 80
countries. She was presented with the first Lifetime Achievement Award ,
2001 by the Travel Media Association of Canada. Sources: Northern Stars.ca
(accessed March 2009): Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation
Http://www.cbmf-fmcr.ca/Newsletter/march 2009/laddie.php (Accessed March
2009) ; Personal knowledge.
Born Vienna, Austria. March 13, 1928. As
an actress she has enjoyed a highly successful Broadway career where she won
the Donaldson Award for Best Supporting Performance in 1946. Breaking into
American TV she played the character "Kathy" for ten years on the daytime
drama Guiding Light. Moving to Canada with her husband Jan Rubes she
continued her acting career while raising her family of three sons. She also
returned time to her profession and founded the Young Peoples Theatre in
1965. In 1979 she became head of Radio Drams for CBC Drama Canada. She was
aboard member of the St Lawrence Centre in Toronto and the Ontario Arts
Council. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1977 and was Woman of the
Year of the Toronto B'nai Brith in 1979.
Edna Mae "Deanna" Durbin.
December 4, 1921.Winnipeg, Manitoba
. Died April 20, 2013,
France. "discovered " by Hollywood while attending high school she altered her name for the glamour of
Known as 'Winnipeg’s Sweetheart', this glamour actress and
singer of the
1930’s and 1940’s had a real star status in Hollywood. She began her
career in 1926 and had 23 credits behind her by 1948. She retired at
29 years of age by simply dropping out of sight of Hollywood to live in
seclusion in France. . She married
Vaughn Pall on April 18, 1941 and divorced him in 1943; She married a second
time to Felix Jackson June 13, 1945. the couple had one daughter
before they divorced in 1949. She married a final time in 1950 to French
film director Charles David (died 1999) and the couple had one son.
When she retired at 29 years of age she was the highest paid female star in
She gave only one interview after she “dropped
acting” to film historian David Shipman in 1983. Right up to her death she was
still receiving and responding to her fan mail
Source: "Deanna Durbin, 1930's child star dies at 91". The Hollywood
Reporter, April 30, 2013. : IMDb Online (Accessed 2004. .
Born May 16,
1932. An actress, director and writer, most of her work has been done in the
French language. One of her TV series Moi et l'autre was considered the
biggest comedy hit in the History of Quebec TV. Her stage productions earned
her acclaim and awards. Her first film C't'a ton tour Laura Cadieux
was so successful that it required a sequel, Laura is Back or
Laura Cadieux...la suite!
Toronto, Ontario March 14, 1968. 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.
Born Edmonton, Alberta October 31, 1928.
In the 1950's and 1960's she established herself as an actress in some 20
movies. In the 1960's she was in demand to appear in guest roles in
television. She appeared in some 50 different roles in such main time shows
as The Wild Wild West, Parry Mason, The Big Valley, My Three Sons, Ben Casey
and The Fugitive. By the 1970's she became more interested in play the role
of mother to her three children. She has also expressed her talents as an
artist and an accomplished musician.
Born Montreal, Quebec July 6,
1945. 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 Germany November 8.
This petite (she is only 1.5 meters tall) comedienne emigrated from
Europe and graduated from Montreal's National Theatre School. Although
she began working at the Stratford Theatre it was through her work
on television that she became known to her fans. She worked on such
shows as Bizarre and did some of the voices in Care Bear
features. She became a welcome addition to Air Farce where
she is known for her impersonations of Sheila Copps, Pamela Wallin,
Hanna Gartner, and Queen Elizabeth. She does not like to publish
the year of her birth.
5, 1973 Oshawa, Ontario. As a child she studied dance, mainly ballet and tap
but knew that this was not for her. She began a successful modeling career
right out of high school. She was the 1st winner of the
Vogue/VH1’s Model of the Year Award. She is the spokesperson for Channel’s
Coco fragrance. In 2007 Forbes named her on of the World’s 15 top earning
supermodels. In 1997 she began appearing in movies and has appeared in
numerous films to date, would you believe in 2007 she appeared in Alvin
and the Chipmunks! She Has also appeared on television.
Born Victoria, British Columbia November 8, 1971. Her full
name is actually Crystal Ocean Supri Heavenly Blue Sky Hellman! She began
her career at 3 years of age when she appeared on a television commercial.
She progressed to a brief child's role in a TV film with actress Jane
Seymour that was filmed in Vancouver. Her first lasting and notable role
would be as Nicole Roberts in the Canadian TV series Danger Bay in
the 1980's. She continued her career, being in demand for numerous TV guest
appearances in such successful shows as Northern Exposure, The
Highlander, The Outer Limits and Crossing Jordan.
Born Edmonton, Alberta
November 25, 1969.
An actress of several movies, such as "Robocop"
and TV presence on in dramatic roles in "Law
& Order" and
Did you know that she has a twin sister by the name of Jacqueline?
Born Springdale, Newfoundland
August 15, 1974.
To begin her career as a model in Paris, France she had to leave home at the
age of 14. She burst onto
the movie scene in 1995 in the film “Species”. She had 2 roles
in 1992 and 5 roles, including “Species
II” in 1998. “Caracara” is a 1999
release and in 2000 is the “The Whole
26, 1978, Hamilton, Ontario. Her family moved several times between the
U.S.A. and Canada. She attended the University of Toronto studying
international law and global economics. No doubt her ability to speak
fluently four languages, English, French, Italian and Serbian was a help in
her studies. In 2000-2002 she attended the De Paul University Goodman School
of Drama. She earned bit parts in numerous TV series such as The Shield,
JAG and ER. In 2009 she took lead role as detective Kate
Beckett in the crime drama series Castle. In 2008 she established her
own production company Sine Tinmore Productions which means “without fear”.
She has earned numerous awards and been on many red carpets in the business
At the 40th People’s Choice Awards she won Favorite Dramatic TV
Actor and the show Castle won Favourite TV Crime Drama. In 2010 she
started a global initiative The Alternative Travel Project, encouraging and
challenging people to be car free just for one day.
Born Montreal, Quebec December 5, 1957. This accomplished actor played Alana on
Street Legal (CBC series) and Emily on Jake and the Kid
( Global TV Series). She is also a regular on the CBC series Newsroom.
Her TV guest roles have included Aderly, Night Heat, My Secret
Identity and many more. She also enjoys live stage work and has
played various roles at the famous Stratford Festival located in Ontario.
Margaret Ruth Kidder.
Born Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
October 17, 1948.
This youth from the Northwest Territories was to date Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau
in real life and become the girl friend of Superman
in the movies. She appeared in all IV of
the Superman movies. She has over 80 movie and major TV productions to her
credit. Did you know that
the comic book characters of Superman and Lois Lane were the idea of a young Canadian
artist? Look it up!
5, 1951, Shawinigan, Quebec. She began a career as a teacher but did not
find it to her liking. In 1971 she appeared in her 1st movie
Mon enfance à Montréal and has a distinguished career not only in French
language films and television but also in English language films. In 1980
she appeared in a dinging role in the filmmsical Fantastica. Here
solo singing career is like her acting, bilingual with single discs and LP’s
in both languages. (updated Sept 1, 2014)
30,1936. Also known as Ruta Kilmonis, this actress began her career in
films in 1954 in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. She has mainly
appeared in lesser-known films such as “Pterodactyl Women from Beverly
Anne Marie Loder
Born St John's,
Newfoundland August 3, 1969. An accomplished TV and Movie actor, she always
wanted to act. She took local classes in St John’s Newfoundland until she discovered
theatre school. After university she attended the Ryerson Theatre School for Acting
Born circa 1941, perhaps in Toronto, Ontario. She was a model and actress
who in the mid 1960’s was introduced to skydiving by Canadian champion
skydiver Darrell Henry. In May 1964 she placed second in several women’s sky
diving events at the National Championships and in July 1966 she was overall
Champion woman skydiver. In September 1964 she became the 1st
woman skydiver to perform in the Royal Canadian Air Force’s international Air Show at the
Canadian National Exhibition. She was not only an actor but she was a stunt
woman for movies, television and commercials. In 1970 Life magazine
did a photo layout of some of Mari-Lou’s achievements.
Sources: Mari-Lou MacDonald TV.Com (Accessed June 2015) ;
Life Magazine September 25, 1970 Online, (accessed June 2015) ;
Ottawa Citizen September 2, 1962 Online, (accessed June 2015)
Suggestion submitted by Bernard Pelletier.
Born Portland, Maine U.S.A. January
15,1947. This mother of two boys is well remembered for her work on
Second City TV, Kate and Allie and Sesame Street. She has had
guest appearances since the 1950’s in such series as Maverick, Carol Barnet
Show, Superman and doing voices on The Simpson’s. She has won two Emmy
awards for her program writing and she won a Tony award for My favorite
Kitchener, Ontario February 14, 1927. During her acting career she also used
the name Lois Hooker. While she is credited with some 68 roles in movies and
TV she will perhaps be best remembered for her portrayal in the Ian Fleming
James Bond films as Miss Moneypenny.
Rachel Anne McAdams
Born November 17, 1978, London, Ontario. She began to show an interest in
acting at the age of 7 but her artistic talents were originally brought out
as a competitive figure skater. By the age of 13 she was performing
Shakespeare at summer theatre camp. In high school she was active on the
Student Council, participated in Crimestoppers and was a member of the Per
Help Group. In the summers she worked at McDonald’s fast food restaurants.
In 1995 she received an award for appearing in an one act school play at the
Sears Drama Festival. In 1998 she was working on a Disney series. She
earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from York University, Toronto, in
2001. She starred in the Time Traveler’s Wife which won Best Breakthrough
movie award at the National Movie Awards and in 2011 Sherlock Holmes which
won the Best Action / Thriller Award. Well her career became noticed by the
fans in Mean Girls she has appeared in numerous comedy and romantic comedy
films. An active environmentalist she is a co-founder of
www.greenissexy.org which helps raise awareness about the environment.
She lives in Toronto, preferring to travel rather than live in Los Angeles
when required to work there.
Sources: imdb.com Accessed February
Allyn Ann McLerie.
Mere, Quebec December 1, 1926. Allyn become an actress having made films
from the 1940's through to the 1980's. A listing of her TV appearances
is like a listing of the classics, Bonanza, The Waltons
and Dynasty to name a few of the shows in which she appeared.
She retired from acting in 1993.
Born Montreal, Quebec
November 14, 1930. This actress who now heads up the
national Theatre School has acted the classics but also retained an
active interest in new works of our writers and directors.
She has won the Palm d’Or for best actress at the world famous
Cannes film festival. In 1992 she won a Genie for best supporting
actress in “Naked Lunch”. She is
an Officer in the Order of Canada.
Nobelton, Ontario November 9, 1969. Before entering the Drama program
at Humber College she worked on stage at Canada’s Wonderland theme
park located just outside of Toronto. She has appeared mainly
on Television. Maybe you know her as Francesca on the TV series Due South.
Birth name Gabrielle Sunshine Miller.
Born Vancouver, British Columbia November 9, 1973. As a teen she
worked at many odd jobs including being a gas station attendant. She gave up
working at her mother’s house cleaning business and attended the Breck
Academy of the Performing arts in B.C. By 2008 she has had over 50 different
TV and movie credits, won 3 Leo awards and had maintained key roles in
Robinson Arms and the Award winning Corner Gas, the highest rated television
program in Canadian history. She shares her time between Los Angeles and
Vancouver for her work and yet finds time to do charity time as well. In
2007 she travelled to Mali with World Vision and handed out trees, piglets
and clean water to villages. She is also the spokes person for the VELA
Association, a non-profit organization helping people with disabilities. She
enjoys time with her dog Duncan and regularly works out with a boxing coach.
Definitely a rising Canadian star to watch.
Source: Official Gabrielle Miller web site www>gabriellemiller.ca (accessed
Toronto, Ontario January 21, 1979. This Toronto actress began her career in
the 1989 revitalization of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. She has also
appeared as Cindy "Mac" MacNamera in the TV series Emerald Cove.
Watch for this up and coming talent.
Born July 23, 1950 Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she was 11 her family moved to
England for a couple of years before settling in Highland Creek, a village
east of Toronto, Ontario. She and her brother modeled for the Sears
catalogue as children and did some work for the CBC TV. While still a teen
she was in Hollywood as a popular youth actor. One of her earliest
appearances was in the TV Western the Virginian. She became popular on the
TV – Movie circuit and shared billing with some of the top talents such as
George Pepard, Pernell Roberts, Jessica Walter, and Ida Lupino. She had
numerous appearances on the top TV series of the 1970’s and 1980’s;
Marcus Welby, Medical Centre, Love Boat, Man from
Atlantis, Trapper John MD , to name a few. She had a recurring
role as the ex-wife of the character Crockett (Don Johnson) in Miami
Vice and played the mother on Doogie Houser, M.D. She appears
less often in T. V. series in the 1990’s and 2000.s. From the time she sold
her first piece of art work at 11, Belinda continued to relax and express
herself with painting. She works in both acrylic and watercolours and now
enjoys having shows of her works.
Montgomery web site (Accessed January 2012) ; imdb.com (Accessed January
Margaret 'Maggie' Glenesk Beal Morris
née Morris. Born December
10, 1925 Died September 4, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. At 14 she was sent from
England to Winnipeg, Manitoba as an evacuee child to protect her from the
ravages of World War ll. She was chosen to participate in a Christmas
telephone hook –up between refugee children in Canada and their British
parents back home in England. At 18 she returned to the United Kingdom and
completed studies as a nurse and midwife. While visiting Winnipeg to be a
bridesmaid for a friend she met and fell in love with the grooms brother
Victor Morris and they married in 1950. She became involved with the local
theatre and radio drama at CBC Winnipeg. Resettling in Ottawa but the
marriage broke down and she became a single mother to her two daughters. She
worked on the CBC TV show Diplomatic Passport interviewing foreign
diplomats. She won a position with CBC Toronto on the TV quiz show
Flashback and held that position from 1962-1968. She became popular with
her audiences and received five fan mail letters to one received by male
counterparts. In 1970 she was let go from CBC because of her “Precious
pronunciation” and strange style. She worked in Public Relations at Bell
Canada and was the voice for the message “ the number you have dialed…”In
1971 she married for a second time to Stanley Smolensky and the couple
settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. Sadly Stanley died within 5 months
of their marriage and Maggie returned to work in Public Relations for the
Royal Winnipeg Ballet. In later years she worked recording audio books.
