Copyright © 1998-2020  Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved 

 ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

Freda Ahenakew

Aboriginal author & Cree language expert.

Born February 11, 1932, Ahtahkakoop, Saskatchewan. Died April 8, 2008, Saskatchewan. As a youth Freda was forced to attend St Alban’s Residential School in St Albert, Saskatchewan, away from her family. She married Harold Greyeyes from the Muskeig Lake Cree Nation and the couple had 12 children. She returned to school in 1968 along with nine of her children to achieve her high school diploma. In 1979 she earned her Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan while teaching the Cree language. From 1976 through 1981 she was a teacher at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College and other Aboriginal schools in the province. In 1984 she graduated with a Master’s of Art Degree in Cree linguistics from the University of Manitoba. She became an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan in 1985 through 1989. She was Director of the Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute and then took a position as professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba until her retirement in 1996. While teaching she wrote numerous books for children, books about the Cree language, and its importance to Cree Culture. In 1998 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada and in 2005 she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. (2020)

Susan Louise Moir Allison

National Historic Person

Born August 18, 1845, Ceylon. Died February 1, 1937, Vancouver, British Columbia. After her father’s death his widow and three children relocated to England. In 1857 the mother married Thomas Glennie and by 1900 the family was living in British Columbia. By 1864 the father abandoned the family in Hope, British Columbia. Here Susan established the 1st school in the town. In 1868 she married John Fall Allison, one of the founders of Princeton, British Columbia. The couple had 14 children who they raised in the Similkamun Valley. Susan and her family formed close relations with the Aboriginal population of the area and she learned their stories and translated them to English. She was the 1st European to report sighting the Naitaka (Opopogo), a large serpent like legend of Lake Okanagan. In 1891 the British Association for the Advancement of Science published Susan’s paper on the peoples of Similkameen. In 1900 she published a long narrative poem, In-cow-mad-ket, a story of a local native Chief. She retired to Vancouver in 1928 publishing part of her memoirs in 1931 in the Province newspaper. Her complete memoirs were published by the University of British Columbia in 1976. This publication gives the only British Columbian woman’s account of early settlement in the area. On September 4, 2010 she was declared a National Historic Person. (2020)

Mary Alloway née Wilson. Born December 3,1847, Montreal, Lower Canada (now Quebec). Died November 1, 1919, Pasadena, California, U.S.A. Mary spent most of her life in her home province of Quebec.  It was here that she wrote a local history book, Famous Firesides of French Canada which was published in 1899. She also published an historical romance Crossed Swords in 1912. She married Clement John Alloway (1847-1914) who would become known as one of Canada's authorities on horses. The couple had four sons. Mary was also an accomplished artist using water colours and also china painting. Mary died while on holiday in California. Source The Canadian Writing Resource Collaboratory Online (2020)
Anne-Marie Alonzo SEE - Poets

SEE - Gertrude Moltke Bernard

Anne-Marie André

Inuit author and activist
Born 1926, Schefferville (Matimekosh), Quebec. Died 2004. In 1976 she published her 1st book which as autobiographical, Je suis Une maudite sauvagesse/eukan nin matshimanitu innu-iskueu (I am a damaged savage woman) The book deals with topics of loss of hunting territory, Residential schools and police brutality. A second book followed in 1979 providing a view of a indigenous child on colonization of Turtle Island. In 1981 this second book was adapted for the stage. Her writings were a subsequent inspiration to other Innu writers and a renewed interest in her native language.  (2020)
Félicité Angers

Laure Conan

Born January 9, 1845, La Malbaie, Lower Canada (Now Quebec). Died June 6, 1924, Quebec City, Quebec. Félicité was educated by the Ursuline nuns in Quebec where she became fluently bilingual in English and French and also learned German. While she never married she had had a suitor, Pierre-Alexis Tremblay, who would marry another woman. Félicité remained heartbroken. This was the pen name of Laure Conan, she would author of nine novels of French Canadian life. Her 1st work appeared as a short story Un amour vrai which was published in the Revue de Montréal in 1878 and 1879. She was also a contributor to Le Journal de Françoise, a bimonthly paper edited by the acclaimed Robertine Barry (1863-1910), Félicité was a witness to her time. She was the 1st French Canadian female novelist with her book Angeline de Montbrun which was first published in serial form and then as a book in 1884. All her novels centered on the three driving forces of French Canadian life, family, nation, and religion.  It was unusual at this era for a women to make a living by writing which Félicité did by contributing articles to newspapers, journals, and by writing plays.  (2020)

Nelly Arcan SEE- Isabelle Fortier
Alice Maud Ardagh Born July 15, 1861, Christchurch, Monmouthshire, Wales. Died January 13, 1936, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. In 1863Alice and her family immigrated to Canada West (now Ontario). After the death of her father in 1868 the family settled for a while in Whitby, Ontario and then to Yorkville, Ontario. In 1888 Alice published her 1st novel, Tangled Ends. By 1900 she was living in Barrie, Ontario with relatives. Here she contributed verses to periodicals like the Canadian Monthly and The Week using the nom de plume 'Esperance' After the death of her sister in 1917she moved to join a cousin in southern California. Her second novel was published in 1933. Her forth and last novel was published posthumously in 1936. (2020)
Edith Jessie Archibald SEE - Social Activists
Agatha Armour SEE - Rebecca Agatha Armour Thompson
Jeanette Armstrong

Indigenous author

Born 1948, Penticton Indian Reserve, British Columbia. She originally studied fine arts at Okanogan College and the University of Victoria. Her current career is being director of the En'owkin Cultural Centre, a cultural and educational organization operated by the Okanogan Nation. Her writings serve the purpose to educate young people about aboriginal history and culture. Her published works have earned the Mungo Martin Award in 1974 and the Helen Pitt Memorial Award in 1978.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Born November 18, 1939, Ottawa, Ontario. 'Peggy' is a poet, novelist, editor and critic is one of Canada's major contemporary authors. She has written novels, television scripts, short stories, children's books many of which have won awards locally, nationally and internationally. Her works have won the Governor General's Award for Literature, the Giller Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize just to name a few! She has also edited such monumental tomes as the Oxford Book of Canadian Poetry. She has an active interest in Amnesty International. Recognition of her career have been way to numerous to list in one paragraph. The variety of awards runs from MS Magazine Woman of the Year 1986 to being a Companion in the Order of Canada. Check out the online edition for the Canadian Encyclopedia for complete listings of her works and her awards.

Constance Barbara Backhouse

Born February 19, 1952, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She studied for her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba and took Law at Osgoode Hall Law School and took her masters in Law at Harvard Law School in the U.S.A. In 1984 she became professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Her legal specialty Wass women and the law. She is interested in women and the law in history and is an considered an expert in the field of gender issues and sexual harassment. Some of the books she has written are considered basic reading for women's study programs across the country. Some of the titles she has written are: The Secret oppression: Sexual harassment of working women (1979); Sexual Harassment on the Job (1981) Petticoats and Prejudice: Women and the Law in Nineteenth Century Canada (1991) and Colour Coded: a Legal History of Racism in Canada 1900-1950.

Marilyn J. Baillie

née Michener. Marilyn was an author, magazine editor, interior designer, and childhood educator. She was the author of the children's series of books Amazing Things Animals Do aw well as other series for children. She was the editor of Chickadee magazine for children. In 1965 she married A. Charles Baillie and the couple had four children. She was instrumental in the founding of the Canadian Children's Book Centre. In 2006 an annual Canadian literary award of $25,000.00 for the best illustrated picture book for children was established. In 2012 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in children's literature. February 1, 2019 she was invested into the Order of Canada.

Irene Baird-Grierson

née Todd. Born April 9, 1900, Carlisle, England. Died April 19, 1981 Victoria, British Columbia. In 1991 she immigrated to Canada’s west coast with her family and settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. A few years later she married an engineer, Robert Baird and the couple had two children. Like many families the depression was difficult with Robert losing his job. Irene taught at Vancouver St. George’s private school as one of the few female teachers. In 1937 she produced her 1st novel, John followed in 1939 by her 2nd novel Waste Heritage. This novel fell out of favour for a while but was rediscovered and republished in 1973 and again in 2007. Other novels were to follow. The family relocated to Victoria, British Columbia and by the early 1940’s Irene was the family breadwinner. She became a freelance journalist and wrote a column for the Vancouver Sun. In 1942 with Robert no longer in the picture, Irene was offered a job at the National Film Board and Irene and the children relocated to Ottawa, Ontario. In 1944 she married John Grierson who was Director at the National Film Board. Irene’s career covered several federal government departments including the Department of Mines and Resources, the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Her work meant lots of travel throughout North America, Latin America and the United Kingdom. She also had numerous trips to the Canadian Arctic. When she retired in 1967 she had been the 1st woman to head an Information Division in the federal government. While working for the government she authored numerous travelogues for the publication North/Nord as well as having her short stories and poems appear in Saturday Night magazine, The Beaver (Canada’s History Magazine), the Canadian Geographical Journal and the UNESCO Currier. In 1973 Irene moved back to Victoria, British Columbia.

Helga Steinvor Baldvinsdotir


Born June 1, 1855, Litla Aszeirsa, Iceland. Died October 23, 1941. She came to Canada with her parents in 1873. The 1st settled in Ontario where she married Jakob Jonatonsson Lindal. The couple had two children. She had written poetry in Iceland but it was not until she came to Canada would she have any of her work published. He writings reflected her life story, writing of leaving her homeland and lamenting that in Canada women’s rights often meant women remained in a bad marriage. She became divorced in 1892. She moved to Manitoba and later to British Columbia with her second husband Skuli Arni Stefansson Freeman with whom she had another child. Skuli died in 1904. She published using the pen name Undine. Her works were published in Freyja, an early suffrage journal . While she did put her poems together in a manuscript they were not published until 1952, 11 years after her death. Sources: Herstory: A Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006. Saskatoon: Coteau Books, 2005: Writings by Western Icelandic Women by Kristen Wolf. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1997.

Elizabeth Jo-Anne 'Jo' Bannatyne-Cugnet

Born July 19, 1951, Estevan, Saskatchewan. She studied nursing at the University of Saskatchewan earning her Bachelor of Science. in 1974. She began her nursing career in Weyburn, Saskatchewan as a public health nurse. She married Kenney Frank Bannatyne-Cugnet in August 1975 and the couple have 4 sons. She began writing to teach her sons about life on a prairie farm. In 1992 she produced Prairie Alphabet which joined other picture books, A prairie Year, Heartland: a Prairie Sampler. She has also produced two novels for young readers and a picture book on new Canadians called The Day I became a Canadian: a Citizenship Scrapbook.  Jo retired from Nursing in 1994 and keeps busy writing and volunteering in her community.

Joyce Carmen Barkhouse

née Killam. Born May 3, 1913, Woodville, Nova Scotia. Died February 2, 2012, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. While as a youth she dreamed of being a missionary, she took the reality check of becoming a teacher. She attended the Truro Normal Collage (Teacher’s College) in 1932. She encouraged all her students, even her niece, Margaret Atwood. She often wrote short stories, poems and plays for her students to provide Canadian content and context that was missing from regular school provided textbooks. In 1942 she married Milton Joseph Barkhouse (   - 1968) and took time from her teaching and writing to raise her two children. In 1974 she published her 1st book: George Dawson: the Little Giant. In 1980 she collaborated with Margaret Atwood for the book: Anna’s Pet. Her work, The Pit Pony won the Ann Connor Brimer Award in Children’s Literature. This story went on to win a Gemini Award when produced as a CBC TV film and later was redone as a min series for TV. She was a member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, The writer’s Union of Canada, and the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and performers. She was inaugurated into the Order of Nova Scotia in 2007 and the Order of Canada in 2009. (2021)

E. Barrington

SEE - Lily Adams Beck

Nancy Bauer

née Luke. Born July 7, 1934, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Nancy earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She married William 'Bill' Bauer (d2010), a Canadian and moved to New Brunswick in 1945. The couple raised a family of two sons and one daughter. She was the publisher of 25 New Brunswick Chap Books. She founded the Maritime Writers Workshop. She has been writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick, The Cape Code Writers Conference, and Bemidji State University in Michigan, U.S.A. She writes article about craftspeople, visual artists and writers for various Canadian Maritime magazines. She has written several novels and has won the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts in 1999. (2020)

Glecia Nehiyaw Bear

Indigenous author
Born April 29, 1912, Green Lake, Saskatchewan. Died September 1998, Flying Dust First Nation, Saskatchewan. Nehiya wrote  a story of herself and her sister being lost in the forest when they were pre teens called Wanisinwak iskwesisak; otbcimowiniwbwa published in 1991. She followed this with the publication in 1992 of Kthkominawak otbcimowiniwbwa/Our Grandmothers' Lives, as Told in Their Own Words, which was written by several elders. She was a Cree elder and traditional story teller. She was also the 1st woman to be Chief on the Flying Dust First Nation. (2020)
Jessie Louise Beattie   

Rainbow Bright

Born October 2, 1896, Blair, Ontario. Died October 5, 1985, Hamilton, Ontario. Jewssie published her 1st poem when she was just 15years old. She continued her writing under the name, Rainbow Bright. After high school she worked in libraries in Kitchener, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. By 1928 she had returned home to care for her aging parents. She also tutored neighboring children and obtained a special license to teach from the Province of Ontario. In 1929, and 1931 Ryerson Press published books of her poems and her 1st novel, Hill Top appeared in 1935. These early works would be followed by some 20 books, three plays and an operetta. In an attempt to raise funds for library books, Jessie wrote and produced a play that soon found her traveling throughout Ontario to help produce school plays  in various towns as a representative of the Ontario Welfare Council. From 1937-1939 she was a “House Mother” at Coronation Cottage at the Ontario Training School for Girls in Galt. World War ll found her working at the Vancouver Public Library in British Columbia. She married David Griffin and the couple settled in Hamilton, Ontario where she continued writing even though her sight was greatly weakened. In 1995 she was inducted into the City of Cambridge (Ontario) Hall of Fame. Source: Jessie Louise Beattie, City of Cambridge Hall of Fame. Online (accessed January 2013)

Elizabeth Speed Beaven

née Frowd. Summerside, England. Died September 14, 1871. The wife of the Rev. James Beaven, a practicing minister and professor of divinity in King's College in Toronto. Her husband was a writer and no doubt the absence of materials for young ladies prompter her to write her own book called, Devotions for School Girls [Toronto : n.d.] In the 1840's her husband would write of visits to Indian Missions in the Canadas. Perhaps she had traveled with him on these ventures.

Emily Elizabeth Beaven

Emily B 
Mrs. B

née Shaw. Born 1818, Belfast, Ireland Died August 6, 1897. Emily and her family would sail with their sea faring father to New Brunswick in 1836. June, two years later, she married Frederick William Cadwallader Beavan, a surgeon in the militia. Three of their family of seven children would be born in Canada. She enjoyed writing and her poetry and stories appeared in the Armaranth, the 1st magazine of New Brunswick. Her works appeared with the signature style of the day as wither Mrs. B or as Emily B. In 1843 the family sailed to settle in England. However the life in the Canadian province stayed with Emily and in 1845 she published Sketches and Tales Illustrative of the Life in the Backwoods’ of New Brunswick, North America. She intended the work to be a handbook of prospective settlers. She even detailed the effect of weather on a woman’s skin. Today the work is studied by students as a valuable historic profile of her times in the colony. In 1852 the Beavan family sailed for Melbourne to finally settle in Australia. Sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography V. VII pg 792 ; A celebration of women writers  (accessed April 2008)

Andrea Beck

Born October 25, 1956, Montreal, Quebec. As a child living in small town Quebec Andrea enjoyed the freedom of a vivid imagination and the outdoors. Her mother took the family to live in Montreal when Andrea was 11 and she was not impressed with the city. She attended Dawson College taking art and then went to Toronto to attend the Ontario College of Art. Later she would attend York University in Toronto for her Bachelor degree and the University of Toronto for her Masters degree in social Work. Although she works as a registered Clinical Consultant her imagination and love of drawing could not be shelved. She actually founded a toy business making stuffed animals like moose and beavers. It would be here that the embryo of the character for children’s stories Elliot Moose would become part of Andrea’s life. She began writing stories and when Elliot was sent to the Kids Can Press he was an instant success with the publisher and with readers. Elliot even has his own TV show! IN 2003 she was forced to rest and recuperate from two minor automobile accidents. By 2007 she was back to writing and drawing and Pierre le Poof, a poodle dog with an attitude came alive and also very popular with the young readers. Andrea has enjoyed traveling to such places as the rainforest in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe England and Russia making her travels a fertile ground to be background for stores. Andrea has two sons and lives in Unionville, Ontario, just east of Toronto. Sources:: Andrea Beck by Dave Jenkinson, Canadian Magazine online (accessed January 2007).            

Lily Adams Beck
E. Barrington; Eliza Louisa Beck; and L (Louis) Moresby.

née Moresby. Born 1862(?) Died January 3, 1931. She traveled to Asia and the Orient but did not begin to write until 1919 and was 1st published in 1922. She wrote under several pen names and became well known under all the names she used: E. Barrington; Eliza Louisa Beck; and L (Louis) Moresby. During her career she would write almost thirty books published in Toronto, Boston, New York and London. Many of her books were set in the Orient.

Bellan Riva Bellan

SEE - Businesswomen

Ethel Mary Bennett

née Granger. Born 1891 Shorten, Dorsetshire, England. Died April 19, 1988. Ethel and her family immigrated to Canada when she was an infant. Settling in Collinwood, Ontario, young Ethel was writing for the Collingwood Bulletin while still in school. She would attend the University of Toronto. Graduating in 1915 she taught at the Ontario Ladies College in Whitby, Ontario before she married in 1919 and moved to teach in Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD at the University of Wisconsin and Lectured in French in Victoria during the 1940’s.  In the late 1950’s she published three historical novels featuring women in New France. She won the Ryerson Fiction Award in 1960 for her work Short of Glory.  She also penned stories for Children for Discovery Magazine.

Jehane Benoit

Madame Benoit

née Patenaude. Born March 21,1904. Died November 24, 1987. She is best remembered as Madame Benoit. This food consultant turned to TV as a medium to explain Canadian cuisine to her home and native land.  She also published some 30 books to generate interest in her field. She studied at the Cordon Bleu and held a degree as a food chemist from the Sorbonne in France. She opened  her own cooking school in Montreal, Fumet de la Vieille France.  She also opened one of the 1st Canadian vegetarian restaurants, the Salad Bar in 1935. She became a proponent of microware cooking and was hired as salesperson for Panasonic Microwaves.  In 1973 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Gertrude Bernard




Born June 18, 1906, Mattawa, Ontario. Died June 17, 1986, Kamloops, British Columbia. As a youth she was somewhat of a tom-boy and her friends named her ‘Pony’. At 19 the young Iroquois girl met the much older fur trapper known as Grey Owl (1888-1938) who claimed to be a half-blood Apache. They were married in a traditional ceremony even though he was already married to his 1st wife. He called Gertrude ‘Anahareo'. She would convince him to give up trapping and publish his writings for which he became famous. The couple had one daughter Shirley Dawn born in 1932. They were separated two years before his death when it was revealed that he was not a Native American but a British citizen by the name of Archie Belaney. In 1940, Anahareo wrote a book of her life with Grey Owl, Devil in Deerskin. After the death of Grey Owl (1888-1938) she married Count Eric Moltke Huitfeld and the couple had two daughters. She always remained committed to conservation and animal rights. In 1979 she was inducted into the Order of Nature of the International League of Animal rights located in Paris, France. In 1983 she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. She was buried beside Grey Owl and their daughter Dawn at Ajawaan Lake, Saskatchewan.

Clare Bernhardt

Born June 18, 1911, Preston, Ontario. Died May 1, 1993, Kitchener, Ontario. Clare became wheelchair bound after a had polio when she was only 11. She was unable to attend high school because of lack of accessibility but she educated herself by reading. At 17 she had an article published in the magazine, Girlhood Days. She would go on to write book reviews for the local newspaper the Prestonian. She wrote poems that were published in various magazines including the Ladies Home Journal and the Toronto Star Weekly. During World War ll she wrote a column for the Canadian Red Cross and was a correspondent for the Kitchener –Waterloo Record. Along with her short stories that were published she wrote two novels and a play. Miss Bernhardt wrote the lyrics for the Canadian Centennial year hymn that was provided to churches across the country in 1967. Foe 30 years she would write a column for her local paper about the world from her point of view. In 1991 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. Source: Hall of Fame, City of Cambridge, Ontario Online (accessed March 2013)

Constance Bersford-Howe

Born November 10,1922, Montreal, Quebec. Died January 20, 2016, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, United Kingdom. A novelist she produced ten lively novels about women at various stages of life who struggled to live freely trying to discover who they really were once they had thrown off restraints of husbands, fathers and society itself. . She had married Christopher Pressnell. The Book of Eve published in 1973 in several countries was adapted to a stage plan and was produced at the Stratford Festival in 1976-77. The main character in the book Eva is one of the best lover characters in Canadian literature. In 2002 a film version of the book altered the main flavor of the book and made Eva of Romanian descent rather then a Czech immigrant. Two addition works, A Population of One and The Marriage Bed were made into films by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Frances Marion Beynon



Born 1884,. Streetsville, Ontario, Died October 5, 1951, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Frances Marion moved with her family to Manitoba in 1889, settling in the Hartney. district on a family farm.  Like her siblings, Beynon earned a teaching certificate. She taught near Carman before moving to Winnipeg in 1908 to work in the T. Eaton Company’s advertising department. She was an active member of the Quill Club. In 1912 she became the 1st full-time women’s editor of the Grain Growers’ Guide, holding the post until 1917. She and her sister Lillian fought for a variety of women’s issues, including suffrage, dower legislation, and homesteading rights for women, but she lost much public credibility when she began to criticize the war. She left Manitoba in 1917 for the United States, where she wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Aleta Day, and continued her journalistic work.

Sandra Louise Birdsell

née Bartlette. Born April 22, 1942, Hamiota, Manitoba. Sandra left home at 15. She studied at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. In 1966 she relocated to Regina Saskatchewan. An award winning novelist and short story writer. Her 1st book, The Night Travelers was published when she was 40.  she has won the 1984 Gerald Lampert Award for Night Travelers. In 1990 the Missing Child won the Books in Canada First Novel Award. In 1993 she won  the Marian Engel e Award. She has also been nominated more than once for the Governor General's Award. In 2001 The Russlander took Saskatchewan Book of the year Award for  Best Saskatchewan Fiction.  She married filmmaker Jan Zarzycki and the couple have three children. In 2010 she became a member of the Order of Canada and in 2012 she was invested with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Marie-Claire Blais

Born October 5, 1939, Quebec City, Quebec.  She attended Laval University were friends encouraged her to become a writer. At 20 in 1959 she published her 1st novel, Labelle Bete, in English translation, the Mad Shadow. Since then there have been some 20 novels, several plays, as well as published collections of poetry. In 1963 she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. where she met her life partner, Artist Mary Meigs. The couple lived in France for awhile before settling in Montreal. Her books have been translated into English, Italian and even Chinese. Her works have garnered her a multitude of awards from both Canada and abroad. In 1965 there was the Prix France, Canada followed in 1968 with the 1st of several Governor’s General Awards (1979, 1996, 2001, 2005, and 2008). There is also the W. O. Mitchell Award in 2000, the Prix Prince Pierre de Monaco and in 2006 Matt Cohen Prize. In 1972 she was inducted in to the Order of Canada and she also has been inducted into the Ordre National du Quebec. From France she is a Chevalier in the Ordre of Lettres. In 1995/96 she was the International Woman of the Year awarded by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Source: Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed February 2014)

Victoria Grace Blackburn


Born April 17, 1865, Quebec City, Quebec. Died March 4, 1928, London, Ontario. Her father, Josiah Blackburn, was editor and proprietor of the London Free Press in London, Ontario. She Attended Hellmuth Ladies College, London, Ontario and then taught in the U.S.A. during the 1890's. She began her career writing for the London Free Press and by 1900 she had become the Literary and drama critic for the newspaper. From 1906 through 1910 she immersed herself in cultural affairs in Europe with her sisters. Victoria was active in London's theatre and various clubs. In 1910 she was a founding member of the local Women's Canadian Club and served as President in 1918-1919. She also served as President of the London Women's Press Club. from 1921-1923.  In 1918 she became an assistant Managing editor in London for ten years. She continued to contribute essays, travelogs and poems as well as editorials. Her works were written under the pen name of 'Fanfan.' She was a prolific poet and is also known to have produced two plays. Her only novel The Man Child, which was set in the trenches of World War l, would be published in 1930 after her death. There is an historical Plawue outside the home on Talbot St., where she lived with her sisters for 16 years. (2019)

Jean Blewett

Katherine Kent

née McKishnie Born November 4, 1862, Scotia, Lake Erie, Canada West. (now Ontario). Some sources say 1872) Died August 19, 1934. Chatham, Ontario. After high school Jean married Bassett Blewett in 1879. That same year she published her 1st novel Out of the Depths. Her poem, Spring, won her $600.00 from the Times Herald, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. She contributed articles to the Toronto Globe newspaper before joining the staff at that newspaper where she became editor of the homemaker's department in 1898.  She went on to  publish several volumes of poetry in 1897, 1906 and 1922.  She retired from journalism and writing in 1925. She wrote a booklet, Heart Stories to benefit World War l charities. She was a welcome lecturer on topics such as temperance and suffrage. She often used the name Katherine Kent for some of her works. She retired from the Globe in 1925 due to ill health and lived with her daughter in Lethbridge, Alberta for a couple of years before relocating back to Toronto in 1927.

Patricia Jenkins Blondal

Born 1926, Souris, Manitoba. Died 1959.  She moved to Winnipeg with her family in the 1930s and attended the University of Manitoba from 1944 to 1947. Patricia worked as a broadcaster for the CBC and later moved to Montreal and began writing professionally in 1955. Her book From Heaven with a Shout was published in 1963 and serialized in Chatelaine magazine. Her most critically acclaimed work, A Candle to Light the Sun, was published posthumously in 1960. Sources: Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted  (University of Manitoba Press, 1999) : Memorable Manitobans Online (accessed December 2011)

Jo Ellen Bogart

Born October 20, 1945, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. Jo Ellen moved to Canada as an adult in 1975 and she began to consider a career as a writer. By the mid 1980's she had several prepared manuscripts to present to a publisher. Animals in the form a  coatimundi, and Argentine desert tortoise, and Africa Clawed frog, Alvin the chipmunk, several mice gerbils and guinea pigs have been a part of her home menagerie over the years. To write a book about a Blue Macaw was a natural stretch for this author. For her, as an author, there is sheer enjoyment in making something up and kicking the story. The next best thing is having other people enjoying what she has written as a poem or a story.

Alice Boissoneau

née Eedy. Born 1918, Walkerton, Ontario. Died 2007. She earned her B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto, in 1939. While working as a hospital social worker in Toronto and Vancouver she wrote short stories that appeared in various magazines such as: Canadian Forum, Alphabet and Exile: A Literary Quarterly. She also wrote for the Anthology series on CBC radio. After marrying Arthur Boissoneau, a specialist in forestry, Alice began writing fiction in the isolation of northern Ontario. The novel Eileen McCullough was short listed in 1977 for the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and was followed by A Sudden Brightness (1994). The memoir There Will Be Gardens was published in 1991. Sources: Yvonne McKague Hauser Collection. E. ,J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria Campus, University of Toronto. Online  (accessed July 2013.) Suggestion submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.

Evelyn/Eveline Bolduc

Born July 8, 1888, St Victor de Beauce, Quebec. Died December 21 / 22, 1939, Saint Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec. Eveline studied at the Convent de la Congrégation Notre-Dame, Ottawa,  Macdonald College, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue . She also studied science and economics at Cornell University. In 1930 she began her main career  working as a translator for the Canadian Senate in Ottawa where she was the 1st woman translator for the Debates of the Senate.  She would establish herself by writing Manuel de l'Equette curante parmi la bonne société canadienne-française ( Ottawa, Queen's Printer, 1937) and Contes et dictions populaires Canadiens. (2019)

Melvina Marjorie Bolus

Born 1906, Fox Bay, Falkland Islands. Died 1997, Victoria, British Columbia.  When she was a child the family moved to England. and in 1926 to Ottawa. Melvina held several secretarial positions at the House of Commons in Ottawa from 1928 to 1939, most notably as personal secretary to Canada's 1st female M.P., Agnes Macphail (1890-1954), from 1928 to 1936. Melvina returned to London, where she worked until 1944 as personal assistant to the senior officer at the Canadian Military Headquarters. She also  held various positions with the American government, working in New York and Washington, D.C. Returning to Ottawa in 1946, she worked for the Canadian Geographical Society, becoming assistant editor of the Canadian Geographical Journal in 1948. She wrote of Image of Canada  (Ryerson Press, 1953). She  moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1956 to become assistant editor of the Hudson Bay Company Beaver, and then its editor from 1958 to 1972. She widened the scope of the magazine beyond its historical focus, introducing such subjects as art, nature and archaeology. Awards during her life, included the Canadian Historical Association's Order of Merit, the Alberta Historical Association Award, the Washington State Historical Society's Captain Robert Gray Medal and the American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit. In 1970, she received the Medal of Service of the Order of Canada was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society. She retired to Victoria, British Columbia. Sources: Archives of Manitoba. Fonds of Malvina M. Bolus. Online (Accessed December 2011) ; Memorable Manitobans Online. (accessed December 2011)

Denise Bombardier

SEE  - Journalists

Monique Bosco

Born June 8, 1927, Vienna, Austria. Died May 27, 2007, Montreal, Quebec. After completing studies in France she arrived in Canada and settled in Montreal in 1948. She worked at Radio Canada International while completing her PhD at the Université de Montréal in 1953. She worked as a journalist at La Press and Le Devoir newspapers as well as being the literary critic for MacLean’s Magazine. In 1961 she published her 1st novel Un amour maladroit which won the ‘First Novel’ Award in the U.S.A. In 1962 she became a professor of French literature at Université de Montréal.  She published numerous novels, collections of short stories and collected volumes of poetry all in her beloved French language. In 1970 she earned the Governor’s General Award for French Language in Fiction for La Femme de Loth. The book was translated the following year into English under the title Lots’ Wife. In 1992 she won the Prix-Grandbois for poetry and in 1996 she earned the Prix Athanase-David.

Paulette Bourgeois

Born July 20, 1951, Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you have read any children's stories about a shy turtle called Franklin then you are familiar with the work of Paulette Bourgeois. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 1974 from the University of Western Ontario (Western University) London, Ontario. She worked as an psychiatric occupational therapist for three years before becoming a full time author. She went on to study journalism at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario and worked as a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and CBC television. For awhile she was a freelance journalist in Washington D.C., U.S.A. writing for Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Reader's Digest and MacLean's magazine. In 1983, after returning to Toronto she graduated with a Master's in Fine Art in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2009. While she often takes ideas for her books from her own life experiences she admits that she never had a pet turtle! She also likes to write information books for young readers like ; The Amazing Apple Book , The Amazing Paper Book, or The Moon. In 2003 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2007 she received an Award of Merit form the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Gail Bowen

née Bartholomew.  Born September 22, 1942, Toronto, Ontario. Gail graduated in 1964 the University of Toronto and went on to earn her Master’s Degree from the University of Waterloo and then she attended the University of Saskatchewan. She taught English in Saskatchewan and was an associate professor of English at First Nations University of Canada. The author of several novels, she has set her mystery stories in the province of Saskatchewan. Her book character, Joanne Kilbourn, is an amateur sleuth who also is the mother of three teenagers. Many of her writings have been adapted as Canadian movies for TV. Gail is also an accomplished playwright with her plays produced at the Globe Theatre in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 2006 the CBC broadcast her radio play Dr. Doolittle and in 2007 the CBC broadcast the World According to Charlie D. Charlie D was successful and was followed up within the year with another episode. And was part of the WorldPlay series broadcast on public radio networks in 6 English speaking countries. In 2009 she was writer-in –residence for the Toronto Reference Library and Calgary’s Memorial Park Library in 2010.  By 2010 Charlie D was appearing in published mystery novellas. Gail was writer-in-residence for the Regina Public Library in 2014-2015. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2006; mini biography updated October 2014. Regina Public Library.

Marilyn Bowering

Born April 13, 1949, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The family soon relocated to Victoria, British Columbia where Marilyn grew up. Marilyn earned a Master's Degree from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. A Canadian novelist and poet she has had her works nominated for the Governor General's Awards in literature. in 1977 she published Many Voices: an Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Indian Poetry. Her 1st novel was published in 1979.  Her 1987 book of poetic monologues called Anyone Can See I Love You was adapted as a radio drama. This was one of four radio productions she has written.  Between 1973 and 2015 she would publish 17 books of poetry which have won the National Magazine Award for Poetry, the Long Poem Award from the Malahat Review in 1994,  and he Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in 1998.   In 1996 her autobiography was the winner of the Pat Lowther Award which is presented annually for the best published work of poetry by a Canadian woman. In 2005 she published In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry.  In 2015 Bowering worked with composer Gavin Bryars to create an libretto for an operetta about Marilyn Monroe. (2019)

Karleen Bradford

Born December 16, 1936, Toronto, Ontario. Karleen was nine when she moved with her family Argentina, South America and returned to Canada to attend university.  After graduation she travelled the world for 34 years as a Foreign Service Officer. Since 1977 she has enjoyed producing some 20 books for young adult readers. She is a working mother of three children who also found time to contribute to her profession by holding positions at organizations such as the Writers Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors' Association and the Public Lending Rights Commission. Her own books have won awards such as; The Max and Greta Ebel Award 1990 ( Windward Island ) and the Young Adult Canadian Book Award of the Canadian Library Association in 1993. The titles of some of her other books include: The Nine Days Queen, The Haunting at Cliff House, There Will Be Wolves, Animal Heroes, Shadows on a Sword. Check the shelves of your local public Library for these exciting titles.

Dionne Brand

Born 1953, Trinidad. Dionne cam to Canada to study at the University of Toronto. A poet, novelist and non-fiction writer she focuses on issues relating to Black women. She is an active fighter for the rights of marginalized communities, especially blacks and women. Land to Light On won the 1997 Governor General's Award for poetry.

Leah Bradshaw

Born June 25, 1954, Sherbrooke, Quebec. This author is a professor of Political Sconces at Brock University in St Catherines, Ontario. She did her studies at bishop's University, York University where she received her PhD in 1984. She has written a book that won the Gelber Award in International relations and the Choice Award from the U.S. She is a working mother with three children to keep her in line at home.

Hélène Brodeur

Born July 13,1923, Saint Léon de Val Racine, Quebec. Died August 15, 2010 Ottawa, Ontario. The family relocated to Ontario and she grew up in Val Gagné near Timmins in Northern Ontario. Like many of her generation she turned 1st to teaching for a career earning her teaching certificate from the University of Ottawa. She returned to university in 1946 to earn her BA. After university she married Robert Nantais and the couple had five children. She taught high school and wrote as a freelance journalist for various newspapers and magazines and later she became a successful civil servant working in information services for the federal Treasury Board. Through all of this her desire to write remained strong. She has published works in both English and French. She was known for the trilogies Les chroniques du Nouvel-Ontario and The Saga of Northern Ontario and other historical novels. Her works have earned the Prix Champlain, Prix du Nouvel-Ontario and Prix du Droit. In 1983 she wrote the the TV script Les Ontariens in 1997. (2018)

Frances Brooke

Mary Singleton, Spinster

née Moore. Born January 12, 1724, Claypole, Lincolnshire England. Died Jan 23, 1789, Seaford, England. She used the pseudonym Mary Singleton Spinster for her early writings and in 1755-1755 she founded a magazine she called The Old Maid which ran for 37 issues. Married in 1756 she gave up her publication. She joined her husband, the Rev. John Brooke, garrison chaplain at Quebec, from 1764 -1768. She wrote what may be described as the 1st Canadian novel The History of Emily Montague (4 vols. London 1769 reprinted in 1931) which was set in Quebec City. The work provides a vivid description of the Canadian landscape and social life including scandals of the time. Back in England she would pen additional novels but no more with a Canadian setting. She was also a playwright, essayist, librettist, and stage director. She was well known in the London literary and theatrical circles. She was one of the 1st women in the 18th century to live by her writing. Source: D C B (2020)

Chrystine Brouillet

Born February 15, 1958, Loretteville, Quebec. Chrystine earned her BA from Université Laval. She is a well known author of historical novels and thrillers  for children, youth and adults. In 1982 her 1st novel Chère voisine was published. It was made into a film called Good Neighbours and debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. She is the recipient of the French Ordre de la Pléiade and the Popular Choice Award from the Salon du livre de Montréal. In 2007 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Cassie Eileen Brown

née Horwood. Born 1919, Rose Blanche, Newfoundland. Died 1986. She began writing as a teenager and later worked as a freelance writer of scripts and educational broadcasts for the CBC. She wrote articles for various publications, short stories and participated in radio dramatizations. In the 1950's her work received five awards through the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letter Competition. From 1959-1966 she was a reporter for the Daily News and she also published and edited the magazine Newfoundland Women (1961-1964). She retired from the Daily News to work on her book Death on the Ice (1972) , a gripping account of the 1914 sealing disaster . She went on to write two additional books. Her papers have been deposited in the Centre of Newfoundland Studies.