Source: Globe and Mail
Suggested By June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
|| Born Vancouver, British
Columbia August 21, 1970. While modeling in Europe she obtained a movie role in a film
being done in Spain. This
actress is just beginning her career with appearances in TV and movies since 1991.
She was in the TV series “Dark Justice”
(19910, “Matrix” (1993). “Models Inc.” (1994) and F/X
the Series (1996).
Kate Patricia Colleen
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.
Born Nepean (Ottawa) Ontario November 30,
1970. She began her career as a ballet dancer and eventually studied drama
at the National Theatre School in Montreal. She then starred in a London
Ontario stage production before moving to television in 1993. She has been
recognized with several awards including the FIPA d'Or for Best Actress in
1994 Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels at Cannes, France,
two Genie awards, a Cable Ace Award, A theatre World Award and a Screen
Actors Guild Award. In 2003 she married writer-director Alexander Payne and
in 2004 there were in their first film together, the Oscar-winning Sideways.
In 2005 she began a TV series called Gray's Anatomy. She has a star on
Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
March 4, 1954. She was a waitress at the Firehall Theatre in Toronto when
she convinced 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”.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba July
24, 1982. 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.
Born Toronto, Ontario April
8, 1892 . Died May 29, 1979. She began her screen career in the silent films
in 1909.. As an actress she stands above the rest of her era and earned
herself a Best Actress Academy Award (1929) at the second annual event.. Her
sweet girlish looks and her long ringlets endeared her to the the fans who
knew her as "America's Sweetheart". Her dedication to realism in her work
sometimes meant getting down into real mud! Her talents went beyond her
sincerity and heart melting appearance. She entered the film industry and
became Hollywood's first female businesswoman "movie mogul" creating with
her colleagues United Artists Studios. She was the first woman to make
$1,000,000.00 a year!!! She remained to the end of her life, proud of her
Born New York, New York, U.S.A.
March 23, 1957. 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!
Toronto, Ontario January 8,1979. This actress became best known in Canada
for her role in “Road to Avonlea”. She had however been working with
Disney Studios since she was 4 years old. She is currently making the rare
successful change from a child actor to adult actor. She is pursuing her
education and has strong pacifist political views
Louise Portal .
Born May 6,
1951. This actress has be recognized with nominations for Best Actress Genie
Award (1980) and won the Best Supporting Actress Genie Award in 1987. In the
film Sous-sol (1996) she won the Guy-L'ecuyer Award for Best Actress.
She has also won two Gemini Awards in 1994 and 1996 for her work on TV. As
if this was not enough she has written an novel, Jeanne Janvier and
has written plays. Composing some 40 songs she has released 4 successful
albums. She is a real woman on the go!
Susan Douglas Rubes
13, 1925, Vienna, Austria. Died January 23, 2013, Toronto, Ontario. Her
actual birth name was Zuska Zento Bernstein. She and her mother immigrated
to New York to escape the oncoming ravages of World War ll. She Americanized
her name and began a long distinguished career on stage, TV and film. She
married Czech – Canadian opera star and actor Jan Rubes (1920-2009)
September 22, 1950. The couple had three children. She played on TV soap
opera the Guiding Light for 10 years as well as numerous movie credits and a
Tony Award for best debut on Broadway. She joined her husband to settle in
Canada in 1959. She was the founder of the Young People’s Theatre in 1966,
an organization she worked with for the rest of her live. In 1982 to 1986
she was head of the CBC Radio Drama and from 1987 -1989 she was president of
Family Channel. She was also a Board Member of the St Lawrence Centre. In
1975 she was inducted into the Order of Canada.
Source: Obituaries. Globe and Mail, January 26, 2013 Suggestion
submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
Margaret 'Meg' Ruffman
Born February 28, 1957, Richmond Hill, Ontario. Although she studied
physical Education at the University of Toronto it was acting that became he
main interest. In 1980 she won the Du Maurier Search For The Stars’. In 1985
she had a role in the movie Anne of Green Gables followed in 1987 with Anne
of Avonlea. From 1990 through 1996 she had a major role in the TV series
Road to Avonlea. During this time she commuted to San Francisco, California
U. S. A. to work at construction with her husband Daniel Hunter. Meg became
a licensed in construction and this second main interest in her life led her
to a career as a TV handy woman. She hosted shows on home improvement for W
network TV, the Canadian Women’s Network. From 1999-200 she hosted A repair
to Remember. She launched her won series Anything I Can Do.. She also writes
a home improvement column for the Toronto Star newspaper. She founded
Ruffman Entertainment and has produced a video series of fun colourful
projects that families can build together. In 200-2001 she hosted the TV
show Men on Women. She has also maintained her acting career and made an
appearance on the acclaimed Canadian TV series Murdoch Mysteries. She
narrated My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirt which was an animated film
nominated for a Jutra Award and an Oscar. She is the National spokesperson
for Habitat for Humanity.
Ontario June 12, 1962. A childhood dream of becoming a dancer helped propel
this native Torontonian to fame as an actress, singer and noted talk show
host. She worked on soap operas in Los Angeles, then returned home and kept
busy acting in a variety of guest spots on television shows and a couple of
movies. However, it is her own talk show. Her role in Due South has
all of her career attention now.
Born St. Thomas, Ontario February 24, 1951. As a child she was not
very health and spent a lot of time in hospital. However as a teen she was
of good health and attended the Banff School of the Fine Arts. She also
studied drama at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. In 1978 she
got her big break when she won the Canadian Film Award as Best Lead Actress
in the film In Praise of Older Women. In 1985 she won the Bronze Leopard
Award at the Locano International Film Festival for her work in Desert
Hearts. In 200 she earned a Genie Award for her portrayal of a drug addicted
prostitute in We All Fall Down and another Genie Award in 2003 for Just
Cause. She also appeared in numerous TV episodes in various top rated
Television dramas. In 2004 she was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in
Source: Canada’s Walk of Fame online accessed July 2009
Edith Norma Shearer
Born Montreal, Quebec August
10, 1900 or 1902. Died
June 12, 1983. The
parents of Edith Norma and Athole (pronounce Ethel) registered the birth of both
daughters but did not include their first names. Norma would go on to become
an actress of great repute and would always claim to be the youngest of the
sisters. The family moved from Montreal to New York working as performers and
models. It was tough times but eventually Norma would make it to
Hollywood where she would become one of the great stars at MGM. She would
marry the famous studio executive Irving Thalberg. She was the presented with
the third top Actress Academy Award for her work in the film The
Divorcee. She was the second Canadian woman to receive this award. A good biography is located at:
Madeleine Louise Helene Sherwood
née Thornton Born November
13, 1922 Montreal, Quebec. Died April 23, 2016 Lac Cornir, Quebec. Her 1st
stage appearance was at the age of 4 in a passion play at church. In 1950
she studied acting under lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio, New York,
U.S.A.. In 1952 she made her Broadway debut and went on to work in such hits
as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Camelot. She also had numerous film roles and
day time TV roles. She played the Mother Superior in the hit TV series the
Flying Nun from 1967 through 1970. She had been black listed during the
U.S.A. McCarthy era for active participation in the Civil Rights Movement.
She was arrested during a Freedom March in Alabama. She was also a staunch
supporter of the women’s right movement in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s she
became the 1st woman to direct a short film for the American Film
Institute. In the early 1990’s she retired to Victoria, British Columbia and
later relocated to Saint-Hippotyte, Quebec. In 2010 she released a short
film called Madeleine’s Method for the Actor’s Studio. She married Robert
Sherwood and the couple had one daughter.
Source: Mike Barnes, “Madeleine Sherwood; Star of Tennessee Williams
Classics on Stage and Scene Dies at 93.” The Hollywood Reporter April
Born Halifax, Nova Scotia October 30, 1943. Joanna
began he film career in the mid 1960's with some 14 movies to her credit by
the mid 1970's. In 1976 she married actor Sidney Poitier and abandoned her
career to devote herself to her family of two daughters. Currently she is
immersed in a successful career in Interior decor.
Helen Foster-Barham) Born Victoria, British Columbia 1892. Died January 23,
1970. This actress was a pioneer of the silent film era. She was one of the
first women in the world to direct her own films and she even established
her own production company. She was the first actress to do a nude scene in
a film. It was a silent film entitled God's Country which was filmed on
location in the Canadian north, snow and all!
Gladys Alexis Smith
Born June 8,
1921, Penticton, British Columbia. Died June 9, 1993, Los Angeles,
California, U.S.A.. She began her long acting career as a teen ager in
summer stock in Canada before relocating to the U.S.A. “Discovered” while
studying at college she was signed on to act for Warner Brothers Studios. In
1944 she married actor Craig Stevens. She was a leading lady in movies of
the 1940’s and 1950’s playing opposite such leading men as Errol Flynn in
Gentleman Jim 1942 and San Antonio in 1945; Cary Grant in
Night and Day, 1946 and Clark Gable in Any number Can Play in
1949. She won a TONY Award in the musical Follies in 1971/72 and
played in the TV series Dallas from 1984 -1990. She died just before
the release of her final film, The Age of Innocence.
||Born Toronto, Ontario
December 11, 1965. There was a lot
of time to practice acting in Jessica's house. There was always
an annual Christmas skit, and trips to the theater with her director
father. She had her first TV role at the age of 8. In
the mid 1960's she appeared in a TV movie with Lindsay Wagner and
schoolmate Keanu Reeves. Lately she has had roles in Touched
by an Angel; The Outer Limits; ER; and Due South. If her
busy schedule between TV and movies allows it, she enjoys kayaking
and rock climbing. She is also a volunteer with environmentalist
David Suzuki. Check out her web page:
Born Los Angeles, California,
U.S.A. July 7, 1970. 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.
Born Fort McMurray, Alberta
July 20, 1950. 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
Ellen Chan. Born September 16 1958, Harbour City, California, U.S.A. Her
parents divorced when she was 5 and she moved with her mother to Texada
Island, British Columbia. At 16 they were living in Victoria, British
Columbia. She studied for her B.A. in Theatre at Stephens College, Missouri,
U.S.A. By 1883 she had roles in TV series such as Hill Street
Blues, Cheers and Frasier. In 1984 she married Sam Simon,
producer of The Simpson’s. The couple separated in 1991. Her
breakthrough in movies was in the Fabulous Baker Boys. She has worked
with Richard Dreyfuss, Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, and Jim Carey. In 2001
she portrayed gossip columnist Louella Parsons in The Cat’s Meow. And
starred in the Broadway revival of The Women. In other theatre she
has won the Theater World Award for the off-Broadway play One Shoe Off.
She is a popular choice for voice over for animated features such as
Family Guy, Monsters, Inc., Stuart Little and others. In 2004 she became
life partner with Phil Laak. In 2005 In 2005 she won the World Series of
Poker and later that same year she won the World Poker Tour Ladies
Invitational Tournament. After the series Out of Practice in which she
appeared was cancelled in 2006 she began only to return to TV in 2008. Dividing her time between films and professional poker. In 2005 she won the
World Series of Poker and later that same year she won the World Poker Tour
Ladies Invitational Tournament. In 2006 she began dividing her time between
films and professional poker. She has appeared in several online TV poker
events. In 2008 she retired from her poker career with the idea of treating
it more like a hobby. In 2012, she returned to Broadway in
Don't Dress for Dinner
and the following year she appeared on the London stage in
Grasses of a Thousand
Colors. Among the awards she has won she has earned
Gate Award –
GLAAD Media Award
for media professionals who increase the understanding of the
Texada, British Columbia February 14,1960. This actress has been in movies
and television since 1980 when she appeared in “FAME”
Shannon Lee Tweed
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 “Falcon Crest”
(1978-1983), daytime drama with “Days of Our Lives” as well as “Pacific
Blue” in 1996 and more recently "Diaries of Darkness" and "My
Guide to Becoming a Rockstar".
Mary Cynthia Walsh
Born St John’s Newfoundland May 13, 1952. Mary caught
pneumonia as an infant and was taken to live with two aunts and an uncle
with whom she remained. A bit of a rebel as a teen she became engaged to an
American service man and took off to the U.S.A. When things did not work out
she returned to Newfoundland and was in the right place when a Canadian
Broadcasting Company (CBC) had a local opening. Her natural quick wit and
vivacity meant she would never look back. She joined a the Newfoundland
Traveling Theatre Company and ended up moving to Toronto to study theatre.
However, another opportunity opened up and she left school to join a young
group that would become well known as CODCO from 1987-1992. There followed
in 1993 This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 2003 she hosted May Walsh’s: Open Book
and went on to create Hatching Matching and Departing for the CBC which won
a Gemini Award. On a personal front she was fighting alcoholism which had
began in her early teens. By 2005 she was awarded the Courage to Come Back
Award by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She also wanted to
participate in helping others and became the spokesperson for Oxfam Canada
(an international aid agency). She became a member of the Order of Canada in
from Macular degeneration, a condition that usually affects older adults and
results in a loss of vision in the center of the vision field. From time to
time she has served as a spokesperson for the Canadian National Institute
for the Blind. In 2012 she was presented with the Governor General’s
Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, Canada’s highest honour in
the performing arts.
Source Mary Walsh: an inferno of wit by Peter Feneck Good Times
February 2007 pg 8-14 : Library and Archives Canada. Canadian Women in
Theatre and Dance.
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca (accessed March 2008)
Born December 31, 1970 Edmonton, Alberta. Chandra relocated with her family
to Oakville, Ontario just outside of Toronto where she attended High School.
She also enjoyed 10 years of ballet classes. At 16 she went to England to
attend a summer theatre event at Oxford University and decided that acting
was the career she wanted. She studied at the Theatre Performance Program at
Concordia University in Montreal. Since 1991 she has appeared in numerous
popular TV series such as Lonesome Dove, Highlander, Viper, CSI Crime Scene
Investigations and Castle. She has also garnered many roles in made for TV
movies. March 12, 2000 she married Don Callis but unfortunately life did not
work well for the couple who divorced in February 2002. Her film
breakthrough came with a role opposite Val Kilmer in 2002 in the Salton
Sea. In 2005 she married Mark Tinker (1951- ) a producer and director
of numerous TV police series.