Lois Brown

Lois is a journalist and has worked many years in corporate communications. Lois has lived in Maputo, Mozambique as an international volunteer during the struggle against apartheid. She has travelled throughout the United Kingdom and Europe during the 1970’s and as well has experienced extended stays in Mexico and Costa Rica.  In 1992 she published :Girls of Summer: In their own League (Harper Collins). She maintains a web site with the same name as the book, which updates research concerning members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. She has written several novels, one of which, Murder in the Clubhouse, is set in the shadow of the early days of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. In 2009 Lois was once again an international volunteer, this time in Northern India and Pokhara, Nepal. Source: The Girls of Summer by Lois Brown (accessed February 2014)

Margaret Helen Brown





Born 1887, Tiverton, Ontario. Died 1978. After graduating high school in 1905 she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) and then joined a cousin at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. The two would graduate in 1912. Together the cousins had joined the Student Volunteers, a Christian youth movement and took extra courses in religion. They were cleared for mission work by the Women’s Missionary Society of the Methodist (now United Church of Canada) and prepared to sail for China. Margaret would return to school during furloughs. In 1928 she attended the Ontario College of Education in Toronto and in 1935 she earned a masters degree in Chinese Studies. Although she began a doctoral program at Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. she never completed her degree. In July 1913 she left Canada going to China beginning a 38 year career of serving the call to mission in China. She served in Hwaiking and was instrumental in opening the 1st full primary school for girls in the city as well as a school for young married women. During her 3rd term in China she became an editor of the Christian Literature Society and later she worked as a translator for the Canadian Commissioner of Trade. Her sill in the Chinese language even permitted her to write books in the language! During the Japanese military activities in China in the late 1930’s she worked from Hon Kong under the British Consulate and although there were intervals in China once Communism took over China foreign missionaries were not allowed on the mainland. Her personal writings and those published have left a view of Christian Mission efforts in a changing Chin., an area of history that is just being studied. She retired home to Canada in 1956. Sources: From the pages of three ladies: Canadian women missionaries in Republican China. By Deborah Shulman (MA Thesis, Concordia University, 1996) ;

Ruth Matheson Buck

née Matheson. Born November 24, 1905, St Barnabas Mission, Onion Lake Saskatchewan. Died July 6, 2009. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Scott Matheson (1866-1958) who was the 1st doctor in Saskatchewan. In 1928 she earned her BA from the University of Manitoba and began teaching in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1933 she married Geoffrey Buck. In 1946 she and her daughter moved to Regina, Saskatchewan. She was elected a a member of the Civic Voters Standard and served on the Regina Collegiate Board until her retirement in 1967. In 1973 she published The voices of the Plaines Cree. She wrote the biography of her mother entitled The Doctor Rode Side Saddle in 1974. The Ruth M. Buck School with the Regina School Board is named in her honour. At her death she left an unpublished manuscript The Lives of Rory McRae (1888-1977). Source: Mrs. Ruth M. Buck, Regina Board of Education. Online (accessed June 2014)

Helen Lawrence Buckley

SEE  - Politicians and Civil Servants

Margaret Buffie

Born March 29, 1945, Winnipeg, Manitoba. For this author who writes books for young readers, her inspiration often comes from happenings in her own life. She has lots of ides for books and stories and often wishes she was more than one person so she could put all of her ideas into her computer. She suggests that aspiring young writers keep a combination diary sketchbook to collect information and pictures which could be used for writing a book. Margaret won the Vicky Metcalf Award in 1996. This award is presented to authors who have written more than 4 books which young readers find an inspiration. Her writings have garnered numerous awards including in 1994 the Saskatchewan Book Awards Book of the Year, in 1995 the Marian Engel Award and in 1999 the Giller Prize for her work The Good House.

Mabel Grace Burkholder    3484 Born March 15, 1881, Hamilton, Ontario. Died May 12, 1973, Hamilton, Ontario. As many young women of her era Mabel earned a teaching certificate and taught school. She published poems, short stories, and local histories of Hamilton, Ontario from 1011 through 1968. She penned a local history column in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper. Mabel was a member of the local Canadian Womens Press Club (CWPC). In 1923 she published the book, Before the White Man Came: Indian Legends and Stories and in 1938 she published The Story of Hamilton. In 1938 she was names as Hamilton's first Citizen of the year. (2021)
Bonita Amelia 'Bonnie' Burnard

née Huctwith. Born January 15, 1945, Pretoria, Ontario. Died March 4, 2017 London, Ontario. Bonnie graduated with a BA from the University of Western Ontario in 1967. In 1973 she married Ronald Burnard and this mother of three was a teacher and guest lecturer. The family lived in Saskatchewan for two decades before settling in London, Ontario where Bonnie served as a writer-in-residence at Western University.  She has toured South Africa, Sweden, Germany, and England. For her short stories, she has been awarded the Commonwealth Best First Book Award in 1989, Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award in 1994, the Marian Engel Award in 1994 and the Giller Award in1999.

Sheila Philip Cochrane  Burnford

Born May 11,1918, Scotland. Died April 20 1984, Bucklers Hard, Hampshire, England. Sheila attended schools in Scotland, France, and Germany. In 1941 she married Dr. David Burnford and the couple had three children and three beloved family pets that inspired Sheila to write books. In 1951 the family emigrated to live in Port Arthur (Now Thunder Bay), Ontario.  As an author she is perhaps best known for her novel about animals called the Incredible Journey. The book won the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award and the American Library Association Aurianne Award  in 1963. Although Sheila wrote the book for adults it was marketed for children. The book became an immediate international best seller when  it became a Walt Disney movie. It is a great story about 3 friends, a bull terrier, a golden Labrador and a Siamese cat who travel over 300 km through northern Ontario wilderness to return home.  It was remade in 1993 as Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. She also wrote about her summers in Nunavut on Baffin Island in the book, One Woman's Arctic published in 1973. (2019)

Dorothy Kate Burnham

Born November 6, 1911. Died October 24, 2004. At 17 she was working at the Royal Museum as a second assistant draftsman. By 1939 she had become the museums 1st curator of textiles. She too training in Canada and studied positions in Europe to take on her new job. In 1944 she married Harold B. Burnham and the couple worked, together at times, on research together on Canadian and world textiles. In 1971 she published Keep Me Warm One Night: Early Hand weaving in Eastern Canada. Dorothy would take leave from 1949 to 1973 to raise her family and operate a private weaving business Burnham&Burnham. She returned to working at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1973 publishing Cut My Cote about basic garment construction around the world. Retiring from the ROM in 1977 she published Warp & Weft: A Dictionary of Textile Terms in 1981. She continued to work in the filed with projects at the National Gallery of Canada, the Provincial Museum of Alberta and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History). In 1984 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Christine Cameron

Born 1947, Toronto, Ontario. Christina studied literature at the University of Toronto and went on to earn her Master's degree from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in 1970. Her PhD in architecture history from Laval University, Quebec City in 1983. She married and is also known by her married name Southam. She has worked with Parks Canada and has written documents and books on Canadian architecture, heritage management and world heritage. In the 1990's she worked with Heritage Canada as Director of General of National Historic Sites and Secretary of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. In 1990 through 2008 she was appointed Head of the Canadian Delegation of the World Heritage Committee. In 2008 she received the Government of Canada's Outstanding Achievement Award which is the highest honor of excellence in the federal public service. In 2012 Cameron held the Canada Research Chair in Architectural Heritage at the University of Montreal's School of Architecture. She was also vice-president of the Canadian Commission of UNESCO.

Grace MacLennan Grant Campbell

Born March 18, 1895, Williamstown, Ontario. Died May 31, 1963, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1915. Earning her teaching certificate she had a career in teaching. In 1919 she married Harvey Campbell and the couple raised three children together. She would also practice her avocation of writing. She had articles and short stories published in several Canadian magazines. Her novels, published mainly in the 1940's, included The Thorn Apple Tree (Toronto, 1942), which depicted pioneer life in Ontario. Fresh Wind Blowing (Toronto, 1947) which had a World War ll setting in Europe and The Tower in the Town (Toronto, 1950) and her las work Highland Heritage was published in 1962. (2021).

Lydia Campbell

née Brooks. Born November 1, 1818, Hamilton Inlet, Labrador. Died April 1905. One of the children of an English settler and his Inuit wife, she lived her entire life in her native Labrador. As an old woman , a journalist  , Arthur Charles Waghorn, sent her a journal and asked her to write down memories of Labrador life and ways. In 1894-1895 13 installments of her writings appeared in the St John's Evening Herald in Newfoundland. Her reflections went beyond the personal and provided a first hand account to life and lore of her home territory. Lydia had married twice and was the mother of 13 children. It is thanks to her sharing her life memories and knowledge that information of nineteenth century Labrador has a written record.

Maria Campbell

Aboriginal Activist & Author

Born April 6,1940, near Athlone, Edmonton, Alberta.  In Edmonton she assisted in founding a halfway house for women and a women's emergency shelter. She began writing in 1973 because she was upset that so few people knew about historic and contemporary Native Cultures. Her 1st book was a memoir, Halfbreed which is used in schools across Canada continuing to inspire indigenous women. She herself is fluent in 4 languages: Cree, Michif, Saulteaux and English. Her books have been translated into German, Chinese, French and Italian. Her 1st professionally produced play, Flight, was the 1st all Aboriginal theatre production in modern CanadaShe has written screenplays and books. In 1986 she was presented with the Dora Mavor Award and the Chalmers Award for Best New Play. .In 1992 she earned the Gabriel Dumont Institute Medal of Merit She has written and/or directed films by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), including My Partners My People, which aired on CTV for 3 years. She is coordinator and member of Sage Ensemble, a community theatre group for Aboriginal elders, and is actively associated with the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company in Saskatoon. Maria is also a volunteer, activist and advocate for Aboriginal rights and the rights of women. She sits as an Elder on the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Justice Commission and is a member of the Grandmothers for Justice Society. Her writings and her efforts for justice have been recognized in 1994 with the Saskatchewan Achievement Award and in 1996 with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award In 2006 she was honoured with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. In 2008 she was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Over the years she has also served as Writer In Residence for the University of Alberta, Regina Public Library, Prince Albert Public Library, University of Saskatchewan and University of Winnipeg.

Marjorie Elliott Wilkins Campbell

née Wilkins. Born 1901, London, England. Died November 23, 1986. As a toddler in 1904 Marjorie immigrated to Canada with her family settling in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. Marjorie began her love of writing and of history in high school. She originally worked as a freelance writer and became editor of Magazine Digest in Montreal and the women's editor of Canadian Magazine. In 1931 she married Angus Campbell. and continued her writing career. Her 1st book, The Soil is Not Enough was published. She would go on to write a total of 13 historical books by 1983. In 1959 she earned an Guggenheim Fellowship. She traveled throughout North America, England and Europe before publishing her book, No Compromise, in 1965.

Marjorie Freeman Campbell    3485 Born 1896, Delhi, Ontario. Died 1975, Toronto, Ontario. Marjorie Married William MacFarlane Campbell. After her children with grown Marjorie began to take writing seriously. In 1946 she published a collection of poetry with the Ryerson Press chapbook series called Merry-Go-Round which she dedicated to her son. In 1953 she published a biography, Holbrook of the San, which she followed in 1956 with the Hamilton General Hospital School of Nursing in 1956.  She enjoyed writing local history publishing A Mountain and a City: The Story of Hamilton in 1966.  In between her published books she wrote articles on religion, medicine and business. In 1976 she began writing about crime penning Torso, the Evelyn Dick Case in 1976. Two years later she published: A century of Crime: The Development of Crime Detection Methods in Canada. Some of her papers are maintained at the McMaster University Archives, Hamilton. In 2002 a made for television movie; Torso, The Evelyn Dick Story was based on her work. (2021)
Pat Capponi

SEE  - Social Activists

Janet Carnochan

Born November 14, 1839 Stamford, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 31, 1926. She was a teacher who loved history. She was a tireless worker for the Niagara-on-the-Lake Historical Society in Ontario. She wrote several local church histories in the late 1890's and is the author of History of Niagara (Toronto, 1914)

Carleton, Cousin Mary SEE _ May Agnes Fleming
Emily Carr

See - Artists - Painters

Bertha Hannah Carr-Harris

née Wright. Born May 19, 1863, Hull, Quebec. Died November 22, 1949, Ottawa, Ontario. In 1885 she founded the Young Women's Institute, a Bible class that would be the forerunner of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Bertha wanted to bring the word of God to young working women, prostitutes, alcoholics and incarcerated women. On October 3, 1892 a meeting was held that included representatives from the YMCA in Toronto and the Mayor of Ottawa. From this meeting the YWCA was established in Ottawa. Bertha was a leader to find funding for the YWCA building fund. In 1894 a building was erected at Metcalfe and Laurier in Ottawa. The cornerstone of the building included in it a copy of Bertha's speech to the young girls of the YWCA.  In 1892 she published the book, Lights and Shades of Mission Work. or Leaves From a Workers Note Book: Being Reminiscences of Sever Years Service at the Capital 1885-1892. On June 6, 1896 she married Robert Carr-Harris, a professor at the Royal Military College and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The couple settled in Kingston, and raised six children. From 1898 to 1900 she was national President of the YWCA. After the death of her husband Bertha relocated to Toronto where she lived for twenty years. In 1903 she published White Chief of the Ottawa which contained history that included her ancestor Philemon Wright, the founder of Hull, Quebec. She also published The Hieroglyphics of the Heavens published in Toronto in 1933 and Love's Immensity published in Pickering, Ontario,1935.

Anne Laurel Carter

Born September 1953, Don Mills, Ontario.  As a child she had wanted to be an actor but was much too shy. She entered the study of medicine at the University of Toronto but dropped out and headed for Israel where she lived and worked on a Kibbutz, a community farm. She married and the young couple moved to California and finally settled in Toronto. Back home she earned her BA at York University in 1975 and continued to worked to earn her Masters in education at the Ontario Institute of Education. In the 1980’s she was teaching Cree children in Northern Quebec. Her 1st novel In the Clear was about a youth with polio was published in 1984. She remarried and settled once again in Toronto and worked as a teacher-librarian. She has written numerous books, with Last Chance Boy winning the Book of the Year award from the Canadian Library Association and Under a Prairie Sky winning the Mr. Christie’s Book Award. She has also written for the series Our Canadian Girl. Source: Anne Laurel Carter official web site (Accessed November 2012.)

Agnes Dunbar Moodie Fitzgibbon Chamberlin née Moodie. Born June 9, 1833, Coburg, Canada West (now Ontario). Died May 1, 1913, York, Ontario. Agnes was the daughter of the famous early Canadian writer Susanna Moodie (1803-1885). When she was 17 she married Charles Thomas Fitzgibbon (1805-1865) and the couple had eight children. In 1863 she began to paint images of the wild flowers she saw. A few years later in 1868 she and her aunt, another early Canadian writer, Catherine Parr Traill (1802-1899) co published Canadian Wild Flowers. After the death of her husband Agnes became more serious about her watercolour painting since she now needed to support her family. She published more editions of Canadian Wild Flowers in 1869 and 1895.  Agnes prepared the lithographic stone and hand coloured the illustrations in all the books. In 1870 Agnes married for a second time to Brown Chamberlin (1827-1897) and the couple had one child. Source: ECWW Online. (2020)
Gillian Chan

Born 1954, England. After secondary school, Gillian worked at various places including a bank and restaurants. By the mid 1970’s she decided to study to become a teacher and by 1980 she had earned a degree in English and Education. In 1982 she married Henry Chan and the couple had one son. She taught for 10 years prior to immigrating to Canada and settling in Dundas, Ontario. In 1991 she took a course on writing short stories. Later she met the editor of Kids Can Press where she would publish her first book Golden Girl and Other Stories. More books soon followed in 1996, 2001, , 2002, 2004 and 2005. She then took some time from writing to care for her son until he went to school. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the War of 1812 she published I am Canada: a call to battle about the war. The book was the winner of the Ontario South Library Association White Pine Award and the Nautilus Award for Best Young Adult Book.

Lily Changfoot

Lily has authored numerous books including Let’s stay to dine Chinese which has been published several times. In 1972 she did a Chinese cooking show on TV. Proceeds from her Chinese cooking book and A many –coloured South Africa: the diary of a non-person (Bonsecour Editions, 1982) have been donated to Northern Peoples of Canada, The Canadian Save the Children Fund and toward scholarships for indigenous peoples of Canada pursuing higher education. She is a member of P.E.N. International, The Canadian Authors Association and in 1985 she joined The Media Club of Canada. Lily also earned a renowned reputation as a fashion designer. In 1986 she was commissioned to design and create a Marian Papal Vestment for Pope John Paul ll. Source: Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada 1991.

Brenda Chapman

Born 1955, Terrace Bay, Ontario. Brenda graduated with her BA from Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She was the 1st teacher of special education in the city of Ottawa. Brenda married Ted Chapman and the couple have 2 daughters. Brenda stayed home while her girls were young. She taught part time and took courses at Carleton University in honours English.  In 1997 she left the teaching profession to became a communications advisor in the federal government. President of the Capitol Crime Writer’s in Ottawa she writes mystery stories for youth 10 years and up with 14 books to her credit by 2017.  In 2006 she was the Canadian Book Center ‘Our Choice” novel for her book Hiding in Hawkes Creek. In 2008 she earned the Audrey Jessup Award for Best Short Story ‘Evening the Score’. She has also earned two Gold Oak Awards for adult literacy and two crime Writers of Canada  Arthur Ellis Awards for novella and crime novel of the year.

Adrienne Choquette

Born 1915, Shawinigan Falls, Quebec. Died 1973. She was educated from 1924-in 34 at the Convent des Ursulienes de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. She worked as a publicist with the Quebec ministry of Agriculture. She had written works appear in numerous French language magazines, journals and reviews. In began to publish books in 1939. In 1954 she was awarded the Prix Athanase-David for her work La nuit ne dort pas. In 1961 she was awarded the Prix du Grand Jury des Lettres for her book that many consider her best work, Laure Clouet. In 1981 La Société des écrivains canadiens de la langue français created Le Prix Adrienne Choquette to honor new Quebec writers. Both the cities of Shawinigan and Trois-Rivières have streets named in her honour. 

Alice Amelia Chown

Born February 3,1866, Kingston, Ontario February 3, 1866. Died March 2, 1949. Educated at Queen's University she graduated in 1887. She became an active suffragist and was also know as a promoter of unions. She lent her support to the League of Nations. She wrote her autobiography The Stairway (Boston, 1921).

Annie Rothwell Christie

née Fowler. Born March 31, 1837, London, England. Died July 2, 1927. She came to Canada as a young child with her family and settled on Amherst Island near Kingston, Ontario. Her father was a respected landscape artist. Married and widowed while young she married a second time the the Reverend I. J. Christie and settled in the North Gower, Ontario with her second husband.  She is know for her short stories and her novels which appeared first as magazine sequels. Recognition as a poet was earned when some of her poetry was turned into songs used in "The half breed rebellions"

Joan Clark

née MacDonald. Born October 12, 1934, Liverpool, Nova Scotia.  Joan earned her bachelor degree in 1957 from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She worked for 20 years as a teacher in Alberta. In 1968 she published her 1st novel, Girl of the Rockies. At the University of Alberta, Edmonton, she was co-founder of the literary journal Dandelion in 1974. Joan, a founding member of the Writer's Guild of Alberta, also held the position of President. Joan moved back to the Maritimes settling in St. John's, Newfoundland. In 1988 she published The Victory of Geraldine Gull, her first book of adult fiction. This book was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and it won The Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for fiction. In 1991 she earned the Marian Engle Award followed in 1995 with the Geoffrey Bilson Award for her work, The Dream Carvers. In 1999 she was awarded the Vicky Metcalf Award for literature for youth.  In 2001 Joan served as a member of the jury for the renowned Giller Prize for Canadian literature. In 2003 her book The Word for Home earned her a second Geoffrey Bilson Award. In 2010 she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada.

Léa  Clermont-Dion

Born April 5, 1991, Quebec. In 2006 at 14, she worked to organize a feminist conference at he the Université du Québec, Montréal and she was a member of the Youth committee of the Quebec Council on the Status of Women. Léa suffers from anorexia nervosa. She worked on a petition that was tabled in the National Assembly of Quebec that led to the Quebec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body image. Léa speaks at schools each year as the official spokesperson for the charted. In 2011 she was named Personnalité par Excellence by Forces Avenir. She studied in Paris, France to earn her Bachelor's degree and  went on to earn a Master's degree from Laval University in feminist studies. She worked with an internship in Burkina Faso as part of Oxfam. Her first book, La revanche des moches (English: The Revenge of the Uglies), published in 2014, examines the collective obsession with appearance and beauty. She and music artist, Mitsou, co-host a feminist documentary series and in 2017 she worked on her 1st feature-length documentary covering sexual harassment on the internet. (2019)

Elizabeth Anne Cleaver

née Mrazik. Born November 19,1939, Montreal, Quebec. Died July 27, 1985, Montreal, Quebec.  An illustrator and author, Elizabeth was most concerned with myths and legends. She obtained several awards for her works including The Hans Christian Anderson Award in 1972, the Frances Howard-Gibbon Award in 1978 and the International Board on Books for Young People's Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1882. She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974. Elizabeth earned her Master's in Fine Art from Concordia University, Montreal in 1980. In 1985 the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award was created. Maybe you have seen her works The Loon’s Necklace or the The Enchanted Caribou which is an Inuit legend illustrated with shadow puppets? The Library and Archives Canada hold the original illustrations for eleven of her 13 books. (2019)

Sheila Watt Cloutier
Inuit Activist
SEE - Social Activists
Lynn Coady

Born January 24, 1970, Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. Lynn attended Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario and worked at odd jobs in New Brunswick and began writing plays. In 1996 she was attending the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to earn her Master's degree. In 1998 she published her 1st book, Strange Heaven, which was nominated for a Governor General's Award. In 2000 her second book was a play the was a Globe and Mail Newspaper Best book. She earned the Air Canada Award for Best Writer under thirty and the Dartmouth Book and Writing Award for fiction. In 2013 she earned the Scotia Bank Giller Prize for her collection of short stories, Hellgoing. She has also written several plays and contributes stories to various Canadaian magazines and the Globe and Mail. In 2017 she was a juror for the Giller award. (2019)

Eleanor Coerr

Born May 29, 1922, Kamsack, Saskatchewan. Died California November 22, 2010, New York City, U.S.A.. One of her best friends in school was daughter of Japanese immigrants and Eleanor learned to enjoy origami and Japanese food. She married a U.S. Air Force officer but retained her independence. In 1949 she was the only person who applied to the Ottawa Journal newspaper to be a foreign correspondent to describe conditions in postwar Japan. Since there were no civilian ships nor planes to Japan at that time she sail on A Dutch freighter to take up her new job. She lived with a Japanese farm family in the middle of nowhere prior to moving to Hiroshima. The she was unprepared for the devastation she saw. In the 1950’s she became of mother to two sons, one born in Japan and the second in Alabama. She continued her writing while traveling to postings with her husband in California, The Philippines, and Taiwan. Returning to Hiroshima, Japan in 1963 she was enthralled and mesmerized with the beautiful Pease Park with the statue with a young girl at the top. The monies to build the park had been raised in part by selling the story of the youth on the statue, Sadako. Eventually Eleanor found the story of the youth Sadako and the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was published in 1977. The book spawned web sites, lesson plans, and popularized origami. The story inspired works of music, theatre and ballet. As Eleanor entered her second marriage to Wymberly de Renne Coerr (1913-1996), the couple traveled as diplomats. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from American University and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland. She went on to publish several dozen books for youth including biographies, easy to read adventure tales, and sensitive accounts of children from other cultures. Sources: “Eleanor Coerr…”.School Library Journal November 30, 2010 ; Ewing-Weisz, Chris “Visits to Hiroshima prompted a book promoting peace” The Globe and Mail  October 21, 2011 Page R 9 . Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa (2021)

Karen Marie Connelly

Poet & author

Born March 12, 1969, Calgary, Alberta. As a teen of 17 Karen was working in a Thai Village on a Rotary Club exchange scholarship beginning her love of travel. At 19 she was living in Spain and supporting herself by teaching English as a second language. In 1991 she was in France to learn French. She was off to Greece next and this country quickly became a Favourite place to revisit. In 1993 she was the youngest person to ever win a Governor General's Award in literature for her book Touch the Dragon: A Thai Journal. Her 1st book of poetry; The Small Words in My Body won the Pat Lowther Award in 1990. She has been writer in residence at the University of New Brunswick and Okanagan College in Penticton, British Columbia. Since 1997 to 2018 she has produced 11 books of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She has enjoyed fundraising for PEN Canada and worked with Syrian newcomers to Canada. (2019)

Evelyn "Lyn" Margaret Cook




Born May 4, 1918. In 1940 she earned a scholarship to attend the University of Toronto. She continued her studies with post graduate work in Library Science at the University of Toronto. In 1946 she used her grandmother’s name Margaret Culverhouse to publish a poem in the June 1946 issue of the Canadian Poetry Magazine. She worked at eh Toronto Public Library for a year an then joined the RCAF – Women’s Division in the Meteorological Service for three years. She also organized a library at the Military base in Trenton, Ontario. She served as the 1st Children’s Librarian at the Sudbury Public Library. Her 1st book, Bells on Finland Street appeared after the World War II and she became one of the first writer for children to be published after the war. Her books, written for the youth market, took place in Canadian places and often told the story of the Canadian multicultural scene. It has been said that she literarily developed the prototype of the hyphenated Canadian ( i.e. Finnish-Canadian) While in Sudbury she developed a ½ hour CBC radio show  A Doorway to Fairland” and was a regular asset to CBC Radio in the 1940’s and 1950’s with the show also being picked up in the U.S.A. She created the Radio show Sounds Fun and wrote plots for Uncle Chichimus puppet show. Moving to Scarborough, Ontario in the 1960 she told stories at the Bendale Branch of the local Library. In 1965 she wrote the Brownie’s Handbook for Girl Guides of Canada. As a Canadian Centennial project in 1967 she adapted her book Samantha’s Secret Room for National School telecast as a Television series. Among the many awards accumulated by her more than 12 books was the 1978 Vicky Metcalf Award for contribution to Children’s Literature. . Sources: “Lyn Cook” by Ruth Maydan in Profiles, Canadian Library Association, 1971. ; Creating the National Mosaic. Multiculturalism in Canadian Children’s Literature 1950-1994 by Miriam Verena Rihter.

Monique Corriveau

née Chouinard. Born September 6, 1927, Québec City, Quebec. Died June 24, 1976, Québec City, Quebec. Monique attended the University of Toronto in 1946 and Université Laval in 1948 earning her BA in 1950. She would return to Laval for additional studies in 1969 and 1974. Married Monique married Bernard Corriveau and became the mother of 10 children. She wrote and dedicated a book for young readers to each of her children. More of her books were published posthumously in 1980 and 1985. In 1958 and again in 1966 she won the Prix de l’A.C.E.L.F.( Association canadienne des éducateurs de langue française.) In 1966 she earned the Prix Marie Rollet, Médaille de l’Association de bibliothèquaires du Canada and from the same association in 1976 Prix Alvine-Bélisle. In 1967 she received the Canadian Centennial Commission Award/Prix de la Commission du centenaire du Canada. In 1971 she was presented with the Prix Michelle-Le Normand of the Société des écrivains canadiens.  The library of Eglise Saint Denys-du-plateau is named in her honour as is the Public Library in Sainte Foy Québec. Source: “Monique Corriveau”: Profiles, Canadian Library Association, 1971.

Luella Saunders Creighton

née Bruce. Born August 25, 1901, Stouffville, Ontario. Died March 6, 1996. She was a teacher in a rural Ontario School from 1920-21. In 1924-1926 she attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto. In 1926 she married Donald Creighton (1902-1977) She enjoyed writing novels and romances and was well known for her work High Bright Buggy Wheels (McClelland & Stewart, 1951) which drew from Mennonite history in the Markham area of Ontario. 6 additional works followed each drawing on settings in Canadian History. She was supported in her writing by her husband, Donald Creighton,(1902-1979) a well known and respected Canadian Historian who died in 1979. Source: Canadian Women of Note (Toronto, Canadian Women’s Press Club/York University, 1994) no. 193 page 201.

Constance Elvia Crook

Born September 29, 1930, Ameliasburg, Ontario. She attended Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario on writing scholarships for her BA and completed graduated studies at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.A. She then studied for her diploma in education from the University of Toronto in 1955. She married the Reverend F. Reginald Brown and the couple had two daughters. Constance resumed her teaching career upon the death of her husband. She remarried a second time to Albert W. Cook. She taught English and Latin for 30 years in high schools throughout Ontario. She also was a teacher of developmental reading and English as a second language. When she retired for teaching she finally had time to devote to her writing. She enjoys writing novels with Canadian historical settings for young readers. Many of her stories are based on her own family history. This retired teacher and grandmother is perhaps best known by her pen name: Connie Brummel Crook. She has written Laura's Choice (1993), Nellie L (1994) and Meyers Creek (1995) to name a few of her works. She has earned the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Canadian Children’s Book Center Choice designation in 1995. In 1998 she earned the Storytelling World Award Honours Title for Tellable Stories for Ages 13-17 and the Canadian Children’s Book Center Choice designation for Maple Moon, her 1st child’s picture book. On July 15, 2000, Connie was one of the honourable inductees for the year into Peterborough’s Pathway of Fame.  In 2002 she earned the Word Guild Novel Award for The Hungry Year and in 2004 was co-recipient of the Word Guild Award for The Perilous Year. Some of her writings have been translated into Braille and have been adapted as sound recordings. On June 11, 2008, Connie received the Leslie K. Tarr Award for Outstanding Career Achievement. Source: Connie Brummel Cook website Online (accessed September 2012)

Annie Charlotte Dalton

née Armitage. Born  December 9, 1865, Birkkby, England. Died January 12, 1938. She would immigrate to Canada with her husband in 1904. She began publishing her works in 1910 and publish some 8 volumes through to 1935. She was well known and respected as a novelist in her own era spanning some thirty years.

Paule Clouthier-Daveluy

Born April 6, 1919, (Sometimes recorded as April 5), Quebec. Paule took Social Services courses at Soeur du bonne conseil. She began working at C K A C Radio station and it was not long until she was editing radio broadcasts. In 1944 she married André Daveluy and the couple would have 6 children. In 1957 she wrote a collection of short stories for youth readers Les Guinoes and continues to write in her beloved French language for young teens. In 1958 she  earned the Concours Littéaire from the Association canadienne des éducateurs de langue français. In 1972 she received the Prix Michelle-Le Normand of the Société des écrivains canadiens.  In 1980 Her works were recognized with a certificate of honor from L ‘Union international pour les livres de jeunesse (International Union for youth books) In 1985 she received the Prix Claude-Aubrey and in 1987 Prix Fleury Mesplet pour l’esemble de son oeuvre de traduction. In 1999 she was inducted into the Order of Quebec/Ordre national du Québec. Source: Paule Clouthier by Marguerite Polnicky in Profiles (Canadian Library (association, 1971)

Mary Agnes Scott Davis

née Scott. Born December 12, 1863, Quebec City, Quebec. Died November 19, 1927. She used two successful pen names as a journalist, Amaryillis and the Marchioness. She wrote at the turn of the 1900 for Saturday Night Magazine and she turned "gossip " to pure entertainment and became the toast of the town of Ottawa newspapers and kept readers clamouring for more "intel". . She was a social advocate for welfare children and aboriginals with a keen interest in feminism, all the signs of "the new woman". She married the well to do William P. Davis an gave up her daily journalism, writing only the occasional articles for the Women's Historical Society. After the death of her husband in 1916, she and her two daughters were dependant on family for support and eventually moved to France for less expensive life style. From France she contributed a scattering of writings for the Montréal Star.

Mazo de la Roche

Born January 15, 1897, Newmarket, Ontario. Died July 12, 1961.  While studying at the Ontario College of Art in 1902 she would publish her first short story in Munsey's Magazine.  She would go on the write for the Atlantic Monthly, the Canadian Magazine and the Women's home Companion. In 1923 she would publish her first novel followed in 1925 with an one act play. In 1927 she won a $10,000.00 award for her novel Jalna.  This novel would be the first of 16 novels about the Whiteoak family. Even the adoption of two children in 1931 did not deter her writing. In 1954-55 the novels were adopted for television by the British Broadcasting Corporation. There was a renewed interest when the CBC TV produced a Jalna series.  However in current times the novels are not on popular reading lists.

Dorothy Dearborn

née Ryder. Born July 22, 1927, Saint John, New Brunswick. She began writing as a youth and published a collection of poems in 1950. She is perhaps the 1st city editor for a newspaper in Canada when she worked at the Saint John Times Globe. She went on to write and edit for the Saint John’s TelegraphJournal and the Evening Times-Globe. She also edited the King’s County Record and the Saint John Citizen. As a freelance journalist she has contributed articles to numerous publications including the Atlantic Advocate and the Financial Post. She served as the host of a panel TV show called Check and Double Check for CSJH television. She also has a keen interest in politics which has seen her run twice for a federal seat in Parliament from Fundy Royal Riding and she also ran for a seat in the provincial legislature. Although unsuccessful in her political aspirations she is a successful author having published numerous books devoted to local ghost stories, murders and UFO experiences. Her works are both fiction and nonfiction. She also enjoys writing for youth. She has worked with the Canadian Mental Health Association to establish the 1st school for mentally challenged in Saint John. Dorothy is married to Fred R. Dearborn and the couple have 4 adult children with grandchildren who no doubt will be excited with grandma’s story telling. Source. Fairley, Amanda. ‘Dorothy Dearborn’ in the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. Online (accessed September 2014)

Kristen den Hartog

Born Deep River, Ontario. Her writings have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has produced two novels up to 2005, Water Wings (Toronto, 2001) and The Perpetual Ending (Toronto, 2003). She currently lives in Toronto but frequently returns to her beloved Ottawa Valley to re-energize.

Lauraine 'Laurie' Diane Dennett.

Born September 29, 1946. This writer drew from her own experiences publishing stories of pilgrimages. She has made walking pilgrimages in France, Spain, Italy and six other countries. All her walking efforts have raised over 200,000 dollars for medical research. She has been the Honourary Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. In 1993 she received the Confederation Medal to honour her achievements.

Kady MacDonald Denton

Born July 22, 1942, Winnipeg Manitoba.  Kady is an illustrator and author of books who took the advice of her first editor who told her to have fun! To this day she has 'fun' with her profession. She does take her work very seriously and puts in many hours labouring over each illustration. In 1998 her book, A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes won three top awards including the Governor General's Award.

Mary diMichele SEE - Poets
Madeleine Dion Stout

Cree author

Born Kehewin First Nation, Alberta. Madeleine studied nursing at Edmonton General Hospital graduating in 1968. She returned to studies at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta for a Bachelor in Nursing in 1982 as one of the 1st Indigenous women to graduated nursing at university. In 1993 she earned her Master’s degree in international affairs at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. In 1983 she was a special advisor for the Canadian Minister of Health and Welfare. By 1985 she became directory of the Indian and Inuit Health Careers Programme. From 1989-1993 she served as director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research, and Culture, Carleton University. She has served as president of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and was a member of the National Forum on Health and Vice-Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada board of directors. She has established her own company, Dion Stout Reflections Inc. and speaks throughout North American and Europe on Indigenous health, reconciliation and healing. She has also established herself as a report writer.  She has received the Assiniwkimaik Award from the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, the University of Lethbridge Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Centennial Award from the Canadian Nurses Association in 2008. In 2015 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada 

Sandra Ann Djwa

Born April 16, 1939, St. John's, Newfoundland. This writer, biographer and educator studied at Memorial University in Newfoundland and the University of British Columbia. Dr. Djwa settled to a position of Professor of English at Simon Fraser University in 1980. She had published numerous articles, edited several works, including books of poetry by Canadian poet, E. J. Pratt and has written several biographies of Canadian authors. She is currently working on a biography of a Victorian poet, novelist and artist P. M. Page.

Penelope Billings Reed Doob

SEE - Academics

Lily Dougall

Born April 16, 1858, Montreal, Quebec. Died October 9, 1923. She visited England and in 1900 decided to make it her permanent residence. However, as a novelist and religious writer she set the background for 4 of her novels in her home country of Canada. Her works are carefully structured. She used humor and lively dialog to describe her unusual plots and twists.

Ann Douglas

Ann Douglas is an award-winning journalist and the author of some 30 books, many of which have been about baby and child care including: The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Toddler Books, The Mother of All Parenting Books. She also has an interest in Canadian women’s history and has written Canuck Chicks and Maple Leaf Mamma’s to help others learn more of our women’s heritage.  A parent, educator, lecturer, and mother of four, Ann is currently serving as the honorary Chair of the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies 9-Month Club and as a member of the expert advisory group for Invest in Kids.  She recently served as national spokesperson for Sunlight's National Play Day Program and has been featured on a Cheerios box as part of a special "Read the Box" campaign of 2002 and 2005. As past president of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada (P W A C) and  a teacher of  writing courses through Trent University she mentors emerging and established authors.

Mary Alice Dawe Downie

née Hunter. Born February 12, 1934, Alton, Illinois, U.S.A.  Her Canadian parents moved back to Canada where Mary Alice grew up and graduated from the University of Toronto. While studying she spent much of her time at The Varsity newspaper. In 1959 she married and returned to the U.S.A. to live. It was here that she worked producing films, plays and book reviews. With her young family of two young daughters she moved to Kingston, Ontario, Canada where she still resided today. She has written over a dozen books for young Canadian readers and created the Northern Lights series and the Kids Canada Series. She has won awards from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Heritage, the Laidlaw Foundation, and the Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" awards for various books.

Lyne Dubeault

Born 1984, Cochrane, Ontario. Having been born with cameral Palsy and living life from a wheel chair has never held Lyne back from doing what she always wanted to do.  It seems Lyne was destined to become a writer. At an early age she was writing short stories, poems, and essays, In September 1998 she told her personal story and her first short story to the local newspaper the Cochrane Times Post.  At 18 in 2002 Lyne moved with her family to Goderich, Ontario. She penned her 1st novel in 2013: A Disabled Heart. Having read many books about disabled people Lyne found that the writers focused on the negative aspects of disabled life or about people with disabilities as the result of an accident. Disabilities from birth were virtually never the focus for writers. Her 1st novel is about a young woman who has cerebral palsy and her desire to live a life as herself like others do. Lyne is now working on additional writings.

Emma Lorne Duff

Born Meaford, Ontario. Died March 31, 1935. She would become a Kindergarten teacher in Toronto in 1888 and showed her love of teaching by remaining in the position for some 25 years. During her retirement from teaching she would write "A Cargo of stories for children" Toronto 1931).

Margaret Iris Duley

Born September 27, 1894, St. John's, Newfoundland. Died March 22, 1968, Newfoundland. In 1911 she travelled with her family to England to attend a wedding of an aunt. While there Margaret attended elocution and drama courses at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. With the on slot of World War 1 she returned to Canada. During the war she worked with the Women’s Patriotic Association while her 3 brothers served overseas. During this time she wrote a short story : Mother Boggan about islander’s war efforts. In the 1920’s she was a member of the Women’s Franchise League working towards gaining voting rights for women which were granted in March 1925 to women over 25 years of age. During World War ll she worked with the Women’s Patriotic League and the St John’s Ambulance Corp. Later she did public relations work for the Red Cross writing for newspapers and providing radio interviews. In 1952 she was in England to cover the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth ll. She completed 4 novels and additional short stories all set in Newfoundland. By 1959 Parkinson’s Disease prevented her from continuing to write. Near the entrance to the Memorial University Library and at her former home in St. John’s historic plaques have been erected. In 2007 she was declared a National Historic Person. Source: Margaret Iris Duley Backgrounder. Parks Canada online. (accessed July 2014)

Dorothy Duncan

Born East Orange, New Jersey, United States. Died April 22, 1957. Married to the renowned Canadian author Huh MacLennan ( married 1936) she was a reputed author on her own. She would publish some four works including "Bluenose : a portrait of Nova Scotia (New York, 1942).

Kristyn Dunnion

Born August 6, 1969, Kingsville, Ontario. As a child being a novelist was one of the choice careers that was right up there with being a detective or a spy. She always loved reading and studied English at McGill University, Montreal and then went to the University of Guelph for her Master’s degree. It was while at Guelph that she stated to have an interest in children’s literature. Moving to Toronto she decided that she did not want to study for her PhD. She worked and continued taking a variety of courses from tap dancing to writing books for children. She has published three books for young readers: Missing Mathew (2003); Mosh Pit (2004) and Big Big Sky in 2008 all with Red Deer Press. Kristyn also performs creeptastic art as Miss Kitty Galore and plays bass in the all-female metal band Heavy Filth. Source: Profile by Dave Jenkinson. CM Magazine Online (Accessed 2007) ; Kristyn Dunnion web site (accessed January 2011)

Evelyn Durand

Born 1870, Toronto, Ontario. Died December 5, 1900. She studied for her B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1896. Her written work Elise Le Beau: a dramatic idyll and lyrics and sonnets was published in Toronto in 1921 by her sister Laura.