Source: IMDB online (accessed October 2015); ‘Chandra West: Happy to be
alive in latest role.’ Victoria Times Colonist, April 1, 20016
Tonya Lee Williams
Born London, England July 12, 1967. As
a child she lived in Jamaica and England ( where she was a Brownie) before
settling with her mother in Canada. At 14 she won a pageant and loved the
feeling of being on stage. At 16 she was taking modeling classes and joined
the model agency after her classes. She appeared in several TV commercials
and even "wore a moustache" for milk. She studied theatre at Ryerson
University and had several spots on Canadian TV including the children's
show Poka Dot Door. In 1987 she headed for Los Angeles in California trying
hundreds of auditions to find one or two small parts. In 1990 she was chosen
for a part on the daytime show the Young and the Restless as Dr. Olivia
Barber Hastings Winter. She won the NAACP Image Award in 200 for Outstanding
Actress in a Daytime Drama Series.
September 15, 1907 Cardston, Alberta. Died August 8, 2004, Manhattan, New
York, U.S.A. . She and her family relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
in 1912 and then to Hollywood where Fay attended high school. At 16 she
appeared in her 1st movie, a short historical film sponsored by a
local newspaper. She went on in movies having uncredited bit parts until
1926 when she became one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, a group for up and coming
starlettes. She came under contract to Universal Studios and had parts in
low budget westerns. In 1927 she was with Paramount Pictures where she had
her 1st lead role in the Wedding March. She remained with
as Hollywood entered the era of the ‘Talkies”. Leaving Paramount
she worked for numerous companies including RKO Radio Pictures where she
found her most famous role in the movie King Kong. She became a naturalized
Citizen of the U.S.A. in 1933. While she continued to star in various films
through to the 1940’s. She retired in 1942 but with financial constraints
returned to acting in films and television in bit parts. She played in
individual episodes of the show Perry Mason, Playhouse 90, Alfred Hitchcock
presents and 77 Sunset Strip to name a few. In 1988 she published her
biography entitled On The Other Hand; a Life Story. She married three
times to John Monk Saunders (1897-1940), with whom she had a daughter,
Robert Riskin (1897-1955) with whom she had a daughter and a son and she had
3 children and Dr. Sanford Rothenberg (1919-1991). She was a special guest
70th Academy Awards,
where she was introduced as the "Beauty who charmed the Beast". She was the
only 1920s Hollywood actress in attendance that evening. In 1991 she was a
special guest at the 60th anniversary of the Empire State
Building. 2 days after her death, the lights of the
Empire State Building
were extinguished for 15 minutes in her memory. Along with numerous other
awards she received a posthumous star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2005.
A small park in the city of Cardston, Alberta has been named in her honour.
In May 2006, Wray became one of the first four entertainers to ever be
by being featured on a Canadian
Sources: Fay Wray, IMDB Online (Accessed 2005); Adam Bernstein, ‘Fay
Wray Dies at Age 96’, Washington Post, Online (accessed 2004); Fay
Wray, Canada’s Walk of Fame Online (Accessed 2005)
Peggy Laurayne Baker
Smith. Born October 22, 1952 Edmonton, Alberta. Peggy studied at the
University of Alberta where she was introduced to modern dance. She married
Michael J. Baker and then in 1971 she moved to Toronto, Ontario to study at
the School of Toronto Dance Theater. In 1974 she co-founded the Dancemakers
Dance Company. In 1980 she relocated to New York, City, U.S.A. working with
the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. In 1990 she joined Mikhail Baryshnikov’s
dance company which re-launched her career as a dancer and choreographer. In
1990 she married a second time to Ahmed Hassan ( -2011) In 1993 she joined
the National Ballet School of Canada as their 1st
artist-in-residence. In 2006 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and
in 2007 she became the 1st person to receive the Ontario
Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2010 she earned the Walter
Born May 13, 1936 Toronto, Ontario. Patricia studied modern dance at
Bennington College in Vermont, U.S.A. in 1959 and at the Martha Graham
School in New York City, U.S.A. In 1966 she founded the New Dance Group of
Canada. In 1968 she was a co-founder of the Toronto Dance Theatre. She was
an inspirational teacher and mentor who played a seminal role in fostering
the growth of modern dance performance and choreography in Canada. She
retired in the early 1990’s but continued to present occasional performances
focusing on spiritual themes. In 2004 she became a Member of the Order of
Born Montréal May 26, 1955. She turned to dance later in live with
the Group Nouvelle Aire in Montréal in 1979. She studies various forms of
dance, including modern dance, butch, ballet and she also studied voice. In
1981 she performed in Linda Robin’s O’Parade and the intensity of her
dancing did not go unnoticed. In 1983 she began work as a choreographer with
Pulsions et Dérisions. In 1987 she helped found Circuit-Est a co-op which
assured a consistent rehearsal venue. She formed her own Louise Bédard Dance
in 1990. She has also worked beyond the live stage in numerous film and
video productions for Television, the National Film Board as well as dozens
of productions where she dances for others in the story lines of movies.
Source: Louise Bédard by Linda Howe-Beck The Canadian and World Encyclopedia
[Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1997]
November 19, 1988 She and her sister Fanny had a lifelong interest
in dance and teaching young performers in their art. . From 1923-1983 the
sisters operated a ‘legendary’ dance studio in
Toronto. In the
1920’s and 1930’s she was choreographer for the grandstand show at a the
Canadian National exhibition. The 1931 CNE production featured a cast of
1,500! She was also well known for the annual spring dance review that were
held each year at Massey Hall and the CNE.
her BA from York University, Toronto and moved to Canada’s west coast. Her
work is a fusing of gymnastics and dance and she has travelled all over the
world with her job. In 1987 she joined the famous Cirque du Soleil as
Principal choreographer. In 1999 She won a Golden Clown Award at the World
Circus Festival for her work on Quidam’s Banquine Act. In 2002 She earned an
Emmy Award for her production of the 74th Academy Award show. She
has choreographed operas in Chicago, New York, Vancouver and Toronto. She
has also worked with such performers as Madonna and Aerosmith. Her film work
includes such movies as Catwoman and VanHelsing. In 2008 she was inducted
onto Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Source: Canada’s Walk of Fame. Online. Accessed 2009.
Yvonne Millicent Firkins
Born Worcester, England. Died January 6, 1966, Vancouver, British Columbia.
During World War I, she lived in Birmingham, England, where she was
introduced to theatre. She immigrated to Vancouver in 1920. Her husband was
magistrate Walter H.C. Firkins, a police court clerk for 31 years. Yvonne
was a founding member of the Vancouver Little Theatre, Vancouver Ballet
School and Vancouver Dance Festival. She served as president of the British
Columbia Drama Association and was a founder of the British Columbia
Dance Festival. She was also a member, Community Arts Council and a
director of Theatre Under the Stars. From 1939 throughout World War ll she
was production manager of service shows for Pacific Command. In 1964 she
opened the Arts Club Theatre and produced the controversial Who's Afraid
of Virginia Woolf. She is considered B.C.'s first lady of the theatre.
Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame on line
accessed January 2013.
Born Bombay, India March 3,
1942. 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
(née Kvietys) Born Kaunas, Lithuania. Died July 17, 2011, Calgary, Alberta. As
a child she enjoyed music and dance and loved to express herself with
experimental moves. In the early 1940’s she participated in early European
contemporary dance and moved to Hamburg, Germany, training in modern dance
movement. In 1948, after touring as much as possible during the war, she was
a refugee camp in a post-war Germany. Eventually the family landed in
Toronto. She worked in dance briefly in Toronto before heading to Montreal
to teach at McGill University. She also ran a dance company and began
dancing in New York City, Chicago and performing for CBC Television. Moving
back to teach at the University of Toronto she had her only child, a son.
She broke up with her common la husband Giliaras Urbonas in 1966. And
shortly after married Ray Young and the family settled in Calgary. She
became an importer of contemporary dance for the city and worked at the
Drama Department at the University of Calgary where she laid the basis for
the Dance Department. In 1970’s she was disillusioned with government
sponsorship and cut all ties with dancing turning to visual arts and
painting for her artistic release. She worked with paints, stained glass and
mixed media often being inspired by the animal world and celestial themes.
Her works were displayed at numerous showings at galleries in Alberta and
Source: An experimental dance pioneer who found a second life on canvas by
Philip Fine. Globe and Mail September 10, 2011
Suggestion submitted by
June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
Dancers - Ballet
Annette av Paul
Stockholm, Sweden February 11,1944. She was born and began her ballet career
in Sweden. In 1973 she danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and she joined
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1976. She brought beauty, vast experience
and artistic maturity to the many roles that were created for her. She
retired from the stage in 1984.
Margaret Ruth Pringle Carse.
Edmonton, Alberta December 7, 1916. Died November 14, 1999. This ballet dancer
was a true pioneer of her profession in Western Canada. She founded
the Alberta Ballet Company and it's associated school of dance.
She studied with several leading institutions including the National
Ballet of Canada and in New York City. An injury in 1954 forced her
to retire from the stage. She turned her talents to teaching
the youth of Western Canada. She was winner of the Dance Canada Award
in 1989 and she holds the Order of Canada.
Otzoup-Goeny). Born Riga, Latvia January 10,1924. Died September 22, 1996.
Founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens she was a strong force in the
development of dance in Quebec and Canada.
Born May5, 1915, Bradford, England. Died April 9, 1989 Kelowna, British
Columbia. She trained in dance at a studio in Leeds, England. In 1938 she
emigrated to Canada with her former dance teacher Gweneth Lloyd. The two
women opened the Winnipeg Dace Club in 1939 and changed the name to Winnipeg
Ballet in 1941. In 1945 the dance company began to tour and in 1953 they
received Royal patronage as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Betty was the Ballet
Mistress training and rehearsing the dancers as well as being a principle
dancer. When Gweneth Lloyd relocated to Toronto in 1950, Betty remained to
work with the RWB. Betty also worked with Gweneth as co-head of the Banff
School of the Arts summer dance program for many years. In mid 1950’s she
moved with Gweneth to Kelona , British Columbia where they founded a branch
of the Canadian Ballet School. In 1970 she received the Manitoba Centennial
Medal celebrating the 100 years of the Provincial history. In 1981 she was
inducted into the Order of Canada and in 1984 she received the Dance in
Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed April 2014) ; The Canadian
Encyclopedia Online (Accessed April 2014). Book: The Royal Winnipeg
Ballet: the first forty years (1979).
Celia Franks). Born London, England June 25, 1921. Died February 19,
2007. This founding artistic
director of the National Ballet of Canada is a strong willed and determined
ballet dancer. These are traits needed over the 23 years she helped the
young ballet company to succeed. She was appointed to the Order of Canada
Born Montreal, Quebec July 9, 1953. 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.
Born April 4, 1956, Toronto, Ontario. Evelyn studied balled at the Dorothy
Carter School of Dance, London, Ontario and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB)
School before auditioning for the National Ballet School of Canada (NBSC) .
At this time she did not enter the NBSC training as she was battling
anorexia nervosa, a pathological eating disorder and she returned to the RWB
School. In 1976 she joined the RWB Company and was promoted to soloist in
1978 and principal dancer in 1979. In 1980 she was the 1st
westerner and 1st Canadian to win gold at the Varna International
Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. Her career would allow her to perform on
stages around the world. In 1983 she was inducted as an officer of the Order
of Canada which was upgraded to Companion level in 1994. From 1990 through
1994 she danced ½ time with the RWB and ½ time with the Bayerische
Staatsbalelet in Munich Germany. In 2000 she earned her star on Canada’s
Walk of Fame in Toronto. In 2001 she was presented with the Governor
General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. In 2005
she retired from the RWB to dance freelance. During her last year with the
RWB CBC cameras filmed her performances for a Life and Timed television
documentary. She completed her 33 year dance career with a guest artist
performance with the ProArtDanza. In 2006 she was made a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada and inducted into the Order of Manitoba.
Vanessa Clare Harwood-Scully
Born June 14,
1947, Cheltenham, England. In 1959 she was one of the 1st pupils
of Betty Oliphant at eh National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto. In 1965
she joined the National Ballet of Canada and became a soloist in 1967 and
principal dancer from 1970 through 1987. Her performance in the ballet
Swan Lake garnered her the nickname of ‘Superswan’. Vanessa married
noted surgeon Dr. Hugh Scully whom she met on a blind date on June 14, 1980.
In 1984 she became an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 1992 she received
the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian
Confederation. She also holds both the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She also worked as an actor with roles in the
Canadian Television series Road to Avonlea and Due South. She
has served as the President of the Board of Directors” Fund of Canada
1996-98. In 2001 she appeared in the film Betty Oliphant: A Life in Dance.
(real name Mildred Herman).
Born Toronto, Ontario April 25, 1923. This ballerina who trained as a young
girl in Toronto, became an internationally known dancer. She danced with
the New York City Ballet. Upon retiring as a dancer she opened her own
teaching studio in New York City.
Hamilton, Ontario March 28, 1951. 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 1991 she was elevate
to the level of Companion of the Order of Canada. She is the founding
president and president for life of the Dancer Transition Centre which is
dedicated to helping retrain retiring professional dancers. Her Biography “Movement
Never Lies” can be found at your library.
Judith Rose Marcuse
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.
Born London, England
August 5, 1918. Died July
11, 2004. She is a founder
of the National Ballet School of Canada and founding director 1959-1979. She has
also worked for ballet schools in Sweden, Denmark, and Russia.
She is an Officer of the order of Canada as well as many additional awards
from the City of Toronto, France and the 125 Anniversary of Confederation Medal.
She has also published her autobiography.
Born Vancouver, British Columbia April 29,
1941. Her real name is Pauline Cecilia Isobel Teresa Campbell. She began
to study ballet at 5 years of age. . At 15 she left home to join a traveling
performing group from Montreal. By the early 1960's she had returned to
western Canada and had become a principal dancer in a Vancouver company. In
1965 she opened her own Paula Ross Dance Company. The Company, although
well presented in western Canada and the United States, dissolved due to
financial problems in 1987. Paula was known for her dance creativity and
continues to work in Canada, Japan, and France.
Born Paris, France. Born February 2, 1924. She was brought up
in Casablanca Morocco and this is where she received her early ballet
training. She went on to study with great Russian dancers in Paris where she
studied philosophy at the famous Sorbonne University. She and her husband
emigrated to the US before settling in Montreal in 1946. She became
co-founder of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. Her style blends classical
ballet with the free form of jazz. She was appointed a member of the Order
of Canada in 1987.