Edith Eaton

Born 1867. Died April 7, 1914. She studied for her B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1896. Her written work Elise Le Beau: a Dramatic Idyll and Lyrics and Sonnets was published in Toronto in 1921 by her sister Laura.

Winnifred Eaton

Onoto Watanna

Born 1875, Montreal, Quebec. Died April 8, 1954. She was the 8th child of 14 children of a British silk merchant and a Chinese mother, Grace, who had lived with missionaries. Both she and her older sister would take to the art of writing. Winnifred was a writer in many arenas from newspaper articles, magazines and journals, short stories, successful novels ( some of which became plays and movies) cookbooks, and movie scripts. She was 14 when she had her first newspaper article published. At seventeen she left home to wander to Jamaica and New York City. Although she was of Chinese she choose a Japanese pen name Onoto Watanna since Japanese novels were more popular. She married Bernard Babcock but the marriage was short lived. In 1917 she married Frances (Frank) Fournier Reeve and moved to settle to a ranch in Calgary Alberta for a couple of years before she once again had wanderlust ending up in Hollywood and New York once again. In 1932 she returned to her husband in Calgary to basically settle. She took an interest and founded the Little Theatre.  She was the first known writer oa Asian descent to be published in America. Her first novel, Mrs. Nomé of Japan was published in Chicago in 1899 and was republished in 1999. Her granddaughter Diane Birchall wrote Onoto Watanna, a biography in 2001.

Dorothy Harley Eber

Born 1925, England. After attending school in Wales, England, Ontario and Nova Scotia Dorothy graduated from the University of Toronto. In 1968 while working as a reporter she took her 1st Arctic trip to Cape Dorset. A second trip resulted in a book with drawings and prints of the graphic artist Pitseolak Ashoona. She traveled to the far north over and over conducting interviews of the people resulting in more books and films and tapes of oral history. Many of her works were published in English and Inuktitut, the Inuit native language. . Her visits and works have done much to preserve the history of the Inuit people. One of her interviews in Nova Scotia provided fodder for her book Genius at Work: Images of Alexander Graham Bell published in 1982. She was appointed to the Order of Canada on October 21, 1999.

Matilda Ridout Edgar




née Ridout. Born September 29, 1844, Toronto, Ontario. Died September 29, 1910, London, England. She was more than likely educated at home. On September 5, 1865 she married James David Edgar, (1841-1899) a lawyer and author. The couple would raise 9 children. Much of her early marriage was spend dedicated to bringing up their large family. When she was in her 40’s she had her first work published, Ten years of Upper Canada in Peace and War (Toronto: Briggs, 1890). This work , a compilation of information from family correspondence was well received. In 1898 with honors bestowed upon her husband she became Lady Edgar. In 1904 her second book was a biography of Sir Isaac Brock, the British hero of the war of 1812. She was also a philanthropist supporting the Infants’ Home  in Toronto and the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. She was also active in the Woman’s Art Association of Canada where she served as President in 1899. She was a life member of the National Council of Women and served as President in 1909. Source: D C Bvol. Xlll. Online (accessed March 2014)

Esi Edugyan

Black author

Born 1978, Calgary, Alberta. She studied creative writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and went on to earn a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. In 2004 she published her 1st novel The Second Life of Samuel Tyne which won the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. For a time she was the Writer-in-residence in Stuttgart, Germany prior to publishing her 2nd novel Half-Blood Blues. This book won the Walter Scott Award for Historical Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book award as well as the prestigious Giller Prize. In 2014 Esi published her 1st non-fiction book, Dreaming of Elsewhere; Observations on Home. This was followed with her being Writer-in-residence in 2016 at Athabasca University, Edmonton, Alberta. In 2018 she third novel Washington Black garnered her a second Giller Prize. Esi is Esi married Steven Price and the couple have 2 children. (2019)

Deborah Ellis

Born August 7, 1960, Cochrane, Ontario.  A self declared loner, Deborah started writing at 10 or 11 years old.  Her writings have won the Ruth Swartz Award, Sweden’s Peter Pan Prize,  the University of California’s Middle East Book Award, the Jane Addams Peace Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. In 1997 she travelled to Pakistan to interview refugees at an Afghan refugee camp. Through her books she give western readers a glimpse into the plight of children in today’s developing countries. As a teen in high school she joined the peace movement and is also a long time feminist. A philanthropist, she pledged the earnings from her Breadwinner Trilogy, published around the world in seventeen languages, more two million dollars, to Street Kids International and to Women for Women, an organization for Afghan girls in refugee camps in Pakistan. Book proceeds have also been shared with UNICEF. In 2000 she published Looking for X which follows a young girl in her day-to-day life in a poor area of Toronto. The Breadwinner, published in 2001 was made into a movie in 2017 and  book earned the Governor General's Literary Award. In 2006 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario.  In December 2016 Deborah was named a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2020 she published 'The Greats with a storyline set in Guyana.

Sarah Ellis

Born May 19,1952, Vancouver, British Columbia. She wrote novels when she was 12 years old! She too time out to go to school and become a librarian but at 30 found herself on leave from her job to write books again. By 2001 she had published some 10 books. Pic-Up Sticks was the 1991 winner of the Governor Genera's Award. Out of the Blue, 1994 won Mr. Christie's Book Award. She loves to write in her little office in the attic of her house.

Beatrice 'Bea' Mary Embree   3424 Born September 20, 1886, Whitby, Ontario. Died April 29, 1958, Ottawa, Ontario. Bea was a teacher at St. Margaret's in Toronto. She wrote boarding school stories in 1920's and published The Girls of Miss Cleveland's. During World War 1 she lectured in French at the Trinity College, University of Toronto. In 1920 she married widower Major Edward James Ashton (1879-1965) and became step-mother to three children. The couple also had two additional children together. During the second world war she served as chairman of the peace time relief work for the Canadian Red Cross and went on to served as vice-president of the organization. Living in Ottawa she was involved with the Ottawa Little Theatre and the Ottawa Historical Society. Source: CEWW
Marion Ruth Engel

née Passmore. Born May 24, 1933, Toronto, Ontario. Died February 16, 1985, Toronto, Ontario. She earned her B.A. in Language Studies from McMaster University in 1955. She then moved to Montreal to earn her Master’s degree from McGill University. She taught at McGill for a short while and then at the University of Montana in the U.S.A. In 1960/61 she earned a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to the Université d’Aix-Marseille, France. In 1962 she married radio producer Howard Engle and the couple rasied twins until the marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Her first novel, No Clouds of Glory appeared in 1968. In 1973 she was the 1st chair of the Writer’s Union of Canada. In 1976 she won the Governor General’s Award in Literature for her work Bear. She served as writer in residence a the University of Alberta in 1977 and at the University of Toronto from 1980-1982. In 1981she won the City of Toronto Book Award for Lunatic Villas. In 1982 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 1984 she was the  Toronto YWCA Woman of Distinction. The Marion Engle Award is present annually in her honour to a woman writer in mid-career. She was an avid journal keeper and in 1999 her journals were published as Marion Engel’s Notebook. Marion Engel Park is located in Toronto. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online (accessed February 2014) 

Gwethlyn Graham Erichse-Brown

'Gwethlyn Graham'
Born January 18, 1913, Toronto, Ontario. Died November 25, 1965, Montreal, Quebec. Gwethalyn dropped out of college and eloped with John McNaught. Two years later they were divorces and she settled in Westmount and area of Montreal. She would marry David Yalden-Thomson but this marriage also ended in divorce.  As an author would use only her first two names. Her 1945 novel Earth and High Heaven, was the 1st Canadian novel to top the American bestseller list. This same novel would win a Governor Generals Award, would sell for movie rights (alas it was never to be a movie) and would be translated into Braille and 18 different languages! She continued to write but always in the shadow that she could never do as well with another novel.  She wrote articles on immigration, anti-Semitism, and women’s issues. Later in her career, she successfully turned her talents to writing TV Scripts. Barbara Meadowcroft wrote the  biography, Gwethalyn Graham: a Liberated Woman in a Conventional Age, in 2008. (2021)
Constance May Evans

Born  March 15, 1888, Montreal Quebec. Died ????.  She studied art and music in London, England with private lessons. She enjoyed writing short stories and stories in serial format for popular magazines. She would, during her career, that stretched from the early 1930's through to the 1970's, produce some 125 romance novels both under her own name and the nom de plume of Mairi O'Nair. She was not as lucky finding a life long romance as some of her book hero were. She never married although engaged three times. one of her suitors was killed, a second died from old war wounds and a third died of heart failure. She eventually adopted three daughters.

Queenie Fairchild      3440 Born 1880. Died 1925. Queenie lived in the U.S.A. for several years before returning to Canada to settle in Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. She wrote My French Canadian Neighbours and Other Sketches, published in 1916,as she learned about the people of the area through her servants stories. The book was republished in 2018. Source: Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature, Norah Story, 1967; A Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women (accessed 2021)
Dorothea 'Dora' Farncomb  Born May 11, 1863, Bond Head, Ontario. Died August 23, 1938, Toronto, Ontario.  Dora, an Anglican,  wrote a weekly religious column called Hope's Quiet House in the Farmer's Advocate and Home Magazine from about 1897 through to 1938. . She also contributed a children's column. She was also know for her poetry, and her short stories for Children.  Her materials were collected and published in the books, The Vision of His Face, published in 1909, Star-Led to the Heights, published in 1913, and In the Garden With Him, published in 1914.She aided the poor and the needy and spent a year in Boston, Massauchetts, U.S.A. working with orphans.  Source: A Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women (accessed 2021);CE C W W W online (accessed 2021).
Claire Martin Faucher

née Montreuil. Born April 18, 1914, Quebec. Died June 18, 2014, Quebec. Using the surname Martin, Claire worked as a secretary and then a host on CKCV Radio in Québec and Radio Canada in Montréal. In 1945 she married Roland Faucher and the couple settled in Ottawa where Claire became a full time writer. In 1958 Claire won the: Prix du Cercle du livre de France for her work Avec ou sans amour. By 1966 she earned the Governor General’s Award in Literature and the Prix Conecours littéraire du Québec for Dans un gant de fer. This book also won the Prix Jean-Hamelin. In 1967 she became a member of the Royal society of Canada. In 1984 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada and became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2001. In 1999 she won a medal from the  l'Académie des lettres du Québec. In 2007 she was inducted as an Officer of the National Order of Québec. In 2009 she became a member of the Académie des Grands Québécois followed and in 2010 she became an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters.

Eugenie Fernandes

Born September 25, 1943, Huntington, New York, U.S.A.  Eugenie began her career as an illustrator by working for a greeting card company. She illustrated cheap books where she says she learned to become a better artist. She enjoys illustrating books for young readers and has also written some of her own books. Some of her titles are : Waves in the Bathtub ( 1993), Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish (2000).

Kim Fernandes

Born September 4, 1969, Huntington, New York, U.S.A. In high school she learned to sculpt  and found that three dimensional art was just how she could best express herself! Kim's Mom, Eugenie, is an illustrator and author of books for youth. Kim was encouraged to use her clay illustrations and write books to accompany her art. She attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and developed skills that lead her to a career of full time illustrator and part time author. She stores her fimo ( type of clay) illustrations in pizza boxes! She is a strong believer of 'visualization" ( seeing the completed work in her mind) before she begins working.

Fidelis SEE - Agnes Maule Machar
S. Patricia 'Pat' Filer

Died 2010, Hamilton, Ontario. A Hamiltonian for 58-years, Pat Filer committed her life to serving others. A 25-year association with The Girl Guides of Canada included serving as Hamilton Area District Commissioner and Deputy Chief Commissioner of Canada. During that time she revised the national Girl Guide program and oversaw the production of a new guiding handbook. In 1969 she was awarded the Guides’ highest service award – The Beaver Medal. Pat was a writer/editor on the Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, authored Mohawk College’s history and edited the autobiography of winemaker Andrew Peller. She served as chair of the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction and was inducted into the Gallery in 2015.

Mary Agnes Fitzgibbon

Born June 18, 1851, Belleville, Canada East (now Ontario). Died May 17, 1915. Some might say that as the grand daughter of the famous Susanna Moodie she came by her desire to write naturally. She wrote thee books including "A trip to Manitoba" (London 1880) and Historic Days (Toronto 1898). She had an avid interest in Canadian history and in 1894 she founded the Canadian Women's Historical Society of Toronto.

Ann Cuthbert Fleming

née Rae. Born 1788, Aberdeen, Scotland. Died March 15, 1860. She married James Innis Knight July 3, 1810 and later as a young widow married James Fleming May 8, 1820 in Canada. In 1815 and 1816 she published two books called Home and a book of poems entitled A year in Canada and other poems.  Once settled in Canada she became a teacher concerned that the school books being used in her Canadian school house had very little Canadian content. She developed school books specifically for her young students. Her works may have been the first books for Canadian children. Her published works contained views of Canadian scenery and the book The Prompter was subtitled: Progressive exercises on English Language. She wanted to provide interesting lessons for her students and continued to “Canadianize” early textbooks. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. lll pg. 734-35

Mary Agnes Fleming

née Early. Born November 15, 1840, Saint John, New Brunswick. Died March 24, 1880, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. May Agnes was an avid writer even as a school child at the Saint John Convent of the Sacred Heart. While still in school she sold her 1st story to the New York Mercury.  She enjoyed writing romance and mystery novels but as was the fashion of the time her novels would appear as serials (chapter by chapter in newspapers) under the pen name of Cousin May Carleton before being published as 21 full books. In 1865 she married an engineer, John W. Fleming and the couple with their four children eventually settled in New York where her 1st novel Ermine had been published in 1863. Her serials were published in New York and London, England! She also used the pen name M. A. Earlie. She often paid tribute to her Canadian heritage by introducing Canadian episodes and characters into her novels. It is not really known exactly how many stories she wrote as some were not written by her but were attributed to her by her publisher after her death because of her popularity.

Barbara Florio-Graham

Born  New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.  Barbara was first published at the age of nine in Humpty Dumpty Magazine, and then  in Jack and Jill, winning a National Scholastic Magazine regional short story award when she was 14. With her B.A. degree from Columbia University she taught English, speech and drama in New York and Chicago and worked in public relations before moving to Canada in 1967. A popular speaker for local, national and international organizations, she has taught courses in writing, speaking and media training. The author of three books, including the 20th anniversary edition of Five Fast Steps to Better Writing and a revised edition of Five Fast Steps to Low-Cost Publicity. Her alter-ego, Simon Teakettle, owns the company, Simon Teakettle Ink, and this cat has his own credits as a writer. Barbara and Simon collaborated Mewsings/musings, a collection of their best humor writing. Together, Barbara and Simon have contributed to 29 anthologies in six countries. (2020)

Pearl Beatrix/Beatrice  Foley

Born Toronto, Ontario. Died October 12, 1953. While she entered her studies at the University of Toronto she did not graduate. This however did not stop her determination to write. She would produce four novels. The third novel was published under the pen name of Paul de Mar. (2020)

Isabelle Fortier


Nelly Arcan

Born March 5, 1973, Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Died September 24, 2009, Montreal, Quebec. Known as Nelly Arcan she had spent some time working as a professional escort sex worker. She drew on this background to produce her 1st novel Putain in 2001. In 2004 the novel was translated into English using the title Whore. Nelly would publish three additional novels which were widely accepted in both her home province of Quebec and in France. Her fourth novel Paradis, clef en main was entitled Exit in English editions. Sadly she hung herself and was found dead in her apartment just having finished her last book. She had been fascinated with beauty, eternal youth, and death. The library in Lac Mégantic was destroyed in the general 2013 devastation of an city wide derailment and explosion was reestablished and named La Médiatheque municipale Nelly-Arcan in her honour. (2020)
Edith Margaret Fowke

née Fulton. Born April 30, 1913, Lumsdon, Saskatchewan. Died March 28, 1996, Toronto, Ontario. Edith attended the University of Saskatchewan. and in 1938 she married Frank Folk who encouraged her search for folk music. Working for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) she hosed the radio program Folk Song Time from 1950 through 1963. This folklorist, collector, writer, and teacher was interested in Canadian folklore. She would publish some 15 books including Folk Songs of Canada  and More Folk Songs of Canada and released recordings of many of these songs. She was a founding member of the Canadian Folk Music Society and editor of the society's journal. She was also a founder of the famous Mariposa Folk Festival. She is included in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Order of Canada. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada she was the 2000 recipient of the Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award. (2020)

Elizabeth 'Eliza' Murdoch Frame

Born March 14, 1820, Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. Died November 17, 1904, Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. Eliza attended J. S. Thompson's Private School for Ladies, Halifax, Nova Scotia and took early training at Normal School (Teacher's College) teaching in Nova Scotia. She contributed to the Halifax Herald newspaper, the Presbyterian Witness, Message and other journals of the day. She was know to present papers to the Historical Societies of Massachusetts and Nova Scotia. She enjoyed writing and produced two books: Descriptive Sketches of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1864) and The Twilight of Faith (Boston, 1891). Source: D C B

Mini / Minni Aodla Freeman

Inuit author

Born 1936, Cape Home Island, James Bay. Mini studied at Ste. Therese School and became a nurse in Fort George (now Chisasibi) Quebec. Moving to Ottawa in 1957 she began working for the government as a translator of Inuktitut. In 1978 she published her memoirs: Live Among the Qallunaat which provides insight into life in Inuit communities in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs suppressed distribution of the book by hiding copies in the basement of their offices. The book was republished by the University of Manitoba Press and finally too off. It was the 1st book in the First Voices, First Texts series which published lost or underappreciated texts by indigenous writers. The book has been translated into French, German and Greenlandic. The book won the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, Manitoba Book Awards in 2016. Mini has also created a play Survival in the South. This was the 1st drama ever written by an Inuk and is an authentic attempt to come to aesthetic, as well as emotions terms with her journey of self-discovery in the Canadian south. In 1994 Mini and Odette Leroux and Marion E. Jackson wrote Inuit Women Artists: Voices from Cape Dorset published in Seattle by the University of Washington Press.

Gayle Friesen

Born September 18, 1960, Chilliwack, British Columbia. After high school Gayle took a year to attend a Bible School in Sweden and to see Europe. Back home in Canada she worked at a bank to pay off her European trip. She married and shortly after her 1986 graduation from the University of British Columbia her first child was born. She now has two children. In 1998 she published her 1st novel for young adult readers called Janey’s Girl. The book garnered attention and won the Red Maple Reading Award and the Canadian Library Associations’ Young Adult Book Award. It has been translated into several languages. She has written an additional 5 books of which the Isabel Factor, published in 2005 received the 2007/2008 Stellar Award from the British Columbia’s Teacher’s Choice Award. Source: Gayle Friesen by Dave Jenkinson. University of Manitoba CM Magazine online (accessed January 2007)

Ellen 'Nellie' Fulton Born June 15, 1887, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. June 10, 1960, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A. Her family had immigrated from Nova Scotia to the U.S.A. In 1886 she married. The family spent summers in Nova Scotia. She enjoyed music and was a consert pianist. She wrote pomes which were published in various publications of the day and were included in New Harvesting: Contemporary Canadian Poetry from 1819-1938 and Nova Scotia Book of Verse published in 1949.  As a music critic she was a feature writer for a number of journals. She always considered Nova Scotia as her second home. Source: E C W W
Linda Gaboriau

née Johnson. Born Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. In 1963 she moved to Canada to study at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec where she earned her B.A. and Masters in the French Language. She married for a brief time but she kept her surname as her professional name. She has worked as a freelance journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Radio Canada and the Montreal Gazette, pursued a career in Canadian and Quebec theatre and, in the 2000s, served as the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Her translations have won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the two Governor General’s Awards for French to English translation and in 2014 the Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2015 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. She married two additional times to Nick Auf der Maur, with who she had a son and to author Herve de Fontenay with whom she also had a son. (2017)

Mavis Leslie Gallant

née de Trafford Young. Born August 11, 1922. Died February 18, 2014, Paris, France. As a youngster she told stories to her paper dolls to keep herself quietly entertained. A 4 years of age she was sent to boarding school. Her father died when she was 10 and her mother remarried and left for New York without her daughter who would attend a multitude of different schools. She settled in her late teens in Montreal. Here she married Johnny Gallant an Acadian might club entertainer who was soon a soldier in Europe. She was a working “Girl” at the National Film Board and an reporter at the Montreal Standard newspaper reluctantly hired to replace the men who were off fighting the war. She refused to write “girly” columns and was soon a feature writer for the paper. Her marriage disintegrated after the war and by 1951 she was submitting stories to the New Yorker and off to Live in Paris. Her early years in Europe had her living  in many short-term situations in the south of France, Switzerland and Spain, and eventually settled in the Montparnasse district of Paris, France. This  was the home of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus in the 1950s, and the site of many student demonstrations in 1968 and during the labour and student strikes about the job laws in 2006. She chronicled the uprisings, initially for her personal notebooks, but eventually agreed to let The New Yorker publish them. (They appeared in Paris Notebooks.) She received the Governor’s General Award in 1981  for her work Home Truths: Selected Canadian Stories. She  would receive numerous honorary degrees, the Molson Prize from the Canada Council, the Canada-Australia Literary Prize, a tribute at the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront in Toronto, the Blue Metropolis Literary Prize, the Inaugural Matt Cohen Prize, and the Pen Nabokov Award for career achievement. In 1981 she was made an officer of the Order of Canada and in 1993 this was upgraded to Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1983-1984 she returned to Canada as Writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto. She was preoccupied with the past in her last years as she  prepared her diaries  covering the years from 1952 through 1969 for publication. The diaries are to be published in Toronto and New York in 2015.In her last  decade she was plagued by ill health and poverty. but  close friends rallied to support her ‘valiant spirit, her coruscating wit and her generous capacity for friendship.’  Source:  Sandra Martin. Writer Mavis Gallant dies at age 91, In the Globe and Mail February 18, 2014 ; The Canadian encyclopedia. Online (Accessed June 2002)

Mary Evelyn Gannon

Born February 11, 1900, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died January 3, 1975, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Mary was a delightful child with a  marvellous wit. She loved the stories her grandparents told and enjoyed even more sharing her own stories with her students where she taught school. In 1935 Mary began to tell her stories on C F N B, Fredericton Radio. Her Just Mary and Maggie Muggins stories soon were available on books for children to enjoy over and over again. The CBC soon came to call and offer Mary a Toronto position as head of the CBC Children’s broadcasting. In 1954 her characters made their TV debut with national exposure. By the time she had retired and moved back to her beloved Maritimes in 1962 she had written over 30 books and over 4,000 scripts for children’s programs. In 1947 the CBC presented Mary Gannan with the Beaver Award and in 1951 she was made an honorary member of the Mark Twain Society. Source: Marilyn Brinell, Memories of Mary Online (Accessed November 2012) ; Andrea Bell, “Mary Gannon”, New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia Online (accessed November 2012)

Elspeth Janette 'Elsie'  Bell Gardner

'Janet Jamieson'
née Bell. Born May 15, 1895, Gateshead-on-Tyne, England. Died October 21,1994, Markham, Ontario. At one point the family, which had spent time in the Caribbean, settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. During World War 1 she met and married Hamor Gardner (1893-1948) in 1918. After the war the couple immigrated to Canada. The settled first in Newfoundland and then settled in Toronto, Ontario. The couple had three children together. In the 1930's she wrote her best known books in what is referred to as the Maxie series. There were seven adventure novels for girls. Her daughter and friends would wait to read each page of the stories as they come out of her mother's typewriter. She was an active member of the Canadian Women's Press Club and wrote a column called Life Begins at Forty for the Mail and Empire in Toronto as Janet Jamieson. The family relocate to Burlington, Ontario and Elsie became the first woman elected to the Burlington Town Council.  In Toronto, after the death of her husband in 1948 she became a bookkeeper. Source: Information supplied by daughter of Elsie Gardner.
Margaret Gibson Born June 4, 1948, Scarborough, Ontario. Died February 25, 2006. Margaret began writing to express her feelings while in therapy for mental illness. She would learn she was bipolar. She married Stuart Gibord in the early 1970's and the couple had one son. After her divorce there was a long custody battle or their son. In 1994 the story became a made for TV film, For the Love of Arron. Margaret published her 1st collection of short stories in 1976. From this collection the film Outrageous was produced and it was followed up by the film Too Outrageous ten years later. A second short story from the 1st publication became the TV drama series: For the Record directed by the famous Canadian director Claude Jutra (1930-1986). In 1977 her book the Butterfly Ward won the City of Toronto Book Award. Three more short story collections followed in 1978, 1993, and 1996. Her 1st novel, Opium Dreams was published in 1997 winning the Books in Canada First Novel Award. She married a 2nd time to Juris Russell. The novel, The Book of Margaret and Madness: A Novel Inspired By True Events by Stephen and Guia Postal is based on Margaret's teen years. (2020)
Rachna Gilmore

Born 1953, New Delhi, India. Rachna loved to read. Her favorites books growing up were Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. In 1967, as a teenager, she immigrated to London, England with her family. She thought of entering medicine and earned her BSc with honour from King’s College, London. Finding that medicine was not really her calling she traveled and in the late 1970’s she moved to Prince Edward Island where she married. The couple would have 4 daughters. Rachna earned her Bachelor of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island. She had always thought she would like to write and was constantly jotting notes in a scribbler but she never got around to writing anything from her notes. In 1989 she 1st picture book was accepted by a publisher was entitled: My Mother is Weird. In 1990 the family relocated to Ottawa, Ontario. In 1991 using the pseudonym Rachna Mara she published a collection of short stories. In the 1990’s she battled breast cancer but soon returned to writing. In 1999 she earned the Governor General’s Award for children’s book: A Screaming Kind of Day. In  2006 she won the I.O.D.E Violet Downey Book Award for The Sower of Tales. Her book the Trouble with Dilly was a Girl Guide Club pick and Resource Links Best Fiction (grades 3-8). She plans on writing more books letting her imagination lead her to more interesting characters. Rachna's books have been translated into several languages, including French, German, Danish, Spanish, Catalan, and , Korean She has given readings, writing workshops, and conference presentations to students, teachers, and aspiring writer across the country, as well as internationally.  Source: Dave Jenkinson, ‘Rachna Gilmore’ CM Magazine, 2001. Online. (Accessed May 2014.) (2020)

Emma Goldman SEE - Social Activists
Elizabeth Goudie



née Blake. Born April 20, 1902, Mud Lake, Labrador. Died June, 10, 1982. Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Labrador. In 1920 she married a trapper Jim Goudie. The couple had nine children. After the death of her husband Elizabeth began to write out her memories. In 1973 with the editing of David Zimmerly, an Artic ethnologist with the National Museum of Man (now Museum of Canadian History), Ottawa, a book,  Woman of Labrador was published. The book encompassed the history of early Labrador settlement and life. In 1975 a provincial government building was named in her honour. A song writer, Andy Vine, wrote of her in his song 'Woman of Labrador'. A one woman play, also entitled 'Woman of Labrador', was written by Sherri Smith. (2020)
Dorothy-Jane "DJ" Goulding

As a youngster growing up she worked helping her mother who was director at the Toronto Children’s Players. After high school she earned a music degree and a degree in classical ballet. She attended Toronto Normal School (Teacher’s College) and started teaching in a regular classroom but soon she round the larger appeal of the radio classroom. She scripted fairy tale plays and went on to storytelling. She was soon noticed by CBC Radio and for 9 years from 1948 through 1957 she did Kindergarten of the Air on CBC. It was during this time that DJ married Bill Needles and the couple had five children. She began writing her stories and her first book Margaret told the story of a Irish immigrant girl bringing history alive for young readers. She taught summer school drama for the Toronto Board of Education and continued to write and produce for CBC’s school broadcasting division. She has published songs, books, almost 100 plays, a history of Toronto, an historical novel and drama guides for teachers. After she retired she moved to her farm in Dufferin County, Ontario and began working with seniors as well as working with youth in drama. She also enjoys her online publishing. Sources: Dorothy-Jane Goulding: Profiles. Canadian Library Association, 1971 ; Needles Publishing. Biography. Online (Accessed April 2014)

Barbara Gowdy

Born June 25, 1950, Windsor, Ontario. In 1954 the family relocated to Toronto for their father's new job. Barbara was an avid reader and a regular visitor to the local Bookmobile when it arrived in her area in Don Mills. Barbara attempted to go to University but lack of finances and a being discouraged by the long bus ride to campus she quickly dropped out. She went on to work and become a certified licensed broker. She eventually settled for being a secretary.  In 1972 she married her high-school sweetheart but the marriage did not last long. Working for a publishing firm she became an editor and decided she could probable write as well as some of the authors she was editing. Her short stories were accepted by some literary magazines. It was at this time she met and fell in love and married anther editor. She wrote her 1st novel but it failed as did her marriage. In 1989 she wrote Falling Angels which would be made into a film of the same name in 2002. In 1992 she published a collection of short stories one of which became an independent film. Her book Helpless won the Trillium Book Award from the Ontario government. and the Marian Engle Award.  Not always the winner her books have been nominated for numerous awards and was a three time finalist for the Governor General's Award in Literature.   In 2006 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. For the next decade she fought depression and severe pain and even considered suicide. She turned to writing again and produced her next best seller Little Sister. In 2012 she won a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for her work.

E. Maud Graham Born 1876. Died 1949. Maud graduated from the University of Toronto in 1876. During the South African Boer War (1899-1902) the British Government put out the call for patriotic women to be teachers at refugee/concentration Camps in South Africa. Maud was one of forty Canadian women who would travel to teach in South Africa. She sailed to England in April 1902. Here she and the other teachers met with Prime Minister Arthur Belfour and other notables such as Lord Baden Powell.  Arriving in South Africa there were 17,000 Boer children in concentration camps waiting to be to be trained in English language and society. Maud was posted to Norval's Point encampment. The war officially ended in May 1902 and by October 1902 the refugee camps were closed and the women teachers were sent out into the country to set up schools and teach. Maud taught in Fauresmith and Kroostad. She would return home to Canada in 1904. She had written of her experiences in South Africa and the articles were published in the Montreal Daily News. In 1905 she gathered her writings together and published : A Canadian Girl in South Africa: A Teacher's experience in the South African War. In 1907 Maud was Principal of a girl's high school in Quebec City. It seems that Maud's book was not published in great numbers but in 2015 it was republished with scholar notes as a good example of Victorian patriotism and first hand account of the 300 teachers from the Empire who traveled to South Africa.  (2020)
Gwethlyn Graham SEE - Gwethlyn Graham Erichse-Brown
Rebecca "Becky" Grambo

Born February 21, 1963. Rebecca studied to be a geological engineer at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1985. She soon found that her interest in animals could be the base for a new career. She is now an experienced photographer of natural history and has created books to share her love for readers of all ages. She began writing in 1994 and is an acclaimed and award winning author of 25 books. In 2004 she won the Canadian Science Writers Association’s Science in Society Award and the Animal Behavior Society’s Outstanding Children’s Book Award for Lupe: a wolf pup’s first year. She gets in touch with nature through her gardening and designs intricate needlework patters based on her nature photographs taken around the world. Rebecca is married and has opened her home to menagerie of rescued pets. Check out her web site “Wild Threads” Sources: Wild Threads on line; Herstory: a Canadian Woman’s Calendar 2012.

Minnie Caroline Forsythe Grant

née Robinson. Born Toronto, Ontario. Died November 2, 1923. As the daughter of John Beverly Robinson she was from one of the big families of Toronto and was married in 1842. She enjoyed writing and published a book, Scenes in Hawaii in 1888. Later she became interested in history and turned her writing talents to producing series of articles for the Canadian magazine entitled Bygone Days which were published in 1914.

Alma Greene

Aboriginal Author

Born October 31, 1896, Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, Ontario. Died December 30, 1983, Six Nations Reserve, Brantford, Ontario. Alma's Aboriginal name was Gah-Wonh-nos-doh which translates as forbidden voice. Alma learned to listen to stories of her people at her grandfather's knee. Sometimes referred to as a Mohawk Princess, she would become a Clan Mother of the Mohawk, storyteller, healer, and activist for her peoples. Having long followed the oral tradition of storytelling of her people Alma would publish the stories of her people in Forbidden Voice: Reflections of a Mohawk Indian which appeared in 1972 and was republished in 1997. Originally it took Alma six years to find a publisher before the book was picked up by a printing house in Great Britain. She also penned Tales of the Mohawk published in 1975. (2020)
Frances Elizabeth Herring née Herring. Born December 23, 1851, King's Lynn, England. Died November 16, 1916, Westminster, British Columbia. Frances was educated in Reading, England and would teach there. In 1874 she immigrated to British Columbia. In December that year she married a cousin, Jonathan J. Herring. The couple had eight children of whom only four survived to adulthood. The family settled in Langley, British Columbia. In summer 1875 she earned her certificate to teach and the following year taught in town. The pair relocated to New Westminster in 1878 and began their family. She also became editor of the Home Circle Section of the British Columbia Commonwealth in 1892. It was in this column that her short stories first appeared in print. The Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto hired Frances as their correspondent in British Columbia. She would serve president of the Royal Columbian Hospital Women's Auxiliary and was a member of the National Council of Women. As a devoted member of her Anglican church she was on the executive of the Woman's Auxiliary to the Missionary Society and lead Bible studies for young women. She had the reputation of a strong supporter of women's rights. From 1900 to 1914 she penned six novels with five of the books having timelines set in British Columbia. In 1913 she published Nan and Other Pioneer Women of the West which was a collection of short stories. Source: DCB  (2020)
Mina Hubbard-Ellis SEE - Miscellaneous
Annie Linda Jack

née Hayr. Born January 1, 1839, Northampton, England. Died February 15, 1912, Chateauguay, Quebec. She was Canada’s 1st professional woman garden writer. Annie moved to Troy, New York, U.S.A. and attended Troy Female Seminary. She married a Scottish born fruit farmer, Robert Jack (died 1900) and the couple settled on his farm in Chateauguay, Quebec. Here the couple would raise 11 children. When she moved to Canada, she used her gardening skills to experiment and make a profit. She developed one acre to horticulture of her choice and wrote a column in The Rural New Yorker called A Woman's Acre. She also wrote a column on flowers in the Montreal Daily Witness and contributed to the Canadian Horticulturalist. Her skills became known throughout North America. While she wrote and published short stories and poems, it is her horticultural articles for which she is remembered. Her book The Canadian Gardener: A pocket Help of the Amateur  was published in 1903 and set the gardening standard for all of pre World War 1 Canada. (2020)  

Marja 'Maria' Jacobs

née Schroder. Born 1930, The Netherlands. After World War ll Maria and her husband Peter Moens immigrated to Canada settling in Toronto. They had five children. After graduating with her degree in 1975 from York University, Toronto she studied for her Master’s Degree and began writing poetry. She founded a poetry reading series called Axle-Tree Coffee House and edited a number of publications for Poetry Toronto magazine. She also took part time work magazine a scientific journal a position she held for 18 years. And Marie would continue on after Heather retired in 2000.In 1983 along with Heather Cadsby founded Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd. hoping to publish works by women poets. They encouraged women poets, they published works by women and ran an all women business.  In 1984 she joined the League of Canadian Poets and became part of the feminist caucus. In 1990 she was president of the League.  (2017)

Anna Brownell Jameson

née Murphy. Born Dublin, Ireland 1794. Died March 17, 1860. At four years of age her family migrated to England and settled in London. At 16 she was working as a governess and in 1821 she became engaged to lawyer Robert Jameson. However, the engagement was broken off and Anna went to Italy as a companion to a young student. She wrote a book hoping to earn enough money to purchase a guitar. The book was well received but the Diary of an Ennuyee, published in 1826, became somewhat scandalous when her identity was discovered. She later decided to marry Robert Jameson but in 1829 she left for a position in Dominica and never sent for her to be with him. That year she wrote the Loves of the Poets. In 1832 she published Characteristics of a woman which analyzed heroines of Shakespeare.  Her Husband summoned her to Canada in 1836 who now resided in Upper Canada (now Ontario). After landing in New York, U.S.A. she had to find her won way to Toronto in the middle of winter. She penned a travelogue of her journey, Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada published in 1838. She also traveled into Indian settlements while in Canada and explored the settlements along Lake Huron.  A well known author by the time she came to Canada to join her husband she chronicled her 8 month stay in her book “Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada”  published in 1838. She returned to England in 1838 where she continued to be a successful writer and researcher. (2019)

Nina Jamieson

née Moore. Born Dundas, Ontario. Died November 6,1932. As a career journalist she contributed occasional papers on rural life to the Toronto Mail and Empire. She also wrote three books; The Hickory stick: a romance of the school in the cedars (Toronto, 1921) ; The cattle in the stall; sketches and poems (Toronto, 1932)

Amelia Clotilda Jennings.

Born Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died 1895 Montreal, Quebec. Amelia grew up in Halifax. In 1854 she published Linden Rhymes named after her childhood home. S wrote Letters from Linden HILL as a serial in the  Halifax Monthly Magazine from 1852-1853. She penned a poetic series on Nova Scotia wildflowers published in The Provincial.  Her poem Autumn in Nova Scotia won a prize at the Nova Scotia Industrial Exhibition in 1854. About 1875 she lived in Montreal for ten years. The 1883 she is credited with a volume of verse North Mountair by ‘Mileta’. It is also thought that she used the pen names Maude.  She published her poem Sable Island in the Dominion Illustrated in June 1889 and continued a column for some years in this publication. She is a good example of a host of Canadian writers of her era.