Berta Lynn Seymour
née Springbett. Born Wainwright, Alberta March 8, 1929. She
studied ballet in Vancouver and England. In 2959 she was a principle dancer
with England's Royal Ballet. Between 1966-1969 she was with the Deutsche
Opera Ballet of Berlin, Germany. In 1978-9 she was director of the Bavarian
State Opera Ballet in Munich, Germany. In Canada she has danced with the
Royal Ballet, the Western Dance theatre and the National Ballet of Canada.
In 1984 she published her autobiography.
London, England January 15,1947. This prima ballerina of the National Ballet
of Canada won international acclaim for her extraordinary versatility and
dramatic power as she danced herself around the world for 25 years.
Retired from dance she turned her talents to writing and producing
for television and theatre. She has written books for children and is doing
freelance writing for notable Canadian magazines. She volunteers for charity
and has bee chairperson for UNICEF.
She belongs to the Order of Canada.
Eva Von Gencsy
11,1924, Hungary. Died April 11, 2013 Montreal, Quebec. She studied ballet
at the Trognoff Russian Ballet Academy as a young girl. She won a
scholarship to study at the University Mozartium Saltzberg in 1924. The next
year she made her solo debut. In 1948 as she entered Canada a customs
officer, seeing she was a dancer, suggested she move to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Working as a domestic servant to fulfill the requirement of working for a
year in order to stay in Canada she studied with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
In 1954 when the RWB was destroyed by fire she moved to Montreal to continue
dancing. She worked in Banff and taught jazz dance for 13 years. Often
summers vacations were spent in New York City taking ballet and jazz
classes. She specifically loved jazz-ballet as a celebration of the soul. In
Montreal she formed a jazz ballet group Les Jazz-Ballet Contemporaines but
left in 1978 after a disruptive collision of ideas with others in the group.
She spent the next 35 years as a freelance teacher. In 2003 Mireille
Dansereau completed a documentary feature EVA about the talented dancer. She
had married at one time but did not relish the role of homemaker and
definitely loved dance more than married life which also carried the treat
of motherhood. She had a love of learning often taking courses at local
institutions. At 80 years of age she discovered and embraced life with a
Source: Her legacy is all that bale-jazz by Paula Citron, The Globe and
Mail, April 30, 2013.
- contemporary - modern
(real name Ulla Maude Durant)
Born Toronto, Ontario August 27, 1873. Died October 7, 1956. A true pioneer of modern dance.
She was educated in
the U.S.A., Germany and England but her career would take her around the world. Her
autobiography was published in 1908, "My life and dancing."
Born May 13, 1936. Born in Canada, her early
dance training was in the United States. She soon brought her talents back
to Canada and founded the New Dance Group of Canada.
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. November 16,1934. Although trained in
classical ballet, Rachel became one of the most important figures
in Canadian modern dance. She created Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers.
Nancy Lima Dent
Toronto, Ontario 1919. She had her introduction to ballet in Toronto as a
child and studied modern dance in New York City. In the 1940’s and 1950’s
she worked with the Toronto New Dance Theatre establishing the Nancy Lima
Dent Dance Theatre in the 1960’s. She created a body of over 30 dance works,
many of which were a commentary on social issues of the day. She also
performed, choreographed and organized modern dance festivals in 1960’s
Toronto. Her last original choreographic work was presented in May 1974. In
1986 there was a production of her work Heroes of Our Time originally
performed in 1952.
9, 1913. Died
May 4, 2005. Her Russian immigrant parents passed on to her
the love of music as a child and she studied at the Toronto Conservatory of
Music., and then on to
New York City.
In the 1930’s she would make significant contributions to the early
establishment of modern dance in
In 1951 she and her pianist husband, Aube Tzerko moved to work in Los
Angeles where she formed her own dance company.
Born Montreal, Quebec January 3,
1955. She began her choreographic career in 1979. She founded her own
company in 1984. The company appeared at Expo 86 and won the Jean A.
Chalmers Award. Since 1986 the company has returned to appear in Europe, the
United States of America, Denmark, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Katherine E. Bellamy
Born Bay Roberts, Newfoundland. She earned her BA at Mount Saint
Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At 18 she entered the Sisters of
Mercy of Newfoundland. She became an educator of music serving in numerous
schools. Under her tutelage the Our Lady of Mercy Glee Club was the first
Newfoundland Junior choir to with the Matheson Trophy, a national award. She
has spent more than 20 years as organist and choir director at the Basilica
of St. Jon the Baptist. She has also demonstrated a commitment to serving
the less fortunate in areas where she has taught. In 2006 she was inducted
into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and in 2007 she was appointed to
the Order of Canada.
Order of Newfoundland and Labrador online : Order of Canada Online (accessed
Helen Arlene Dahlstrom
(née Underbakke). Born Regina Saskatchewan June 5, 1917. She married
Alton Dahlstrom and the couple had two children. It was however her love of
music which she would best known for. She received her piano teachers
certificate from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. In 1934 she received he
Licentiate for Music Diploma at the University of Saskatchewan. She actually
started her piano career at 16 when she played with the Regina Symphony
Orchestra. She toured, played on radio and accompanied notable musicians at
recitals. In 1950 she moved to Rossland, British Columbia and began her
lifetime work at St. Andrew’s United Church. She also shared her leadership
and management skills by holding numerous positions of local, provincial,
national and international music organizations for 70 years. She was
paramount in the organization of Canada Music Week for which she chaired for
25 years. In 1998 she received the Order of British Columbia in recognition
of her contribution to the enrichment of the love of music in the province.
Canadian Women of Note , Media Club of Canada (Toronto: York University,
1994) # 189 page 208; Trail History Society online accessed August 2011.
Joyce Margaret McCulloch Brooker
Born 1921, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Died 1991, Portage la Prairie,
Manitoba. She was educated locally and served as secretary-manager of the
Portage la Prairie Chamber of Commerce for many years. With her husband she
led, and played piano in, the Brookers Bombshells, a leading dance band in
southern Manitoba. She also helped found the Portage Music and Arts
Dictionary of Manitoba
J. M. Bumsted
University of Manitoba Press, 1999
Eleanor Reed Townsend
Born Dungannon (near Stratford) Ontario January 8,
1944 Died December 31, 1988.
classical violin as a youth before choosing fiddle music as her preferred
art form. She won the women's Class Canadian Open Old Time Fiddler's
Competition four times from 1967 through 1974. In 1979 she became the first
woman to win the Open Class Competition (competition open to both men and
women). When she was not touring with her music
she taught fiddling at the boards of education in Scarborough and Simcoe
Ontario. She cut four albums of music and published the Townsend Old-Time
Fiddle method (1996) She is a member of the Fiddler's Hall of fame (1984) in
Oceola, New York and also the Canadian National Fiddling Hall of Fame.
Producers and directors of movies and films
Born Ottawa April 21, 1914
Died September 15, 1986. A film producer, director, and scriptwriter, she
and her husband Frank “Budge” Crawley formed Crawley Films, which became one
of Canada’s foremost independent production companies. She was also
president of the Canadian Film Institute.
Born Punjab, India 1955. A feminist of
Sikh descent s he came to Canada with her family as an infant. She has
earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Falmouth School of Art at Cornwall,
England in 1978. She returned to school at York University in Toronto for
her masters in 2002. Her paintings combine fragments from the past such as
photographs and mementos with paper made from organic plants in
geometrically arrangements. She has also tried her talents as an author of
short stories. Since 1983 she has participated in solo and group exhibitions
throughout Canada. Her works resides in major public collections across
Canada as well.
Born Shoal Lake, Manitoba. October 4,
1944. She attended school in Rivers, Manitoba before heading off to Ryerson
University in Toronto. Her education also included hands on training through
cable television, commercial video, television and film productions. She has
applied herself as a newspaper columnist, book editor, and a writer of
screenplays. She has worked in most areas of film and television
productions, from setting up equipment through budgeting and production
management to songwriting. Through this experience she had gained insight to
cost control and financial accountability while still appreciating the
artistic demands of production. In 1989 she received a CTV Fellowship Award.
She has always taken an active interest in her community and expressed
herself in politics by running as a federal Liberal Candidate in the
elections in 1979 and 1980 in Calgary. Her work in her community, her
volunteer efforts and her political involvement earned her the nomination as
a Woman of Distinction in Calgary 1981. The award encouraged her and she
continues her volunteering with such organizations as the Muscular Dystrophy
Association, the Variety Club and the Canadian Fund for the Support and
Assistance of Lung Transportations.
Born March 26, 1955. After studies at the
Ontario College of Art she began her career as a filmmaker. She has earned
recognition as a strong independent filmmaker. She has also returned her
time to her profession by participating in various associations for Canadian
filmmakers and has served as a board member for the Liaison of Independent
Filmmakers of Toronto. She earned the Award of Merit at the Charleston
International Film Festival in 1994.
23, 1961, Ottawa, Ontario. Died April 29, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. Evan as a
child Marta wanted to be a filmmaker, Rather than a formal institutional
education Marta choose to become apprentice with Bruce Nyznik and Peter
Tilley. In 1991 her 1st film, The Train of Thought,
appeared just after Via Rail cancelled the last regularly scheduled
transcontinental passenger train in Canada. In 2006 she brought out
Shattered Dreams, a documentary about disadvantaged youth in Toronto.
This was followed by Saviour of Ceylon showing the heroism of RCAF (Royal
Canadian Air Force) officer Leonard Birchall. There was also a 7 part TV
series, Being 80 with Jean Vanier. In all she edited or directed 30
films with Jean Vanier the founder of the international Organization, L’Arch
that assists developmentally handicapped. Diagnosed with cancer she faced
her disease with courage and face on. Marta had one son with Peter Hastings.
Source: Richard Nielson, Lives Lived, Martha Nielson, the Globe and Mail,
July 8, 2014.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Quebec June 6, 1932. A film director and producer, she joined the National
Film Board in 1960. Her efforts allowed female film producers their first
organized platform for expression.
Linda Marie Gillingwater Rainsberry
Died January 10, 2009. She was a writer, editor, educator, TV and film
producer, philanthropist and a businesswoman. She studied at Dalhousie
University in Nova Scotia for her Bachelor of Education and earned her
masters frat the University of Toronto. She won a Gemini Award for best shot
dramatic program: Saying goodbye: the first snowfall, which was a ten part
drama/documentary series on grief and bereavement. She was the director of
the Ambassador program which is an educational program for 16-24 year old
youth who lived on Toronto’s streets. She was the mother of two sons.
Source: Toronto Star, January 17, 2009
Born November 11, 1935. She joined the National Film Board in 1956 as an editor
and by 1962 had 115 films to her credit. She became a film editor
and executive producer for the National Film Board of Canada using
film to examine the role of women in society.
Mina Suingai Shum.
Born Hong Kong December 12, 1965. Mina studied for a degree in Theatre and then Film
and TV Production at the University of British Columbia. She is a writer and producer
of films and is perhaps best known for her work in short films. In 1993 her work
Me, Mom and Mona, won a special Jury Citation for Best Canadian
Short Film. She has won a Genie Award for Best Actress and Best Editing and she
has been nominated for seven Genies in the categories of Best Picture, Best Direction
and Best Screenplay.
Born 1947 Montreal, Quebec. Laura was born with an undiagnosed learning
disability but she had she had unstoppable determination. She learned things
in her won way. At 14 she joined the Peace Movement and learned to research
events, debate ideas and calculate strategies. She became a single parent
and stared her career in 1979 with the National Film Board of Canada
Challenge for Change Program. She would be one of the women film makers who
laid the ground work for the famous “Studio D” a special unit of the
National Film Board dedicated to films about women’s issues. In 1983 she
established SKYWORKS, a charitable foundation that is a community based
not-for-profit educational documentary production organization.
Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books, 2005
Alberta September 23, 1946.
Actress, filmmaker, producer, director and writer are her professions.
She worked for the National Film Board of Canada in the 1970’s working
on numerous documentaries. Her film
“Bye Bye Blues” (1990) won 3 Genie Awards.
She studied drawing and painting at the
Ontario college of art but it was something more along the line of sculpting
that would capture her attention and career. She began to hone her skills as
a puppet builder and puppeteer. In 1979 she formed Noreen Young Productions.
While she has been involved in several productions for the younger audiences
it was her Under the Umbrella Tree television show that is perhaps the best
remembered. It was aired on CBC, YTV, Canal Famille and the Disney Channel.
In 1995 she received the Order of Canada for her achievements in children's
television. Her political character puppets have been a constant source of
entertainment for Canadian adults.
Vocalists - singers - folk music and
country music back
Born Abrams, Prince
Edward Island October 1, 1943. With a sincere
love of Acadian folk music as incentive she writes and sings her own songs in
both of Canada’s official languages. Her
albums have earned her many awards. She uses her music to express her own special
brand of humor.
Born Sainte-Marie-du-Beauce, Quebec August 28, 1919. Died
Montréal, Québec September 25, 1997 As a child she loved singing folk songs.
As an adult she studied voice and researched folk songs. She recorded 10
albums of her beloved folk music. In 1944 she married André Coté and the
couple had three children. From 1959 through 1973 she galvanized Anglophone
children to their television sets with her show Chez Hélène. She spoke only
French to her English speaking mouse friend, Suzie. To the children it was
endearing, in reality she was bridging tow national cultures. In the 1970’s
she became a celebrity Canadian Citizenship judge accepting new immigrants
who had succeeded in there quest to gain citizenship to their new country.
In 1973 she received the Order of Canada.
Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2000 (Silver
anniversary edition) Coteau Books, 1999. Page 54.
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia March 4, 1949. Born in Bridgewater Nova Scotia she
is a songwriter and singer of country music. She was performing first at the
age of 4. She dominated the country music scene in the 1970's winning
several Juno awards for her music.
Born Merasheen Island, Newfoundland. Her interest in Newfoundland oral
history let her to a career as a performer. She had made numerous television
and radio appearances and several recordings of songs and stories of the
province. She has served as President of the Newfoundland Folk Arts Society
of which she has been involved for over 30 years. In 2011 she was appointed
a Member of the Order of Canada for ‘ensuring this priceless cultural
legacy’ of son and stories of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has explored,
researched, catalogued the lifestyle and culture of Newfoundland. She is
considered one of the province’s most prominent traditional singers. In 2015
she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Folk Fest at Bannerman Park.
Born Regina, Saskatchewan April 25, 1949.
She went to university for her BA at the University of Saskatchewan in 1969.
She had studied piano as a child but decided she enjoyed guitar more when
she was a teen. She also studied voice in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1976 she
began her solo career at the Regina Folk Festival. By the 1980's she was one
of Canada's leading performers in both feminist and children's music and was
touring throughout North America. She has some 5 albums of music as well as
a recordings of songs for children.