Alix John SEE- Alice Jones.
Julie Johnston

Born 1941. Julie grew up in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Even as a teen she loved to write stories. She attended the University of Toronto to earn her BA. Hero of Lesser Causes was her 1st published novel for young readers. It earned the Governor General’s Award for English Language Children’s Literature. In 1993 she earned the I O D E Violet Downey Book Award.  Julie is married with four daughters. In 1994 she published Adam and Eve and Pinch-me which won the Governor General’s Award for English Language Children’s Literature, the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award in 1995 and the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award in 1995.  In 2003 she earned the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature recognizing her contribution to Canadian Children’s Literature. In 2005 she published As If By Accident her 1st book for adults.(2017)

Mabel Annesley Johnston

née Sullivan.  Born 1870  Toronto, Ontario. Died April 1, 1945. As a writer she often used the pen name of Susanne or Suzanne Marny. She is credited with tow books: The Canadian book of months (Toronto, 1908) and Tales of old Toronto (Toronto, 1909)

Gillian Johnson-Shakespeare

née Johnson. Born February 26, 1963, Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a young girl growing up Canadian winters were a way of life and she started at 6 to compete in speed skating. She would win 12 national speed skating titles and would represent Canada on the national team that trained in Germany.  While she always liked to write and sketch her 1st year at the University of Manitoba was spent in labs for chemistry, physics and biology. However she soon found English courses easier and much more fun. After the death of her father she cared for her mother. After her mother’s death she relocated to Toronto where she met author Nicholas Shakespeare a writer on tour. In 1999 the couple married and settled in Tasmania with some time spent each year in Oxford, England. The couple have two sons. Gillian writes and illustrates her own books for children . Some 30 titles had been published and translated into 10 different languages by 2014. She has also illustrated works by author colleagues including noted children’s poet Dennis Lee. Source: Gillian Johnson by Dave Jenkinson in CM Magazine, University of Manitoba Online (accessed January 2007)

Alice Jones

Born August 26, 1853, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died February 27, 1933, Menton, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France.. This author developed the “new woman” theme in her novels.  She also wrote shot stories and travel articles for magazines.  She used the pen name of 'Alix John' for one of her novels.  In 1903 she was described as one of Canada’s leading women novelists. Her works included : The Night Hawk (Toronto & New York 1901); Bubbles we buy (Toronto, 1903) Gabriel Praed's Castle (Boston, 1904) ; Marcus Holbrach's Daughter (New York, 1912) and Flame of Frost (1918). She served as chatelaine for her father, Alfred Gilpin Jones (1824-1906), during his term as the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. After her father's term of office she moved to live in France. (2020)

Elizabeth 'Eliza' Field Jones

née Field. Born June 1, 1804, Lambeth (now London) England. Died August 17, 1890, Brantford, Ontario. In 1820, after the death of her mother Eliza left boarding school to care for her younger siblings. In 1831 she met a handsome Ojibwa gentlemen who was touring England to raise funding for Ojibwa missionary work in Canada. Eliza married her handsome Peter Jones (died 1856) on September 8, 1833 in New York City, U.S.A. The couple settled on the Credit River Indian Reserve Upper Canada. They would have four sons who survived infancy. From In 1838 Eliza published the story of the death of her niece: Memoir of Elizabeth Jones, a Little Indian Girl. 1841-1849 they served at the Muncey Mission near London, Canada West. Eliza was given the Ojibwa name Kecheahgahmequa which meant lady from beyond the blue waters. In 1854 she won awards for her works in miniature and watercolour painting at the Canada Provincial Exhibition. After Peter’s Death she married John Carey, a farmer from New York State, U.S.A. but the marriage only lasted a couple of years. In 1860 she published Ojibwa: life and journals and the following year published History of the Ojebway Indians. She also did a sketch of Chief Joseph Brant which was featured in the New Dominion Monthly in 1872. Eliza taught painting until she became blind in 1880.

Sonia Harrison Jones

Born February 13 1938, London, England. Sonia attended University of Madrid, Spain from 1958-59 and then the Sorbonne, in France in 1959-1960. She earned her BA from Bennington College in 1961 and went to the University of California, Berkley, U.S.A. for her Masters Degree in 1963. From there she attended Harvard University where she earned he PhD in 1971. She married Gordon Jones on May 28, 1970 and the couple had two children. She had been a teaching Assistance and instructor in Berkeley d a teaching fellow at Harvard. She has also been an instructor at Turfs University and in 1972-1973 she was an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. From has also worked at Acadia University. She is a co-founder and co-owner with her husband of Peninsula Farm Ltd manufacturing yogurt and other dairy products. She has served on the executive Council for International Business Studies at Dalhousie University and has been Chair of the Executive Council Cultural Activities from 1976-1982. In 1987 she earned a Certificate of Merit for Business Excellence and the following year she earned Successors Award for Entrepreneurship from Canadian Business Magazine. She has written Spanish language textbooks and the book It All began with Daisy which was condensed by Reader’s Digest and translated into 15 languages. (2017)

Agnes Bell Joynes Born June 21, 1879, Collina, New Brunswick. Died April 17, 1972, Saint John, New Brunswick. Like so many of her generation Agnes graduated from Normal School (teacher's college). She would also take studies in nursing in Worcester, Massacheutts, U.S.A.  She remained in Worcester working a a nurse for several years prior to returning to New Brunswick where she worked with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) and the Red Cross. Relocating to Toronto, Ontario, she worked at the Royal Ontario Museum and took studies in literature. She wrote and illustrated articles for a variety of magazines including the American Journal of Nursing, Canadian Geographic Journal, the Canadian Nurse, and Women's World. . Using the pen name Ottawa Correspondent  she wrote columns in the Saint John Standard. In 1926 she published one volume of poetry, The Shepherd of the Hills. Her book, Treasure Seeking in the Store Rooms of the Past, published in 1931, included her own illustrations. Articles on experiences of a student nurse appeared in The Public Health Journal. Agnes was also an inventor and in 1924 she held a paten for a collapsible ironing board. In 1958 she retired back to New Brunswick. Source: ECWW (2020)
Susan Juby

Born March 30, 1969, Ponka, Alberta. She would attend fashion design school in Toronto, Ontario but somehow it did not work out for her. Instead she began a degree in English literature at the University of Toronto but returned west to the University of British Columbia to complete the degree. She took a job as an editor at a self help book publishing company  and continued her formal education with a Masters degree in publishing. When she began writing she would write on the bus and she migrated to a coffee ship. Her 1st novel Alice I think appeared in 2000. She has also produced a series of books about a teen girl who does not quite fit into her world, the Alice MacLeod series. The books have become the basis for  television series. She also teaches creative writing at the Vancouver Island University and at the University of British Columbia. Source: Susan Juby by Dave Jenkinson  CM magazine online (accessed January 2007).

Rukhana 'Roxy' Kahn

Born March 13, 1962, Lahore, Pakistan. Rejection of her first storybook by publishers encouraged Rukhana to put away her writing. She got married and started a family leaving her writing alone. Coming across her old rejection slips she found that publishers had actually been encouraging her and made suggestions to improve her writing. She decided to give it a try again. A local librarian encouraged her to learn more about writing from the Canadian Children's book Centre. By the end of 2000 she had penned some five books including an in depth novel. Not a bad accomplishment for someone who thought she could not become a writer because of her ethnic background!

An Antane Kapesh SEE - Anne-Marie André
Welwyn Wilton Katz

Born June 7, 1948. Welwyn is married to journalist Doug Bale and the couple has one daughter. In 1987 she earned an International Children’s Fiction Contest for her novel for youth called False Face and the Third Magic won the Governor General’s Award for English Language youth literature. In 1994 she earned the Vicky Metcalf Award for her publication for young readers, Wichery Hill. (2017)

Linda Kay Born 1951, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. Linda would earn her journalism degree from Syracuse University, New York, U.S.A. .Died October 12, 2018, Montreal, Quebec. Linda was a reporter, sports writer and columnist for more that two decades in the U.S.A. She began her career at the Paterson News in New Jersey, U.S.A.   In 1979 she she was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for a story covering a airplane crash. She went on to become the 1st woman sports reporter for the Chicago Tribune. She fell in love with Montreal and settled there in thee 1980's. In 1990 she was teaching at Concordia University and became a full professor in 2014. In 2007 she earned the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence in the Faculty of Arts and Science. She served as Chair of Concordia Univeristy Department of Journalism where she taught and encourages two decades of Canadian journalists. She was also  a columnist for the Montreal Gazette and her writing also appeared in the Globe and Mail, the London Free Press and various Canadian Magazines including Chatelaine and Newsweek. She discovered and wrote about the founding of the Canadian Womens Press Club on a trip from the St Louis World's Fair. in her 2012 book: Sweet Sixteen: The Journey that Inspired the Canadian Women's Press Club which was published in French in 2016 as /Elles etaient seize: Les premières femmes journalistes au Canada. in 2013 she was the Woman of Distinction in Communications from the Montreal YWCA. Linda was divorced from husband Bernard Rivest. The couple had one daughter.
Thelma Ruck Keene Born January 9, 1916, Uxbridge, England. At 16 she worked in the foreign office at various secretarial positions which took her to postings in Budapest, Athens, Cairo and Beirut before she ended back in London in 1944. She married in 1947 . By 1966 she was divorced and came to Canada where she found work in the Library at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Leaving her job she opened a unique craft and book shop, the Canadian Craft Store. Wishing to be closer to her son she moved to the West coast of Canada where she became involved with a peace movement wanting to ban nuclear bombs. She also began a close relationship with the Circle Craft Co-operative and Gallery. She produced the  Craft Circle newsletter as the organization grew to cover the province of British Columbia. In 2006 she published an autobiographical book that included her post WW ll exploits, called The Handkerchief Drawer. (Trafford Publishing, 2006) . Sources: First Generation by Nancy Knickerbooker, Vancouver Asia Pacific Imitative, 1990 
Marion Keith SEE - Mary Esther MacGregor
Katherine Kent

SEE - Jean Blewett

Dayal Kaur Khalsa



née Marcia Schonfeld.  Born April 17, 1943, Queen’s, New York, U.S.A.  Died July 1989, Vancouver, British Columbia. Dayal attended the Arts Students League 1964-1965 and graduated from City College of New York.  In 1970 she moved to Canada with her partner Brian Grison and stayed in Canada when their relationship ended. In 1974 she settled in Millbrook, Ontario to live on a farm. The following year she was in Toronto and joined a women’s health collective. In time she adopted the Sikh lifestyle and received her new name meaning princess of kindness and purity. She began promoting the Ashram she lived in which led to interest with a graphic design studio. In the 1980’s she relocated to Montreal, Quebec. In 1982 she brought illustrations to show Tundra Books who liked the strong colour sense. She first worked on board books for babies and this was followed by books for older children. In 1986 she made the New York Times Notable Children’s Book list and New York Public Library Award for Best Children’s Book for Tales of a Gambling Grandma. The following year she was awarded the Canada Council Children’s Literature Prize Honorable Mention for Illustration and was a finalist for the Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. In 1988 she won the Governor General’s Award for Book Illustration for Sleepers. This book also wan the Parent’s Choice Award for Illustration in 1988. 

Valerie 'Val' Jean Knowles

Born  August 2, 1934, Montreal, Quebec. Val completed degrees from Smith College, Northampton, Massacheutts, U.S.A., McGill University, Montreal, and Carleton University, Ottawa. This former history teacher and, now free lance writer, has been successful in writing for newspapers, magazines, and federal government departments. She has authored some a dozen books. She uses her historical studies and archives background to develop her contribution to historical writings of Canada. Her book, Strangers at Our Gates,  2nd edition (1997) provided the only writing to give a complete overview of the history of Canadian immigration.  She has established herself as a biographer of note with her book, Cairine Wilson, Canada's First Woman in the Senate was published in 1988, The award winning book Telegrapher to Titan the life of William C. Van Horne was published in 2004 and a collection of profiles of famous and obscure figures of Ottawa have appeared in three volumes called Capital Lives. She has also written a history of the Zonta Club of Ottawa. Val and her husband Dave live in Ottawa. (2020)

Joy Nozomi Kogawa

Born June 6, 1935, Vancouver, British Columbia. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941 the Canadian government placed 1st general in internment camps. Joy's family was sent to Slocan, British Columbia. After World War ll the family settled in Coaldale, Alberta. Joy graduated from the University of Alberta, the Anglican Women's Training College, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario. Back in Vancouver she married David Kogawa in 1957. The couple divorced in 1968 and Joy attended the University of Saskatchewan before moving to Toronto in 1979. In 1973 this busy single mother of two worked as a writer in the Prime Minister's Office. Her 1st book of poetry was published in 1968. In 1981 she published, Obasan and won The First Novel Award. This book would later be adapted as a 45 minute opera which toured elementary schools in British Columbia. In 1982 she won the the Bork of the Year Award  and an American Book Award. Her 1st children's book Naomi's Road appeared in 1985. She is known for her novels, children's books, poetry and essays, which have been published in Canada and in Japan. She is also an activist who was instrumental in influencing the Canadian government in their settlement with Japanese Canadians for loss of liberty and property in Canada during World War ll. In 1986 she became a member of the Order of Canada. November 5, 2005 the City of Vancouver declared Obasan Cherry Tree Day and planted a graft of the Cherry tree from the Kogawa home at the city hall. The Kogawa house was saved from demolition and has been renovated to its 1940 appearance. In 2006 she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia where she lives some of the time. In 2010 she was honored with the Order of the Rising Sun by Japan for her contribution to the understanding and preservation of Japanese Canadian history. In 2012-13 she was Writer in Residence at the University of Toronto.

Myrna Kostash

Born September 2, 1944, Edmonton, Alberta. Myrna graduated from the University of Alberta, Edmonton and went on to study at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. and the University of Toronto. Myrna published her 1st book, All of Baba' Children in 1977. In 1985 she earned a Silver Citation in the National Magazine Awards. In 1988, her book, No Kidding: Inside the World of Teenage Girls, received the Alberta Culture and Writers' Guild of Alberta prizes for Best Non-Fiction. That same year she received the Alberta Achievement Award. She won the award again in 1994 for her book Bloodline: A journey into Eastern Europe which was one of the ten best books of the year according to Maclean's magazine.  She is a founding member of the Periodical Writer's Association of Canada and the Writers' Guild of Alberta where she has served as President in 1989-1990. In 2002 she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth ll Jubilee Aware which was followed in 2005 with an Alberta Centennial Medal.  In 2006, Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan was a prize winner at the Saskatchewan Book Awards. In 2006 she earned the Golden Pen Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writers' Guild of Alberta. She is also a founding member of the Creative Nonfiction Collective serving as President from 2006 through 2009. In 2006, Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan was a prize winner at the Saskatchewan Book Awards. By 2016 she had published 11 books in all. She has also written numerous contributions for books, for film, stage, and radio. Myrna has bee Writer-in-Residence in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario and the Whyte Museum in Banff. Alberta.(2019)

Margaret 'Polly' Wade Labarge SEE - Academics - Historians
Evelyn Lau

SEE - Poets

Louise de Kiriline Lawrence SEE - Medical -Nurses
Margaret Laurence née  Wemys. Born July 18, 1926, Neepawa, Manitoba. Died January 5, 1987 Selwyn, Ontario. From age seven she wrote stories. Her gift of writing leaves a permanent mark on contemporary Canadian Literature. Her 1st writing job was as a reporter and book reviewer for the Winnipeg Citizen. She wrote with the experience of having lived in England, Somalilanc, Ghana, Greece, Crete, Palestine, India, Egypt and Spain but Canada was always home.  She is much beloved and remembered for her works, her personal warmth, strength and humor which she shared so generously. In 1972 she became a Companion of the Order of Canada. She won two Governor General's Awards for her novels, The Diviners in 1974 and A Jest of God in 1996.  An annual lecture series has been named in her honour by the Writer's Trust of Canada. The University of Winnipeg and York University, Toronto, have named buildings in her honour. In 2016 she was named a National Historic Person.
Agnes Christina Laut Born February 11, 1871, Stanley Township, Huron, Ontario. Died November 15, 1936, Wassaic, New York, U.S.A. When Agnes was just two the family relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. By 15, too young to be granted a teaching certificate,  she was working as a substitute teacher in a prairie school. Ill health would force her to withdraw from studies at the University of Manitoba. Agnes turned to writing with her works being published in the Manitoba Free Press and the New York Evening Post. From 1885 for two years she worked as an editor for the Manitoba Free Press. In 1900 she published her 1st novel, Lords of the North. By 1901 she was living in Wassaic, New York but would often visit Canada in the summers. She produced articles for Saturday Night on labour and racial issues in British Columbia. In 1919 she traveled to Mexico with the Childhood Conservation League. She continued to write books that here biographies and histories on early North America. Source: Canadian Early Women Writers  (2020)
Mary Jane Lawson

née Katzmann Born Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 1828. Died 1890. She married William Lawson shortly before her death. Perhaps it was his dedication that got her books published posthumously. There was a book of poetry published in 1893 and The History of the Townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown, Halifax Country, Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1893)

Julie Lawson

Born 1947, Victoria, British Columbia. Julie trained as a teacher at the University of Victoria . After she graduated she spent a year in France and traveling Europe. Back home again she taught at elementary school in British Columbia. It was not until she was forty that she decided to take writing seriously. In 1990 she published The Sand Sifter.  Many of her works have historical backdrops. No Safe Harbour takes place during the great Halifax explosion of 1917. This book won the Hackmatack Award and is one of 5 books she has written for the Dear Canada series. In 2016 her novel Whit Jade Tiger, inspired by a trip to China, won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Prize. (2018)

Ranee Lee
Black Jazz Singer, author, and educator
SEE - Entertainers - Jazz singers
Mary Leslie

Born June 11, 1842, Leslie's Corners, Upper Canada (Ontario). Died March 1, 1920, Toronto, Ontario. Like many of the well to do pre-Confederation  families in Canada, she was educated at home before her family sent her to Europe to tour. She traveled with her mother as her chaperone While she was in Holland she continued her studies in art. Returning home to Guelph, Ontario she taught art and began writing. Her writings that would be her legacy. She would publish  three books including The Cromaboo Mail Carrier in 1878 under the name of James Thomas Jones. This book was banned in nearby Erin, Ontario  because its outspokeness offended some of the local citizens. She would also use the pen name J. T. J. The following year David Jones's Locker appeared in serial form in the Clifford Arrow which also published in 1881, Absolutely Her Own Mistress.  She had hoped the Ontario Department of Education would use her two volumes of poetry but this did not happen. She also penned The Kings and Queens of England in 1896 and Historical Sketches of Scotland in 1905. Book sales were not that successful either and she lost her house and moved to Rockwood to live with her sister. After her sisters death she moved to Fergus, Ontario and wintered in Toronto. She died in poverty.

Loris Lesynski

Born Eskilstuna, Sweden. Loris immigrated to Canada with her family as a child. She kept notes in journals which she illustrated on every topic. She loved to write and draw she even wrote poetry. After a formal university education proved be be not what she wanted she took a job at a printing company and was exposed properly to graphic arts. She is totally self-taught as an illustrator  and has worked as a freelance designer. She continued her writing as she had always loved it. It was only after attending a story makers conference in 1991 that she gained confidence to do something with her scribbling. She formed a relationship with Annick Publishing and has not looked back. “Nothing beats a Pizza was a Mr. Christie’s Award honour book. Her works include Boy Soup, Catmagic, Night school and many more. Check out your Public Library for more of her books. Source: Loris Lesynski by Dave Jenkinson CM Magazine

Shar Levine

Children's science author

Born 1953, Edmonton, Alberta. Shar graduated from the University of Alberta. She began graduated studies but would you believe she hated writing and did not complete her thesis! She began her working career working first for the City of Calgary and then worked for a major trade union in British Columbia. Not liking her job she quite and became an entrepreneur opening a toy  store, Einstein's the Science Centre, Ltd. in 1887. The store won an international award from Playthings Magazine for store design. She told a book representative that she could do better than most of the books on the market. She never looked back. Shar is known as the Science Lady when she does presentations at schools and writer's festivals or library conventions. She was also the author of a column Business in Vancouver which worked into a local TV segment. In 1993 she earned the Our Choice Award from the Canadian Children's Book Centre and the next year she earned the National Parenting Publication Award. !995, 1997, 1998, & 2001 saw more Our Choice Awards. In 2006 she and her co-author Leslie Johnstone were recipients of the Eve Savory Award for Science Communications from the British Columbia Innovation Award for the book Backyard Science.  In 2011 , 2012, 2013, 2014 the Canadian Children's Book Centre gave her Best Book Awards. In 2014 she was the winner of Science in Society Youth Book Award. In 2015 the University of Alberta presented her with the Alumni of Honour Award. In 2016 she was inducted into the Order of Canada for her over 70 children's books encouraging science studies for children. (2019)

Norma Eloise West Linder

Born 1928, Toronto, Ontario. Norma would spend her childhood on Manitoulin Island, and teenage years in Muskoka, Ontario.  Linder is the author of 5 novels, 13 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, a collection or short stories, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon entitled: Pauline with the 1st edition 1979.  She was on the faculty of Lambton College in Sarnia, teaching English and Creative Writing. Her poems and short stories have appeared in a multitude of contemporary Canadian Magazines including Chatelaine and  Our Canada. For 7 years she wrote a monthly column for the Sarnia Observer, and she is a regular contributor to “Daytripping in Southern Ontario”. She is Past President of the Sarnia Branch of the Canadian Authors Assoc. She is married and has three children.

Jean Little

Born January 2, 1932, Formosa (Taiwan) China. When her doctor parents realized that baby Jean had severe site problems they moved to Canada. Although legally blind she completed her BA at the University of Toronto and trained as a special education teacher. Jean  always knew she would be a writer but she also felt that she had to work at a real job to make a living. She soon gave up being a teacher to be a full time writer.  She has written some 25 children’s books and two autobiographies Little by Little (1987) and Stars Come Out within (1990). Jean Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995. She has won a number of additional awards, including a Canadian Library Association (CLA) Book of the Year Medal , the Vicky Metcalf Award,  a Canada Council Children's Literature Award , The Ruth Schwartz Award and the Mr. Christie’s Book Award. . Her books have attracted an international readership and have been translated into several different languages including Korean. Jean lives with her talking computer, her seeing  eye dog, several collected family members and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats, birds and turtles. Her advice to young people of the world “ Always remember that  the best place for your nose is inside a book.”

Norma Eloise West Linder

Born 1928, Toronto, Ontario. Norma would spend her childhood on Manitoulin Island, and teenage years in Muskoka, Ontario.  Linder is the author of 5 novels, 13 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, a collection or short stories, and a biography of Pauline McGibbon entitled: Pauline with the 1st edition 1979.  She was on the faculty of Lambton College in Sarnia, teaching English and Creative Writing. Her poems and short stories have appeared in a multitude of contemporary Canadian Magazines including Chatelaine and  Our Canada. For 7 years she wrote a monthly column for the Sarnia Observer, and she is a regular contributor to “Daytripping in Southern Ontario”. She is Past President of the Sarnia Branch of the Canadian Authors Assoc. She is married and has three children.

Robina Lizars

Born Stratford, Ontario. Died August 26, 1918. She is some times referred to by her married name of Smith. She and her sister Kathleen co-authored several historical works including In the days of the Canada Company (Toronto, 1896).

Kathleen Macfarlane Lizars

Born Stratford, Ontario.  Died April 20, 1931. Kathleen was educated in Toronto and also studied in Scotland. With her sister, Robina she wrote several books including In the Days of the Canada Company (Toronto, 1896). She also published on her own a historical work, The Valley of the Humber (Toronto, 1913.)

Loreen Rice Lucas

Born December 24, 1914, Midland, Ontario. . Died January 29, 2011 , Hawkestone, Ontario. She was a survivor right from the get go! She survived the influenza epidemic of 1918, falling through the ice on Little Lake, The Great depression, Hurricane Hazel and the fire that took the family livelihood. She raised 8 children and cared for her elderly parents in the family home. She was one of the first women in Ontario to obtain her Real Estate Broker’s License and her insurance agent’s license. She was a lifelong volunteer giving her time to many projects and organizations such as the Oro Historical Society, the Simcoe County Museum and she worked tirelessly with others to make sure swimming lessons were available to the local children.  She shared her life experiences in publications such as the Orillia Packet Times and the Curious Daytripper. At the age of 80 she learned to use a computer and subsequently wrote and illustrated six  books based upon recollections from her life. In 1992 she received the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal, followed in 1993 with being the Citizen of the Year in Oro Township. In 2005 she was woman of the year of the Orillia Business Women’s Association. Sources: The Orillia Packet.

Nicole Luiken

Born May 25,1971. It was not until the summer between grades seven and eight that she read Guide to Fiction writing and began to take her writing seriously.  She began a regimen of writing regularly, one hour per day that grew to three hours each evening. She pounded out eleven books in four years, two are now in print. One is a great ghost story that may be borrowed through your own library.

Janet Lunn

Born December 28, 1928, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.  An author of books of historical fiction for young readers her writings have won the Canada Council Prize (1979 and 1988), the CLA Book of the Year for Children (1981 & 1988), the Ruth Schwartz Award ( 1988), the Information Book Award ( 1995), the Mr. Christie's Book Award ( 1995) and the Governor General's Award ( 1998) For all her efforts she received the Vicky Metcalf Award in 1982 which recognizes authors who have inspired youth. She has the ability to transform avid research into a real time machine for young readers. She assures her readers that she does have a ghost in her house and his story is written up in her book "The Root Cellar" (1981).

Vera Lysenko

née Lesek.  Born  1910, Winnipeg, Manitoba Died 1995. Educated at the University of Manitoba she worked as a nurse, a school teacher and a Journalist at various times in her varied career. She sometimes used the name Luba Novak for her writings. Her work tended to confound standard critical categories and has therefore been much neglected as Canadian writer.

Madge MacBeth

Born 1878, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Died September 20, 1965. She had married at 15 and was a widow in her 20's with two young sons. She turned to writing to support her small family. She was one of the first travel writers and she constantly had a notebook in her hands and she wrote about everything she saw. . She would have to her career credit some 20 novels, two autobiographies, biographies. travel books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. She also enjoyed radio writing and by 1938 she had written several radio plays, one with 24 episodes! She believed in supporting her profession and was a popular and willing speaker at many events. She was also a president of the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Women's Press Club.

Jane Elizabeth MacDonald

née Roberts. Born February 17, 1864, Westcock, New Brunswick. Died November 8, 1922. The sister of the famous author Sir Charles C.D. Roberts she moved west and finally settled in Ottawa, Ontario. She wrote "Our Little Canadian Cousin" (Boston, 1904) and "Dream Verses and other" (Boston, 1906) She co-authored with family members "Northland Lyrics (Boston, 1897)

Blanche Lucile Macdonell

Born 1853. Died November 24, 1924. She was educated in Toronto, Ontario. She wrote several stories for magazines such as the Popular Science Monthly.  She published a novel Diane of Ville Marie; A Romance of French Canada published in Toronto, 1898. (2019)

Gwendolyn MacEwen SEE - Poets
Mary Esther MacGregor née Miller. Born August 27, 1872, Rudgby, Ontario. Died February 10, 1961, Owen Sound, Ontario. Mary earned her teacher's certificate at the Toronto Normal School in 1896. She taught for seven years in Orillia, Ontario. She began writing about 1905 and would write a column in the Teacher's Monthly as well as working on the editorial staff for publications for Sunday school in the Presbyterian church. She used the pen name Esther miller, part of her real name, but when she found out that this name was already being used she wrote under the name Marion Keith. In 1909 she married Donald MacGregor and the couple moved around in the area to accommodate Donald's church postings. Mary penned seven novels while living in London, Ontario. Her novels provide background insight both into urban and rural life of her era. She also wrote several biographies including Courageous Women, which she wrote with Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) who was a personal friend. The MacGregors retired to a farm on the Georgian Bay. (2020)
Agnes Maule Machar

Born January 23, 1837, Kingston, Canada West (Ontario). Died January 24, 1927, Kingston, Ontario. Educated in Kingston she would show her skills as a writer under the pen names 'Fidelis', 'Miss Machar', and "A Lady of Ontario'. She would published novels, historical works as well as collections of prose and poetry. For her early work Katie Johnston's Cross (Toronto, 1870) she would receive a prize for the best children's Sunday School Fiction. Among her several works were The Story of Old Kingston (Toronto, 1908) and Stories of the British Empire (Toronto,1913).  In 1873 she wrote with her mother, Memoirs of the Rev. John Machar (Toronto, 1873) Her writings did not masque her views as a Christian, a nationalist, a feminist and a social crusader. (2020)

Claire Lorraine Mackay

née Bacchus Born December 21, 1930. Died August 11, 2013. At the age of 8 she started her own community newspaper. She won scholarships and earned her BA in Political Sciences at the University of Toronto. She married Jackson Mackay and the couple have three sons. She wrote her 1st book Mini Bike Hero for her son and on a whim submitted it in a contest run by Scholastic Books. She had a great since of humor combined with the ability to be a true wordsmith. She had a love for dictionaries and would always find the right word to spice up her writing. He would write 11 children’s and young adult fiction and non fiction books. Her writing garnered her the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work and the Ruth Schwartz Award for One Proud Summer. She was a co-founder of the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers. She felt strongly about encouraging young authors and she wrote fan letters to authors publishing their 1st book for young readers. Source: “Children’s Author CANSCAIP Co-founder Claire Mackey Dies” by Sue Carter Flin, Quill& Quire, August 13, 2013 ; Obituary, Globe and Mail, August 17m, 2013.

Isabel Ecclestone MacKay


née Macpherson. Born November 21, 1875 Woodstock, Ontario. Died August 15, 1928. In 1895 she married Peter J. MacKay and in 1909 the couple moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. As a poet she would published some three volumes of verse, including a volume for children. She published short stories and some seven novels. She was a prominent worker with the Canadian Women's Press Club. As a playwright she wrote a number of plays which have been produced in Canada and the United States.

Mary MacLane/Mac Lane

Born May 2, 1881, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died August 6, 1929, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Her family settled in Butte Montana, U.S.A.. In 1902 she penned an autobiography The Story of Mary MacLane which sold across North America but was banned in Boston. She attempted to attend Radcliffe College, Boston but did not have any scholarships and was refused entry to the college. She settled in New York City, U.S.A. returning home to Montana when she had scarlet fever in 1911. Here she wrote her last novel I Mary MacLane published in 1917. It was during this time that she was invited to become a Hollywood screenwriter and an actor. She was accused of stealing some expensive wardrobe dresses and never recovered trying to pay for the  costumes. She died destitute and being cared for by her companion Harriet Williams. Source: Women Film Pioneers Project (2019).

Dorothy Maclean Born January 7, 1920, Guelph, Ontario. Died March 13, 2020, Findhorn, United Kingdom. Dorothy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, London. By 1941 she was working for the British Security Coordination in New York City, U.S.A. While posted to Panama she met and married John Wood but the couple divorced in 1951. She lived in England during the 1950's where she met friends involved in spiritual practices. Soon she was working with her friends at their hotel in Scotland. In 1954 Dorothy had her 1st experience of the God within, which she called a 'vast unity'. In 1972 Dorothy and her friends Sheena Govan and Peter Caddy founded the Findhorn Foundation, a charitable trust and spiritual community. Leaving the group the following year Dorothy founded an educational organization the Lorian Association, a spiritual education community  in North America. Her third book, To Hear the Angels Sing, 1980,  gave an overview of work at Findhorn. A later full length biography Memoirs of an Ordinary Mystic, her tenth book was published in 2010. She is perhaps best known for her descriptions of contacts with the consciousnesses of nature which she called 'devas', a formless energy field which she believed oversee the pattern and growth of all forms and embodiments of creative intelligence. In 2010 she returned to Findhorn in Scotland to retire from public life. The Ontario Heritage Act had designated her childhood home in Guelph as a heritage property. (2020)
Ada Macleod

Author & historian

née Ramsay. Born March 31, 1867, Malpeque, Prince Edward Island. Died March 2, 1932, Summerside, Prince Edward Island. After Ada's family relocated to Summerside in the 1870's she completed her formal education at the Prince of Wales College, Charlottetown graduating at the top of her class. She taught school until December 28, 1886 when she married Neil Macleod (died 1934). The couple had eight sons. She was active in the Womens' Missionary Societies of her Presbyterian Church and after 1925 the United Church of Canada. She also was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance  Union (WCTU) and The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE)  where she served as Regent of local group from 1915-1920. She was also a staunch supporter of the Summerside Library and the Canadian Handicrafts Guild.  She would publish numerous articles of Scottish and local P. E. I. history in the Canadian Magazine, the Dalhousie Review, Maclean's Magazine, the New England Magazine, and various P.E.I. newspapers. The I O D E would raise funds with one of her local history publications. Sadly two of their sons were killed during World War l and Ada would spend time in hospital in Montreal. Source: Early Canadian Women Writers, Online (accessed 2020); D C B (2020); D C B
Annie L. MacLeod          3519 Annie began studying at McGill University, Montreal in 1904. After earning her Bachelor and Master degrees in 1910 she graduated as the first woman with a Doctorate from McGill. Her degree was in chemistry. After completing her studies she taught at Vassar College for women, Poughkeepsie, New York and at Syracuse University, New York, U.S.A. She also authored several books on chemistry, nutrition and well being. Source: Highlights from McGill theses and dissertations. online (accessed 2021)
Elizabeth MacLeod

Born October 21, 1958, Thornhill, Ontario. Elizabeth attended the University of Toronto where she studies sciences. After university she backpacked through Europe for a year and returned to work at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. One summer she attended the Banff School Publishing Workshop in Alberta. Returning home she had a contact from the course approach her to work at Owl Magazine, the Canadian publication for young children. To supplement her Owl income she wrote for the text book publishing company, Grolier as well as the Owl book publishing group. Leaving Owl in 1989 she worked for a software company which taught her that she would rather be publishing books. Working with Kids Can Press she has written biographies of famous people as well as the Kids Book of Great Canadians published in 2004. That same year her work on Helen Keller won the Society of School Librarian International Honour Book designation. She has also published in 2006 the Kids Book of Great Canadian Women. Since Elizabeth also enjoys being in the kitchen she has used her love of baking to produce several books for youth  including Bake and Make Amazing Cakes and Gifts to Make and Eat. Sources: Elizabeth MacLeod by Dave Jenkinson CM Magazine, University of Manitoba, 2006 Online (accessed January 2007)

Jean Newton McIlwraith

Born 1859, Hamilton, Canada West (Ontario). Died November 17, 1938. A prolific writer for her day, many of her works were meant to provide information and biographical data for her readers. The making of Mary (New York, 1895) was followed with A Book About Shakespeare (New York, 1898) and Canada (New York, 1899) She would also write Sir Frederick Haldimand (Toronto, 1904) among others.

Sharon E. McKay

Born January 29, 1954, Montreal, Quebec. As a child books were her constant companions during summer vacation in the Laurentians. After the family home was sold when she was 13 she would spend her summers in Belfast, Northern Ireland. While at Dawson College in Quebec she met and married David McKay. The couple have two sons. She attended Bishop’s University in Lennexville, Quebec and switched to York University, Toronto. She wrote articles on parenting for a local newspaper and built up her portfolio of work. She used this to gain a writing position at the Toronto Star newspaper. Her 1st book was Streetproofing Gently and Creatively but she feels it was ‘horrible’ In 1993 she went to a publisher asking about enlarging chalk and published Chalk Around the Block. This was followed by several activity books, all of which were tested before publishing by her husband’s cub and scout groups. In 2001 she was writing for Penquin publishing series for Canadian Girls with Penelope: Terror in the Harbour. Other historical novels for young readers followed. Ester, the story of a Jewish girl in New France was published in 2004. In 2009 she was named as a Canadian War Artist. This institution goes back to World War l and has honored many noted artists. Sharon is the 1st young adult writer to have this title. She traveled to Afghanistan in 2009 and was inspired to write Thunder of Kandahar, published in 2010. In 2013 War Brothers: the Graphic Novel tells the story of child soldiers in northern Uganda. Living with her family in Israel she was able to research her book End of the Line a novel for middle grade readers about Nazi occupation of Holland in World War ll published in 2014.

Louise Maheux-Forcier

Born June 9, 1929, Montreal, Quebec. Died February 5, 2015. Louise studied music at the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Quebec and then from 52 to 1954 she studied in Paris, France. In 1959 she began to concentrate on writing.  In 1963 her 1st novel was awarded the Prix du Cercle du livre de France.  She wrote of the then critical theme of lesbianism. She continued to write novels and branched out to short stories and scripts for films for TV. In 1974 she was named writer-in-residence at the University of Ottawa. In 1985 she was named to the Royal Society of Canada and in 1986 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. (2018)

Andrée Mailet

Born June 7, 1921, Montreal, Quebec. Died December 3, 1995. She enjoyed writing and embraced it at the age of 11. From 1943 through 1952 she had a career as a journalist. From 1952 through to 1960 she was director of the magazine Amérique français and a columnist for the Petit journal. She became the founder of the French Canadian chapter of PEN Club. She married Lloyd Hobden. In 1966 she ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for provincial election in Quebec for the Rassemblement pour l’independence Nationals in the Westmount area of Montreal. In 1974 she was named to the Académie des lettres du Québec and in 1978 she was inducted into the Order of Canada.  In 1990 she earned the Prix Athanase-David. The following year she became a Grand Officer in the National Order of Quebec. She would publish a total of 7 works consisting of collections of poems, short stories and 4 novels.

Antonine Maillet

Born May 10, 1929, Bouctouche, New Brunswick. In 1950 she earned her Bachelor of Arts from the College Notre-Dame d'Acadie. She continued her education by earning her Master's degree from the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick in 1959. From 1954 through 1960 she taught literature and folklore at the college and then she taught for two years at the University of Moncton. She also taught at the College de Jésuites de Québec, the Université Laval, and the University of Montreal  She began writing while still a Master's student publishing her 1st work Pointe-aux-Coques in 1958.  By 1971 she had earned her PhD in literature from the Université Laval, Quebec City. She worked for Radio Canada in Moncton as a scriptwriter and host. A storyteller supreme, this novelist is most famous for her French language work La Sagouine which is rich in Acadian heritage. This novel has been made into a very popular one-person play. Linda Evangelista.   In 1976 she was inducted as an Officer into the Order of Canada and was promoted to a Companion of the Order in 1981.In 1979 her work Pélagie-la-Charrette won the Prix Goncourt for the best and most imaginative prose work of the year, making her the 1st non-European recipient. In 1980 the Royal Society of Canada presented her with the Lorne Pierce Medal. Five years later she was made an Officier des arts et des lettres de France. In 1992 she became a member of the Queen's Privy Council allowing her the right to use the prefix 'The Honourable'.  From 1989 to 2000 she served as chancellor of the Université de Moncton. In 2005 she received the Order of New Brunswick. (2019)

Irshad Manji

Born 1968, Kampala, Uganda. Irshad grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia.  in a violent household and was inquisitive. But when she asked questions at her Islamic school she was expelled at 14 and went on to study Islam on her own.   Irshad graduated from the University of British Columbia. Working with TV shows QT; Queer Television she won a Gemini Award for the Best Talk Show of 2001.She speaks, writes and teaches not only about Islam, but also about moral courage. She stands up for the human right to question, free from fear.  Her life partner is Laura J. Albano. Irshad is a well known critic of traditional mainstream Islam. She is the executive producer of a you tube charnel called Moral Courage TV.  called She is an advocate of reformist interpretation of Islam. She has written The Trouble with Islam Today in 2004 which has been translated into 30 languages  and Allah, Liberty and Love and The courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom.

E. Madge Mandy


Born in the U.S.A. A college professor from Kansas she married T. Joseph Mandy a mines engineer and amateur photographer. The couple loved the western Canadian northland. Madge would write of their experiences trekking across the area in the 1930’s and with reprints in the 1990’s the books effects are still being felt. The book was : Our Trail led Northwest: true trail romance and adventure in British Columbia. (Reprinted Surrey, B.C.: Heritage House 1992.) Madge Lake, Madge Mountain were both named for this adventurer. The town of Burnaby , British Columbia boasts of Madge Ave., named in her honour. Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2000. (Silver Anniversary Edition) Coteau Books, 1999. Page 12.

Elisabeth Mann Borgese

April 24, 1918, Munich, Germany. Died February 8, 2002 St Morita, Switzerland. From 1959 through 1961 she published 6 books of fiction. Elisabeth was an internationally recognized expert on maritime law and policy and the protection of the environment who organized the 1st conference on the law and the sea in Malta in 1970. From 1973 to 1982 she was part of an expert group of the Austrian delegation during the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In 1970 she published the Drama of the Oceans. In 1977 Dalhousie University, Halifax invited her to be a Professor of Political Science. She published Seafarm: the Story of Aquaculture in 1980. She published in 1998 the Oceanic Circle. She continued teaching at Dalhousie until she was 80.  She was on a ski vacation in Switzerland when she died. (2019)

Susan / Suzanne Marny

SEE -  Mabel Annesley Johnston.

Alice Stuart Massey

née Parkin. Born Fredericton, New Brunswick  Died July 29, 1950. The wife of Canada's 1st Canadian Born Governor General, kept her busy with an extremely active social life that was required of the family she had married into. She did have an interest in women's roles in modern society and was author of Occupations for trained women in Canada (London, 1920)

Carol Matas

Born November 14, 1949, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She went to theatre school and acted in Toronto before discovering her talent for writing children's books. She enjoys writing fantasy. She also has taken what she considered an important story about the treatment of Jews in World War ll and written a book so that Canadian youth would know what happened. Her books have won the Geoffrey Bilson Award ( 1987), the Silver Birch Award (1993) and the Red Maple Award( 1996).

Elizabeth 'Liz' Maxwell

Born September 29, 1948, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died July 30, 2005, Toronto, Ontario. Liz attended Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Toronto.  She taught high School in Fenelon Falls, Ontario where she lived with her 1st husband Jim Webster and the couple had three children.  She later married Mike Trusz and became stepmother to his three children. In 1992 she received a liver transplant which allowed her an additional thirteen years with her family. She participated in the 1997 transplant games in Australia earning a Silver Medal. She travelled to the Greek Islands, France and throughout North America. It was at this time she began writing. She also was a will speaker on behalf of the organ donor program. Her book: Stories and Memoirs from her journey was published friends in her writing club and proceeds from the sale of the book support liver transplants.

Lynn McDonald SEE - Politicians
Margaret Dixon McDougal

Born (1826 (?) Died 1898. As a writer she was known to have used the pen name "Nora" or Norah" One larger work that was published was "The letters of "Norah" on her tour through Ireland. She also published "Verses and Rhymes by the Way" (Pembroke, 1880) and The Day of a Life (Almonte, 1883)

Doreen McKenzie-Sanders SEE - Businesswomen
Jean Newton McIlwraith

Born 1859, Hamilton, Canada West (Ontario) 1859. Died November 17, 1938. A prolific writer for her day, many of her works were meant to provide information and biographical data for her readers. The making of Mary (New York, 1895) was followed with A Book About Shakespeare (New York, 1898) and Canada (New York, 1899) She would also write Sir Frederick Haldimand (Toronto, 1904) among others.

Ruth McKenzie

Librarian, journalist, historian

Born  December 8, 1904, Wellington County, Ontario. After leaving high school, she attended the Toronto Normal School and then taught successively in the continuation schools at Aberfoyle and Wroxeter. She graduated from Queen's University in 1930 with honours in English and History, after which she obtained a library science degree from the University of Toronto. She worked as a reference librarian in the Toronto Public Library until 1943 when she became editor and research director for National Farm Radio Forum, responsible for the study bulletin Farm Forum Guide. In 1954 she joined the Citizenship Branch of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration where she edited the bimonthly periodical Citizen. After an early retirement, Ruth McKenzie began her career as a freelance writer, editor and researcher. Her articles appeared in the Canadian Geographic Journal, Chatelaine, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, the Canadian Encyclopedia and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. She has written the following books: Leeds and Grenville, Their First Two Hundred Years, 1967; Laura Secord, the Legend and the Lady, 1971; James FitzGibbon, Defender of Upper Canada, 1983; and she edited The St. Lawrence Survey Journals of Henry Wolsey Bayfield, two volumes, (Champlain Society,1984 and 1986. )

Janet McNaughton

Born 1953, Toronto, Ontario. Janet always remembers loving to write producing stories from the time she was 11 years old. Janet studied at the York University, Toronto earning her BA in 1973. By 1983 she had earned a Master’s Degree from Memorial University in Newfoundland followed in 1989 with a PhD in folklore from Memorial. She married professor Michael Wallack and the couple had one daughter. After her university studies she wrote for magazines, usually articles on gardening and the environment. She then took over a weekly newspaper column reviewing children’s books and then reviewed books for magazines. Her 1st book Catch Me once Catch Me Twice was published in 1994. Her second book To Dance at the Palais Royal would win three awards. Janet is an active member with the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland where she served for a time as president and Labrador and the Canadian Book Centre. (2018)

Sylvia McNicoll

Born September 30, 1954, Ajax, Ontario. She put herself through Concordia University with night classes while working in  cash management for a large paper company. After university she married Bob McNicoll and the couple have three children. She attempted to write short stories and had household hint articles published in the local newspaper in Burlington, Ontario. She took a children’s writing course at Sheridan College and wrote her 1st novel Blueberries and Whipped Cream in class. After publishing nine books at her own she returned to Sheridan College as a teacher. For eight years she edited Today’s Parent magazine from Toronto. She has served as a Director on the Board for Access Copyright. She has also spent time writing profiles of authors for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Her book Dying to Go Viral was a great hit in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany before it came to Canada. Her book What the Dog Says is also available in foreign languages. Her works have won several awards including the Silver Birch and Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award in 1996, the Explora-toy Best Novel for Caught in a Lie in 2000, The Hamilton Arts Multimedia Award in 2007 and the 2011 Arts Hamilton Award.

Gloria Mehlmann

Aboriginal author

Born Cowessess First Nations Reserve, Saskatchewan. After school Gloria became a teacher and taught public school in the Regina, Saskatchewan area from 1962 to 1983. She is a staunch supporter of libraries and has served as a Trustee on her local library Board, She has also served as a Director of Aboriginal Education. She is the author of Gifted to Learn: a Memoir in 2004. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. She has also published stories in her book Adam's Tree. She retired to Nanoose Bay, British Columbia. \

Ruby Mercer Por SEE - Entertainers - Opera Singers
Sara / Sarah Mickle

Born June 13, 1853, Guelph, Ontario. Died June 2, 1939, Toronto, Ontario. The family relocated from Guelph to Toronto. Not much is recorded on her early life. She was active in supporting her church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as well as the Hillcrest Convalescent Hospital in Toronto. Her avocation was local history. She worked with the Pioneer and Historical Society of the Province of Ontario which as a meeting when she was the only woman in attendance she suggested be renamed the Ontario Historical Society. She was immersed in the Women’s Canadian Historical Society serving from 1897 through 1930 on the executive committee including serving some 15 years as President. She wrote papers for the WCHC and was in demand as a gifted speaker. In 1899 she worked with a group to set up a successful historic exhibition at Victoria University. She also poured her energies over the years into saving the site of Fort York from being devoured by urban commercial takeover. Another Conservation project close to her heart was the restoration of Colborne Lodge the 1837 home of artist-architect John George Howard, located near High Park. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol. XV Online (accessed March 2014 .

Phoebe Florence Miller

Born July 8 1889, Topsail, Newfoundland. Died May 18, 1979, Topsail, Newfoundland. In 1907 Florence completed school and began working as a government telegraph operator a position she held until she retired in 1942. In 1920 she won 1st prize in Dr. Chase’s Almanac Great Diary Contest sponsored by Edamson Bates and Company. In 1921 and again in 1924 she tied for 1st place in this annual competition. For over 25 years she submitted verses to American greeting card companies such as Rust Craft Cards. She published one book of poems and had her poems appear in the Evening Telegram, the Newfound Quarterly and additional publications. In 1929 she Published In Caribou Land (Toronto: Ryerson) with a forward by the acclaimed Canadian poet E. J. Pratt. Florence was also an avid letter writer to family and friends who had moved away.  Source: The Gazette January 26, 1995. Suggestion submitted by Nora Phillips.

Margaret Millar

née Sturm. Born 1915, Kitchener, Ontario. Died March 26, 1994. She married Kenneth Miller when she was a student studying the classics at the University of Toronto in 1938. In 1941 she penned her first novel The Invisible worm" She would write some 6 novels in her early career all of which had a Canadian setting. After 1950 her mysteries were mainly set in California where she had settled with her family. She even did the Hollywood 'thing' after world war ll when she was a screenwriter for Warner Brothers Studios. She and her husband, had a mutual enjoyment of nature and helped found a chapter of the National Audubon Society. in 1965 she was the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year. Her numerous writings are often overshadowed by the works of her husband who became a well known mystery writer under the pen name of Ross Macdonald.

Dorthea Mitchell
Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter & author

See - Entertainers - Miscellaneous

Lucy Maud Montgomery-Macdonald

née Montgomery. Born November 30, 1874, Clifton, Prince Edward Island. Died April 24, 1942, Toronto, Ontario.  It is no surprise to know that she was born in Prince Edward Island.  She would use the stories and lessons of growing up in her world famous novels about a young orphan named Anne. The Book Anne of Green Gables was 1st published in June 1908 and by November 1909 the book had already been through six printings.  the book is still enormously popular today. Later there was also Emily and Jane, new characters L.M. Montgomery would share share with the world. There have been movies, TV shows and a stage musical all produced based on the book. Actually Lucy Maude went on to publish 20 novels, over 500 short stories, 500 poems and 30 essays. Her works made Prince Edward Island a literary landmark destined to become a popular tourist site. In 1911 Lucy married a Presbyterian minister Ewen/Ewan Macdonald (1870-1943) and the couple moved to Ontario. Their home in Leaskdale is now a Museum. The couple would have three sons two of whom would live to adulthood. She was a staunch supporter of the home war effort during World War 1 (1914-1918) and lent her celebrity to recruiting Canadian soldiers. Her diaries showed that she felt tortured by the war itself. Both Ewen and Lucy would suffer from severe bouts of depression during their lives. She continued to write until 1940 when her last book, The Blythes Are Quoted was delivered to the publisher on the day she died. Her writing was a saving grace for Lucy.   She was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935. In 1943 she was designated a Person of National Historic Significance.  Her diaries and papers are held in the Archives of the University of Guelph.  In 1975 the Canadian Post Office issued a stamp honouring Anne of Green Gables and in 2008 a stamp was issued making the centennial of the publication. On November 30, 2015 Google honoured Lucy Maud Montgomery with a Google Doodle that was published in 12 countries.  Have you ever read "Anne of Green Gables?In which of the 14 languages the book is translated did you read the book.                                            

Susanna Moodie





née Strickland. Born December 6, 1803, Bungay, England. Died April 8, 1885 Toronto, Ontario.  Susanna wrote her 1st children's book in 1822 and went on to publish other children's stories in London, England. On April 4, 1831 she married a retired military officer John Moodie. In 1832 Susanna, John and their daughter immigrated to Upper Canada settling just outside of Lakefield.  Susanna lived the difficult life of a settler in Upper Canada and she wrote about her adventures in a famous book called Roughing it in the Bush. By 1853, living in Belleville, Upper Canada she wrote Life in the Clearings Versus the Bush. She was also an early Canadian journalist writing for the best of the Canadian literary journals of the day. She was very suspicious of the “Yankee” (American) influence on early Canada. Her sister, Catherine Parr Trail (1802-1899) was also a famous Canadian author. September  8 2003 Canada Post issued as special commemorative series for the 50th anniversary of the National Library of Canada which featured Susanna and her sister.

Maria Monk

Born June 27, 1816, Died 1849. It is rumored that she stuck a pencil in her ear and caused some brain damage when she was only seven years old. As a young adult she ran off to the U.S.A. where she claimed to have been a Nun who had been sexually exploited. The newspapers and magazines picked up on her stories and in 1936 a book was published under the title of The awful disclosures of Maria Monk or the hidden secrets of a Nun. The book fuelled the anti-Catholic sentiment of the era and was popular reading. A sequel to the popular first volume soon followed. Investigations into the truth of the works also followed. These later investigations would show that the premises of the books were false but the harm had been done to strengthen religious dissention. Marie herself simply drifted off to live a life that would end in an almshouse at Blackwell’s Island in New York. Source: Online Dictionary of Canadian Biography (accessed May 2008)

Shani Mootoo

Born 1957, Ireland. Shani was raised in Trinidad, the home of her parents. As a youth she showed talents in drawing and painting and at ten she decided she would be an artist. She earned her Bachelor degree in Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario in 1980. She would return to study for her Master's at the University of Guelph graduating in 2010. She is a multi media artist who has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia  and from 1994-1999 in New York City, New York, U.S.A. Her art has bee exhibited internationally including a showing at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Her 1st book was a collection of short stories called Out on Main Street published in 1993. She followed this in 1996 with the publication of her 1st novel, Cereus Blooms at Night. which was short listed for several awards and won the New England Book Sellers Award in 1998. Her 1st collection of poetry was published in 2002. In 2005, 2008 and again in 2014 more novels were published. She has been Writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta, the University of Guelph and the University of the West Indies in Cave Hill, Barbados. She has also written, directed and films numerous videos. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto. (2019)

L /Louis Moresby
E. Barrington;
Eliza Louisa Beck;

SEE - Lily Adams Beck

Bernice Morgan

February 8, 1935, St John's Newfoundland. She worked in public relations at Memorial University of Newfoundland and with the Newfoundland Teacher's association. She produced several short stories that appeared in small magazines and school textbooks. In 1992 she published her 1st novel Random Passage and followed up with a sequel in 1994 which won the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award in 1994 and the Thomas Head Raddall Award in 1995 and the Newfoundland Artist of the Year from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. The books follow the struggles of an outport family from the early 1800's to the Cod Moratorium. These books were picked up in 2002  becoming a four-part mini series for TV that was picked up by the CBC and was also shown in Ireland. It took until 2007 for her third novel to be published. Bernice has three children. In 2012 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Audrey Yvonne Morris

Born July 1930, Athens, Ontario. Died June 1, 2014, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1952 she earned her BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto. While at university she wrote a collective biography which included Catherine Parr Trail and Susanna Moodie. Her work originally appeared in installments in Chatelaine magazine prior to being published as a separate book in 1968 under the title Gentle Pioneers: fifteen nineteenth century  Canadians.. Audrey worked as a civil servant in Ottawa at various positions including as a speech writer. Re locating to Winnipeg she worked as a consultant in her own business, Morris Associates doing career consulting. She also wrote a business section column in the Winnipeg Free Press. Source: Obituary, Toronto Globe and Mail July 19, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon of Ottawa.

Ruth Rittenhouse Morris SEE - Social Activists
Maud Morrison

Maud is best known for her work This Canada of Ours. This was originally a comic strip series which appeared in various Canadian publications between May 1925 and May 1929. The illustrations in the publications were done my Maud’s Brother John Stewart Morrison. J.S. Morrison is given 1st place on the published book which appeared in a boxed publication in 1929. This volume covered up to the time of Count Frontenac and was to be followed by a second volume. In 1937 an much less fancy edition that covered Canadian history up to world war l was published. It was revised and much expanded. There is no indication why after 1929 Maud did not bring out her second volume of her original work. Maud may have married Ernest Stone on December 31, 1907.

Hope Morritt

Born Edmonton Alberta. Died February 8, 2013, Petrolia, Ontario. She married Dan Cameron and in 1960 the couple settled in Sarnia , Ontario. Hope  earned a bachelor of arts in English from the University of Western Ontario and did post graduate work in Irish literature at the University of Dublin. She authored several works of fiction, including "Nahanni," a book she co-authored with Norma West Linder (1928-   ). Her works received many awards over the years, including first place in a writing competition sponsored by the Banff School of Fine Arts (now the Banff Centre), which earned her a writing scholarship. She taught creative writing at Lambton College and launched a creative writing program for gifted students. Hope was  a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada and a member of WIT (Writers in Transition) in Sarnia. Source: “Hope Morritt, local author and friend of writers, has died” By JD Booth  online (accessed February 9, 2013 )

Ann Mortifee SEE - Entertainers - Singers - Folk
Ethel Rogers Mulvany

née Rogers Born Manitoulin Island, Ontario. While still a teenager she was teaching in a local primary school. She eventually moved to Toronto to attend formal teacher training. She began working as a director of an arts and literary society. In 1933 while on tor of Asia doing an educational survey she met and married a British army doctor. In 1940 the couple were posted in Singapore. While volunteering as an aide worker with the Australian Red Cross she became a prisoner after the Japanese invasion on December 8, 1941 and was sent with 1300 other women to Changi prison. She kept the women busy holding imaginary tea parties where the ladies pretended to be finely dressed and dining on sumptuous dishes. This exercise stimulated salvia glands helping stave off hunger pains. She also had the women quilting and hiding notes in quilt squares that went to Prisoner of War camps where many husbands where prisoners. Back in Canada after the war she completed an 800 page recipe cook book highlighting the war time tea party recipes that was sold to raise funds for British Prisoner of War hospital patients. The cookbook was republished in 2013 by the Manitoulin Historical Society. Source: Lorraine Malinder.” Ether Roger Mulvany” in Canada’s History Magazine August-September 2016.

Alice Munro

Born July 10, 1931, Wingham, Ontario. Alice's short stories appear in magazines such as the New Yorker and The Atlantic.  She has collected her stories and published numerous books of stories. A novel, Lives of girls and women, grew from her short stories.  She has received 3 Governor General’s awards for her works.  She also has won the Canada-Australia Literary Prize and the Marion Engel Award and the W. H. Smith Award from Great Britain.

Louisa Annie Murray

Born May 24, 1918, Carisbrooke, England. Died July 27,1894. She emigrated to Canada in 1844 with her family and they became pioneers on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. She taught school as a young woman. She began to write with the encouragement of a neighbors. With the endorsement of Susanna Moodie her work Fauna, or the red flower of leafy Hollow appeared in the Literary Garland magazine in 1851 in serial format. She persevered publishing perils and loss of work to become the major Canadian prose writer of the 1870's. She also published a small number of poems.

Mitiarjuj Nappaaluk

Inuk writer

Born 1931, Kangiqusujuaq, Quebec. Died 2007. An esteemed story teller whose stories and legends have been broadcast for years on the CBC radio she draws on her traditional upbringing. She had her feet firmly planted in both the traditions of her people and the modern worlds. As an author she is the 1st author to write a novel in the Inuktitul language, Sanaaq. The book was not published until 1984 and the French edition was published in 2002 and an English edition was published in 2014. She has translated the Roman Catholic Book of Prayer into Inuktitut so that her people my learn in their own language. She has compiled an encyclopedia of traditional Inuit knowledge, legends and natural history so that the traditional spoken knowledge may be passed to all who seek knowledge of the unique culture of her people. In 1999 she received an National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her contributions to heritage and spirituality. In 2004 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Marianna O'Gallagher SEE - Historians
Margaret O'Hara   SEE - Medical Professionals - Physcians
Mari O'Nair SEE - Constance May Evans
Martha Ostenso

Born September 6, 1900, Bergen, Norway. Died 1963. She was educated in a Winnipeg high school and the University of Manitoba. While she taught school she worked on her 1st novel,” Wild Geese” (1925). She spent time as a reporter, and a social worker but still found room for her writings.  She would complete another novel.

Jeannine Ouellette

Born June 4, 1958, Kapuskasing, Ontario. Jeannine attended the bilingual University of Ottawa were she earned a B.A. in Psychology followed by a Masters Degree in education. While at University she worked as a movie reviewer for the campus radio on Ellspace, a program for women on campus. On December 22, 1979 she married Guy Théroux of Kapuskasing and the couple settled in Ottawa. She was a contributed  to the national women’s magazine Femmes d’action from the Fédération nationale des femmes Canadiennes-francaises for the years. She is the co-founder of the Action Group Against Violence Against Women in Northern Ontario. She Supervised the production of TFO’s series on children who grow up in violent homes, S.O.S. Géneration en détresse and co-wrote the teacher’s guide which accompanied the television series. She has published a book on women’s learning with the University of Ottawa Press, Les femmes en milieu universitarie: liberté d’apprendre outrement. in 2000 the book won the Laura Jamieson Prize from the Canadian Institute for the Advancement of research on Women for the best feminist book by a Canadian author. She was the host of the Télèvision Rogers cable program D’hier à aujourd’hui on local Ottawa television. The program combined her interest in history and enjoyment in teaching people about their past. In 2008 she began a blog highlighting the accomplishments of milestones and mentoring women of Ottawa throughout it’s history. Embracing further the medium of the internet Jeanne has also begun in 2012 a blog highlighting the women of Northern Ontario along highway 11: Les femmes de la route 11: Elles du Nord. Source: Personal contact with Jeannine Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario. (2020)

Laura Bryne Paquet

Laura holds a bachelor of journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa. She worked for a few years as a business reporter and as a junior magazine editor prior to becoming a freelance writer. Years ago she heard that National Geographic magazine did not hire travel writers but writers who travel and she  thought why not. I love to travel. She has not only written about traveling but she has also written about a scientist who studies the sleeping habits of lemurs and a non-profit group that trains at-risk young people to work in restaurants. She has written for more than 80 publications and websites in Canada and elsewhere. Her article have appeared not only in National Geographic Traveler but also in enRoute, Trivago, The Huffington Post, Dreamscapes, Forbes, and newspapers like the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Washington Post. Laura has also spoken about travel and other topics on TVOntario, CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup, and CTV Morning Live. the She has written or co-authored 13 books including Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel and The Environment in Contemporary Africa.

 Uma Parameswaran

Born Madras, India. As a child she enjoyed reading. As a youth she read and studied the Greek classic plays. Winninag Smith-Mundt Fulbright Scholarship she studied literature at Indiana University earning her master’s degree in creative writing. She moved to Winnipeg Manitoba in 1966 and continued her university studies at the Michigan State University receiving her PhD in 1972. She is married and has one daughter and the family has settled in with Dr. Uma working as a professor at the University of Winnipeg. She began her professional writing career in 1962 producing an historical drama. In 1967 her writings won the Lady Eaton Award. In 1980 her work was awarded the Caribe Playwriting Completion first prize. Her collection of short stories What Was Always Hers won both the New Muse Award and the Jubilee Award. During her work, writing career and family responsibilities she has also found time to return service to the writers world by working with several boards and committees including the Status of Women Writers Committee, the Board of Immigrant Women’s Association of Manitoba and as president of the Manitoba’s Writers Guild. Obviously she enjoys nothing more than being creatively busy. Suggested sources; Uma Parameswaran web site at the University of Winnipeg. (accessed May 2008)

Elleanore Jane Parker SEE - Medical Professionals - Nurses
Jean Paré

Born December 7, 1927, Irma, Alberta. When she was a child the family relocated to Edmonton, Alberta. In 1946 Jean married for the 1st time to Clarence Lovig. In 1959 they relocated to Vermilion, Alberta where the couple owned and operated an auction house. Related imageThe couple had two children and became divorced in the mid 1960's. She opened a small cafe in Vermilion to support her family. She married her second husband Larry Paré and became step mother to his three children. She worked as a caterer and people began to request her recipes which led her to publish her 1st cook book in 1981. She co-founded Company's Coming Publishing Ltd. and she has authored more than 200 cookbooks in her own down to earth style. As her brand grew the company test kitchen and office moved to Edmonton.  After selling 30,000,000 cookbooks she retired in February 2011. Jean was also a principal shareholder of C O M A C Food Group which owned Company's Coming Cafes, Grabbajabba Specialty Coffee, Pastels Cafes and the Canadian rights to Domino's Pizza franchise. She would donated her personal collection of 6,700 cookbooks, amassed while traveling the world, were donated to the University of Guelph in Ontario. The cookbooks represented local church, ladies auxiliary, and organization fund raising cookbooks which were the backbone of homemaking. In 2004 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. (2019)

Ema Paris

Born Toronto Ontario. Ema earned her BA from the University of Toronto in 1960. After graduation she left and traveled to France to continue studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. She began her career as a journalist writing for magazines. She earned a feature writing award from the Media Club of Canada in 1970 and 1974  and  for radio documentary work in 1973 and 1974. In 1981 she was recognized for Best book in 1981 and again twenty years later. April 26, 1981 she married Thomas More Robinson and the couple have two children.  In 1983 she won the Gold Medal from the National Magazine Awards. In 1990 she won Best Canadian Essay from Fifth House Press for her work The Boat People. In 1996 she was recognized three times by the Canadian Jewish Book Awards. In 2000 she earned Best Book acclaim from the Globe and Mail newspaper and in 2001 she earned the Pearson Writer'sTrust Non-fiction Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, the Dorothy Shoichet Prize for History, the Christian Science Monitor Best Books, and the New Statesman Best books. In 2002 she was a Visiting Fellow with the International Affairs Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder Colorado, U.S.A. Her multi prize winning book Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History was listed with the Literary Review of Canada in the 100 Most Important Books Ever Written up to 2004. In 2008 and 2009 she was Vic Chair of tf the Writer's Union of Canada and Chair in 2009 . 2010. In 2009 she was appointed Honorary Council of the Canadian Centre for International Justice, Ottawa. She earned the Canada World Peace Award from the World Federalist Movement-Canada. In 2015 she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Ellanore Jane Parker SEE - Medical Professionals - Nurses
Nanci M Pattenden

Nanci is a professional genealogist who, while searching her family story found a relative who came to Canada and was involved in a murder trial. This discovery sent her off on a writing spree. Nanci has taken the creative writing program from Calgary University and holds a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogy. She is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada and the Writing Community of York Region. Her books as set in Toronto in the Victoria era of 1874-1899 and are all based on actual events. Her 1st novel in 2014 was Body in the Harbour and by 208 there were six move books such as Corpses for Christmas and Death on Duchess Street. (2019)

Lise Payette SEE - Politicians
Kathleen 'Kit' Margaret Pearson

Born April 30, 1947, Edmonton, Alberta. Kit family relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia where she grew up. She earned her BA from the University of Alberta, Edmonton and returned to attend the University of British Columbia to earn her post graduate degree in Library Science. She began her library career in Ontario. She went on to earn a second Master's at Simmons College Centre for the Study of Children's Literature, Boston, Massacheutts, U.S.A. Back in Vancouver she published her 1st novel, The Daring Game in 1986. Her book Awake and Dreaming won the Governor General's Award in Literature. Her books have also been recognized with the Vicky Metcalf Award, Mr. Christie's Book Award, The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for two of her books and the Children's Book of the Year Award, which she had earned three times. in 2019 her 15th book was published, Be my love. Kit lives with her life partner in Victoria, British Columbia. (2019)

Francine Pelletier

Born April 25, 1957. This author has written 14 novels for young adults and several novels for adults. In 1988 she was awarded the "Grand Prix de la science-fiction du fantastique Quebecoise" for her work, La petite fille de silence, also the same year she was awarded the "Prix Boreal" for the work, les temps de migrations

Tshaukuesh 'Elizabeth' Penashue SEE - Social Activists
Louise Penny

Born 1958, Toronto, Ontario. Growing up Louise was an avid reader who was encouraged to read by her mother. Louise grew particularly fond of mysteries both fiction and real. Louise earned he Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in 1979. She began her career as a radio host and journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Traveling for her work she felt alone and isolated and turned to alcohol to cope. At 35 she was able to admit she had a problem and began a life of sobriety. She Married Michael Whitehead on a blind date. In the late 1990's Penny left the CBC and wrote a historical novel. It was not long before she began writing mystery novels. Her 1st novel called Still Live came second in a field of 800 entries in a British writing competition and went on to win the New Blood Dagger un England and the Canadian Arthur Ellis Award for Best 1st Crime Novel, the Dulys Award, the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best 1st Novel in the United States. Her novels with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache are set in Quebec. In 2007, 2008 2010, 2012, and 2013, the Inspector helped her earn an Agatha Award. Her books have also earned Edgar Awards, Macavity Awards, Anthony Awards, and Arthur Ellis Awards. In 2009, Penny helped to launch a new award for aspiring Canadian mystery writers, the Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished 1st Novel. In 2013 she was inducted into the order of Canada in part for shining the spotlight on her home area in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Her 1st two novels have become made for TV movies. By 2019 16 novels have featured the Inspector. (2020)

Marlene Nourbese/ NourbeSe Philip

SEE - Poets

Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall

SEE - Poets 

Katherine Pinkerton

Born June 9, 1887, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.  Died September 6, 1967, New York City, New York, U.S.A. In 1909 Katherine graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and for a time had a career as a social worker. On March 24, 1911 she married a writer , Robert E. Pinkerton and the couple settled in a cabin in the wilderness of Northern Ontario. They learned to live in the wildernes surviving with the closest town eith miles away accessible by canoe in the summer or by dogsled in the winter. They wrote of their lives and sent article to wilderness magazines. It was in northern Ontario that their only child, a daughter, was born. In 1917 the family were in Colorado and then California before settling to life on a houseboat off the shores of British Columbia. In 1922 Katherine had begun to concentrate on writing short stories and novels. In 1939 she published Wilderness Wife based on their lives in Northern Ontario. The next year she published A Crew of Three and for the third year in a row she published another book Two Ends to Our Shoestring. In all she would publish 11 books between 1939 and 1962. (2018)

Sharon Pollock

Born April 19, 1936, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her birth name was Mary Sharon Chalmers. Her first published play , A compulsory Option, won the 1971 Alberta Playwriting Competition. After teaching at several western Canadian institutions she became, in 1984, the first woman artistic director of a major western Canadian theatre.  She has written several plays of children as well as TV and radio scripts. Her play DOC earned her the 1984 Governor General's Award.  In 1988 she was awarded the Canada-Australia Literary Prize.

Agnes Helen Fogwill Porter

née Wright. Born May 7, 1930, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Helen attended the Prince of Wales, St John's, Newfoundland and worked as a typist with the provincial Department of Justice.  In 1953 she married John Porter and the couple had four children. She began her writing career in 1962 and devoted herself full time to writing in 1973. She began her writing career by publishing short stories, article, reviews and poetry in various magazines such as MacLean's, Chatelaine, the Star Weekly and Saturday Night.  In  1977 she collaborated with Bernice Morgan and Geraldine Rubia on writing From this Place, an anthology from women writers of Newfoundland and Labrador. Between 1975 and 1985 she too an interest in politics and ran for election with the New Democratic Party four times. Her 1st novel, January, February, June of July was published in 1988 and won the Young Adult Book Award from the Canadian Library Association in 1989. She taught at Memorial University in Newfoundland from 1979 through 1991. She worked with the Visiting Arts' Program  where she would visit schools throughout the province to impart a sense of literature to school children. She also worked with projects that put poetry inside public transit busses not only in Newfoundland but also in Alberta. She is a founding member of the Newfoundland Status of Women Council.  She received the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. In 2003 the New Democratic Party of Newfoundland set up the Helen Fogwill Porter Fund to aid women seeking to run as an NDP representative. In 2015 she was inducted in the Order of Canada.

Rosa Portlock


née Elliott. Born 1839, England. Died 1928. She emigrated to Canada in 1871. She married William Portlock. It was not until after the death of her husband in 1893 that she began to consider publishing her works which were mainly autobiographical in nature. The Head Keeper (Toronto, 1898) and 25 years of Canadian Life (Toronto, 1901).

Rainbow Bright

SEE - Jessie Louise Beattie  

Janis Rapoport

Born 1946, Toronto, Ontario.  In 1966 she married Dr. David Seager in 1966. The couple had three children. In 1967 she earned  a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto.. She married Douglas Donegani in 1980, they had a daughter and became  divorced in 2003. In 2003 she married Fernando Miranda Arregui. She has been Associate Editor of Tamarack Review (1970- 82), Editor of Ethos (1983-86), Playwright-in-Residence (1974-75), and Writer-in-Residence at several Ontario libraries (1987 -1991). She also worked as a literary and television editor, and as an instructor at the University of Toronto. Her writings have garnered several awards including:  the New York Art Directors Club Award of Merit in 1983, the American Institute of Graphic Arts Certificate of Excellence in 1983, the American Poetry Association Award in 1986, a Canada Council Arts Award in 1991, a Toronto Arts Council Award in 1990 and 1992, and an Ontario Arts Council Work-in-Progress Grant in 1995. Her articles have been published in Canadian magazines and newspapers, and her writing has been anthologized in four languages. Source: Janice Rapport Collection, E.J.Pratt Library, University of Victoria Campus, University of Toronto. Online (Accessed July 2013).Submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.

Alice Ravenhill SEE - Social Activists
Kathleen 'Kathy' Joan Toelle  Reichs

Born July 7, 1948, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. In 1968 she married Paul Reichs and the couple have two daughters. Kathy earned her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from American University, Washington D. C., U.S.A. in 1971 and by 1972 she had completed her Master's degree at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. followed by achieving a PhD from Northwestern in 1975. An adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte she is on indefinite leave since 2016. She has also taught at Northwestern, Northern Illinois University, University of Pittsburgh in the U.S. and in Canada at Concordia and McGill University. She is certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She is affiliated with the Laboratoire des sciences judiciaires et de Médecine Légale  in the province of Quebec. She was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team which assisted at the World Trade Centre disaster 9/11/2001. She is well known as an author not only of scientific papers and books but of of forensic novels and was a producer for the TV series Bones which featured the character Temperance Brennan who was loosely based on her popular novels. Her 1st novel Déjà Dead won the Author Ellis Award for Best First Novel in 1997. Her books are set in the background of the province of Quebec. By 2019 she had published 21 novels often based on her own experiences which have been translated into 30 languages. She has also written youn adult novels in a series called Virals.  Kathy Reichs is a Member of the Order of Canada.(2020)

Helen Richmond Young Reid SEE - Social Activists
Kati Rekai

Born October 20, 1921, Budapest, Hungary. Died February 1, 2010, Toronto, Ontario. Kati was the part of the weekly CIAO Radio show  The Hungarian Show and was the arts commentator for Chin Radio. As a print journalist she was  a columnist for Kaleidoscope Magazine and a contributor for the Performing Arts and Entertainment Magazine. She served as the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Writers Union of Canada and Vice President of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association.  She served on numerous board including the Toronto International Exchange, the Canadian Scene Multi-language News Service and the Hungarian Canadian Chamber of Commerce. She was the author of travel books for children that introduced young readers not only about Canadian cities but also to European countries through the  of for animals. Her works garnered her numerous awards including being a Knight in the Order of St. Ladislaus, the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for her contribution to the development of Canadian-Hungarian Cultural Relations. In 1993 she was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Gwendolyn Ringwood

née Phares. Born August 13, 1910, Anatone, Washington U.S.A.  Died May 24, 1984. In 1941 she received the Governor General's Award for outstanding service to Canadian drama. She was the first Canadian playwright to publish a volume of collected plays in 1982.

Constance Ringwood

Born 1943? New York City, New York, U.S.A. Died October 2008 Toronto, Ontario. She attended Smith College, Tulane University and the University of North Carolina where she earned a PhD. While at university she met her husband Leon Rook. They married in 1969 and the couple had one son. Relocating to British Columbia she taught English and edited the Malahat Review at the University of Victoria. In 1979 she initiated the women’s study program at the university and went on to become academic Vice-president. In 1988 she joined the staff of the English Department at the University of Guelph in Ontario. She was the founding director of the Master of fine arts program in creative writing at the university and went on to become associate vice-president in 1994. In 1989 the couple founded the Eden Mills Writer’s Festival. The Festival is held the first weekend after Labour Day each year. That year she published Fear of the Open Heart: Essays on Contemporary Canadian Writing.  In 1999 she became president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. In 2002 the family moved to Toronto. From 2005 through 2007 she served as president of PEN Canada where she created fundraisers for the writer’s organization dedicated to freedom of expression. In 2005 she earned the Gemini Prize for her short stories.

Gretchen Roedde SEE - Medical - Physicians
Catherine Sheldrick Ross SEE - Academics - Librarians
Ellen Ross

née McGregor. Born Banff, Scotland. Died 1892. She emigrated to Canada with her second husband. When let a widow by the death of her husband she turned to writing to support herself. She had numerous articles and stories published in various Canadian and American magazines. She als published some 4 books between 1868 and 1878. . These included: Violet Keith (Toronto, 1868) ; Wreck of the White Bear (Montreal, 1871) ; A Legend of the Grand Gordons ( Montreal, 1873) and Legend of the Holy Stones ( Montreal, 1878)

Margaret Ross

Born July 5, 1845 Middlesex County, Canada West (now Ontario). Died February 9, 1935. She is chiefly remembered for her biography of her brother who was premier of the province of Ontario from 1898-1904.  The book was called. Sir George W. Ross: A Biographical Study (Toronto, 1923)

Gabrielle Roy

Born March 22, 1909, Saint Boniface, Manitoba. Died July 13, 1983. After high school she attended Winnipeg Norma School (teacher's College) and taught in rural schools before she was appointed to Provencher School in Saint Boniface.  Just prior to world war ll she traveled in Europe before the war forced her to return home. Settling in Quebec she earned her living as a sketch artist finding time to write while working. Her 1st novel Bonheur d'occasion appeared in 1945 and won for her the Prix Femina in 1947. The book was translated and published in English as the Tin Flute winning the 1st of three Governor General's Award in Literature. The book also won the Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. Wish to avoid the publicity of her successful book Gabrielle returned to Manitoba. In August 1947 she married a Saint Boniface doctor, Marcel Carbotte.  A 3 time winner of the Governor General’s Award in Literature as well as international award holder, she is one of the most important Canadian writers of the Post World War II Era in Canada. Some of her works have been translated into 15 different languages. In 1967 she became a Companion of the Order of Canada.  Her autobiography, La Détresse et l'enchantement was published posthumously and translated in 1984. The movie Tramp at the Door is dedicated to her and supposedly depicts her childhood. On September 29, 2004, the Bank of Canada issued a $20 bank note in the Canadian Journey Series which included a quotation from her 1961 book The Hidden Mountain (La Montagne secrète), and its English translation by Harry Binsse: Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?