Born London, Ontario January 16, 1961. To
her it seems she has always written and sang. When she was a teen, her
brothers sent he son tapes to various country and western groups and she was
soon hired as a writer and then she began recording and singing herself. Her
first album, Just reach out came out when she was 17 years old. She has
toured all over North America doing public and TV appearances. After a tour
of Germany in 1980 she has maintained a loyal fan base there. She
received the Best Country Awards for outstanding performance, country female
singer in 1979 and best single recording for the Star in 1980. She was the
Canadian Country Music Awards best female vocalist of the year in 1983 and
1984. She was nominated annually from 1979 through 1986 for Juno Awards. In
1991 she made a comeback with the hit Lasso your Love recorded in Nashville,
Born Paquetville, New Brunswick July 27, 1942.
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 humour 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.
September 8, 1959 Willow
Bunch, Saskatchewan. Carmen is a singer and children's
entertainer and in the 1970’s she was a member of the folk music band
Folle Avoine. She, along with
Best Children's Album
for Lullaby Berceuse. In 2013, she was made a Member of the
Order of Canada
"for her contributions as a singer, songwriter and composer enhancing music
for young children and using music in French-language education".
Source: Order of Canada.
Emma (Enid Maude) Caslor
née Carmichael Born December 18, 1913 Chilliwack, British
Columbia. Died December 25, 1977. She enjoyed piano
lessons as a child and as a youth too voice in San Francisco, U.S.A.,
Vancouver and Halifax. She was introduced to the joy of folk music in 1930
while living on Canada's east coast. Until 1948 she used the professional
name of Nina Finn when singing and playing public and radio performances. In
the 1940's she worked for the National Film board in Ottawa. After 1948 she
took the professional name of Emma Caslor and began her own career as a
singer. Her music embraced at first the Celtic roots but soon took on the
folk cultures of Canada's full diversity from aboriginal music to
(real name Terri Lynn Sauson)
Born Montreal, Quebec August 5, 1968. At
age 9 she began playing guitar. She has always been obsessed with Country Music.
She headed to Nashville in the U.S.A. to follow her dream. She worked and sang
anywhere she could, "paying her dues" as a new singer for seven years. Her
first album went triple platinum in Canada and platinum in the U.S.A. The Canadian Music Association declared her Top New Female Artist in 1995 and
she won album and song of the year in 1996. She loves to rollerblade and collects
Connie Isabel Kaldor
May 9, 1953 Regina, Saskatchewan. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Theater at the University of Alberta in 1976. She worked performing with
various theatre groups until 1979 she she began a full-time music career. In
1981 she founded her own independent record label, Coyote Entertainment. She
won her 1st Juno Award with Carmen Campagne in 1989 for the Best
Children’s Album, Lullaby. She earned two more awards for Best Children’s
Album in 2004 and in 2005. She do-wrote a song for the animated television
series based on the comic strip For Better of For Worse which debuted in
2000. She married music producer and Hart-Rouge member Paul Campagne. In
2003 her television show @Wood River Hall debuted on Vision TV. In 2006 she
became a Member of the
Order of Canada. She continues to write music and to tour.
k. d. Lang
(Kathryn Dawn) Born Consort, Alberta November 2, 1961. This country singer
has real country roots. She grew up in Consort, Alberta, which
has a population of 700. In 1981 she became a vegetarian. She
has been very outspoken against cattlemen . Her natural joy of country
music is evident in the songs she sings. This multiple Grammy winner
is considered an innovator in her field, she performs from the heart
and is an inspiration to all.
Born Big Pond, (Cape Breton) Nova Scotia May 28, 1944. Died April 13, 2013. As a child she
suffered from shyness and endured surgery for a cleft palate. She loved to
sing for her mother who encouraged her to Higher goals. Rita is mother of
two children but her marriage did not ad to nor survive her budding career.
She began writing her own heartfelt songs. An early title, Born a Woman,
composed to protest beauty pageants, would become the name of her first
album in 1974. She has recorded more than 20 albums since then, setting
sales records, and outselling such icons as Garth Brooks in 1990’s Canada.
In the late 1970’s after a slow start to her career, she was invited to sing
with the all male miners choir, Men of the Deep. It was a successful and
long lasting musical relationship. In 1987 she won the first of her 3 career
Juno awards. She also holds 4 Canadian Country Music Awards and 7 East Coast
Music Awards. Her 1990’s CBC TV show, Rita and Friends, garnered her a
Gemini Award. As an entrepreneur the family runs Big Pons publications and
productions as well as her big Cape Breton tourist attraction Rita’s Tea
Room. She holds 5 honourary degrees from Universities, the Dr. Helen
Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award, honouring her contribution to Atlantic
Canada Music and holds the Order of Canada (1992) and the Order of Nova
Scotia (2005). Her autobiography is On a personal note, written with Anne
Simpson Toronto; Key Porter Books, 1998. Flying on her own is a a musical
play of her life through her songs by Charlie Rhindress (Playwrights press,
2008)Suggested Sources: Rita MacNeil web site
www.ritamacneil.com (accessed June 2011) ; Profiles from a century of
Canadian Music by Alex Barris and Ted Barris Toronto; Harper Collins.
Born November 2, 1974, Northern Ireland.
She began performing in 1980, at the age of 6, when her family moved
to the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario. The child performer really
took to the stage and has loved it ever since. Her song “Girl Out
of the Ordinary” was #1 in Country Music by a Country Artist.
Montreal, Quebec December 4, 1944. Along with her sister and partner, Kate,
she began singing in coffee houses in Montreal in the 1960's.
In 1976 they produced a record album together. Other albums
followed including an all French album in 1982. The McGarrigles were
named to the Order of Canada in 1994.
Piapot Reserve, Craven, Saskatchewan February 20,1941. (Sometimes recorded
as 1942) This orphaned aboriginal child was to become a moving force in the
international emergence of folk music. Her song “The Universal Soldier” was
one of her most popular works. She also sings songs of concern for the
native people’s experiences in North America.
Born CHATHAM, Ontario September 19, 1940. At age 15 Sylvia
knew she would be a folk singer. She
moved to Toronto where she met Ian Tyson. The duo became full time singers with
their 1st recording in 1961.
They were among the leaders of the 1960’s North American fold music boom.
Sylvia wrote songs such as “You Were On My Mind”.
In 1970 they had the their own TV show “Nashville North”. In the 1970’s
Sylvia headed out on a solo career. She hosed a CBC Radio show, recorded albums,
and formed her own company “Salt Records”. She still enjoys performing today. She has teamed up only three times with Ian to do special performances,
preferring to concentrate on her solo efforts.
Patricia Lorraine Tutty.
Born April 12, 1953. Known as Paddy, she and
her sister began performing folk music in the late 1960's. She developed a
serious interest in English and Celtic traditional music. She traveled to
England to perform and collect fold music. She is and active member of the
Canadian Fold Music Society and has produced albums of this popular and
growing form of music.
Vocalists - singers - classical music
February 3, 1903, Saint
John, New Brunswick. Died August 22, 1988. She studied
music and voice in Montreal, Toronto, and New York City. She made her debut
in the 1920’s and appeared on CBC. From 1931-1941 she was a recitalist for
the Canadian Pacific Railroads Hotels. She was a pioneer in supporting
Canadian composers. For her efforts she received the Canadian Music Council
Medal for “outstanding contribution to the life of Music in Canada”. She
would become a teacher of music at the University of Saskatchewan from 1952
through to 1967.
Stella Irene Boyd
Born December 23, 1891 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died 1945. Daughter of
William J. Boyd,
she was a leading contralto soloist and vocal teacher in Winnipeg, having
studied in France, Germany, and England. She was a vocal examiner for many
years. She was an executive member of the
Women’s Musical Club
and the Registered Music Teachers’ Association.
Manitoba Biography by
J. M. Bumsted
(University of Manitoba Press, 1999) ; Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed
Ida Joséphine Phoebe
Born September 20, 1885 Ottawa, Ontario. Died December 26, 1958 New York,
U.S.A. As a child she took piano lessons and at 13 she began voice lessons.
As a mezzo-soprano she made her Ottawa debut in 1902 as a contralto voice
at the Ottawa Basilica participating in a service commemorating the death of
Queen Victoria. Sir Wilfrid and Lady Laurier assisted her to leave for
Europe in July 1902. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire with an
interruption in her studies when she had an operation for nodules on her
vocal cords. In 1905-6 she toured the British Isles and Canada with Dame
Emma Albani (1847-1930). 1907-08 was spent in study in Italy with her stage
debut at Pavia in the role of Michaela in Carmen.
with orchestras in Holland and Belgium, including a concert with the Berlin
Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1910 she performed with an orchestra at the Royal
Palace in Copenhagen. It was about this time that she gave up the stage to
devote herself to the more intimate art of recital and concert. On a tour of
the Orient she married Franz Knoote, who worked as a plantation manager in
Java. She toured throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Divorced in 1911 she continued touring. During World War 1 she returned to
America where she made her New York recital in May 1915. On November 1, 1923
in New York she sang music of Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin
with none other than Gershwin himself at the piano to accompany her. This
performance is considered historically significant as she would continue to
help introduce more than 700 new songs in concerts
or recitals after this event. In 1927 for the celebration of
Canada’s 60th Anniversary since Confederation she performed in
Ottawa. After the 1936 season in New York and Boston she devoted herself to
teaching giving master classes, and serving on juries for important
competitions. She was a founding member of the American Guild of Musical
Artists (AGMA). In 1949, received a citation from the Campion Society of San
Francisco for her contribution as an interpreter and teacher. Her library
and her personal documents were acquired by the New York Public Library.
Additional documents and photographs are held in the National Library of
Canada. It is fortunate that recordings as early as 1914 have been preserved
and have been featured in retrospectives of Canadian performers
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
Portia May White.
June 24, 1911,Truro, Nova Scotia. Died February 13, 1968. As a child she
sang in her Baptist church choir. Her professional career began its assent
i1941 with an appearance at the Eaton Auditorium in Toronto. In 1944 she
became the first black Canadian woman to appear in the New York Town Hall,
where she was touted as the “Canadian Marion Anderson”. She toured in
Canada, the U.S.A. and Latin America before returning for further studies in
Toronto. She would teach at the all girls school of Branksome Hall and
eventually open her own studio. She was very proud to perform before Queen
Elizabeth II in a Command Performance in 1964. Even though she was an
extraordinary contralto, her career was hampered by racial prejudice shown
against black artists at the time. In 1999, some 30 years after her death,
her family released a private CD “First You Dream”. Canada Post released a
special stamp in her honour as part of it millennium celebration series.
Vocalists - singers - jazz
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A. From 1957 through 1966 she toured with her
sister and brother as the Bay Sisters throughout the North America. The
family made their 1st appearance in Toronto in 1961. On April 7,
1964 she married Howard Berkeley Mathews. Returning to the city in 1966 she
chose Toronto to live and raise her three children. . She appears at night
clubs, on radio and television singing jazz blues and spirituals. She has
also been a featured entertainer at the Canadian National Exhibition in
Toronto. In 1972 she earned an Obe Award for her performance in the New York
production, Justine, also called Love Me, Love My Children. In
the 1970’s and 1980’s she was well received in numerous musicals in New
York, Toronto and Washington, D.C. In 1978/9 she wrote and starred in
Indigo, a Dora Mavor history of the blues. She has appeared at several
benefits with her daughters, Jacintha Tuku and Saidah Talibabh. She has
performed at Ontario Place, Toronto and at Expo 86, the World fair held in
British Columbia. She has recorded several albums of her music. In 1991 she
was presented with a Toronto Arts Award in the Performing Arts Category. In
1995 she did the Salome Bey Christmas Show for national Television. In 1996
she received the Martin Luther King Award for lifetime achievement from the
Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal, Quebec. She has celebrated on February
22, 2002 with a performance for Canada’s Black History Month. She was
inducted as an honourary Member of the Order of Canada in 2005.
Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed May 2013.
Born Halifax, Nova
Scotia November 25, 1963. A jazz singer who has produced several music
albums that have made her one of the best-selling jazz artists ever to
emerge from Canada. She is also very well liked in Japan.
Judith 'Jude' Marian Johnson
Born January 6, 1954, Hamilton, Ontario. She began performing at the age of
3 in commercials. She attended the Sheridan College School of Design,
Oakville, Ontario and took courses at McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario. She has been a full time musician shine 1980. Jude is one of
Canada’s finest vocalists and jazz singers and performers for both adults
and children. She has sung back up to artists such as Raffi and Stan Rogers
as well she has released multiple albums and CDs. In 1985 she was the
founder and director of the MAD Creative Arts School and has helped over
9,000 children explore their creativity through music, art and drama. She
has participated in MAD camp for over 30 years. In 1992 she received the
Canada 125 Medal and was named Hamilton’s Woman of the year in Arts. 1993
she was given the Hamilton Arts Award. In 2009 she was inducted into the
Hamilton Gallery of Distinction and in 2011 she received the Hamilton Arts
Award for Arts Education.
Vocalists - singers - Opera
November 9, 1921, Montreal, Quebec. Died July 10, 2011, Victoria, British
Columbia. She first performed on radio as an actress when she was only 9.
Later she sang on radio. She studied voice and had her formal début in 1938.
In 1946 she married Léopold Simoneau a well known tenor. She earned a
scholarship and studied at the Curtia Institute of Music , Philadelphia,
U.S.A. She made her début at the famous Metropolitan Opera December 8, 1946.
In 1949 she had her début with the Opéra comique in Paris, France. She often
appeared throughout North America. October 8, 1996 she was invested with
the Order of Canada. In 1997 she became a Knight of the National Order of
Source: Obituary. McCall’s Funeral Services, Victoria British
Columbia, 2011 Online Accessed May 2013.
Dame Emma Albani.
(Marie-Louise-Cecile-Emma Lajeunesse). Born Chambly, Canada East (Quebec)
November 1, 1847. Died April 3, 1930. World famous soprano opera singer. She
became the first Canadian born artist to distinguish herself in the
international world of opera and concert singing.
née Herbison. Born January 15, 1957, Nelson, British Columbia. She spent her early years in the settlement of Argenta, near Nelson, which
she would later take as her professional name. Raised in a musical family
where her mother taught piano, she soon found herself studying voice in
Vancouver. Canada Council Grants allowed her to continue her studies in
Europe. In 1983 she had her first major international performance at
Aix-en-Provence, France. In 1989 she was performing farther afield in the
Middle East and Japan. In 1992 she recorded with Tafelmusic in Toronto and
won a Juno Award. Her strong soprano voice and her hard work have allowed
her to work with most of the leading Early Music conductors on both sides of
the Atlantic Ocean.
Rosa received her musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She
earned her B.A. in Fine Arts from York University, Toronto and a diploma in
Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto. She also holds a
diploma in Contemporary Music Theatre Performance from the Banff Centre
School of Fine Arts in Alberta. In addition Rosa holds a Bachelor of
Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. With
certification in Intermediate/Senior Music and drama and Primary Education
and Montessori FCE training. She has performed with various groups including
the Canadian Opera Company and Tapestry Music Theatre in Toronto. While
raising her family she has taught voice to adults and youth in Orangeville,
Ontario. She has formed her own Community Opera Theatre group called Opera
Plus producing several shows. Her shows have supported Theatre Orangeville,
the Salvation Army Food Bank, Hillside House/Family Transition Place and the
Orangeville Concert Association. In 1996 she wrote and performed her own one
woman play League of Notions about the life of Dr. Minerva Ellen Reid
(1872-1957), the 1st woman in North America to be a Chief of
Surgery. She has returned to University to earn her master in Theological
Studies at Tyndale University, Toronto and is involved in the Lay Chaplaincy
program at Headwaters Health Care Centre.
Source: Orangeville and District Music Festival. Online (Accessed February
Rhoda Pendleton Baxter
Calais, Maine, U.S.A. Died November 30, 2012, Ottawa, Ontario. She attended
Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick and went on to study at
the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. She married Start
Baxter moving in 1959 , then in 1969 to Kingston, Ontario and finally
settling in 1972 back in Ottawa. The couple had two children. She has a
career as a prominent Canadian soprano performing throughout North America.
She also performed on CBC. She performed well into her 70’s at various
Ottawa churches with the Choral Society and the Cantata Singers of Ottawa.
Source: “Rhoda Pendleton Baxter. Powerful gift beyond the norm”. by Tony
Lafaro, the Ottawa Citizen, January 20, 2013.
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Born Renfrew, Ontario February 15, 1955. She studied near
home in Ottawa and then at McGill University in Montreal before heading for
in depth voice study in France, Austria and Italy. She made her European
debut on the professional opera stage in 1982 and toured extensively in
Europe. She moved back to Canada in 1997. She is in international demand,
performing an extensive repertoire of opera, recital and oratorio works
covering music from the baroque to 20th century works. She has graced the
opera and concert stages of London. Paris, Tokyo, Geneva, Berlin, Vienna,
Rome, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and
Los Angeles!! Many of her opera and concert performances have been recorded
for television broadcast in North America, Europe and Asia.
née Gosman Born Fredericton, Nova Scotia June 28, 1977 As a child she sang
in her Baptist Church choir. From the age of 7 she would study voice and
piano. As a teen summer holiday time found her studying on scholarships at
the Boston Conservatory in the U.S.A. She obtained a Bachelor of Music at
the University of Toronto and then off she went to Germany for a 5 years
Masters degree program at the Robert Schumann Hochschuls in Dusseldorf. She
married her high school beau who was an exchange student and Measha and Mark
Brugger combined their names. In 1998 at 20 years of age, she premiered in
the title role of a new opera Beatrice Chancy and her career was launched
into orbit. She has performed around the Globe. She has been across her
native Canada, been on CBC TV and earned an Gemini Award nomination. In 1998
she won the Canada Council for the Arts Award. In 2000 she debuted at
Carnegie Hall in New York City before moving on to Japan, Switzerland,
German, and other U.S.A. destinations. The Grand Prize of Jeunesse Musicales
Montreal Internationale Musical Completion was won by Measha. In 2007 she
found time between performances to serve as the Goodwill Ambassador for the
African Medical and Research Foundation working for better health in Africa.
A Juno Award was hers in 2008 for her classical Album of the year. She has
taken international awards in London, England, New York City, U.S.A., Oslo,
Norway and Munich, Germany just to name a few countries. In June 2009 she
was forced to take time off to have open heart surgery. Never one to be kept
down she returned to perform again in September 2009.
Sources: Measha Brueggergosman The Canadian Encyclopedia online
accessed June 2011.
Born Montréal, Québec May 29, 1929. A talented mezzo-soprano
she studied music with Canada's top teachers such as Pauline Donalda and
made her debut with the Opera Guild in 1952. After a dozen major roles in
opera she joined a vocal quartet and made a 50 concert tour in France in
1958. In 1960 she was performing on radio and television and was featured at
EXPO 67. She has the reputation as one of Canada's top musical interpreters
of her generation ( Montreal, La Presse, December 11, 1963) She enjoys
teaching voice privately to select talented students.
Tracy Elizabeth Dahl.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba
November 13, 1961. She enjoyed music as a child
and studied music and theatre at the Banff School of Fine Art and
after making her opera debut in 1982 transferred to the schools opera
program. She launched her career at the San Francisco Opera, made
her European debut in 1987and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in
1991. She has made several recordings.
(Real name Pauline Lightstone) Born Montreal,
Quebec March 5, 1882. Died October
22, 1970. A teacher and administrator she was also a well-known soprano who
had sung with the world famous singer Caruso! She performed all over Europe,
the United States, and even Russia as well as Canada. She founded the
Montreal Opera Guild in 1942.
Sarah Eugéne (Nini) Fischer.
Paris, France February 23, 1896. Died May 3, 1975. Her family came to Canada
when she was 12 and it was not until after World War I that she would train
her soprano singing voice in London. She was made an honorary member of the
Royal College of Music in London. In 1941 she opened a studio in Montreal
helping many young Canadian artists to make their debuts.
Born Montreal, Quebec July
25, 1930. 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 1971. As a youth growing up in Waverly, Nova Scotia, she became
enthralled with music having been energized by her teachers at school. At 17
she moved to Toronto where she saw an Opera for the 1st times.
She fell in love with the singing the story and the costumes. Graduating
from the University of Toronto in 1993 she went on to earn her Master in
Music in 1998. She continued her musical studies at the Banff Centre for the
Arts, the Steans Institute for Young Artists the Centre d’arts Orford and a
year at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, The Netherlands. She sang her
world premiere at 17. She enjoys contemporary compositions and has premiered
some 75 contemporary compositions.. Composer Hans Abrahamsen wrote a
symphonic song Let Me Tell You especially for her strong clear voice. At one
point in her career, having been told that she actually conducted the music
while she sang she took an interest in conducting and now she is
particularly noted for her singing while conducting. Renowned
internationally for her voice and additionally now for being one of the few
women conductors she had worked with the Bavarian State Opera, the Prague
Philharmonic, L’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, and the Opéra
National de Paris, France. She made her North American début as a singing
conductor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto
in October 2015. Her husband is a Dutch theatre director Gijs de Lange and
the two worked together in 2006 on a stage production of The Mikado.
Source: Barbara Hannigan Biography, Barbarahannigan.com. (Accessed
Boron Toronto, Ontario. A talented
soprano, her first training was in piano at McGill University in Montreal.
She did her post graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London,
England. As a chamber music musician she has performed throughout the United
Kingdom. She is also in demand as an opera, recitalist and oratorio concert
singer. She is particularly know for her interpretations of Baroque music
for which she has received several awards. She has performed in the United
Kingdom and across Europe, North America, Turkey and Israel.
Born Pradnik, Poland. She has loved and been surrounded by
music all her life. At 7 she was playing the violin and at 13 the guitar,
piano and trumpet. At 16 she began voice lessons. She performed with her 7
sisters in some 4000 concerts in Poland and the rest of Europe and United
Kingdom as a youth. She attended the Karol Szymanowski Academy of vocal and
acting Arts. While at university she met her future husband, Richard
Sztramko of Hamilton, Ontario. The couple are married and in 2009 were the
proud parents to a son. Maria founded in 2006 and is artistic director of
the Ottawa Classical Choir and the group with Maria as soprano soloist have
produced their own CD’s. She performs not only throughout North America but
also in Europe. She also gives her talent for concerts to raise funds for
charities, especially those involved with helping children. She has received
the Gold Cross of Merit from her homeland, Poland, in recognition not only
of her professional efforts but also for her continued dedication for the
Canadian –Polish cultural association. In 2005 she won the award for
International Rising Star from the American Institute of Polish Culture. As
well as the organization’s 2011 Gold Medal.
of her voice by June Coxon, Ottawa Family Living, March 2012.
Béatrice LaPalme- Issaurel
Born July 27, 1878 Beloeil, Quebec. Died January 18, 1921, Montreal, Quebec.
In 1881 her family relocated to Montreal. She enjoyed learning music from
her mother and the nuns who taught at her convent school. She studied violin
and gave her 1st concert on March 5, 1844. She was the 1st
recipient of the Strathcona Scholarship to attend the Royal College of Music
in England for five years. In 1900 Béatrice was the 1st French
Canadian woman to be made a corresponding member of the Royal College of
Music. On advice of the famous Canadian opera singer, Mme Emma Albani,
Béatrice devoted herself exclusively to singing. She presented a vocal
recital in Montreal on October 17, 1902 and began her international career
the following year in the Royal Opera House in London, England. She met her
future husband, Salvador Issaurel, also an opera singer, while performing in
Paris, France in 1905. The couple was married on October 14, 1908 and they
settled in Montreal in 1911 where she joined the Montreal Opera Company. The
company went bankrupt in 1913 and Béatrice tried singing in the New York
City but with the clouds of world war l gathering she returned to Montreal
she returned to Montreal. The couple taught in their studios and she gave
her last performance in Montreal on November 14, 1919. Salvador continued to
teach as their studio in Montreal until his death in 1944.
Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre, “LA PALME, BÉATRICE (Issaurel),” in Dictionary
of Canadian Biography, vol. 15, University of Toronto/Université Laval,
2003–, accessed July 27, 2014,
Born March 29, 1901, West Calder, Scotland. Died April 28, 1965, Winnipeg,
Manitoba. May emigrated to Canada in 1914 with her parents. A musical
child she singing in Winnipeg Thomas, and in Toronto as well she was
coached in voice in New York City. May was soloist at various churches in
Winnipeg as well as soloist with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Chorus, the
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Choristers. She appeared in productions
by the Winnipeg Light Opera and was a frequent guest on CBC Radio. She
retired from public performance in the late 1940s. She gave private lessons
throughout her career and from 1958 through 1965 she taught at the Canadian
Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg.
Source: Canadian Encyclopedia Online
(Accessed February 2014)
16, 1905, sometimes reported as1902, Shédiac, New Brunswick. Died June 15,
1988, Montreal, Quebec. Anna became one of the most famous Acadian
performers. Growing up in a musical family, she enjoyed a musical childhood
studying both piano and voice. At age 15, Anna gave her 1st public
performance before an English audience. She then went to Paris and worked
with some of the finest instructors of the time developing her talent for
opera. In 1930 she sang for a Boston radio station for a year under the
name of Louise Malmont. Returning to Canada she sang in stage and radio
productions. Anna also composed many songs depicting her Acadian heritage
under the pen name of Marie Lebrun. In her later years, she opened a music
school in Montreal. There are two schools named for her in her home province
as well as a street in Dieppe, New Brunswick. In 2001 Telefilm Canada
produced a documentary film on her life and works.
New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating
Achievers; Behind Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before
Her., September 2002. Online (accessed January 2016)
October 29, 1954. This actor and singer made her stage debut at age 9 in La Boheme
produced by the Vancouver Opera Association. She has appeared in more than 50
roles on stages in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, London, Victoria, Saskatoon and
Seattle. Her TV appearances have included such hit shows as X-Files. In
1987 she was co-founder, with Michael Dobbin, of the Aids-Relief Fundraising for
the Actors' Fund of Canada.
Born Toronto, Ontario January 29,1924.
Died February 17, 1997. Though she suffered from Polio as a child it did not
stop this opera singer. Her career too her all over the world to sing in the
world’s greatest operatic productions and for solo appearances. She
received many acknowledgements for her contributions to Canadian society
including the Molson Prize and being a companion in the Order of Canada.
Mary Louise Morrison
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba November 9, 1926.
She studied voice in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto. In the mid 1940's she
was acclaimed the talented sweetheart of Winnipeg. She appeared at festivals
and on radio. By the end of the 1940's she was appearing with the Toronto
Symphony Orchestra. She moved to perform for C B C Opera and the Canadian
Opera Company. Her personal Canadian Centennial project in 1967 was the role
of Sara Riel in the opera Louis Riel. She has toured throughout North
America and Europe as an advocate of 20th century music. Married to composer
Harry Freedman, her voice as graced his works in several movies. She has
held positions on numerous boards and committees for the Canada Council, the
Sir Ernest Macmillan memorial Foundation, the Toronto Arts Council and has
taught at McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of Toronto. She
became an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1983.
Anna Maria Pellegrini
Born July 15,
1943, Pretoro, Italy. Maria arrived in Canada in 1958 with her family. Two
years later she was attending the Royal Conservatory of Music (RMC) studying
voice for 4 years. She also studied in London, England. She made her
profession debut in 1963 with the Canadian Opera Company. She debuted in
London, England with the Royal Opera in 1965. In 1977 she appeared in Madame
Butterfly on CBC television and is considered by some critics as the best
Madame Butterfly of her generation. Her life partner is Antonio Barone de
Pinna and the couple have one son. In 1980 she was performing at the Ottawa
Opera, and across Canada. In 1982 she was in New York City and earned
leading roles in other American companies. Internationally her voice is well
known in Italy, Santo Domingo, as well as Scotland and Wales. Her life
partner is Antonio Barone de Pinna and the couple have one son. She has
received numerous awards including the Carvella D’oro from Italy, the
Puccini Madallion from Italy, the Friend of Rome Citation and Ambassiatrice
Della Cultura Italiana. She has received the Award of Merit from the City of
Ottawa and in 1995 she was woman of the Year with the Canadian Ethnic Press
Council. In 2004 a one hour documentary: Canada’s Butterfly: Maria
Pellegrini was produced. In addition to private voice coaching and
master classes at McGill University and University of Ottawa, Maria, in
2004, founded Pellegrini Opera, was the Artistic Director until 2013, and
continues now as the recognized Founder and Executive Consultant in all
areas of the company.