Jane Rule

LGBTQ author

née Vance. Born March 28, 1931, Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.A. Died November 27, 2007, Galiano Island, British Columbia. During the Second World War her family moved around various army basis before finally settling in San Francisco. Jane attended Mills College, Oakland, California  and earned her B.A. While teaching at Concord Academy in Massachusetts in 1954 she met her lifelong partner, author and educator Helen Sonthoff. The couple moved to Vancouver in 1956 and soon received their Canadian citizenship. She taught periodically at the University of British Columbia while writing. Her 1st novel, Desert of the Heard was published in 1964. In 1976 the couple settled on Galiano Island off the west coast of British Columbia. Desert Hearts became a movie in 1985 and was a ground breaking topic. In all she wrote a dozen book including three short story collections as well as writing for various high profile publications. For the gay liberationist newspaper the Body Politic a regular column from 1979-1985. In 1998 she received the Order of British Columbia and was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007. (2020)

Olga Ruskin

Born February. 23, 1887, Vancouver, British Columbia. Died October 12, 1953, Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia when it was connected to McGill University, Montreal. She left teaching to marry Frederick James Rolston in 1909 and raised a family of three children. Tilly worked closely with many associations and clubs including being  a director of the Vancouver-based Pacific National Exhibition, an Honorary President of the Women's Canadian Club, president of the Oratorio Society, Quota Club, and the Travel Women's Club. She was also the founding chairman of the Theatre Under the Stars, board member of the YWCA auxiliary and of the Vancouver Symphony Society. While a homemaker she continued her interest in politics and actually entered politics as an elected Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in1941. In 1951 she sat as an Independent for the remainder of the session. She became a supporter of W.A.C. Bennett and in the 1952 B.C. election in Vancouver-Port Grey, she was elected as a Social Credit candidate and named education minister. She was the second woman in British Columbia to be appointed to the cabinet and the first woman in all of Canada to hold a specific portfolio. She was a staunch advocate education for every child

Eleanor Ann Saddlemyer

Born November 28, 1932, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Ann earned her BA from the University of Saskatchewan, her Masters from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and her PhD from the University of London, United Kingdom. This educator and author is a professor at Massey College and the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama and Victoria College at the University of Toronto. In 1976 she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1986 she earned the Rose Mary Crawshay Award from the British Academy and the following year she became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1989 the Association for Canadian Theatre Research created the Ann Saddlemyer Award. Among the many distinguished recognitions she was presented with were the 1994 YWCA Toronto Woman of the Year Award and the Order of Canada. Her more than one dozen published books have been related to drama and English literature. She is considered a pioneer in the field of Irish studies having published scholarly research in numerous publications. She has been a welcome lecturer not only in North America but also in Japan, China, Ireland, and Australia. She is also an accomplished editor and member of several editorial boards such as Theatre History in Canada/ Histoire du Théatre au Canada of which she is a founding president. (2019)

Mary Anne Sadlier

née Madden  Born December 31, 1820 Cootehill, Cavan County, Ireland. Died April 5, 1903 Montreal, Quebec.Image result for Mary Anne Sadlier images She emigrated to Canada in 1844 and published her 1st works by subscription (where people sign up to purchase a book before it is published.) November 24, 1846 she married published James Sadlier. They remained in Montreal where she continued to write and establish her name as an author. While in Canada she wrote 18 books, five novels, one collection of short stories, a religious catechism, and translated nine books from the French language to English. She also contributed to Pilot magazine and the American Celt Magazine. The family moved to New York but after her husband's death she returned to Montreal. During her career she would publish some 60 volumes of work from domestic novels to historical romances to children's catechisms. A friend of the assassinated author, poet, and Canadian politician, Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825-1868), she edited a  book of his poems and had it published posthumously in 1869, as a tribute to her friend.  In 2008 she was declared a National Historic Person of Canada.

Rosemary Sadlier

Born Toronto, Ontario. Rosemary attended York University, Toronto for her undergraduate studies and continued at the University of Toronto for post graduate studies in Social work. She was dominant person in the 1995 push to have the provincial and federal governments to declare February as Black History month. She has also had an active career outside of her history crusade, particularly in the fields of education and social work. She has worked as a school teacher and a hospital social worker and done volunteer work with developmentally delayed adults, emotionally disturbed children, and recent immigrants. She sat on Toronto's Ministry of Education Advisory Panel and vetted the black history curriculum produced by Toronto's District School Board. She was employed in the Women's Bureau of the Office of the Deputy Premier, where she developed a series of programs to encourage women to pursue training and employment in science fields. In 1993 she became president of the Ontario Black History Society a position she held until 2015.She has received numerous awards for her efforts including in 1999 the William Peyton Hubbard Relations Award, the Women of Pace Award, and the Black Links Award. In the mid-2000s she completed her doctoral coursework at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education. In 2005 she earned the Planet Africa Marcus Garvey Award. She also holds a lifetime achievers Award from Women Achievers’ Awards and is a member of the Order of Ontario. Rosemary married Jay Sadlier and the couple have three children.

Annette Saint-Pierre

Born 1925, Saint-Germaine-de-Grantham, Quebec. She earned her BA from the University of Ottawa. She taught elementary school and high school in Manitoba for 20 years. In 1970 she became a professor of Canadian literature at College universitaire de Saint-Boniface, Manitoba. She was the person who initiated the 1st university level Canadian literature course in western Canada. In 1978 she was a founding member of the Centre d'études Franco-Canadiennes de l'Ouest. In 1980 she published her 1st book, Le rideau se lève au Manitoba  In 1984, she was a director for the Regroupement des centres d'études au Canada. She was also a founding member of the 1st two Franco-Manitoba publishing houses, Éditions du Blé and Éditions des Plaines. These publishing houses had the specific mission to promote French language writing in Western Canada. Annette also played a major role in the preservation of the Saint Boniface birthplace of  the Canadian literary giant Gabrielle Roy (1909-1983).  In 2004 Annette was inducted into the order of Canada. In 2005 she published the book Au Pays de Gabrielle Roy.

Laura Salverson

née Goodman. Born December 9, 1890, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died July 13, 1970.  In 1913 she married George Salverson and the couple lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba and then Toronto, Ontario. In 1923 Laura presented the 1st of her 7 published works, The Viking Heart. Most of her works would reflect her Icelandic background. In 1937 Laura published the Dark Weaver for which she received a Governor General’s Award in literature. In 1939 she produced an autobiography, Confessions of an Immigrant’s Daughter which also won a Governor General’s Award. In 1954 her Immortal Rock: the Saga of the Kennington Stone won the Ryerson Fiction Award. Laura was a member of the Paris Institute of Arts and Sciences which awarded her a gold medal for literary merit.

Berthe Sansregret

Sister Bertha                                  
Born February 28, 1912, Joliette, Quebec. Died August 28, 2003. Berthe entered the Congregation de Notre Dame and pronounced her vows in 1934. In 1940 she earned a degree in Pedagogy from the Université de Montréal and began a career teaching domestic science including culinary arts. She went on to study at the great culinary schools such as the Académie de cuisine, Paris, France. In 1853 she took on the responsibility of the Culinary Arts Department at Ecole Supérieure des arts et Métiers de Montréal. From 1973 to 1993 she administered the Ecole d'art culinaire de Montréal. During the 1970's she hosted a weekly cooking show on the Télé-Métropole television network and published a dozen recipe books.  Source: Hommage à 56 femmes d'exception qui ont changé le Québec. Suggested by Larry McNally, Gatineau, Quebec.
Margaret Marshall Saunders

Born April 13, 1861 Milton, Nova Scotia. Died February 15, 1947. Margaret originally wrote under the name Marshall Saunders to hide her identity. While it was just becoming somewhat respectable for women to be writers when Margaret was publishing her works, writings by women were not best sellers. In 1894 she wrote Beautiful Joe, a story of an abused dog, for a competition sponsored by the American Humane Society. It won first prize! Beautiful Joe would became the first Canadian book to sell more than 1,000,000 copies. It was translated into more than 14 different languages.

Annie Gregg Savigny

Died July 10, 1901. She became and established author with such titles as A romance of Toronto (Toronto 1888); Lion, the mastiff (Toronto 1895) and Three wedding rings (Toronto n.d.) She could perhaps be considered a pioneer of early multi media writing as she apparently worked or at least published for the Canadian Department of Agriculture in 1898 when she prepared under her own name a lantern slide lecture on teaching kindness to animals called : Dick Niven and his Nobby. The work consisted of some 24 slides but only the descriptive text has survived.

Marcia Schonfeld

SEE - Dayal Kaur Khalsa

Judy Schultz

Judy attended the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. For 25 years she wrote for the food section of the Edmonton Journal newspaper. After retirement she opened a blog sharing stories and of course recipes from both Canada and New Zealand where she spends half her time. She has written 11 books by 2019 with her 1st novel, Freddy's War,  being published in 2011. She has published  biographies such as Mamie's Children; Generations of Prairie Women in 1998 and Jean Pare: an Appetite for Life, the inspiring story of Canada's most popular cookbook author.

Virginia Frances Schwartz

Born December 14, 1950, Stoney Creek, Ontario. Virginia trained as a teacher and went on to become a staff developer in a School of Writing and Publishing after being sent to Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. to be trained as a teacher of the writing process.  She has taught creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A. Her book I Just Had Two Wings won the Geoffrey Bilson, Silver Birch, Red Cedar and Myrca Awards. Send One Angel Down won the recipient of a Parents Choice Gold Award. Messenger took the Best Book of the Year for Youth Award from New York City Public Library. (2018)

Abbie Mary Lyon Sharman née Lyon. September 14, 1872, Hangchow, China. Died July 21, 1957, Duarte, California, U.S.A. Abbie's were missionaries in China when she was born. In the early 1880's the family returned to North America and settled in Ohio. Abbie attended the University of Wooster, Ohio, U.S.A. and obtained her Bachelor degree. The school awarded her an honourary Masters in 1897. At first she intended to join her father in mission work and in 1894 she attended Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. In 1896 she married the Canadian Bible scholar Henry Burton Sharman (1865-1953) and the couple settled in Canada. During the time she was studying for her Doctoral degree (which she earned from the University of Chicago in 1906) Abbie wrote book reviews for the Chicago Evening Post newspaper. While living in Toronto and Winnipeg she wrote fiction, poetry, biography and drama using the pen name of Mrs. Lyon Sharman. She even illustrated one of her own books. A member of the Canadian Womens Press Club in Toronto and Winnipeg, she would serve as president of the Winnipeg chapter of the organization. She also edited the Cape Cod Journal. The couple were in China for three years while Henry was at the University of Peking. They retired to California, U.S.A. but returned often to Canada to vacation in Algonquin Park in Ontario. Her writings also included a book for children: The Horse that Educated the Children: A Christmas Story of the Canadian Prairie published in Winnipeg in 1912. Her writings appeared in various Publications including the Canadian Forum, Canadian Student, and Poetry. Source: Canadian Women Writers (accessed (2020)
Mary Shaw

Born March 20, 1965, Oshawa, Ontario. Mary’s family moved a lot when she was young, moving with their father’s job. They finally settled in Waterloo, Ontario. She watched her brothers play hockey while she played ringette since at that time there were no girls hockey teams. She began University at the University of Guelph but after two years switched to Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo because of her job. She met and began dating a hockey player, Brad Shaw. The couple married in June 1988 and they have three children. After their marriage Brad and Mary traveled to Europe where Brad was to play hockey before being picked up by the National Hockey League playing for the Hartford Whalers in the U.S.A. While living in the U.S. Mary had no green card so she could not work. She took correspondence courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature. After some time with the Ottawa Senators Brad was playing with the Detroit Vipers and Mary decided she had time for writing. Back in Canada she teamed up with artist Chuck Temple and Brad Brady the kid who loved to play hockey was born while the family lived for Brad to play hockey in Tampa Bay, Florida with the Lightening. . Back home in Ottawa the Brady Brady character who loves hockey has become a popular series of hockey stories for young people. Brad retired as a player in 2004 and took up coaching.

Carol Ann Shields

Born June 2, 1935, Oak Park Illinois, U.S.A.  Died July 16, 2003. Carol studied at Hanover College, Indiana, U.S.A. spending her junior year abroad at the University of Exeter in England on a United Nations scholarship .In 1957 she married engineer Donald Hugh Shields and the couple immigrated to Canada.  Living in Ottawa she worked as an editorial assistant from 1968-1978. In 1975 she earned  from the University of Ottawa. A writer and professor she was also Chancellor at the University of Winnipeg,. where the family had steeled in 1980 and where she had been a professor. The busy mother of 5 children, this writer won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Governor General’s Award for Literature, The Booker Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Along with writing novels and biographies, she has also written 5 plays and written poetry. When her husband retired in 2000 the couple moved to Victoria, British Columbia. Films based on her novels include the 1996 Swann and in 2003 The Republic of Love.

Nancy 'Nan' Evelyn Shipley

née Summerville. Born 1902, Glasgow, Scotland. Died 1990. Coming to Canada as a youngster she grew and married and settled in Winnipeg. Her first book was published in 1957 and followed it with ten more works for young readers. Some were historical studies and some were biographies. Many of the stories featured native and Métis women. In 1959 she organized Manitoba's first Indian handcrafts sales centre and she was elected Woman of the Year in Manitoba by the Women's Sales and Advertising Council in 1965.

Virna Sheard

née Stanton  Born 1865 Cobourg, Canada West (now Ontario). Died February 22, 1943. In 1898 she began publishing short stories and poems in various magazines and journals. On July 10, 1884 she married Dr. Charles Sheard and they raised a family of four sons. Between 1898 and 1938 she would publish some 12 books including; Trevelyan's Little Daughter (Toronto, 1898) and A Maid of Many Moods ( Toronto, 1902).

Susan Sibbald

née Mein. Born November 29, 1783, Cornwall, England. Died July 9, 1866, Toronto, Ontario. Susan Married William Sibbald in 1807. The couple would have 11 children. In 1835 the family immigrated to Upper Canada (Now Ontario). Within the year of landing in Canada Susan became a widow. The family must have had some fortune for they were able to live in the colonial wilderness in comfort. She wrote, much like the better known sister authors, Susannah Moodie, and Catharine Parr Trail, notes for those who might wish to immigrate. Her work was entitled : A few days in the United States and Canada, hints for settlers published in 1846. She also penned an autobiography of the 1st 29 years of her life which was published in 1926 by her great-grandson. A facsimile reprint of the Memoirs of Susan Sibbald 1783-1812 was published in 2010. Source: Marian E. Fowler, “MEIN, SUSAN,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed January 30, 2015,

Angela Sidney

Indigenous storyteller

Born January 4, 1902, Carcross, Yukon. Died July 17, 1991, Carcross, Yukon. Angela was given the Tagish name Ch'óonehte' Ma and the Tlingit name Stóow  as well as Angela by her Godfather. The names showed respect for both the peoples of her parents. Her mother Maria was ill and could not participate in regular activities of her daughter so times shared usually meant the telling of stories of the Tagish peoples. Angela married when she was just 14 to George Sidney (1888-1971) a future chief at Carcross. The couple would have seven children, three of who survived to be adults. Angela felt strongly about preserving the traditions and stories of her people and she was soon sharing her knowledge with her own family members but also with other school children. Angela also assisted linguists and anthropologists with research on the Tagish language and traditions. In 1980 she published Place-names of the Tagish Region, Southern Yukon and followed with Tagish Stories in 1982 and Our Family History in 1983. In 1984 Angela travelled to Toronto to be part of the storytelling festival. In 1985 she became a member of the Order of Canada, a national recognition of her efforts to preserve her people's language, stories and traditions. In 1988 she was the inspiration for the establishment of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. She said "Well, I have no money for my Grandchildren. My stories are my wealth." (Julie Cruickshank, The Social Life of Stories Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon.   UBC Press, 2000) 

Jessie Georgina Sime

Born Scotland February 12, 1868. Died 1958. After the death of her parents she emigrated to Montréal in 1907. There she used her powers of observation of the middle class life of single women immigrants in the pre world war one urban Canada. Her father had been an author and in Scotland she had written book reviews and articles for newspapers and magazines. In 1919 she published a book of short stories called Sister Women that told of her observations. She was a respected lecturer on women writers and women characters in works by male writers. She was a member of PEN and represented Canada at the PEN world conference in Vienna. While she published at least two additional works but it is Sister Women that illustrates the disproportional suffering  women in an era of social change. The work was republished in 1992 as a part of a series on works of Canadian women authors.

Beverley Simons

Born March 31, 1938. A playwright of dramatic works she drew from her own background for some of her play settings.  She also wrote of women elders, studies of life in retirement homes and of the contemporary human condition.  She is considered a Canadian playwright of significance.

Mary Singleton SEE - Frances Brooke
Johanna Shively Skibsrad


Born May 1980, Meadowville, Nova Scotia. In 2008 and 2010 she published works of poetry. In 2005 she earned her Master's Degree from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. In 2010 she won the Giller Prize for her novel Sentimentalists which has been translated into multiple languages. Her second novel debuted in 2014. She married John Melillo, a professor at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, Arizona, U.S.A. By 2012 she held a doctorate (PhD) from Université de Montréal. (2019)

Constance Lindsay Skinner

Born December 7, 1877, Stanley, British Columbia. Died March 27, 1939, New York City, New York, U.S.A. At 10 years of age her family left the Caribou region relocation 1st to Victoria and then to Vancouver, British Columbia. Even as a teen in school she wrote plays, poetry and newspaper article under the names of C. Lindsay Skinner and Constance Lindsay. By 1895 her work had been published in the Canadian Magazine out of Toronto. By 1913 she used her full name when publishing her poetry. By 1920 she used full name exclusively for all her writings. In 1900 she moved to Los Angeles and worked for the LA Times and the following year her works appeared across the country. In 1903 she was working for William Randolf Hearst at the LA Examiner By 1908 she was in Chicago and in 1912 she had arrived in New York City. As well as writing “Sob Sister” stories of human interest she successfully continued her poetic endeavors and wrote plays which she published in her own collected works, In the 1920’s and 1930’s she was known for her histories of pioneers as well as a 3 volume history of the fur trade: Beavers, Kings, and Cabins (NY; Macmillan, 1933). She also wrote successful novels with Canadian settings from 1917 through 1929. She published 19 books, 30 short stories and some 75 poems. Most of her female characters were brave resourceful and refused to defer to men. Source: DCB

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Born December 12, 1954, Brantford, Ontario. In school, she had trouble learning to read until she introduced herself to the works of Charles Dickens.  In High School she wrote satire for the school newspaper. She studied English at the University of Western Ontario and credits her degree with giving her the true talent to read and learn enough to become a successful sales person  for cutting tools. After university in 1978 she worked as a salesperson in Industrial tools where she found that other women working in the industry as secretaries and receptionists were “most hostile’ to her as a woman salesperson. She went on to become a top sales representative for Canada. She read up on everything before going for sales! Leaving her job she returned to school to earn her Maters in Library Science. It was here that she was introduced to Children's literature. She married Orest Skrypunch in 1981 and became a stay at home for her son.Not liking commercial breat pad sold on the market she developed her own and soon had her own successful business selling her hand-stitched, washable breast pads. In 1992 she began to write her own books. A proud Canadian of Ukrainian descent she began to write stories about Ukrainian Canadians who were interned during World War l, and the Armenian genocide of 1915. In addition she wrote stories about orphans of the Vietnam War. Disregarding constant refusals from publishers her 1st book Silver Threads was published in 1996 winning the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and was listed by the Ontario Library Association as a ‘Best Bet’. Since then she has published over 20 book for young readers and has been nominated or won some 45 awards for her stories.   She started the Brantford Book Camp for children and a Summer Writing Workshop for adults. In 2008 she was named to the Order of Princess Olha, one of the Highest Awards from the Ukraine.

Elizabeth Smart

Born December 27, 1913, Ottawa, Ontario.  Died March 4, 1986 London England.  She studied piano at school and at 19 she went to London, England for music studies. She gave up piano, returned to Canada and began her career as a journalist working for the Ottawa Journal newspaper. During World War ll she worked briefly in the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.,  U.S.A, before returning to England. To support her family she worked writing advertising copy for magazines.   In 1945 she published her 1st book, which was considered a masterpiece and was reprinted several times. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept was published in England and was based on her love affair with the poet George Baker, a married man with whom she had four children. Her mother prevented the book from selling many copies in Canada. Republished in 1966 the 1st Canadian hardcover edition was published in 1982. The novel was considered a masterpiece. It was 32 years before she produced her next two books in 1977, A Bonus, a short collection of poems, and The Assumption of the Rogues and Rascals, which was a prose poem that offers a continuation and comment on her earlier work. In 1982 she was writer-in residence at the University of Alberta.   She published again in 1984. An edited edition of her early journals was published posthumously. Her biography By Heart: Elizabeth Smart a Life was written in 1991 by Rosemary Sullivan. That same year the film Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of Angels was produced. (2019)

Barbara Smucker

née Classen. Born September 1, 1915, Newton, Kansas, U.S.A. Died July 31, 2003. She came to Canada in 1969. This author, teacher, and children's librarian has won several awards for her works including the Canada Council Children’s Literature Prize (1977).  Look for her “Underground to Canada”, “Days of Terror”, White Mist” and other books. This author wove her stories for young people around little known historical events and inserted a youthful fictional character with whom her young readers could relate. Her books have been translated into several foreign languages as well a Braille and talking books for the sight impaired.

Mary Singleton Spinster

SEE - Frances Brooke

Irene Mary Spry

née BissBorn August 28, 1907, Standerton, Transvaal, South Africa.  Died December 16, 1998 Ottawa, Ontario.. The works of this historian on the Palliser Expedition of 1857-1860 are definitive studies.  She represented the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada at the Associated Country Women from 1954-to 1967 and was executive chairman 1959 to 1965.  She was a fervent supporter of Canada and of a social democratic approach to public policy.  She was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1993.  Failing eyesight did not kept her from almost daily studies at the National Archives of Canada where she could be seen using a large magnifying glass in order to read documents. Source: Personal interview.

Edna Louise Staebler

née Cress. Born January 15, 1906, Berlin (Now Kitchener) Ontario. Died September 12, 2006, Waterloo, Ontario. Edna was raised in Mennonite country which would have great influence on her career. In 1929 she graduated with a BA from the University of Toronto and she followed up with a teacher’s certificate from the Ontario College of Education. At 16 she had experienced the joy of writing and she would have her works published in numerous magazines and journals including; Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Saturday Night, Reader’s Digest, the Star Weekly as well as numerous newspapers. She wrote non –fiction, historical research, creative non – fiction literary criticism but perhaps is best known for her cook books.  While she had published earlier her best loved cook book was Food That Really Schmecks published by McClelland and Stewart in 1968. It would see numerous editions and a series develop from the original publishing. The books contained not only recipes of the Mennonite community but there were anecdotes, and stories of daily life interspersed between the culinary delights. In all she would publish 21 books including the ‘Schmecks’ series. In 1991 she established an award for creative non-fiction to be presented annually at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1996 she became a member of the Order of Canada. Just prior to her death Must write: Edna Staebler Diaries edited by Christi Verduyn was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2005. Sources: Edna Staebler, B.A. L.L.D ,Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada 1991 : ‘Remembering Edna Staebler’, Globe and Mail, Toronto, September 17, 2006.

Savella Stechishin née Wawryniuk. Born August 19, 1903, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. Died April 22, 2002 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Savella and her family immigrated to Canada in 1913. The family settled in Krydor, Saskatchewan. While still a teen she married Julian Stechishin and the couple had three children. After earning her teachers diploma she studied for her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in 1930. While she was a student she was also Dean of Women at the Petro Mohyla Institute As Dean she organized classes in cooking, homemaking and Ukrainian culture. She also introduced young women to the art of public speaking. Working in the Department of Women's Service at the University of Saskatchewan she ran outreach programs for Ukrainian immigrants. She would also lecture throughout North America and the Ukraine. In 1926 she helped establish the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada and ten years later was a strong force behind the Ukrainian Museum of Canada. She would editor the women's page of the Ukrainian Voice weekly for 25 years. During World War ll she wrote for the Canadian Consumer Information Service. In 1957 she published her own cook book, Ukrainian Cookery. She had already published books in Ukrainian language covering Ukrainian Embroidery. In 1975 she published the 50th Anniversary of the Saskatoon Branch of the Ukrainian Women's Association. With her help her husband Julian published  books including Ukrainian Grammar and History of the Ukrainian Settlement in Canada which were translated and published in 1992. In 1989 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 1998 the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. (2020)
Kathy Stinson

Born April 22, 1952. Born April 22, 1952. Kathy has had a variety of careers from sorting mail, waiting tables to teaching school. She was one of the last teachers to go directly from one year in Teachers’ College into the classroom. While teaching she worked toward a B.A. at the University of Toronto, but she didn’t complete it. She married in 1971, had two children (a son and a daughter), and then divorced. She has been with life partner Peter Carver since 1985. In 1982 she published her first children’s book, Red is Best with Annick Press. Since then Kathy has published more than 2 dozen works including picture books, novels for young adults, historical fiction, short stories, biographies as well as several other works of non-fiction.  Red is BestBig or Little? and The Bare Naked Book have all been published in 20th or 25th  anniversary editions. Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore, published in 1984, was revised and re-illustrated in 2007.Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore, published in 1984, was revised in 2007. Her books have made the Ontario Library Association Top Ten books of the Year listing and the CBC lists Red is Best as one of the top ten Picture books each Canadian Home should have. She has been Writer-in-Residence at various Public Libraries in Southern Ontario including, East York, Toronto, Kitchener and Vaughn. Kathy also has embraced the latest technology as Writer-in-Electronic Residence, linking her to student and Professional writers across Canada. Source: “Kathy Stinson” by Dave Jenkinson CM Magazine, 2006 online (Accessed May 2014) ; Personal contact.

Elizabeth 'Bette' Storin

Born 1904. Died 2005. At age 11 Bette won an essay competition with the Toronto City Daily which included publication and prize money, and she was hooked on writing for a career. For 3 years she worked in the Children’s Division of the Toronto Public Library. In 1970 Bette and her family moved to British Columbia where she started a day care centre and took courses at Camosun College in Victoria earning a Certificate in Early Childhood Development. She organized and ran for 10 years her own pre school for 18 children. Bette contributed to the Xerox Weekly Reader, Highlights for Children, Jack and Jill, Country Guide, the Western Producer, Vancouver Sun and many other Canadian and American publications. She has also been published in trade magazines such as Milk Salesman in Pittsburg, and the Chicago Milk Plant Monthly. Her children’s book The Dreadful Dragon of Dismal Rock was published by Borealis Press in 1985. A prolific writer, 36 of her short stories have been broadcast on the CBC’s “John Drainie Short Story Program” and the “Bernie Braden Short Story Program”, her stories have also been narrated by personalities such as Don Harron and Nonie Griffin. Source: Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada 1991

Kathleen May Strange

Born 1896, London, England. Died Ottawa, Ontario January 9, 1968. née Redman.  née Redman. Married December 23, 1918, in 1920 she emigrated to Canada with her husband Major Harry. John. Latimer Strange and they worked a farm in the Canadian west. In 1923 they won the World Wheat Championship in Chicago. By 1928 she had contributed various articles to Canadian magazines. In 1937 she won an award for her non-fiction work With the west in her Eyes, which was a description of her own early farming life. During her career she would compose some 60 short stories that would be published. She also published Never a Dull Moment (1941) the memoirs of her husband.

Susan Swan Born June 9, 1945, Midland, Ontario. As a young girl Susan studied at Havergal College in Toronto, Ontario and went on to study at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. In 1977 she performed on stage in the True Confessions of Sexual Organs at the University of Toronto's Women's Festival. Susan's 1st novel was based on the life of her ancestor Canadian giantess Anna Swan became a made for TV series and won the Best New Novel Award. In 1993 she published the Wives of Bath which earned the Ontario Trillium Award. This novel was the base for the movie Lost and Delirious. In 1999-2000 she was the Millennial Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies. Susan taught at York University, Toronto, retiring in 2007. In 2007-2008 she was chair of the Writer's Union of Canada. In 2012 her work, The Western Light was listed in the Top Ten Books of the year by the Ontario Library Association.  (2020)
Anne Tait

Born Toronto, Ontario. She received her B.A. from Victoria University in 1954, and later earned her M.A. at the University of Toronto, 1972. Her work in the Toronto entertainment industry has included being a casting director of feature films such as Margaret’s Museum, as well as major Canadian and American television series such as Road To Avonlea; she has won two Anik awards, and was nominated for an Emmy. She hosted her own daily CBC radio program, and the weekly public affairs television series Some of The People. In 2000 she founded ANNE TAIT PRODUCTIONS to develop and produce quality feature films and dramatic television. The 2009 award winning film Iron Road was her first as a co-producer. Sources: Anne Tait Collection, E.J. Pratt Library, University of Victoria Campus, University of Toronto. Online. Accessed July 2013. Submitted by Jeanne Ouellette, Ottawa, Ontario.

Carrie-Jo 'C. J.'  Taylor

Born August 31, 1952, Montreal, Quebec. Her father was a strict Mohawk who had been removed from his culture. Carrie has found herself in her Aboriginal culture and is shares her joy with her father and young readers. She shortened her name to CJ when she autographed her paintings. Her father took her out of school at 16 as he saw no reason for girls to have an education. Carrie-Jo at 19 found herself married and soon she was a struggling single parent. She sought solace in painting. She combined her art with her interest in her native culture to express her feeling .She began writing books touring and talking about learning and Sharing. She enjoys painting large canvases and enjoys producing her works with loud music blearing in the background. She worked for awhile in Radio and even had her own show on CBC TV. However it is her children's books that are her financial support. Many of her 22 published titles are available in French and other languages eve, Braille for the blind

Gladys Taylor

née Tall. Born 1917, Swan River, Manitoba. Died May 31, 2015, Airdrie, Alberta.  Gladys  trained as a teacher and taught in Winnipeg for several years. In 1940 she married Lorne Taylor in 1940 During World War II.  Lorne served in the Canadian Forces and from 1943 Gladys served in the Canadian Women's Army Corps. At war end the couple settled to Thetford Mines, Quebec. The housewife and mother of 4 began writing fiction as a hobby, and won the Ryerson Press Award for best novel of the year twice  for her works Pine Roots, 1956 and The King Tree, 1958.. She also served for several years as editor of Canadian Bookman & Quarterly, the quarterly trade publication of the Canadian Authors Association. Divorced at age 50, Gladys moved west to Alberta. She became editor for the publication Western Leisure, which she eventually bought. She expanded the business by acquiring a network of community newspapers, including The Wheel and Deal, the Rocky View Five Village Weekly, the Carstairs Courier and the Airdrie Advance. In 1983 she was Calgary’s Businesswoman of the year. In 1984 she published which was based on her tour of Australia in 1977.   Alone in the Australian Outback which was the basis for the 1992 film Over the Hill.  In 1987, she published Alone in the Boardroom, a memoir of her experience as a woman in business at a time when that was still a rarity in that era. She ran as an independent candidate in the Alberta Senate nominee election, 1989, finishing fourth of six candidates. Her 5th  book, Valinda, Our Daughter, 1993. The book tells of the Egypt Air Flight 648 hijacking, with a focus on one of the Canadian passengers. The town of Irricana, Alberta has named the public library in her honor. Sources: Gladys Taylor, Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada 1991; Obituary, Calgary Herald, June 4, 2015.

Ada Bessie Teetgen

Ada B. Teetgen
A. B. Teetgen
Captain Harcourt
Born November 2, 1879, London, England. Died January 26, 1957, Cantebury, England. Ada published her first book in England in 1907. Two years later she immigrated to Islay, Alberta to be with her sister's family. After the death of her sister's baby Ada worked to improve medical services in rural Alberta. In 1912 she published an autobiographical novel, A White Passion to raise funds to build the local Lady Minto Hospital. Back in England she worked as a Matron for Prison services and continued to produce novels. Using the pen name Captain Harcourt she published Bob Quested's Troop: A Tale of Prairie Scouts. published in 1912. Source: Early Canadian Writers project (2020)
Adeline Margaret Teskey

Born 1853, Appleton, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 21, 1924. She was educated at the Genesee College located in New York State, U.S.A. Between 1901 and 1913 she would publish some six books including The Village Artist (Toronto 1905), and Candlelight Days (Toronto, 1913).

Madeleine Thien

Born May 25, 1974, Vancouver, British Columbia. Madeleine studied contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia and then switched to creative writing to earn her Master's degree. In 2001 she published her 1st book of short stories and also published a children's book based on the film The Chinese Violin. In 2002 she earned the City of Vancouver Book Award for her book of short stories called, Simple Recipes. Her 1st novel was published in 2006 followed with more novels in 2007 & 2008. She did a study tour of the U.S.A. for a couple of years and from 2010 to 2015 she was part of the International Faculty at the University of Hong Kong. In 2013 she served as Writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University. In 2016 her novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing won the Governor General's English Fiction Award.  Madeleine lives in Montreal, Quebec with her partner Raui Haye. (2019)

Sunera Thobani See - Social Activists
Audrey Grace Thomas

Born November 17, 1935, Binghamton, New York, U.S.A. She attended Smith College before studying in Scotland at the famous St. Andrew’s University. After teaching in England she moved to British Columbia in 1959. In 1965 she published her 1st magazine short story. In all she has written 15 novels and collections of short stories as well as numerous radio plays and broadcasts for the CBC. She was the first winner of the Ethel Wilson B.C. Fiction Prize for her 1984 novel Intertidal Life., and she has taken the award two more times. Internationally she has gained recognition with the Canada-Scotland Literary Fellowship in 1984 and in 1987 the Canada-Australia Literary Prize. In 1987 she received the Marian Engel Award and in 2003 the Tereasen Lifetime Achievement Award. Source: “Audrey Grace Thomas” by Veronica Thompson, the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Clara McCandless Thomas

Born May 22, 1919, Strathroy, Ontario. Died September 22, 2013, Toronto, Ontario. Clara attended the University of Western Ontario, London, graduating in 1941. She met her future husband, Morley Thomas, on the 1st day she was on Campus. The couple married on May 23, 1942 and they had two sons. Clara continued her education at UWO earning her Masters and after her boys were both in school she earned her PhD from the University of Toronto. She would publish as her 1st book, her University of Western Ontario, masters thesis on Canadian Novelists 1920-1945. In 1961-1962 she became a member of the teaching faculty at York University where she continued until her retirement in 1984. While teaching she worked on several critical studies and biographical books of Canadian writers. In addition to her contributions of literary histories, reference works, essays and periodical articles she also served on numerous editorial boards and scholarly committees and served a term in 1971-72 as President of the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English. She was a member of the Royal Society of Canada and in 1989 she was awarded with the Northern Telecom Canadian Studies International Award for distinguished Service. In 2005 York University honoured her by the naming of the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections. (2020)

Rebecca Agatha Armour Thompson Born October 25, 1845, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died April 24, 1891, Fredericton, New Brunswick. In 1863 Rebecca obtained her teacher's certificate after graduating from the Provincial Teacher's College. She would teach in Fredericton for several years and had a good reputation for her work. Relocating to Lancaster (Saint John West), New Brunswick she began writing stories for newspapers. By 1878 she was back in Fredericton where her novel Lady Rosamond's Secret: a Romance of Fredericton appeared as a serial in the Daily Telegraph. The novel provides interesting glimpses of live in Fredericton in the 1820's. She would pen a series on 'Old Landmarks of Fredericton' in the Fredericton Capital in 1880 which included the story of Rose Hall the former home of Benedict Arnold (1741-1801). January 22, 1885 she married John G. Thompson. After her marriage she continued to write novels. After her death there was family drama concerning her estate that rivaled the fiction novels she had written. Source: DCB; Canadian Early Women Writers. (2020)
Dora Olive Thompson

Born 1893, Toronto, Ontario. Died September 29, 1934, Toronto, Ontario. As the daughter of Henry L. Thompson, president of Copp Clark Publishers, one might consider that the door for a career was already open to her. Open door or not, one must have talent to consider a writing career. Dora would leave a legacy of some 6 books for young Canadian readers. Her writings, usually had the title of the name of a Canadian girl and  told the story of their lives with attention to their school live, church life and good deeds. As an author she showed acceptance for multiculturalism showing warmth and concern for European immigrant families in her fictional community life. (2020)

Adeline Boardman Todd

'Auntie Abbie'

née Boardman. Born December 5, 1815, Newburyport, Massacheutts, U.S.A. Died June 17, 1882, St. Stephen, New Brunswick. At 16 she joined her family in Calais, Maine, U.S.A. where she would teach school and writ stories for the Youth's Companion out of Boston. In 1838 she married a millionaire businessman Freeman Hale Todd and the couple settled in his hometown of St Stephen, New Brunswick. The couple had eight children. While recuperating from an illness at the Round Hill water-cure establishment in Northampton, Maine, U.S.A. she began to write stories for children using the name 'Auntie Abbie' These stories were published by the American Baptist Publishing House. In 1869 the Round Hill Series of Sunday School Books were published. (2020)
Lola Lemire Tostevin

Born June 15, 1937, Timmins, Ontario. Lola studied comparative literature at the University of Alberta, Calgary. This bilingual author has produced books in both of Canada's official languages.  Her strong command of her second language, English, can be seen in her poetic publications. She has also translated several notable authors who have written works in either French or English for publication in the other language.  Her  books of poems and her novels express feelings of female life experiences such as pregnancy and birth as well as loss of immediate family members in death. Her short fiction appeared in French in XYZ-La Revue de la Nouvelle and in the anthology, Closets of Time. She was writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, London. She teaches creative writing at York University, Toronto and is contributing editor of Open Letter, a Canadian journal of writing and theory. (2020)

Teresa Toten

Born October 13, 1955, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (Croatia).  At only a few days old her mother left Croatia to join the baby’s Canadian Father. Teresa’s early life was rather unsettling with the family moving 17 times from city to city to city. Unfortunately her father died when she was only seven months old. Her first career choice was to be a mermaid. But practicality of life took over. She attended the University of Toronto and completed a Masters in Political Science just in time to marry and mover to Montreal. Once settled she worked as a freelance broadcaster for Radio Canada International before moving to Ottawa, Toronto, New York City and back again to Toronto. In between moves 2 daughters were born and she decided to become a stay at home mother. During this time she turned to writing. She also became involved as a volunteer with Frontier College and teaching English as a second language. Her writing has been mainly for young readers and has resulted in numerous books having been published starting in 1995. According to Teresa writing is almost as good as being a mermaid! Source: Teresa Toten by Dave Jenkinson CM Magazine Profile online (accessed January 2007). (2020)

Alice Ashworth Townley SEE - Social Activists
Catherine Parr Trail

née Strickland. Born January 9, 1802, London,Related image England. Died August 29, 1899, Selwyn, Ontario. After the death of their father in 1818 the Strickland daughters, There were five sisters turned to writing to supplement the family income. at 16, Catherine was writing children's books. Her 1st book The Tell Tale: an Original Collection of Moral and Amusing Stories was published anonymously in 1818. This pioneer came to Upper Canada (now Ontario) with her retired army lieutenant husband, Thomas Traill in 1832.The young couple were no doubt encouraged on this endeavour by Catherine's sister, Susanna Moodie (1803-1885) who also soon immigrated. The couple settled near what is now Peterborough, Ontario which at that time was a backwoods area. Catherine wrote of the life around her in what was then The Canadas in her book, The Backwoods of Canada in 1836. In 1854 she published the Female Emigrant's Guide which outlined the skills necessary for a new settled in the Canadian backwoods. This book would later be republished as the Canadian Settler's Guide.  Her sister, Susanna Moodie would also become a well known Canadian author. In 1840 the Trails and Moodies both moved to the city of Belleville, Ontario. in 1865 Catherine would also note the flora of the region in her Canadian Wild Flowers, Studies of Plant Life in Canada in 1885 and Rambles in the Canadian Forest. In 1996 the book I Bless You in My Heart: Selected Correspondence of Catherine Parr Trail was published. Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario named their downtown campus after her. Catharine Parr Traill College is the University's main college for graduate studies. In 2008 as par of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Library of Canada Canada post issued a series of stamps featuring early Canadian writers that included both Catherine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie. (2020)

Rhea Tregebov SEE - Poets
Marie-Rose Turcot

Born July 2, 1887, Laurierville, Quebec. Died November 27, 1977, Orleans, Ontario. She completed her university studies at the University of Ottawa and remained the city as a journalist and writer. She collaborated on the Annales de l’institut Canadien-français d’Ottawa, Revue Moderne and was editor of the women’s pages of the French language newspaper Le Droit from 1934-1950. In May 1925 she was appointed to the French secretariat of the Council of Women in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. She was an active member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club, the Société d’étude et de conferences, the Société de écrivains des canadiens-française and the Association of Women Journalists. She began to publish books in 1920, 1930, and in 1933 she published two more books. In 2005 the Ontario Heritage Foundation erected an historic plaque in Ottawa commemorating her life and work. Source: ‘Marie-Rose Turcot, journalist and author’, Ottawa raconte-moi Online (accessed July 2015)

Dorothy Turcotte




Born 1929, Hamilton, Ontario. As a high school student she worked summers at C K O C a Hamilton radio station. After graduating from McMaster University, Hamilton Dorothy worked as a copywriter at the radio station. After her marriage and becoming a parent she began a freelance career writing  articles on infant and child care, then later articles on travel, history, and other topics. She wrote a weekly column in the St. Catharines Standard  newspaper for 15 years, and for 22 years has had a weekly column, ‘Over the Coffee Cups’, in The Grimsby Independent and a  column, ‘A Small Drop of Ink’, in The Grimsby Lincoln News. She has written some ten books that include local history works, a biography of Canadian baseball player Fergie Jenkins, and The Nelles Story, Pioneers, Loyalists, Founding Families published in 1910.  Dorothy has always been active in her community besides reporting on community life she  has been involved in the Local Architecture Conservation Advisory Committee, served as president of the Grimsby Public Library and Art Gallery Board. She also served from 1985-88 as the President of the Media Club of Canada. She is a founding member of Grimsby Block parents and works with the Grimsby Historical Society Archives. She is also an active member of St. Philips-By-The-Lake Anglican Church. Sources: Dorothy Turcotte, Who’s Who Media Club of Canada, 1991; Dorothy (Accessed July 2015)  ; Amicus, catalogue of the National Library of Canada Online (accessed July 2015)

Jane Urquhart

Born June 21 1949 Little Long Lac, Ontario. This author is a respected novelist, has also written poetry. Most of her works have been published and translated in several foreign languages. In 1992 her novel The Whirlpool was the first Canadian book to win France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (Best Foreign Book Award). Her third novel Away remained on the Globe and Mail newspaper's National Bestseller list for 132 rooks which was the longest of any Canadian boo. Away also won the 1994 Trillium Award and the Marian Engle Award for an outstanding body of prose written by a Canadian woman. In the fall of 1997 her fourth novel The Under painter won the Governor General's Award.

Georgette Vachon

Born 1900, Lac-à-La-Tortue, Québec. Died February 7, 1987, Ottawa, Ontario. After graduating from Laval University she studied at St Germain-des-Prés, France. In 1924 she married civil aviation pioneer Romeo Vachon. The couple would have 4 children. In 1944 the family settled in Ottawa. She was one of the founders of the Ottawa Branch and also served as president of La Société d’étude et de conference. She also found time to set up guided tours of the National Gallery of Canada. She was a member of the Female Journalists’ Circle of Ottawa. She would write her husband’s biography entitled Romeo Vachon: distinguished Canadian Aviator in 1969. Still in the aviation theme in 1974 she penned Goggles, Helmets and Airmail Stamps and it the following year she published Images of Romeo Vachon. For 6 years she was in charge of the historical documents of the Royal Canadian Air Force. She served on the Board of Directors of L’Alliance française d ‘Ottawa serving as chair 1954/5. She founded Christ–Roi Branch of the L’Alliance française des femmes Canadiennes-française in Ottawa. On May 16, 1967 she received the L’Alliance française medal from the French Ambassador. Source: Georgette Vachon, Community Leader and Author, Ottawa raconte-moi. Online (Accessed July 2015)

Charlotte Vale-Allen

Born January 19, 1941, Toronto, Ontario. Charlotte lived with an overbearing father who was physical with her. She left high school to take up her teen passion and studied formal night classes in acting. She once dressed as a messenger boy to take a fan letter to Bette Davis. Davis was smitten by the letter and she became friends with the young upstart. Escaping her home situation she moving to England and worked from 1961-64 in sleazy night spots to make a living. In the mid 1960’s she brought her career back to Canada. Married in 1970, she soon became an urban mother to a beautiful daughter. By 1975 the urge to write became strong and she wrote her only non-fiction book that would be called Daddy’s Girl about her abusive childhood. The subject of the book was not popular in that era and she would publish some fifteen works of fiction before she would get this ground breaking work to readers. She has penned over thirty books which have been grabbed up by the public, mainly in the United Kingdom where she is one of the most borrowed authors from libraries. Her books sell in over twenty countries but yet she is not overly recognized in Canada. She developed her own Press to publish her own commercial fiction  Her stories deal with strong feisty women who discover that they can take care of themselves when it comes to living with adversity. She also writes under the pen name of Katherine Marlowe. She divides her time between her home in Toronto and a second home in Connecticut. Sources: “Ignored at home. Successful abroad” by Diane Frances MacLean’s October 15, 1999: Canadian Who’s Who 2005 (University of Toronto Press, 2005)

Marianna Valverde

Born March 9, 1955, Rome Italy. She studied for her PhD at York University in Toronto in 1982 in Social and Political Thought. From the mid-1980's though the mid 1990's she did theoretical and historical works on gender and sexuality. in the 1990's she devoted herself to the sociology of law with her main current research interest in the deployment of low-level administrative and lay knowledges of vice, sex and race in various legal complexes. Her 998 book, "Diseases of the Will: alcohol and the dilemmas of freedom" (Cambridge) won the Law and Society Association's Herbert Jacobs biannual book prize in 2000. Princeton University Press published her most recent book, "Law's Dream of a Common Knowledge" (2003). She teaches theory at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, and is currently engaged in a socio-legal research project on urban/municipal law and bylaw enforcement.

Yvonne Vera

Born Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Died April 7, 2005. As a child she was the first Black person to get a library card at the whites only Public Library in Bulawayo. She came to Toronto, Ontario and attained her undergraduate and graduate degrees, including her PhD in record time and got  married She was drawn back to her troubled homeland of Zimbabwe with her need to write. She would publish 5 novels and a collection of short stories, all of which have been translated into several languages.  Acknowledgement of her talent came in awards such as the Commonwealth Writers Prize for African 1999 and the Swedish PEN Tucholsk Prize which recognizes works on taboo subjects. She wrote about problems in her native land, such as : incest, abortion, rape, infanticide and suicide. The BBC World Services has produced a 2 hour work which serves as a biography of this courageous writer.  Evidently, when she wanted to write she would check herself into a hotel for three weeks and emerge with a manuscript such as Butterfly Burning (1998) . Perhaps the fast track studies at York University and the 3 weeks production of a manuscript were part of the knowledge that having AIDS meant she did not have a long time to do what she wanted to achieve in her lifetime.

Marie Paule Villeneuve

Born Lac Saint-Jean, Quebec. Marie earned her Bachelor's degree in history and philosophy at  the Université de Sherbrooke, Quebec. As a journalist she has worked for and contributed works to various Quebec publications including Le Devoir, La Press canadienne and Le Droit. She is the founder of L'Agence littéaire Alinéa. Her 1st book, L'Enfant cigarier was published in 1999 and as of 2012 she has published 6 books in Quebec. (2019)

Anna 'Annie' Louisa Walker

SEE - Poets

Willa Walker

SEE - Military

Elizabeth A. Warner

Born January 28, 1885,  Coulson, Ontario. Died ???? Elizabeth graduated from the Macdonald Institute (Now part of the University of Guelph) Guelph, Ontario in 1908. By 1912 she was working as an assistant flour tester for Pillsbury Milling Company , Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. By 1971 she was listed in the Winnipeg Manitoba directory. In 1917 the Purity Cook book under her name was the 1st cookbook promoting the use of Purity Flour. The book was reprinted in 1923 and 1932. Also in 1917 she was involved with the Thrift Cook Book that came from the War Relief Auxiliary of Toronto. Funds raised went to various associations working for the World War l war effort. In 1934 she was a staff member of the Ontario Women’s Institute. Source: Culinary Landmarks: Bibliography of Canadian Cookbooks 1825-1949 by Elizabeth Driver, University of Toronto Press.

Sheila Martin Watson

née Doherty. Born October 24, 1909, New Westminster, British Columbia. Died February 1, 1998, Nanaimo, British Columbia. She earned her Bachelor degree from the University of British Columbia in 1931 and went on to earn her Masters' degree in 1933. She worked as an elementary and high school teacher in various locations in British Columbia.  In 1941 she married poet Wilfred Watson (19911-1998).She taught at Toronto's Moulton Ladies College for two years in the mid 1940's and then lectured at the University of British Columbia for two years.  From 1957 to 1964 she she worked on her thesis for her PhD degree from the University of Toronto.  Her novel Double Hook, written in the early 1950's was turned down by numerous publishers. Finally published in 1959 it is considered the point for the beginning of contemporary writing in Canada. In 1961 she worked as a professor of English at the University of Alberta. She and her poet husband were founders of the White Pelican which published from 1971 through 1975 and won the Governor General's Award in 1973.  She was awarded for her writings the Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. Sheila retired from teaching in 1975 and the following year she and her husband relocated to Nanaimo, British Columbia.(2019)

Katherine 'Kit' Brennan Watters

Born April 9, 1957. During her studies at Queens University she received awards including the Lorne Green Award. She acted for several years but prefers writing plays. One of her works, Spring Planting has received the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award

Sydell Waxman

née Zamikoff.  Sydell attended Toronto Teacher’s College and when she began teaching in primary grade school she also took on the position of teacher librarian. She is married with three children. For a while she wrote stories for various Canadian and American magazine. She then became interested and wondered why women’s life stories were not being told. She too a course in women’s studies at the Women’s Resource Centre at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. She also did some historical research and produced her 1st book, a biography for young readers about Canada’s 1st practicing woman doctor Emily Stowe (1831-1903) called Changing the Pattern. The book won the Toronto Heritage Award of Merit in 1990 and the Our Choice Seal for Best Canadian Children’s Book. Her book Storytelling Around the World won the Rooster Prize.  Another biography that Sydell has written for young readers, Believing in Books: the Story of Lillian Smith, won the 2002 Frances E. Russell Award from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It is the story of the Toronto woman who was 1st children’s librarian in the British Commonwealth. Famous Canadian Women sincerely hopes that more books for young readers telling the stories of Canadian women is part of the future plans for this author.

Emily Poynton Weaver

Born 1865, Manchester, England. Died March 11, 1943. In 1880 she emigrated with her parents to Canada. She would study and become a well known author and historian. She published some 11 books in the field of Canadian history including: A Canadian History For Boys (Toronto, 1905) : The stories of Counties of Ontario (Toronto, 1913) and Canada and the British Immigrant (London, 1914)

Margaret Hubner Wetherell

née Smith. Died 1933. A writer of local history she is best remembered for her Jubilee History of Thorold Township. (Thorold, ON, 1898). The original edition had now name of the author but when the work was re-issued in 1933 Wetherell's name appeared as the author of the work.

Frances Shelley Wees Born April 29, 1902, Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A. Died November 27, 1982, Denman Island, British Columbia. Moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Frances graduated from Normal School (Teacher's College) and began teaching at seventeen. She then attended the University of Alberta to earn her Bachelor of Arts. It was while she was at university she wrote her first novel which she never published. In the 1920's she was director for Chautauquas in Canada. This was an adult educational and social movement. In 1924 she married Wilfred Wees and the couple had two children. One of her early handwritten manuscripts was found by her husband he typed it and sent it to a New York Publisher. Frances would go on to write more than two dozen mystery and romance novels including The Maestro murders in 1931. In the 1930's she worked in Toronto in public relations. During the second world war she led the national clothing drive for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.  She also wrote serial fiction, poems and articles which were published in various magazines of the day as well ad publishing readers for primary school. She moved from her home in Stouffville, Ontatio to Denman Island, British Columbia in 1981.
Margaret Weiers

née Kesslering. Born Saskatchewan. After graduating with a BA in 1949 from the University of Saskatchewan. she took a job in Regina with the Commonwealth, the Saskatchewan C C F weekly where, as the only reporter on staff, she covered everything, had a column and even wrote an editorial. Her next job was with the Regina Leader-Post .  In the 1950s she spent two years as a foreign service officer in Ottawa and New York. She did some freelance work in Canada and Africa and, in 1963, joined the Toronto Star where she remained until her retirement in 1991. At the Star she was, in turn, reporter, feature writer and writer of editorials as a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. She won a Canadian Women’s Press Club award for news reporting in 1969.  Margaret joined the Heliconian Club in 1979, has served on the Executive Committee, was co-editor of The Bulletin for 10 years and served on the Board of Management of the Heliconian Hall Foundation as president. That same year 1979, she became the 1st journalist to receive a special award from the American Association on Mental Deficiency for the citation called Socially Responsible Journalism. She wrote the book, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service, (Toronto, Dundurn Press, 1995). In October 2009 she was named one of a number of Alumni of Influence by the University of Saskatchewan and in June 2010 the university awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. Source: Duff Spofford,  ‘Stop the Presses! Looking back on 100 years of Sheaf Alumni in the Media. (Part 4, 1946-1952)’, The Sheaf, September 18, 2012.

Joan Weir

Born April 21, 1928, Calgary, Alberta. Raised in Calgary and Winnipeg, Joan, attended the University of Manitoba. She worked in advertising at Eaton's department store where she had great fun with Radio programs such as the Santa Claus program. This was her introduction to writing. While she has written history and biography non-fiction for adults she has received the most of her joy from writing for teenagers. She married a doctor in 1955 and stopped work to stay at home with her children but she still found time to research and write. Along with her books she penned scripts for TV series such as 'Fifteen' on the Nickelodeon Network. She is also a teacher providing classes in creative writing at University College of the Caribou. You may find many of her over 20 books at your library!

Ethelwyn Wetherald

Born April 26, 1857, Rockwood, Ontario. Died March 9, 1940. The family relocated to Pennsylvania, U.S.A. for two years where her father was superintendent of Haverford College. Back in Canada Ethelwyn was sent to Friends' Boarding School, Union Springs, New York, U.S.A. While she never married she did adopt a daughter. She was a published poet and journalist and co-authored an historical romance novel, An Algonquin Maiden in 1887.  In 1895 she published her 1st collection of poems and followed this up with additional publications in 1902 and 1904. She also contributed her writings to the Christian Union, the Chicago Current, The Week, the Canadian Monthly, and Saturday Night. Using the pen name Bel Thistlethwaite she worked as an editor for The Globe in Toronto and The Advertiser out of London, Ontario. She also worked as an assistant to the editor of the Ladies Home Journal and the World's Best Literature magazines. When she was a senior she continued to write under her own name and occasionally she used the pen name Octo which was short for octogenarian. Her daughter would publish a collection of her mother's works posthumously. (2019)

Anne Wheeler

Born September 23, 1946, Edmonton, Alberta. During high school she taught piano and became interested in drama touring in summers with a children’s theater group. Anne graduated from the University of Alberta having studied mathematics. While at university she had also continued music studies and after graduation she became a high School music teacher. She worked for a short time as a computer programmer and then decided to travel the world for two years going to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  She was inspired to become a storyteller and upon returning to Canada she joined friends to for a film collective, Filmwest. From 1975 to 1985 she had a position in Edmonton with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and in 1981 she was able to make her 1st feature film A War Story.  Still living in Edmonton, Alberta and caring for her two sons, she completed her 1st film outside of the NFB came was Loyalties in 1986.  Her film “Bye Bye Blues” (1990) earned 3 Genie Awards. In 1990 the family relocated to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Her work took her back to the prairies she directed the adaptation of Margaret Lawrence’s The Diviners which was a 2 hour TV movie which won a Genie for Best M. O. W. in Canada. Other Women’s Children garnered a Cable Ace Award for Performance and was shown in both Canada and the U.S. The War Between Us garnered several international awards including the Special Jury Prize from the Houston Film Festival, the Red Cross Award for Humanity, the Critic's Choice Award at both Monte Carlo and the Charleston Festival in West Virginia, and a Cable Ace Award for Best Foreign Programming in the U.S. In 1995 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and the following she settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. in February of 1997 and for the second year in a row, her work won the Cable Ace Award for Best International Programming. In 1998 she directed for the TV show Da Vinci’s Inquest. After doing a series of movies she returned to Canadian literature and adapted the short story, A Wilderness Station by Alice Munro. It is now called on DVD, as Edge of Madness. She keeps herself busy with multiple projects and has no plans for retirement.  In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. Source: Anne Wheeler Writer, Director, Producer, Biography. (accessed 2013)

Harriet Annie Wilkins

Born 1829, England. Died January 7, 1888. She emigrated to Canada as a child with her family and settled in Hamilton, Canada West (Ontario). Between 1851 and 1882 she would publish some five books.

Marjorie Elliott Wilkins Campbell

Born 1901 London, England. Died November 23, 1986. In 1904 the family emigrated to Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. Marjorie was educated in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and Toronto, Ontario.  She married Angus Campbell, a surgeon, in 1931 and continued to work as a writer and editor working for Magazine Digest, Chatelaine, Saturday Night and MacLean’s. She would publish 14 books mainly historical fiction and the biography of Colonel Baker of the Canadian National Institute of the Blind (C. N. I. B.) called No Compromise. Her writing garnered her multiple awards including from the Canada Council, a Guggenheime Fellowship. She earned as well the Governor General’s award in literature in non-fiction in 1950 and in 1954 for Juvenile Fiction for her work the Nor’Westers.   She was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada.  Her papers are maintained in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto.

Clara Flos Jewell Williams

Born October 2, 1889, Dundalk, Ontario. Died January 20, 1970, North Saarnich, British Columbia. Flos spent her youth attending Jarvis High school in Toronto and after she attended Normal School (Teachers College) in Toronto to obtain her teaching certificate. She taught in Bobcageon and the Karatha Lakes District, and then back to Toronto. On April 23, 1923 she married David Selkirk Williams (1882-1963) a traveling salesman. In 1923 the young couple had settled in Calgary where they raised their twin sons. Finding herself alone with her husband on the road for his job she began writing. In 1925 she submitted a book an won runner up prize of $2500.00 from Hodder & Stoughton Publishers. She wrote poetry and short stories along with magazine articles that were published in various well known Canadian periodicals. In 1949 she won a prize from Ryerson Press for her book Fold Home which was set in the Caraboo District of British Columbia. She relocated to the west Coast later in life. Her house at 5 Rose Ave, in Cabbagetown, an inner neighborhood in Toronto, is marked with an historic plaque, from the local heritage group. Sources: Cabbagetown People : The social history of a Canadian Inner City Neighborhood. Online (Accessed March 2014)  ; Flos Jewell Williams, Digital Collections, Library, Simon Fraser University. Online (Accessed March 2014)

Marjory Willison

Born Toronto, Ontario. Died December 15, 1938. née MacMurchy. In 1926 she married Sir John Willison and became Lady Willison. She would write some five books between 1916 and 1937: The Woman Bless Her (Toronto, 1916); The Canadian Girl at Work (Toronto. 1919); The Child's House (London 1923); Golden Treasury of Famous Books (Toronto, 1929); The Longest Way Round (Toronto, 1937)

Budge Marjorie Macgregor Wilson

née Archibald. Born May 2,1927, Nova Scotia. Died March 19, 2021, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Budge attended Dalhousie University, Halifax, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in 1949. Post graduate studies followed at the University of Toronto (U of T) and by 1953 she had obtained a Diploma of Education as well as a certificate in physical education. That same year she married Alan Wilson and together they had two children. She had taught English at Halifax Ladies College prior to working at the Institute of Child study at U of T. She would also work at the Toronto Public Library and Acadia University. In 1968 she was a fitness instructor with the Peterborough County Board of Education and at the Young Women's Christian Association (Y W C A) in Ontario. working to 1987. An acclaimed author, Budge did not begin her writing career until she was in her 50's. Her first book, The Best/Worst Christmas Present Ever appeared in 1984 when she was 56. Her writings began winning awards with the CBC Fiction Award in 1981. She has won among some 25 other awards the Atlantic Writing Competition for fiction, the Canadian Library Association Award, the Mariana Dempster Award, and the Thomas Randall Award. Most of her books, more than 30 titles, were for youth although she often writes with adults in mind. In 1989 she and her husband relocated to Nova Scotia. In 1998 she was inducted into the  Her works have been published in eleven countries and nine different languages. Perhaps you have read some of her books? The Leaving (1990), The Courtship (1994), Cordelia Clark (1994), Fractures (2002), and Friendships (2006) are a few of the titles she has written. In 2004 she was inducted into to the Order of Canada. In 2008, well known for her five collections of short stories, she was selected to write  prequel, Before Green Gables, in celebration of 100 years of Anne. In 2011 she was inducted into the Order of Nova Scotia and in 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2016 she published a collection of poetry, After Swissair.  Source: Information submitted by Alan Wilson; Obituary on Legacy (accessed 2021)

Ethel Davis Wilson

née Bryant. Born January 20, 1888, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Died  December 22, 1980, Vancouver, British Columbia. After the death of her parents when she was ten she moved to Canada to live with her grandmother. She was educated at private schools in Canada and England before returning to attend the Vancouver Normal School (teacher’s college). After graduating in 1907 she taught public school until her marriage to Dr. Wallace Wilson in 1927.  Ethel began writing in 1937 with her early stories being published in British magazines. In 1947 she published her first novel, Hetty Dorva. From 1947-57, she wrote four more novels, best known being Swamp Angel. Mrs. Golightly and Other Stories, her last published work, appeared in 1964. She received a special Canada Council medal for contributions to Canadian literature and the  Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 1970 received the Canada Medal of Service.  British .Columbia's top fiction prize is named for her. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia online : The Vancouver Hall of Fame Online accessed November 2012. Suggested reading: Ethel Wilson: Stories, essays and Letters. Edited by D. Stouck (1988)

Adele Wiseman

Born May 21, 1928, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died June 1, 1992, Toronto, Ontario. Adel graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1949. She took on a variety of jobs including teaching at the Overseas School of Rome, Italy for a year in 1951. In 1955 she was in England volunteering for the Jewish Girls’ Hospital in Stepney. Back in Canada she supported herself working as a lab tech and as secretary to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. During this time she was working on her 1st novel The Sacrifice which was published in 1956 winning the Governor’s General Award for 1957 as well as the Beta Sigma Phi Award. She then was writer-in-residence at the University of Windsor in Ontario. From 1957-1960 she worked on a Guggenheim fellowship in New York City, U.S.A. From 1961-1962 she worked on writing children’s stories while living in London, Ontario. In 1964-1969 she was living in Montreal, Quebec and lecturing at Sir George Williams University and other institutions. She received a Canada Council Senior Arts Award to work on her 3rd novel and was writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto which she followed up with taking similar positions as other Ontario universities. Along with her novels and children’s books she had plays published as well as essays and nonfiction works.

Frieda Wishinsky

Born July 14, 1948, Munich Germany. She moved with her family and would grow up in Manhattan (New York City) where she attended the University of New York. She studied for her Masters in Special Education at Ferkauf Graduate School and then began working with disabled adults. She married  and settled in Toronto where the couple adopted 2 children. She started writing books and became hooked on writing before publishers became hooked on publishing her works. The early refusals only empowered her energy and her determination. She has published mainly for the your market. Her works have introduced youth lives of famous people such as Frederick Law Olmstead, the "man who made parks",  Einstein in " what's the matter with Albert' and Marie Currie in 'Maya's dream'. She enjoys writing about scientists, she tells fan, but doesn't mean to become one. A prolific writer, since 1997 she has produced almost 20 books, published in Canada, the USA and Great Britain.

Pam Withers

Born July 31, 1956, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. As a child reading was her passion. At 18 she discovered Whitewater Kayaking and from there other fast athletic enjoyments. Sports, however, never took away her ambition to be a writer. After attending Beloit College in Wisconsin, she naturally turned to journalism for her profession. She combined her sport and her job by working as associate editor of River World, a whitewater kayaking magazine. She would meet her Canadian husband at a sporting event. It seemed a natural progression to writing extreme sport novels. She could often be found writing at the hockey area where he son played hockey! Her goal is to put several novels a yea for your readers on library shelves.

Joanna Ellen 'Nellie' Wood



Born December 28, 1867, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  Died May 1, 1927, Detroit Michigan, U.S.A. In 1869 the family immigrated to the U.S.A. settling in Irving. New York. They then relocated to the area of Guelph, Ontario. From 1887 to 1901 she was in New York City, U.S.A. with her brother William.  In the hay day of her writing contemporary magazines hailed this author as the Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, or the Nathanial Hawthorne of Canada. She was rated as one of the top three Canadian authors along with Gilbert Parker and Charles C.D. Roberts. It was with the support of her family that she was encourage to have her writings published as early as 1890. A daughter of Witches was published as a serial, a chapter at a time, in the Canadian Magazine in 1898. Critics described her characters as “vivid and magnetic.” During a trip to England it was rumored that she was engaged to poet Algernon Charles Swinburne but no real evidence of this has been found. In 1901 she was living in Niagara region, Ontario with her widowed mother. and was the highes paid Canadian fiction writer.   Her last novel , Farden Ha' in 1902. It is not really known why the novels stopped in 1902. She did present lectures in local history but did not present the information in print. In 1907 she joined the Niagara Historical Society.  By 1914 she was living in Buffalo, New York, U.S.A. In 1927  a newspaper reported she has suffered a nervous breakdown some years ago causing her to abandon her writing. In 1994 her work, The Untempered Wind, was republished in a centenary edition.  Source: Industry Canada.; D C B  2021.

Johanna E. Wood

Died 1919. She emigrated to Canada with her family when she was a child. As an author she would publish some 4 books between 1898 and 1902.

Constance Woodrow

née Davies. Born 1899. Died August 1, 1937.  This author would pen the book The Celtic Heart published in Toronto in 1939 two years after her death.

Kate Yeigh

Born 1856, London, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 4, 1906. She worked as a journalist and married writer Frank Yeigh in 1892. She would continue writing and produce a novel.

Carolyn Ann Young

Born August 13, 1961, Fredericton, New Brunswick. She attended the University of New Brunswick earning her BA in 1983. While still a student she published Heritage Handbook, Fredericton in 1982. She then attended the University of Toronto for her M.A, in 1986 and then a M. Phil in 1989. She married John G. Young on June 23, 1990 and the couple have one child. She worked as a art historian at the University of Toronto before moving as a researcher at Heritage Montreal in 1994-95. She has also worked at a translator of French to English. She has published the Glory of Ottawa: Canada’s First Parliament Buildings in 1995. Source: Canadian Who’s Who. (Toronto: U of T Press, 1997)

Pamela S. Yule

née Vining. Born New York State, U.S.A. Died March 6, 1897.  After her training and some experience in the U.S.A. in 1860 she was appointed instructor of English at the Canadian Literary Institute, Woodstock, Canada West (Ontario). She met and married James Cotton Yule. She enjoyed writing poetry and published Poems of the Heart …(Toronto, 1881). She would publish an additional four books including Records of a vanished life : lectures, addresses etc. of James Cotton Yule (Toronto, 1876) in memory of her late husband.

Debora Turney Zagwyn



Born August 14, 1953, Cornwall, Ontario. Deborah has always loved to draw and tell stories. In the 1970’s Deborah toured the craft fairs of British Columbia showing hand-woven and hand dyed tapestries. She had produced 5 mega murals displayed in British Columbia. On March 8, 1978 she married Leo Zagwyn and the couple has 2 children. She expanded her artistic talents to watercolour paintings and soft-sculpture works and she has had her works exhibited all along the west coast of Canada. She turned her talents to published stories for children and had brought the stories alive with her won vibrant illustrations. She had produced over 10 books for children winning the Sheila Egoff Children’s Prize in 1989 and in 1995 she was a finalist in the Mr. Christies Book Award. Source: Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto; University of Toronto Press; 1997)

Journalists and Broadcasters  Return to categories
Nell Adaire SEE - Social Activists - Emily Spencer Kirby
Naomi Yanova Adaskin

née Granatstein. Born May 6, 1908, Toronto, Ontario. Died March 1, 1996. She studied music with such well know Canadian as Healey Willan and Mona Bates. She made her debut as a pianist at Massey Hall, Toronto when she was just 12 years old. With her piano playing partner, Etta Cole, the duo toured successfully toured North America. In 1939 she became a soloist. She taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music and wrote articles for various Canadian publications such as the Star Weekly, Chatelaine and the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto. She was the music critic for the Toronto Daily Star and edited school music texts for Ginn and Co. publishers. She accomplished this busy career and still found time to be a mother to two daughters.

Kate Aitken

Born 1891, Beeton, Ontario. Died December 11, 1971. née Scott. As a youth of 14 she began teaching. In 1914 she married her childhood sweetheart, Henry M. Aitken and settled down to farm life. She began a small canning business from her farm in Beeton, and was soon working at speaking engagements with the federal and provincial departments of agriculture. She also began writing articles for farm journals. By World War ll she was Conservation Director for the Federal Wartime Prices and Trade Board. This was an unpaid position which provided Canadians with a advice to "Use it up, wear it out, make over, make do". She soon found a position as women's editor at the Montreal Standard and had a regular radio program popular across the country. She wrote 9 cook books which were still being reprinted in 2004! In addition she was author of a half dozen other books including two autobiographical publications. In 1941 she earned $25,000.00 a year compared to the average wage for men of $3,000.00 per year. In 1950 she earned $5,200.00 a week, one of the highest paid women in the country.. She was taping 600 radio broadcasts a year,  making 150 speeches a year while still retaining her position as cooking editor of the Montreal Standard newspaper. Her staff responded to 5,000 fan letters a week! During her career she interviewed such world personalities as Hitler, Mussolini, King George, queen Elizabeth, Franklin Roosevelt and our Canadian Prime Ministers,  King,  St Laurent and  Pearson. After retiring from Broadcasting in 1957 she turned her energies to working for the United Nations, and UNICEF.

 Amaryllis SEE - Agnes Mary Scott
Barbara Joan Estelle Amiel

Born December 4, 1940, Hertfordshire, England. Barbara emigrated with her family to Canada and settled in Hamilton, Ontario.  graduated from the University of Toronto with her B.A. in 1963. At university she was an active communist and was a delegate to the 1962  World Festival of Youth and Students in Helsinki, Finland. In 1964 she married George Smith but this was followed shortly by divorce and she second marriage in 1965 was to George Bloomfield. This marriage ended in divorce in 1971. She married a third time to poet, broadcaster and author George Jonas in 1974 but the couple divorced in 1979.In 1978 she published her own selected poems.  She married a fourth time to businessman David Graham from 1984 to 1988. July 21,1992 she married she married media baron Conrad Black. A writer, journalist, and editor, Barbara was editor for the Toronto Sun newspaper and a long time columnist with MacLean's.  She has published four books between 1977 and 1983.  She has won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best face crime book and was the “Woman of Distinction” in 1989.  In 1995 she earned the position as vice president editorial at Hollinger International. In November 2006 a biography of the couple by Tom Bower, Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge was released. She stuck by her husband when he was convicted of fraud and served 6.5 years in prison form 2007-2012.

Doris Hilda Anderson

née Buck. Born November 21, 1921, Calgary Alberta. Died Toronto, Ontario March 2007. In 1940 she graduated from Teachers College. She taught in the rural schools of Alberta to earn money to put herself through the B.A. program at the University of Alberta in 1945. She moved to Toronto hoping to find work as a journalist. She started with menial jobs at the Toronto Star Weekly and as copywriter for Eaton’s Department Stores. In 1949 she decided that she wanted to write fiction and took off for Europe. She did however maintain Canadian ties by writing stories for Maclean’s magazine and Chatelaine Magazine. Returning to Canada in 1951 she worked at Chatelaine , beginning a 20 year career becoming in 1957 editor in Chief of the magazine. In 1957 she married David Anderson. The couple would have three children but the marriage ended in divorce in 1972. In 1974 Doris became a member of the Order of Canada, an award that was changed to Companion of the Order in 2002. She ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Commons and accepted a position with the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Her strong personality would eventually see her leave this position but not before pressure made sure that the new Constitution recognized women as equals!. She was the YWCA Woman of Distinction in 1982 and in 1991 she received the Governor’s General Persons Award in recognition for her promotion of the equality for girls and women in Canada. In 1993 she became Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island. In 1998 she was Chair of the Ontario Press Council. In 1984 she returned to her journalism roots working for the Toronto Star newspaper. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia online Accessed July 2011: Doris Hilda Anderson by Jessica Bedaoui in Biographical Sketches of nine members of the Canadian Women’s Press Club . Ottawa, Media Club of Ottawa, 2011.  Pages 4-5.

Pat Annesley

Born August 17, 1936 Tesdale, Saskatchewan. Died February 27, 2012, Vancouver, British Columbia. At 15 she won a writing contest in which she was provided with a full scholarship at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta. At 16 she won a National Newspaper Award. She was hooked. Journalism was to be her career. She worked at the Calgary, Albertan and the Herald, the Edmonton Journal newspapers in Alberta as well as the Winnipeg Tribune in Manitoba. While at the Tribune she met Fred Annesley, a fellow reporter. The couple married and had two children. She worked earning herself a daily column in the Toronto Telegram newspaper and later for McLean’s magazine In the early 1970’s she ran Information Services for TVOntario. She retired to Vancouver in 1983 still dappling with some freelance writing. Source: Loves Lived by Belle Laderoule and David Cobb, The Globe and Mail, October 26, 2012. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

Susan Jane Anstey

née Scott. Born 1946. Died November 9, 2005, Nobleton, Ontario. Susan chaired the task force that resulted in the creation of Jump Canada, and established the Horse Sport Young Riders Scholarship Fund in 1998 to recognize the top Canadian performers at the annual North American Young Riders’ Championship in the three Olympic disciplines. An avid horsewoman, Susan Jane competed and judged hunters/jumpers, bred and raced Thoroughbreds, published Canada's leading horse magazines including Horse Sport, Horse-Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred, and was a lifelong member of The Toronto & North York Hunt. She made a significant contribution to horse sport both nationally and internationally, serving as a director of Jump Canada, chair of the Media Advisory Committee of the Federation Equestre International (FEI) and, for the last 12 years, President of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. Equine Canada create the Susan Jane Anstey Media Award to an exceptional individual who has delivered outstanding media coverage which served to enhance the image of Canadian equine interests to the Canadian Public.  Source: Obituary In Memorium. November 11, 2005. Online. (accessed February 2016).

Sally Armstrong

Born July 16, 1943, Montreal , Quebec. Sally earned her Bachelor of Education at McGill University, Montreal in 1966. In 2001 she would return to university to earn her Master’s at the University of Toronto. She started working as a physical education teacher but soon found herself involved in journalism where she became editor in chief for Homemakers magazine from 1988 through 1999. Along with numerous magazine articles she has published several books including Mila, the biography of Mila Mulroney, wife of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1982. Her works have brought the political and cultural struggles of women around the world to her readers. She has highlighted strife of women in Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan. She has chronicled lives of women who have opposed efforts of the Taliban to subjugate women. Her writings have earned her the Amnesty International’s Media Award in both 200 and again in 2002. She has also produced award winning documentaries for the CBC spotlighting international struggles for women’s rights. She is a founder of WILLOW a resource for Breast Cancer in Canada. As well she serves on the Council of Advisors for the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has been granted numerous honorary degrees from universities and in 1998 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2002 she was UNICEF’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and in 2008 she received the Canadian Journalism Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Source: ‘Sally Armstrong’ by Dana Schwab New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia 2009. Online (Accessed May 2014)

Gladys Marie Marguerite Arnold

Born October 2, 1905, Macoun, Saskatchewan. Died Saskatchewan September 29, 2002. After high school she began teaching but by 1930 she found herself working as a secretary at the Regina Leader-Post. Journalism was to be her career. In 1935 she took a grain ship to France and was  on tour in France when World War ii broke out. Her happenstance allowed her, as the only Canadian journalist on site,  to post articles for the Canadian Press. Between 1936 and 1941 when she was forced to flee Germany,  she became officially named Paris correspondent reporting firs hand on the European conflict. After she fled Europe she dedicated herself to the plight of France. She co-founded the Free the French Association in Canada and traveled throughout North America with her compassionate plea. In 1941, France asked her to return to report on post war life. Her work in France garnered her the order of Chevalier de a Légion d’Honeur, the highest distinction given by the grateful nation of France. In her 80’s her reports from France became the base for her  book: One Woman’s War. Returning to Canada after the War she was head of the Information Service of the French Embassy until retirement in 1971. She would become the subject of a History Television documentary called Eyewitness to War. In 1948 and 1949 she was elected as president of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. With her adventuresome spirit she never stopped looking for a good story. During her lifetime she visited and reported from 60 difference countries. She also  established an additional legacy of perpetual scholarships in French Language and Journalism at the University of Regina. Sources: Biographical Sketches of Nine members of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Media Club of Ottawa, 2011 page 6. ; Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan online accessed July 2011. ; Gladys Arnold Eulogy October 2002. Online (accessed July 31, 2011).

Alice Asselin

This journalist was the wife of Olivar Joseph Francois Asselin, the founder and proprietor of the newspaper Le Nationaliste, of Montreal. She was a working reporter and correspondent for Le Nationaliste. In 1904 she was a member of a group of women journalists sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during this train trip that the Canadian Women's Press Club was founded.

Vera Lyla Helen Ayling

née Daye. Born February 4, 1906, Saint John, New Brunswick. Died January 21, 1999. She enjoyed writing even in public school. In grade 8 she wrote a story about a child in World War l and won a Saint John city wide prize for her work. In her 20’s her stories were published in the United Church Sunday School papers. She also wrote stories and plays for radio. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s she worked at the New Brunswick Museum Archives. On June 22, 1937 she married Arthur Richard Ayling and  settled in Moncton, New Brunswick. The couple had two sons. After her marriage she wrote stories for the popular national publication the Family Herald and the Canadian Red Cross Junior Magazine.  Vera joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club in 1944 where she served numerous times as president of the New Brunswick Branch as well as serving on the National Executive several times. She was a feature writer for the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, a career that covered 65 years. McClelland and Stewart Publishers took note of her work and she began writing for their Canadian School Readers series where she had stories published as early as 1948. These school readers were used in schools for three decades. She also published Arrivals and Departures; American School Readers (Allyn & Bacon Inc., in 1957. Arrivals and departures: American School Readers (Allyn & Bacon Inc. , 1957). She is perhaps best remembered by the public work her stories about families, farm life and New Brunswick handcrafts which appeared in numerous national publications as well as H. Gordon Green’s book Canadian Handcrafts. Sources: Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada. 1991. (s.l.; 1991) ; Vera Ayling Collections , New Brunswick Archives provided by Reference services, New Brunswick Archives September 2014.

Irene Baird-Grierson

SEE - Authors

Ashleigh Banfield

Born December 29, 1967, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She earned her B.A. at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Her first job was as a reporter in Kenora, Ontario. From 1989 through 1992 she worked on the evening news in Edmonton, Alberta.  While in Calgary she was awarded two IRIS Awards. She moved to work in the U.S.A. and earned an Emmy as Best News Anchor when she worked in Dallas at KDFW TV. She also won the Texas Associated Press Award for best series “To Serve and Survive”. She is remembered for her live reporting for 8 days straight after 9/11. She married June 29, 2002 to Harold Gould and the couple have two sons.