September 28,1950 Toronto, Ontario. This mezzo-soprano studied in Toronto,
Vancouver, London, Paris and New York City. She made her debut as a singer
in 1972 in Messiah with the St Catharines Niagara Symphony in Ontario. She
won the Caplet Award in 1978 at the Concours international de chant in
Paris, France and won a silver medal that same year at the Geneva Concours
International in Switzerland. The following year she took the Gold Award at
the Benson & Hedges International Competition for Concert Singers. Her rich
voice is in demand throughout North America and Europe. She has made
several classical recordings that have brought her acclaim. It was in 1978
that she began to perform in a trio with John Dodington, bass and Jane Coop
on piano. In March 1981 she made her New York recital debut. In 1982 she was
performing in the Stratford Festival production of Purcell’s Dido and
Aeneas, in Stratford, Ontario. She has appeared in recital with major
Canadian Orchestras and has sung with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the
Buffalo Philharmonic, the Nation Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Louis
Symphony Orchestra in the U.S.A. She has been heard on the BBC, the CBC and
Radio France and has produced many recordings. Upon retirement in May 11,
2003 she dedicated her time to teaching privately and most especially as
Director of Vocal Studies at York University. She is
President of the Canadian Aldeburgh Foundation,
an organization that supports young Canadian Artists studying and performing
Young Artists programme in the UK. She holds the Order of
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2006)
Born Backnang, Germany August 9, 1947. She
immigrated to Canada as a child with her family. She studied voice and music
first in Winnipeg, Manitoba and then in Europe. This young soprano made her
debut in 1979 in Canada and in 1988 she made her debut in the U.S.A.
Since then she as performed with leading orchestras across North America ,
Europe and Israel.
Georgina Ann Stirling
Born April 3,
1866, Twillingate, Newfoundland. Died April 23, 1935, Twillingate,
Newfoundland. Georgina’s father, William, believed that all 10 of his
children should have a well-rounded education which included music. At 15
Georgina began playing the organ at church as well as playing and singing at
local concerts. Leaving home in 1873 she spent 2 years at the Toronto’s
Ladies College before returning home. In 1888 she was in Paris, France for
Voice training and began training at Marchesi’s School of Music. In 1890 she
was invited to join the Milan Opera Company in Italy. Back in Newfoundland
in 1892 she sang at church concerts before returning to Europe for
additional studies and appearances at the Paris Grand Opera. In 1896 after
an extended visit home and doing local appearances she was at the New
Imperial Opera Company of New York, U.S.A. for a year prior to touring in
the United States. While making appearances in Italy between 1898 and 1901
Georgina damaged her vocal cords and was prescribed total rest.
Unfortunately she never recovered enough to do extensive foreign tours
again. She would give a rare concert appearances in Newfoundland but she was
hampered by depression and bouts of alcoholism. In 1904 she went to England
to recover from her alcoholism. Back in Newfoundland in 1925 she helped
organize charity events and rarely performed at some of the conferences.
Bert Riggs, Nightingale of the North, The Gazette, November 16, 1998.
submitted by Nora Phillips.
Anastasia Stratakis. Born May 26.Teresa began her singing career by singing
Greek pop songs. By 1958 she had made her debut in Opera. Her beautiful
soprano voice has been heard all over the world. The Canadian Music Council
named her artist of the year in 1980.
Vocalists - singers - Popular and contemporary music
Born Calgary, Alberta March 27, 1962. 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 Juno Awards. and continues to produce hit singles and albums.
Born Churchill, Manitoba January 27, 1967. Her
Inuit name is Uuliniq. She is one of six children. She actually worked as a
civil servant at the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in Ottawa for
awhile but gave it up to be able to sing. She had produced three albums and
two hit singles by 1999. The music video for Searching won best
cinematography honors at the 1991 Canadian Music Video Awards. She is a
committed family person and does motivational talks to youth advising that
"staying in school is cool ." She Received the order of Canada in
Paquetville, New Brunswick July 27, 1942. 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
Juliette Augustina Sysak Cavazzi
Born August 27, 1926, St Vital, Manitoba As a youngster in Winnipeg
Juliette sang at the Ukrainian Hall and at amateur talent shows. When she
was just a teenager her family relocated to Vancouver. At 13 she was singing
at the Hotel Vancouver making more money than her father earned at his job
as a cook for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was appearing on CBC radio
at 15 and was headed to Toronto to appear on TV’s Holiday Ranch.
Known as Juliette, this singer and entertainer used only her first name on
stage. She married manager Tony Cavazzi. She had regular appearances on the
Billy O’Connor CBC TV late show. By 1956 she had her own national TV program
where she was known as “Our pet, Juliette”. The show was third in the
popularity rating only behind Hockey Night in Canada and CBC National News!
Two of her favourite guests were Tony Bennett and Jack Jones. From 1969
through 1971 she hosted a day show called ‘After Noon’ and from 1973 through
1975 she hosted ‘Juliette and Friends’. She also had a successful recording
career which included 5 LP 9Long Playing records) albums. In 1975 she was
appointed a member of the Order of Canada. In 1999 she was inducted into
Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 1994 She became a member of the British Columbia
Entertainment Hall of Fame. She was often criticized for her choice of
music, she hair style and the clothing she wore. However she is hailed as a
trailblazer for female entertainers who wish to control their own image and
Einarson. ‘Juliette’ in Manitoba Music Museum . (accessed August 2014
: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed August 2014)
Born Montreal, Quebec July 3,
1939. 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.
(née Marjorie Chandler) Born Windsor, Ontario November 18, 1926. Died July 21,
1994. This singer had the nick name of "Lucky Strike Girl"
after the cigarette sponsor of a TV show on which she sang. She appeared
on the Canadian television show Your Hit Parade (1950-1957).
She also had her own record label in the 1950's.She worked on setting
up gags on the show Candid Camera. In 1971 she appeared in
a Broadway musical and continued her singing by presenting jazz in
Helen Maude Dallas
12, 1898, Hastings, England. Died May 26, 1993, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She
arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1919. She studied music at
and began musical career that spanned six decades. In 1920 she married
Joseph Dallas and the couple had 2 children. She performed regularly with
various choirs and on local stages ranging from the
to Rainbow Stage. During the depression of the 1930’s she often sang for
causes to help the homeless and unemployed. In the 1940s she hosted a radio
show on CKY. During world War ll she regularly performed for troops and
continued doing weekly recitals at
Deer Lodge Hospital
well into her eighties. Later in life she became a green space activist in
her Omand’s Creek neighbourhood.
Source: Manitoba Lives: Helen Dallas, West End Dumplings, Online Blog
of Christian Cassidy (accessed February 2014
March 30, 1968. 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 singer 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.
(née Pesklevits) Born
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan August 19, 1948. Susan and her
formed a popular 1970’s singing group called “The Poppy Family”. Together they
produced several albums of music.
She would go on to have a single
performer career in the 1980's. She moved to Nashville to continue her career
in music but ended up turning to a career in publishing. She is currently
executive Vice President of a successful telecommunications firm in Nashville.
Born May 23
1920, Trois Rivières, Quebec. . Died October 1, 1998. She pursued a career
in acting in Quebec City. From 1950 through 1961 she was married to actor
Jacques Galipeau. The couple had two children. In 1952 she was in Paris,
France where she began singing on French radio and television. In 1961 she
recorded her 1st two albums. In 1969 she represented the CBC at
an international song festival in Poland where she placed 2nd.
Back in Canada she appeared regularly on stage and worked sporadically in
Europe. In 1965 she hosted the CBC television show, Mon pays, mes
chansons. She toured the USSR, Cuba, France, Nepal and Rwanda prior to
marring Gérald Goden, a Member of the Quebec legislature and cabinet
minister in the Parti Québec. In the decade from 1965-1975 she was featured
in six movies. In 1994 she was presented with the Chevalier des arts et des
letters from France. In 1997 she was invested as a Chevalier de l’Ordre
national du Québec. The Montreal Centre des arts de la scène Pauline Julien
is named in her honour.
Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2010.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba May 18, 1973. She began to play the piano
just after she learned to walk at three years of age! She attended
conservatory for training but did not continue. And even seemed to give up
the idea of ever pursuing a career in music as a teenager. However in the
early 1990’s she registered at the university of Manitoba in art studies.
During a family vacation in Italy in 1994 she was involved with a
disastrous moped accident leaving her with numerous scars and little feeling
in part of her face. It was at this time she returned to her love of music.
In 1866 she met her husband Raine Martin. By 200 she had earned Best Pop
Album and Best Female Artist Juno Awards. In 2001 Genie Awards came for Best
Achievement in Music Original Song, Century Hotel. Back to the Juno’s in
2004 she won with her new album. In 2005 her first son, Lucca was born
followed in 2008 with a second son.
Source: Canada Kicks Ass –
Famous Canadians online accessed September 2004.
Born September 27, 1984 Belleville, Ontario. At the age of two she
showed that she could sing when she began to sing church songs with her
mother. In 1998 she won a competition to sing with fellow Canadian Shania
Twain on tour. At 16 she signed with Artista Records. She was tagged the
Best New Artist in 2002 and 2003 she won 4 Juno Awards and was nominated for
8 Grammy Awards. Her first album Let go, releases June 4, 2002 sold 18
million copies and was 6 x Platinum in the U.S.A. She has at least ½ dozen
number 1 songs worldwide. Her music has been described as modern rock, pop
punk, pop rock, power pop, alternative rock or pos grunge. She married
Deryck Whibley July 15, 2006 and continued to rise in her career. In
December 2007 she ranked #7 in the Forbes Top 20 Earners under 25 years of
age, earning 12,000,000.00. Also in December 2007 her third album, The
Best Darn Thing had sold 6.1 million copies. Her movie debut came with
the DreamWorks animated feature Over The Hedge and she recorded the
Theme song or the Sponge Bob Squarepants Movie. She works with
various charities on health issues such as AIDS/HIV, UNICEF and is involved
with environmental concerns.
(Avril R suggested that Avril Lavigne be included on this site. Thanks.
Don’t know how she was overlooked for so long!! ed.)
Born 1992, Brampton, Ontario. Katee always enjoyed singing . In
2002 she was awarded the Best Junior Vocalist solo and Most Promising
Performer by the Brampton Performing Arts. She began working as a model and
did several commercials for television in 2003. At the age of 13 she
co-founded a musical group DAME which became Brampton’s Band of the Year in
2006. By 2008 In-Tune magazine awarded DAME Female Act of the Year/Rock Act
of the Year and Band most likely to succeed. The group was also Band of the
Year at the Toronto Independent Music Awards in 2008. In 2010 Katee formed
the group KARMA Keeps with herself as front singer. They are the only
Canadian Female group in the international YOBISing Top Ten.
Submitted by Velvet Karma (VelvetKarma@rogers.com)
(real name Monique
Tremblay) Born Montreal, Quebec February
26, 1928. She was the first great international star from French Canada.
Using her natural gifts of music and drama she started her acting career on
radio in 1943. In 1965 she won the grand prizes at the international
festival of Song in Sopot, Poland and at the Festival de la Chanson at
Ostende, Belgium. In the 1980's she began to write and stage one-woman shows
where she sang and acted. She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in
1967 and received the 1979 Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée.
Beatrice Gladys Lillie
Bea Lillie. (Real name Constance Sylvia Gladys Munston). Born
1894. She would become known as the “Funniest woman in the world.” She has a
sweet voice and when singing she would add jokes between her songs until she
was better known for the jokes than her music. She won a Tony in 1953,. She
married Sir Robert Peel and became Lady Peel in 1920 Source: Canadian
Encyclopedia Online Accessed June 2003
Born Lubomir Kowalchyk 1958, Montreal, Quebec. She was performing
on stage at 13 and recording since she was 15 years old. She studied at
Concordia University, Montreal. She formed a band called Luba in 1978, but
agencies only wanted her as a solo artist. In 1983 after the death of her
father she wrote Every time I See Your Picture and sang it with pure
emotion. It has become her signature song. She hold 5 Juno awards as female
vocalist of the year, three of which were 1985,1986 and 1987. She has also
won 3 Felix Awards, and a Casby. In 1991 she was the featured artist for the
half time show at the Grey Cup football game. In 1989 she put her career on
hold as she went through a divorce, death of close family members and caring
for her ill Sister. As a solo artist she has made 6 albums. In 2000 she made
a comeback album From The Bitter To The Sweet. She wrote all 11 songs
and c0nsiders this album her most honest. She is nor doubt one of Canada’s
most successful artists and yet she has never charted in the U.S.A. She now
lives in Anguilla.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba 1927. Died
September 5, 2003. Marie Marguerite Louise Gisele La Fleche began showing
her musical talent by playing the piano at age 2!. As she grew into her
music she preferred the violin and she performed her first public appearance
at 12. During World War ll she entertained the troops where she met he
future husband. After her violin was stolen she began to concentrate on her
singing career where she would earn the informal title of Canada's first
lady of song. She had her own radio show on CBC and was 'discovered' in the
early 1950's and was on her way to Hollywood where she changed her name to
Mackenzie. She appeared on numerous TV shows and toured with comedian and
violinist Jack Benny. She also recorded for Capital Records. Her song Hard
to Get was on the 1955 hit parade for 16 weeks! She starred in musicals, TV
shows and the movies. She is a member of the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of
15, 1922, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Died. April 27, 1984, Vancouver, British
Columbia. She was a singing star of radio and TV in 1950s, headlining CBC
Toronto's Holiday Ranch and Vancouver's Burn's Chuckwagon,
Some of Those Days and Meet Lorraine. She was also a headline
performer for Theatre Under the Stars. Performed in Johnny Holmes'
orchestra, as well as singing from 1950-1965 with her bandleader Dal
Richards at the Panorama Roof of the Hotel Vancouver.
Vancouver Hall of Fame online (Accessed November 2012)
St-Sauveur-des-Monts, Quebec February 6, 1946. Along with her sister and
partner, Anna, she began singing in coffee houses in Montreal in the
1960’s. In 1976 they produced a record album together. After a brief solo
experience in New York, Kate rejoined her sister and more albums followed
including a French language collection in 1982. The McGarrigles were named
to the Order of Canada in 1994.
Born May 14,1944. This singer
and actress began her career on radio at age 8. By age 12 she had appeared
on TV. After studies at college she appeared on the CBC TV series
Sing-along Jubilee, Don Messer's Jubilee, and Music Hop. She would also
have her own radio show on the CBC called That McKinnon Girl. On stage she
excelled in musical productions and often appeared with her actor/comedian
husband, Don Herron.
Born Halifax, Nova Scotia January 28,
1968. She studied classical guitar, piano and voice as a child. As a teen
she was a member of a new wave band. Since releasing TOUCH in 1988
she has explored her own unique musical interests being indifferent to
current trends and fads. Her songs convey a passionate honesty rarely found
in today’s music.
Amanda Meta Marshall.
Born Toronto, Ontario
August 29, 1972. Amanda began performing
when she was just 16 years old. Her
powerful voice landed her a contract with Columbia Records in New York City but
it was Sony Music Canada that released her first album in 1995. Her song “This
could take all night” was part of the sound track of the movie Tin Cup.
She has also had a strong endorsement from Elton John.
Denise Katrina Mathews
4, 1959, Niagara Falls, Ontario. She was abandoned by her mother and abused
by her father but she rose from these circumstances as a youth Model
becoming Miss Niagara Hospitality in 1977 and competing for the Miss Canada
title the following year. She headed for New York to further her career and
did several TV commercials. She hooked up with the entertainer PRINCE who
renamed her Vanity and placed her in a singing group of three girls called
Vanity 6 (the number of breasts the girls had in total) who always performed
in lingerie. The group has a couple of albums. She also appeared in several
B rate movies in the 1980’s through the mid 1990’s. She posed for Playboy
magazine in 1995 and again in 1998. She was not only reportedly linked
with PRINCE but also Billy Idol and Adam Ant while becoming the sex idle of
the 1980’s. She was a drug addict and this life style cased severe health
problems. She was married for a year in 1994/1995 to Adam Smith but soon
divorced when her health continued to deteriorate. In 1997 she survived a
kidney transplant and after a religious re birth she has renounced all
connections of her former life and established her own evangelical ministry.
In 2010 she wrote and published her autobiography entitled Blame it on
Born December 25, 1958.
This rock singer began playing the guitar at age 11. By 15 she was
writing songs. She was unable to gain the attention of Canadian
companies so she released her records through a New York company. She
won a Grammy for her first album. An album in 1995 was simply called Alannah.
(real name Roberta
Joan Anderson). Born
Fort Macleod, Alberta November 7, 1943. A pop singer who is famous for her folk
songs of the 1960’s. “The Circle Game” Both Sides Now” She switched
to jazz and in 1969 her album “Clouds” won a Grammy Award.
She is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Ontario June 1, 1974. As a child in Ottawa she liked to sing, dance, and
act. She took dance lessons at 7, began writing songs at 9, and played in a
TV series on Canadian TV (“You Can’t Do That on Television”) at 11.
Her first album is “Alanis” released in 1991. She has won awards and
produced “Jagged Little Pill” before moving to Brentwood California.
Springhill, Nova Scotia June 20, 1945. She has sung her way into the hearts
of fans all over the world. She has record sale of over 25,000,000, 4
Grammies, 32 Juno Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. All of
these things make her the most successful female recording artist in the
history of Canadian entertainment. She has been inducted into the Juno Hall
of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada. She is the mother of 3
children. I wonder if their mother sang them to sleep when they were
née Raynault Born Montreal, Quebec April
28, 1946. She loved to sing even as a child. This chanteuse puts warmth and
passion into her renditions of sentimental ballads that have won her an
adoring fan base not only in her home province of Quebec, but from across
Canada and abroad. Her first recording appeared in 1961. She has earned
several Juno Awards in 1969 and the 1970's and was presented
with the ADISQ lifetime achievement award in 1995. She was invested as
an officer of the Order of Canada October 20, 1982. In 2012 the Canada Post
Office honoured her with a feature postage stamp.
Born Toronto, Ontario August 12, 1955. During
her college years, studying microbiology, she began performing at local coffee
houses. She used her tip money to
fund her 1st album. She has not looked back. She has now formed her
own record label “Sheeba” to produce her records.
September 24, 1960.
She is a graduate in music theory from the
of Toronto. She expanded her skills while living in
and Los Angeles, where she wrote for artists such as Diana Ross, Cyndi
Lauper, Sheena Easton and Canadian performers such as Anne Murray and Roch
Voisine. She has returned to Toronto where she now centers her own
performing artist career. She is a wife and mother of two who has found a
working balance suited to her. Her first CD was Cool Rain which was
followed closely by Burnt in the Sun (1998), Phenomenal Woman
(2001) and With a Kiss (2003). Her music is a mainstay on Canadian
radio and has earned Juno nominations, SOCAN Awards and Canadian Independent
Music Award nominations. She is also known for her numerous contributions
and support for charitable causes. This mini profile was nominated by
Born St Vital, Manitoba
August 27, 1927. Known as
Juliette, this singer and
entertainer used only her first name on stage. She debuted on CBC radio at 15
years of age. From 1956 to 1975 she
had her on TV program where she was known as “Our pet, Juliette”.
Born Montreal, Quebec January 27, 1961. In 1977 the family
relocated to Etobicoke on the edge of Toronto. Margo remembers music as
always being part of her life. She even sang as a child when washing dishes!
(Source: Paolo Car(?) ‘Ultimo Buscadero, no. 207
November 1999) She
studied social work at university and then she joined
her two brother and some friends helping to form a rock group that produced
their first album in their garage. In 1985 her brother Michael convinced his
shy but talented sister to sing to the group. Margo became a welcome working
member of the group. The Cowboy Junkies have not looked back and
have since produced many more million selling albums such as Pale Sun,
Crescent Moon (1993), 200 more miles (1995) and Lay it down
(1996) as well as In the time before llamas (2003) and One soul
now (2004) , At the end of paths taken. They have a very active
tour schedule playing across the country. Margo married Graham Henderson, an
entertainment lawyer in 1988 and they have one son. When not on the road
with the group she enjoys being home with her family and their pets, doing
whatever she wants to relax like reading a good book and some slithery. The
town of Timmins Ontario was founded by her Grandfather.
Marie (Mary)-Rose-Anne Travers.
Gaspèsie, Quebec June 4, 1894. Died February 20, 1941.
She is best known as LA BULDUC. She would become Canada's
premier chansonère (singer), composing
and singing songs of ordinary daily life of Quebec. She is a legend in her
home province. Canada Post issued
a stamp in her honour in 1994. There is a museum exhibit in her home town of
née Eileen Regina Edwards. Born Windsor,
Ontario August 28, 1965. She took the name of her step father and went
through school as Eileen Twain in Timmons, Ontario. She enjoyed music and
her family recognized her talent when she was young. So did the CBC who had
her appear at 13 on the popular Tommy Hunter Show. When she was 21 her
parents were killed in an auto accident and she took on the responsibility
for her brothers and sisters by working in a lodge in Huntsville, Ontario
where she had a chance to perform as part of her work. In 1990 when
she signed her first recording contract with Mercury Nashville Records she
changed her first name to Shania, which is from the aboriginal Ojibwa
language , meaning 'I'm on my way'. She was indeed! Her 1995 album,
The Woman in me sold 12 million copies and her 1998 release Come on over
produced 8 world wide single hits. Her singing and her original
writings of songs have won Grammy Awards, Juno Awards, Canadian and American
Country Music Awards and World Music Awards. In 2001 she took time from her
busy career to give birth to a son and in 2003 returned to touring and
performing to her adoring fans. In 2004 she and her husband purchased a
ranch in New Zealand as a get away from their home in Europe. . She has been
honoured in her home town of Timmins with museum dedicated to her life and
Vocalists - singers - Rhythm and Blues
Born July 13,
1974, Toronto, Ontario. She began singing on TV Commercials when she was
only 12 and her mother helped her enter various talent shows. As a teenager
she performed in nightclubs and began to write music. In the 1990’s she
performed as backup for Celine Dion. In 1994 she relocated to Los Angeles,
California, U.S.A. with her producer and songwriting partner, Lascelles
Stephens. The couple would marry and have 3 children. The following year
she released her 1st album. In 1996 she won a Juno Award for Best
R&B soul recording. She sang for the soundtrack for the 1997 movie Money
Talks and a dance mix of the song topped U.S. dance charts. In 1998 she
produced a second album One Wish which included the single
Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here which was #1 on the Hot R&B charts for 14
weeks. That year she won a Juno Award for Best R&B/Soul Recording and won
the Soul Train Award for best R&B/Soul Single. In 1999 there was another
Juno Award. Her 3rd album was released in 2002. While she has
done a number of movie soundtracks she has also acted in movies since 2000.
In 2006 she released her 4th album as a tribute to jazz singer
Dinah Washington. Her 5th album was released in 2008. That same
year she received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. On September 7, 2012
she debuted in a musical, Jekyll and Hyde and debuted on Broadway April 5,
2013. In 2014 she was 1 of the performers at the opening ceremonies of World
Pride in Toronto.
Born 1911, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died July 1960,
Vancouver, British Columbia. As a child she enjoyed
music but it was not to be her career. She studied to
become a nurse and worked with Children at the Vancouver
Hospital for Children. In 1947 she wrote a poem
“There’s a Bluebird on your windowsill for one of her
small patients and later added music to her lyrics. She
was encouraged by friends and colleagues to perform the
son on the local radio. The song would published by
Empire Music and it was performed locally in British
Columbia by the Rhythm Tones and nationally by Don
Murphy. American singers Doris Day and Tex Williams
made the song a hit in 1949. Elizabeth became the first
woman to write a son that sold over 1, 000,000 copies!
She donated all royalties to Canadian hospitals for sick
children. In 2010 the song was inducted into the
Canadian Song Writers Hall of Fame.
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia online
(Accessed January 2013) ; The History of Metropolitan
Vancouver Online Accessed December 2012)
Born Vancouver, British Columbia. She is from the Métis
Nation (Cree/French Iroquois/English ancestry) She works
as an Infant Development Consultant and Early Childhood
Education for kla-how-eya Aboriginal Centre. While she
holds a diploma in Early childhood Education from the
University of British Columbia, she is also a composer
and performer using traditional drumming in contemporary
children’s music. Her spiritual name is
Metoni-Apihtaw-Achkos. In 2003 she was honoured with her
first Eagle Feather. In 2005 she earned the Aboriginal
Childcare Award from the British Columbia Ministry of
Children and Families. She also receive a Métis sash
from the Métis Family Services and was declared a
National Aboriginal Role Model for Canada. In 2006 she
was one of twelve National Aboriginal Youth Role Models
for the Aboriginal Health Organization for her Lead your
Way Program. In 2007 she was an Aboriginal Leading Lady
on the Calendar by Samaya Photography. In 2008 she
produced a music album, My Moccasins for
Children. Nadine has one daughter.
Source: Herstory: A Canadian Women’s Calendar 2008
(Coteau Books, 2007)
|Ann Meekitjuk Hanson
Eastern Canadian Arctic. Her official name was Annie E 7
– 121. Her Christian name was Annie. The E stood for
Eastern Arctic, 7 denoted her birth community and 121
was the number assigned by the federal registry. Her
peoples still lived on the land when she was born. After
the death of her parents she moved to Toronto to live
with an aunt. She too the name of her new family
becoming Ann Cotterill to attend high School. She was
never officially adopted so she took her father’s name
Meekitjuk as a legal surnamed before she started working
for the Federal Government in Ottawa and later in
Iqahuit when it was still known as Frobisher Bay,
Northwest Territories. She had an additional name change
when she married Robert Hanson. The couple had four
children. She worked for CBC Radio providing Inuit
programming. Her shows actually provided oral histories,
legends, songs, food facts, and other cultural aspects
of far North life and they helped preserve these aspects
of life. In 1973 she was in Hollywood to be part of a
movie The White Dawn and she became intrigued
with the process of filming. She has daringly produced a
film on spousal abuse in the North and after the premier
of the film the first women’s shelter opened in her
community. She enjoys doing films on the life around
her in the North and as such is continuing the tradition
of the women who have for generations told stories and
sung songs of the culture of the people. She has served
as Deputy Commissioner of the Northwest Territories and
she has been inducted into the Order of Canada.
Source. Herstory: A Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006,
Coteau Books, 2005.
Born June 23, 1904,Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. Died
June 30, 1983, Hollywood, California, U.S.A. .Her birth
name was Sadie Marks (sometimes Marx) Sadie was raised
in Vancouver and as a teen she first met her future
husband Benny Kubelsky, better known as the famous
comedian Jack Benny (1894-1974) at a Passover Seder at
her family's home in 1922. They Met again in 1926 when
she worked at The May Company Department . store in Los
Angeles. The couple were married 1927 and the couple
adopted a daughter, Joan. Taking the stage name of Mary
Livingstone she played as Jack wisecracking partner for
21 years on his radio show and later on his TV. show.
The character proved to be so popular with fans that she
took the name Mary Livingstone legally. She was awarded
a star on the walk of fame for her role but the name was
misspelled with no “e’ at the end. Mary was somewhat
insecure and developed severe stage fright appearing
less and less and finally retiring from performing in
Sources: The Vancouver Hall of Fame online :
Find-a-Grave.com ; IMDB<COM (accessed November 2012)
Born September 15, 1901 Eccles, England. Died January 1,
1993, Kelowna, British Columbia. Gweneth originally
trained in England as a physical education teacher
before she became interested in dance. She opened a
dance studio in Leeds, England in 1927. In 1938 she
immigrated to Canada with one of her students , Betty
Farrally. The two women settled in Winnipeg where in
1939 they opened the Winnipeg Ballet Club. In 1941 it
was renamed Winnipeg Ballet and by 1953 they had
received royal patronage and became the Royal Winnipeg
Ballet. Gweneth would produce 35 original ballets before
she retired from the RWB in 1955. Unfortunately in 1954
a fire destroyed the building housing the Ballet and
sets, costumes and archives were all destroyed including
Gwyneth’s works. In 1950 she relocated to Toronto for a
short time and finally settled in Kelowna, British
Columbia with Betty Farrally. From 1946 through 1965 she
directed the Banff School of Fine Arts (Banff Centre)
summer school of Dance. In 1962 she and Betty founded
the Canadian School of Ballet branch in Kelowna. In 1968
she was inducted into the Order of Canada followed in
1970 with the Manitoba Centennial Medal. In 1984 she
received the Dance in Canada Award. In 1992 she was
presented with the Governor’s General Performing Arts
Sources: Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed
April 2014) ; The Canadian Encyclopedia Online
(Accessed April 2014). Book: The Royal Winnipeg
Ballet: the first forty years (1979).