Mary Morrison Baker

Born Southern Ireland. Mary credits her time at boarding school with teaching her to be independent and also proving her with a high standard of conduct. She attended the National University of Ireland and then studied in France. Mary cultivated her writing shills as a teen when articles were published in the London Daily Express newspaper. She married James Baker of Sydney, Australia in 1942. The couple lived in various locations while becoming parents to four children. In 1954 they moved to Canada where Mary shortly after became a widow. She kept her family together by holding various jobs including buying and selling antiques. In 1964 and 1967 her writings won her the Senator Cairine Wilson Citizenship Trophy when she wrote of her home in Prince Edward Island. She was also editor of the Women’s Institute News from 1959-1963. In 1980 she had a weekly TV antiques show in PEI. Source: Outstanding women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown, 1981.

Laura Banks

née Brow. Born 1914 (?) Died November 1988. She began a successful TV broadcasting career under the name of Laura Lindsay at CFRN TV in Edmonton. From 1955 though 1968 she had her own show on homemaking. The show was live and unrehearsed and after the show she washed the dishes and cleaned up the set by herself! In 1964 she published a book, Laura’s Recipes that sold 30,000 copies.

Marcelle Barthe


Born September 26, 1904, Ottawa, Ontario. Died November 24, 1965, Montreal, Quebec. In 1929 Marcelle founded a dramatic society called La Rampe in Ottawa where she preformed for almost 10 years. In 1933 she began working at radio C K C H in Hull, across the river from Ottawa. Here she had a weekly programme Pour Vous Mesdames using the pseudonym 'Francoise'. She was the 1st bilingual woman hired by this radio station. Prior to World War 11 she travelled to Europe to study other national radio stations. There is a park in Montreal named in her honour and a street in Gatineau, Quebec also has been named in her honour. By 1938 she became the 1st bilingual female hired by the CBC Radio. She covered the Royal visit of the King and Queen in 1939 and a second royal visit in 1951 of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Robertine Barry

Born February 26, 1863, L’isle-Verte, Lower Canada. Died January 7, 1910. A well known personality in Montreal society she was a pioneer feminist lecturer and writer. She is considered the first woman journalist in French Canada. She joined the staff of the weekly newspaper La Patrie in 1891. Here column was written for almost then years under the nom de plume of 'Francoise'. She would go on in her career to found Le Journal d Francoise, published from 1902-1909 . She also would publish books of her short stories. In 1900 she was one of the Canadian government representatives to the famous Paris International Exhibition. In 1904 the government of France named her as an “Officer de l’Acaémie” She was part of the group of Canadian women Journalists who were sponsored to go to the St Louis World's Fair in 1904 and during the trip they established the Canadian Women's Press Club, with herself being elected at Vice President.

Gertrude Balmer-Watt 

née Hogg. Born 1879, Guelph, Ontario. Died 1963. Gertrude married Arthur Balmer Watt in 1900. She began her journalism career with the Woodstock Sentinel-Review where she used the byline “Peggy”. The young couple moved to Alberta in 1905. Arthur was a newspaper editor who worked with various Edmonton newspapers including the Edmonton Journal. They were stanch supporters of women’s rights and her articles on life of western women were published in various Canadian newspapers including the Globe and Mail in Toronto. In 1904 she was among a group of lady journalists who were sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during this train trip that the Canadian Women's Press Club was founded. After the St Louis World’s Fair she would establish the Edmonton Chapter of the Canadian Women's Press Club and along with her continued newspaper columns would write several books on women and life in the Canadian west.

Elizabeth Barclay See - Social Activists - Emily Spencer Kirby
Isabel Glenthrone Macdonald Bassett

née Macdonald. Born August 23, 1939, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Isabel earned her BA from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario and went on to earn a Master's degree from York University, Toronto, Ontario in 1973.  Earning her Teacher Diploma she taught French and English at Humberside Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario. In the 1960's she became a journalist for the Toronto Telegram and later joined CTV as a reporter and documentary producer. She married John Bassett (1915-1998) on July 17, 1967. In 1993 she ran unsuccessfully for the House of Commons. In 1995 she was elected in the Ontario Provincial election. In 1997 she was appointed Ontario Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. She did not win in the 1999 Ontario Provincial election and from 1999 through 2005 she was the chair and CEO of TVOntario, Ontario's provincial public television network. There was some controversy with Isabel working at TVO as she was in a common law relationship with Ernie Eves then Premier of Ontario. In 2016 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario  and in June of that year she became a Member of the Order of Canada.

Jessie Tarbox Beals

née Tarbox. Born 1870, Hamilton, Ontario. Died May 30 1942, New York City, New York, U.S.A. At 18 Jessie left Canada to teach in Williamsburg, Massacheutts, U.S.A. where she settled for ten years. in 1897 she married Alfred Beals and in 1902  the couple worked as itinerate photographers with Jessie taking the photographs and Alfred processing the photos in the dark room. When some of her photographs were published in a Vermont newspaper she earned the title as 1st woman photo journalist in North America. She is perhaps best known for her work at the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis, Missouri and as the official photographer of Greenwich Village in New York City. The couple settled in New York City in 1905. By 1917 they were divorces but Jessie carried on with her profession and bringing up their daughter. She took photographs of the homes and gardens of the wealthy which were published in garden magazines. She struggled during the Great Depression and died in poverty. (2019)

Florence Diamond Bean

Born 1910, Minto Township, Wellington County, Ontario. Died 1993. As a young lady she too a secretarial course in Toronto, Ontario. She married Clarence Diamond and later married Ellworth Bean. From 1977 to 1980 she was President of the Ontario Federated Women’s Institutes. She too leadership roles in conference of the Associated Country Women of the World. She was an active member of the Waterloo Farm and Home Safety Council, the Wilmot Agricultural Society, the Wilmot Horticultural Society and the Waterloo Historical Society. She was the Haysville correspondent for the Kitchener – Waterloo Record for 30 years and had a radio career with C F R B in Toronto. In 1990 she was the Wilmot Citizen of the year. She was also presented with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Source: Waterloo Regional Hall of Fame. Online (Accessed July 2014)

Jeanne Beker

Born March 19, 1952, Toronto, Ontario. In 1968 she commenced her acting career on CBC Television in a sitcom. She entered studies at York University, Toronto, Ontario and then went to Paris, France to study mime. Back in Canada she worked for CBC Radio in St John’s, Newfoundland. By 1978 she was producing daily lifestyle and entertainment features for CHUM 1050 Radio, Toronto. In 1979 she launched the NewMusic for CityTV and also became an entertainment reporter for CityPulse. In 1986 to 1998 she was married to Toronto radio personality Bob Magee. The couple had two daughters. In 1995 she instigated @Fashion, the internet’s 1st ever fashion website for American communications giant MCI. Until 2012 she hosted Fashion Television and acted as a segment producer. From 2003-09 she was editor-in-chief of FQ Magazine and Sir. 2012 – 2014 she hosted fashion and entertainment segments for Bell Media. She is also an accomplished print journalist with articles written for the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. In 2010 she released a clothing line: Edit by Jeanne Beker followed in 2013 with a line of footwear with The Shoe Company. In 2015 she started a weekly live television program Style Matters with Jeanne Beker for the Shopping Channel. She ahs also authored 5 fashion advice books. In 2013 she received the Special Academy Achievement Award form the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television and she became a Member of the Order of Canada.

Carol Gay Bell

Born Regina, Saskatchewan. After high school she earned her B.A. at the University of Manitoba. She also too additional schooling in Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute , Toronto, Ontario where she received the silver medal as outstanding female graduate. She began her career as a journalist and was the CBC’s 1st female announcer for radio and television, the 1st Saskatchewan producer of musical variety on CBC Television, Canada’s 1st female jazz disc jockey, and a actress in the first live drama on Saskatchewan’s CKCK television. Off the job she became the first certified baton-twirling judge in western Canada, and -coordinated the first musical theater program at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts. She is the founder of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Cheerleaders squad in 1960 and remained as director though to 1977. As part of Canada’s 1967 Centennial Carol initiated the Saskatchewan Express, a touring show with Saskatchewan performers. This program would hatch the Saskatchewan Talent Program in the performing arts. She and her husband Vern worked full time with the troupe to Celebrate Saskatchewan’s 75th Anniversary as a province. She has been recognized for her efforts in 1985 as the YWCA Woman of the Year, professional category), 1986 she won the Larry Schneider Communications and Leadership Award a, in 1997 she received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and in October 2008 she was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada. Source: City of Regina. History. Online. (Accessed January 2012.) ; Order of Canada Online (Accessed January 2012)

Louise Bennett-Coverley

Miss Lou

Born September 7, 1919, Kingston, Jamaica. Died July 31, 2006. She was one of the first Black women broadcasters in the 1940’s. While still as student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, she hosted a radio show called Caribbean Carnival. After she emigrated to Toronto she used her knowledge of her culture, the stories and songs, sa a basis for her radio shows which included ‘Laugh with Louise’, ‘Miss Lou’s Views’ and  educated Jamaican immigrant children with her TV show ‘Ring Ding’. She married Eric ’Chalktalk’ Coverley and they had a son and many ‘adopted’ children. Miss Lou as she was known, had been made a member of the Order of the British Empire and had received an honorary doctorate from York University, Toronto and another from the University of the West Indies. She died the night she was to be presented with the 2006 Jamaica Independence Award Hall of Fame from the West Indian American Association of New Jersey. Source: Miss Lou, 86: Bedrock of Canadian culture by Philip Mascoll, The Toronto Starr, August 1, 2006.

Francis Marion Beynon

 Born May 21, 1884, Streetsville, Ontario. Died October 5, 1951, Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1879 her family relocated to farm in Manitoba. She earned her teacher's certificate and taught near Carman, Manitoba. In 1909 she and her sister, Lilian Beynon Thomas (1871-1961), moved to Winnipeg where she worked for the T. Eaton Company. From 1912 for five years she was the editor Frances Marion Beynon.jpgof the women's page of the Grain Growers Guide, an influential Prairie magazine. Using the pen name 'Dixie Patton' she also wrote for the children's pages.  A journalist, feminist, and social reformer she was a determined individual who wrote of votes for women, marriage and family structure. She was a pacifist and resigned her position at the Grain Growers Guide over views on World War I. She and her sister helped to found the Quill Club and the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Womens Press Club that had been founded in 1904. She stood up for women's suffrage and was one of the organizers of the Manitoba Political Equality League. She felt that women should stand on their own feet and that both husband and wife should share responsibility for success. In 1917 she moved to New York City, U.S.A. In 1919 she published a semi-autobiographical novel, Aleta Day. In New York she and her sister worked at the Seamen's Church Institute, an Episcopalian Mission for sailors.  1922-1925 she was the editor of the mission's publication The Lookout. She used the pen name Ginty Beynon over the next 25 years writing as a freelance journalist. She returned to Canada in 1951 just shortly before her death.

Mary Elizabeth Bibb

First Black woman journalist in Canada

National Historic Person

née Miles.  Born 1820, Rhode Island, U.S.A. Died 1877, Brooklin, New York, U.S.A. . Mary was born a free Black Quaker and was privileged to be educated , graduating from Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Lexington, Massachusetts. She was one of the first Black women teachers in North America. In 1847 she met her future husband Henry Bibb ( d. 1854) who was an escaped slave, at an anti-slave rally in New York City. The couple were wed a year latter and settled in Boston. In 1850 the couple fled to Canada after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law which could have caused Henry to be re-enslaved. Settling in Sandwich, Canada West (now known as Windsor, Ontario) the couple played a key role in the famous Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves settle in Canada. The co-published the newspaper The Fugitive Voice beginning in 1851. Mary is credited with being the first Black woman journalist in Canada. Later her sister-in-law Mary Shadd Cary would become the first Black woman publisher of a newspaper. Mary Bibb also operated a dress making business and taught both adult Black and their children in a class in her own home. She fought for Black schooling in the area for several years. After Henry’s death she carried on until 1871 when she returned to the USA. She and Henry were declared Persons of National Historic Significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 2002. Sources: ; Merna Forster 100 more Canadian Heroines; Famous and Forgotten Faces (Toronto; Dundurn Press, 2011. )

Arlene Billinkoff



Born March 27, 1942. Died Winnipeg, Manitoba  March  23, 2009. Arlene lived in New York City for a short time and had good memories of working on the political campaign of John F. Kennedy. Returning to Canada, she earned her degree in economics and political Science at the University of Manitoba. She joined the staff of the Winnipeg Free Press in 1964, working in the women’s section. She left the newspaper when complaints of inequality of pay with male reporters were ignored. She travelled in Europe a few months only to return to a job at the newspaper which met her demands.  From  1970 through 1994  she was the well respected legislative reporter, writing the column Under the Dome.  She was also known as a supporter and mentor for young reporters. She enjoyed being a participant , even after her retirement, in the “Beer and Skits” political satire productions at the Winnipeg Press Club.  She received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. Sources: Lives Lived, Globe and Mail July 20, 2009: Memorable Manitobans, Online (Accessed December 2011)

Georgina Binnie-Clark

Born April 25, 1871, Dorset, England. Died London, England April 22, 1947. A journalist perhaps in search of a story, she decided to  came to visit her brother’s farm in Saskatchewan and fell in love with the area. She also felt that she would be a better farmer than her brother. In 1905 she purchased land in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Southern Saskatchewan. As a woman she was not eligible to apply for or receive the free land offered in Western Canada. She sold her grain in the open market and was a critic of privately controlled grain-marketing systems.  She would go to Ottawa in 1908 and protest for equality for women farmers. It was not until 1930 when the federal government handed land control over to the prairie provinces would single women farmers get their demands. Meanwhile in 1910,  Georgina opened her farm to train other single women wishing to learn farming. She also continued her writings and left behind a rich detailed account of social life and daily farm life in the settlement of the Canadian prairies. During World War l, the British Government appointed Georgina and 6others to train women to work the land. Her own personal war effort was a children’s book from which proceeds were used to help wounded solders and their horses. She began ladies dress making business in London to stabilize her finances while still managing her Canadian Farm. Her ashes were spread on her lands in Saskatchewan. Source: 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster (Dundurn 2011)

Christie Marie Blatchford         3492 Born May 20, 1951, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. Died February 12, 2020, Toronto, Ontario. While she was still in high school the family relocated to Toronto in 1970. After secondary school she attended Ryerson University where as a student she worked for the university paper The Ryersonian and also worked part time at the Globe and Mail newspaper.  In 1975 Christie started her journalism career working as Canada's first female sports Columnist at the Globe and Mail newspaper. In 1977 through 1982 she switched to working as a feature writer for the Toronto Star. In 1982 she began a column with The Sun newspaper in Toronto, which wrote for 16 years. She published two collections of her humour-oriented columns from The Sun in the late 1980's. In the 1990's she was again writing feature articles many covered criminal trials. In 1998 she began writing for the new player in town, The National Post. In 1999 she earned the National Newspaper Award for her column work. By 2003 she was back with the Globe and Mail doing a column as well as feature articles. In 2008 her book Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army won the 2008 Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction writing.  She continued to pen books, Helpless: Caledonia's Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed of of Us, which concerned the Grand River land dispute. In all she published four full length books. She was a welcome guest on radio C F R B and returned to the National Post in 2011. In 2019 she was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame. Source: Obituaries
Victoria Grace Blackburn

SEE - Authors

Jean Blewett
Katherine Kent

SEE - Authors

Denise Bombardier

Born January 18, 1941, Montreal, Quebec. In 1971 Denise obtained her Master’s from the Université de Montreal and in 1974 she earned a PhD from the Sorbonne, France. She worked as a research assistance with the Radio-Canada television program Aujourd’hui and went on to host a number of programs in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Noir sur blanc was the 1st public affairs program to be hosted by a women in Quebec. She was also a prolific writer of articles for the press including Le Monde, Le Devoir, L’Express de Toronto, Chatelaine, Le Point and L’Actualité as well as the international press. In 1993 she became a Knight in the French Legion d’honneur. In 2000 she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. In 2007 she wrote the song LaDiva for Céline Dion and published a book about Dion, L’enigmatique Céline Dion published in 2009. In 2015 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)

Mabel Ellen Boultbee

née Springer. Born April 29, 1875, Moodyville, British Columbia. Died February 2, 1953, Vancouver, British Columbia. She was the first white child born on Burrard Inlet. After her marriage dissolved she ran a school with her sister, Eva in the 1890’s. She next took up journalist, a career she embraced for 30 years. She wrote for the women’s pages of the Vancouver Sun newspaper. During the 1930 and 1940’s the apartment of Mabel and Eva was renowned among the social elite. Source:  Whos Who (accessed June 2009)

Marsha Elaine Boulton

Born 1952, Toronto, Ontario. She studied at the University of Guelph which is a little ironic. Guelph is known more as an agricultural school than for the arts and she lives on a sheep farm and is listed in the Canadian Who’s Who as a shepherd and an author. A successful journalist she combined her love of history and humour in her works. She won the Leacock Award for humorous writing in 1996. She has done regular columns in Maclean’s Magazine, and written CBC productions. She writes anecdotal Canadian history books which began with Just a Minute: Glimpses of Our Great Canadian Heritage (Toronto : McArthur & Co., 1994) In 1998 she was the YWCA Woman of Distinction.

Mabel Grace Burkholder SEE - Authors
Bernice R. Brown SEE - Social Activists
Cassie Eileen Brown

SEE - Authors

Lois Brown

SEE - Authors

Suzanne 'Suzy' Rochon Brunette

Born March 10, 1935, St. Adéle, Quebec. Died April 2, 2006. After high school Suzy attended business college in St. Jerome, Quebec. In 1950 St. Jerome radio hired her and by 20 she was writing newspaper columns as well as hosting 2 radio shows along with handling Public Relations for the radio stations. She began taking  Public Relations and marketing course at McGill University, Montreal. She travelled internationally to cover newsworthy event.. She tried taking modeling classes and moved to New York City to appear in Television commercials. By the 1960’s she had purchased an old lodge in the Laurentian Mountains and turned it into an art gallery. She met and married a radio station owner, Gordon Burnett and the couple settled in St. Catherines, Ontario. Once their daughter was in school , Suzy became involved with the production of a French language radio show which she produced in her own home studio. The Ontario Ministry of Culture picked up the show for stations across the province. She became the French culture expert for the CBC production of Morningside. By 1980 she used her avocation for art to raise awareness of First Nation’s issues with her new company Kakekalanicks Inc. She served as a Board member for TV Ontario, the educational public television. 1987 Rochon-Burnett was presented with an eagle feather in recognition of her efforts to save a totem pole carved by Squamish carver Chief Mathias Joe and in 2001 she received a Meritorious Service Award in recognition of her contributions to Native Friendship Centres in Ontario.  In 1995 she purchased a country music radio station in Welland, Ontario becoming the 1st Aboriginal person in Canada to own a private commercial radio station. She has received an Eagle Feather, Canada’s highest First Nations honour, A Woman of Distinction Award, the Governor’s General Confederacy Medal, the Order of Ontario. She is the 1st woman inducted into the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of fame. Source: Great women from our First Nations by Kelly Fournel (Second Story Press, 2007)

Virginia Luella 'Ginger' Byfield

née Naim Born March 26, 1929, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. Died July 21, 2014 Edmonton, Alberta. When her parents separated she grew up in Greenfield, Nova Scotia with her mother’s family before settling in Ottawa. As a student at the University of Toronto she wrote for the school’s Communist newspaper. Dropping out of school she followed Ted Byfield to Timmins, Ontario and worked Press. The newspaper would only hire her if she was married so she and Ted married. Relocation to Ottawa she worked at the Ottawa Journal On the move again the couple relocated to Alberta where she worked on the Alberta Report Magazine and the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper. In Selkirk, Manitoba the couple founded the Company of the Cross, a lay order of the Anglican Church of Canada. They opened in 1957 the St John’s Boys School In 1968 they worked on a newsletter, St John’s Edmonton Report . They trained numerous young journalists and their home was often a bunkhouse for their students. Their final joint project was the editing of a 12 volume history of Christianity. Source: Peter Shawn Taylor, Formidable Editor Left and Indelible Mark , Toronto Globe and Mail August 2, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

June Callwood

SEE - Social Activists.

Agnes Deans Cameron Born December 20, 1863, Victoria, British Columbia. Died May 13, 1912, Victoria, British Columbia. At 16 Agnes, Like so many women of herMarch | 2018 | scotsinbritishcolumbia era, was teaching at public schools in British Columbia. She also taught at a girl's school and then boy's school and by 1890 she became the 1st woman high school teacher in British Columbia. Moving on she became in 1894 the 1st woman to hold an administrative office in a co-educational school in Victoria. She became the co-founder the British Columbia Teacher's Institute where she was often speaking on such topics as equality for women. During this time she began a career in journalism writing for Victoria's newspapers. She went on to author article in various periodicals and in 1902 she became an associate editor for the Educational Journal of eastern Canada. In 1906 she served as president of the Dominion Educational Association. She was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the local the Local Council of Women, and the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association. Agnes work at schools was not all smooth sailing. She was, in 1890, charged with inappropriate discipline of a student, in 1901 she was accused of insubordination, and in 1905 the was charged with other teachers for allowing students to cheat. The last charge ended with her losing teaching license for three years. Agnes joined the Canadian Women's Pres Club and turned to writing full time. In 1908 she and a niece, Jessie Cameron Brown were the 1st white women  traveled  overland to the Arctic Ocean. They published their exploits in The New North in 1910.She would also travel to England an promote immigration for the Canadian government. 
Joyce Carter

Born March 26, 1930, Toronto, Ontario . Died November 3, 2011, Toronto, Ontario.  She had no love of formal schooling and dropped out of high school to work at various jobs. She found her niche when she began reporting for the Kitchener-Waterloo Record newspaper. In her twenties she met fellow writer Clayton Derstine. The couple would marry with the birth of their only child in 1965. In the early 1960’s the couple made the move to Toronto after she had won the Judy Award for promoting Canadian Fashion. She wrote for the Globe and Mail and included interesting highlights of what workings behind the fashion world. Her first national byline appeared in the Globe and Mail November 14, 1962. In 1981 she was named Woman of the Year by Fashion Canada. Her work allowed her to jet off to world fashion capitals but her pay was not large for the results provided. A succinct reporter she came to the point directly. She did not write after her retirement. Source: Fashion writer had a healthy perspective…by Susan Ferrier Mackay, Globe and Mail January 10 2012. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Gretta Chambers

née Taylor. Born January 15, 1927, Montreal, Quebec. Died September 9, 2017, Montreal, Quebec. Gretta learned at an early age from her family about family commitment and community service. While still in her mid- teens she studied Political Science at McGill University, Montreal graduating in 1947. In January 1951 she married Edgar Chambers and the couple had five children. She became a political wife in 1958 when her husband was elected to the Quebec provincial legislature. She worked at this time as a translator and researcher and later worked as a front-line journalist, public-affairs analyst and a broadcast commentator. From 1964 thought 1978 she had a weekly radio programme called the Province in Print. From 1977-1980 she hosted a weekly CTV program called The Editors. It was in 1977 that she began her 25 years as a columnist for The Gazette newspaper. A convince federalist she was a major spokesperson for the English community at a time when separation was a hot topic. She served on numerous boards and committees including in 1978 to 1988 sitting on the McGill Board of Governors. In 1991 she was invested as the 1st woman chancellor of McGill University. She was an Officer of the Order National du Quebec in 1993 and in 2000 she became a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Ethel Matilda Chapman

Born February 25, 1888, Campbellville, Ontario. Died August 28, 1976, Toronto, Ontario. In 1905 Ethel attended the Milton Model School after completing her high school. In 1909/10 she attended Normal School in Hamilton, Ontario to earn her teacher’s certificate. In 1912 she earned her Domestic Sciences Teacher’s Certificate from Macdonald Institute, Guelph, Ontario. After graduating she worked at the Women’s Institute Branch of the Ontario Department of Agriculture from 1927- 1952. She was a contributor and editor for the publication Food for the Family and editor of the ‘Home’ section of Farmer’s Magazine. In 1952 she became editor of Home and Country magazine for the Ontario Women’s Institute. She also wrote novels, short stories and essays. In 1974 she received the Ontario Agriculture Centennial Medal. In 1980 she was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Source: Obituary, Toronto Star, August 30, 1976 Page A 6

Leigh Anne Chapple

Born 1955. Died December 10, 2013, Ottawa, Ontario. Leigh Anne began working in news broadcasting in Pembroke, Ontario. The town is situated in the Ottawa valley and she was soon noticed by one of the workers at CTV in Ottawa. She began working as secretary to Max Keeping, a well known broadcaster at CJOH television, with the understanding that when a job in broadcasting opened up she would apply. She worked on the television program Regional Contact, providing stories from the Ottawa Valley that would be on interest to her Ottawa viewers. Then she became anchor for the late night news on CTV Ottawa. She worked at this job with true dedication for three decades becoming a familiar and welcome face to her viewers. She was also known for being the master of ceremonies, host or a guest auctioneer at local charities throughout the Valley. She helped the next generation come into the profession when she taught at Algonquin College. She was honest and forthright about such things as her struggle with weight but his showed that broadcasters need not all be slim like a career model.  Leigh Anne retired after 36 years on Ottawa television On May 4, 2012. Source: Obituary Ottawa Citizen, December 14, 2013. Suggestion submitted by Leah Monroe, Timmins, Ontario

J. Margot Brown Chester

Born January 15, 1916, Birmingham, England. Died Winnipeg, Manitoba October 30, 2010.  As a child she immigrated to Manitoba with her family, and settled in the Sturgeon Creek area of St. James. On  October 24, 1936, she married Thomas P. Chester. After the birth of their three children, she began writing professionally in the mid-1950s. Her career in journalism began as the Charleswood correspondent for the St. James Leader. By 1965, she was Editor of the St. James Assiniboia News. She was later Editor-In-Chief of several weekly community newspapers, including Metro One, The Lance, The Herald, The Times and Thompson Times. As a volunteer  she was also a founding member of the Charleswood Historical Society and the Charleswood Sketch Club.  She was a member of the St. James Chamber of Commerce, The St. James Business and Professional Women’s Association and other local and political organizations. In 1997, she wrote a book on the history of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in celebration of its 75th anniversary. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 2010 : Memorable Manitobans Online (accessed November 2012)

Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté
Columbine, Mussette, Fantasio

SEE - Social Activists

Grace Cirocco

She studied for her Bachelor of Arts at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and earned her M.A. at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. She also took additional personal interest courses in California. She worked as a Director of Communications in the Canadian Government.  She worked as a broadcast journalist for the CBC in Toronto and Calgary. A linguist, she speaks English, Italian and French. She has traveled and loves international cuisine. She is married and has two children. In 1988 she earned the Award of Distinction in Broadcasting for her work with the Calgary winter Olympic Games. In 2001 she published her book Take the step, the Bridge will be there (Harper Collins). In 2003 she was the cover story for Women with Vision magazine. She provides help and guidance through workshops and retreats around the world. She is the founder and President of Grace Cirocco Inc. training and coaching company. In 2004 she founded the Goddess Club, a monthly workshop and therapy group in Oakville, Ontario. Source: Grace Cirocco, Biography (accessed 2007); Interview with and inspiring woman by Penny in Discovering She May 14, 2011. Online (accessed December 2011. Suggestion submitted by Joan Lowry.

Adrienne Louise Clarkson

SEE - Politicians and Civil Servants.

Bettie L. Cole

Born 1912?, Marbeton, Quebec. Died, 1983, Ottawa, Ontario. By 1908 Bettie was a working reporter with the Sherbrooke Record. She worked on the Women’s Pages. By 1941 she had relocated to Ottawa and until 1952 she worked with the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. Written on her grave stone is the sentence” 1st girl journalist on men’s general staff of the Ottawa Citizen.” While working as a journalist she lived with fellow journalist Rosa L. Shaw (1895-1981). In 1952 she switched professions working as a landscaper in Orleans, just outside of Ottawa, retaining in 1982. Source: “Section B, Range 6, Graves 20A & 25” by Marci Surkes, “Stories from the Grave”, Ottawa Citizen September 28, 2004.

Kathleen 'Kit' Coleman

Born 1864, Galway, Ireland. Died 1915. After the death of her first husband, Kit immigrated to Canada in 1884. She turned to journalism to support herself and her two children after the death of her second husband. Boarding a boat in Florida she landed in Cuba as the world’s first woman war correspondent in 1898 during the Spanish American War. She would work with the Toronto Mail newspaper until she retired. Her full page column not only discussed fashion but reported in her personal outspoken manner all the top topics of the day. She was part of the group of Canadian women Journalists who were sponsored to go to the St Louis World's Fair in 1904 and during the trip they established the Canadian Women's Press Club, with Kit as the first president.

Columbine SEE - Social Activists - Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté
Arlyene Barrett Corkum

née Barrett. Born May 7, 1933, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died June 22, 2015, East Berlin, Nova Scotia. Arlene worked as several professions such as a teenage fashion photographer, an antique dealer and a cattle farmer but it was her passion for writing that would last the longest. In 1958 she married Clarence H. Corkum and the couple had three sons.  and Her written works appeared in publications from the Halifax Herald Ltd., Cameron Publications, Transcontinental Media and Graphic Advocate Publications. She writings appeared in the Queens County Advance and the Selbourne Coast Guard. In the 1970’s she began a weekly column for the Advance o in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. She also wrote short stories and poetry winning the 1st Joseph How Festival Award in 1975. In 1976 she began working on television producing and hosting shows viewed locally and internationally. She was the founder and 1st president of the South Shore Literary Club, past national Vice-president of the Media Club of Canada (formerly the Canadian Women’s Press Club), a founding member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia’s Writer’s Council board member,  and member of the International Association of women. She also served as president of the Queens County Historical Society, Milton Heritage Society and served on the Board of Directors and/or edited numerous newsletters within these organizations. In 1991 she received a Nova Scotia Government Environment Citation, the Media Club of Canada National Press Award.  In 1992 she received the Governor Generals Medal for historical writing. She also received the Canada 125 National Volunteer plaque in 1992. She also won a Children’s Aid Society First Certification of Appreciation for Foster Care. Source: Canadian Women of Note, Canadian Womens Press Club, 1994.

Thelma Craig

Born April 11, 1901, Leeds County, Ontario. Thelma earned her BA at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario and then attended the Ontario College of Education, Toronto. She be began a career in teaching having taught for 5 years in Western Ontario. She decided to be a journalist and worked as a staff writer for the Mail & Empire newspaper, Toronto. She was one of the top ten Ace reporters, and the only woman to cover the 1939 Royal visit to Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. During world War 11 she was one of the members of the Canadian Women’s Press Club who would serve the government. Source: Canadian Women of Note, Canadian Women’s Press Club,  York University, 1994. 

Lenore Talbot Crawford

Born August 11, 1909 London, Ontario. Died May 4, 1983. By 1933 she had earned her BA from the University of Western Ontario in London. She became a member of the newsroom staff of the London Free Press. From 1941 through 1974 she was a reporter. She was a critic of music art and cultural events. She maintained a weekly column and a digest of French Canadian editorial opinion that appeared in daily and weekly French language newspapers in both Ontario and Quebec. She was in the London Bureau of the Windsor Star newspaper and was the first woman reporter in the Windsor Star newsroom..

Sally Kathleen Creighton

née Murphy. Born July 20, 1903, Ashcroft, British Columbia. Died September 13, 1982. She earned her BA at the University of British Columbia and in 1924 she received her MA from the University of Toronto. From 1924 through 1945 she lectured in English literature at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. She served 9 years on the Senate at the University of British Columbia. From 1945 through 1968 she was a full time free lance script writer and broadcaster with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio and television.
Source: Canadian Women of Note. Media Club of Canada. (Toronto: York University, 1994) no. 184 page 202.

Emily Ann McCausland Cummings

née Short. Born May 11, 1851, Port Hope, Canada West (now Ontario). Died November 1, 1930 Toronto, Ontario. Emily attended Mrs. Lucy Simpson's Seminary for Young Ladies in Montreal. September 27, 1871 she married Willoughby Cummings of Toronto. The couple had one daughter. Emily began her working career as a journalist, working from 1893 through 1903 on the editorial staff of the Toronto Globe. In 1888 she attended the founding International Council of Women in Washington D.C., U.S.A. In 1890 she represented the Mission Society of the Church of England touring Indian reservations in British Columbia, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. She wrote of her visits to the reservations in the Canadian Church Magazine and Mission News. In 1893 she was a special correspondent for the Globe and the Manitoba Morning Free Press of Winnipeg for the International Council of Women meeting in Chicago. That same year she assisted Lady Aberdeen (1857-1939) in founding the National Council of Women.  From 1894 through 1910 she was the corresponding secretary of t the National Council of Women. She also served on the Ladies Committee of the Toronto Industrial Exhibition (now the Canadian National Exhibition  C. N. E. ) when it began in 1901. April 1, 1910 the Canadian government appointed her to a paying position in the Department of Trade and Commerce.  In 1910 she received the honorary degree of D. C .L. from King's College, Windsor and became the first woman to receive an honorary degree from a Canadian University. She was a member of the British Society of Women Journalists and after World War l she joined the Canadian Women's Press Club.

Irene Currie-Love

As a school girl, she won a prize in a writing competition run by the London Advertiser and she became a contributor to the newspaper. In 1904 she was a member of a group of women journalists sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during the train trip that she participated in the founding of the Canadian Women's Press Club. She would marry Elfred Archibald of Montreal where she joined the staff of the Montreal Star, using Margaret Currie as her byline.

Stacy Dales-Schuman

Born September 5, 1959, Brockville, Ontario. Her love of sports was evident during her years as a student at Thousand islands Secondary School where she participated in basketball provincial championships for Ontario. While at the University of Oklahoma in the USA she was twice named “Big 12” basketball player of the year. She was the highest Canadian ever drafted by the Woman's National Basketball Association where she played for the Washington Mystics. She retired from the court in 2004. In 2002 she bean working for ESPN as a studio sports analyst and has expanded her sports coverage since then. In 2004 USA Today named her Rookie analyst of the year, and in 2004 she has been named “Best new face”.

Sophia Sims Dalton

Born c1785. Died June 14, 1859. Married to Thomas Dalton in 1805 the family attempted to establish themselves in business in Newfoundland before moving to Kingston, Upper Canada in 1817. Again, the family attempted several businesses before establishing a newspaper , The Patriot and Farmers Monitor , November 12, 1829. The family decided to move the newspaper to York, now Toronto, in 1832 as The Patriot. . It is said that Sophia would edit her husband’s writings to avoid any legal issues. When Thomas died in 1840, Sophia took over the paper, becoming the first woman publisher of a Toronto newspaper, a position she maintained until the paper was sold in 1848. Dalton Road in Toronto is named in honour of the family.

Josephine Dandurand

nee Marchand.  Born 1862, St John, New Brunswick. Died 1925. Like most early women writers she would use a pen name to sign her writing. She was known as Josette. A strong feminist she championed the role of women in Quebec society. In 1892 she founded le coin de feu which was the first women’s literary review in Canada. She was also a strong orator and was often called the female Laurier. Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier.  In 1898 she was the first Canadian woman to be made an officer of the French Academy in France. In 1900 she was the government appointed Canadian Commissioner to the famous Paris Exhibition. In 1901 in her work, Two systems of art, she proposed government provide funding for the arts. This was a full 50 years before the Canada Council of the Arts.

Mary Adelaide Dawson

See - Mary Adelaide Dawson Snider

Lotta Dempsey

Born 1905. Died December 19, 1988. She followed her father’s advice and took up teaching as a respectable profession. It lasted 8 weeks, spent in a one room school in Four Corners Alberta! Her first marriage to Sid Richardson lasted 6 months in the fall of 1923. Not succeeding at the acceptable she followed her desires and landed a job on a newspaper. With no male reporters available the editor of the Edmonton Journal sent Dempsey off to collect a story and interview Charlotte Whitton, the newly appointed Director of the Canadian Welfare Council. Seeing that the new reporter was very nervous Whitton proceeded to provide the questions and the answers for the interview. Lotta was on her way to a remarkable career. She moved to the Edmonton Bulletin and from there to Toronto in 1935 where she landed a job with Chatelaine Magazine. Her writings were written with “Gusto’ under several pseudonyms including a more acceptable feature writing name of Jack Armstrong. In December 1936 she married Architect Richard Fisher and by 1938 she was a working mother with a new son. In the 40’s she worked for the War Time Prices Board and in the CBC Newsroom. In 1944 she was back at Chatelaine. She missed the daily bustle of newspapers and soon was working for the Globe and Mail moving in 1953 began a long career as columnist and editor at the Toronto Star. She as known for her large hats , big purses , smoking cigarettes in a long holder. Her hardy laughter no doubt helped her survive the discriminating world of male journalism. She won the Canadian Women’s Press Club Member’s Award in 1948, 1967 and 1976. In 1975 she was named to the News Hall of Fame. She was also a founder of the Voice of Women for Peace in 1960. Her auto biography No life for a lady was published in 1976. She retired from the Star in 1981. Source: Driving Miss Dempsey by Ryan Jennings the Ryerson Review of Journalism. Spring, 1999. Additional reading: Lotta Dempsey: the Lady was a star by Carolyn Davis Fisher (Toronto, Belsten Publishers, 1995)

Grace Elizabeth Denison




née Sandys. Born 1854(?) Chatham, Ontario. Died February 1, 1914, Toronto, Ontario. As a young girl she attended Hellmuth College in London, Ontario. She is considered Canada’s 1st female travel writer. In 1890 she published A Happy Holiday, a picture storybook, in 1890.  She worked as a journalist and society editor for Saturday Night Magazine for 23 years using the pen name ‘Lady Gay’. It is said that she made an unhappy marriage. In 1904 she was the oldest member of a group of 16 journalists who traveled to the St, Louis World’s Fair on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. On the train trip returning to Canada the women formed the Canadian Women's Press Club, however Grace Elizabeth Dennison did not become a member of the club. She also published The Canadian Family Cook Book a volume of tried, tested and proven recipes which ran in several editions from 1912 through 1939’s. Source: Linda Kay, Sweet Sixteen: the journey that inspired the Canadian Women’s Press Club, 2012.

Flora Macdonald Denison

née Merrill. Born February 20(?) 1867 North Hastings County, Canada West (now Ontario). Died May 23, 1921, Toronto, Ontario. In order to support her love and desire for writing she ran a successful dressmaking business in Toronto. She married a travelling salesman and the couple had one son. The marriage was however short lived and only strengthened Flora’s belief in divorce and free love. As a young woman working as a costumer for the Robert Simpson company in Toronto  she witnessed firsthand the horrible conditions of the city’s sweat shops, and vowed to do what she could to change the lives of the women who worked in them. In 1903 she was introduced to the suffragist movement by Dr. Elizabeth Stowe, the first woman to practice medicine in Canada. In 1906, Flora attended the Copenhagen Conference as a delegate of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association, and in 1911- 1914 she was the president of the Canadian Suffragist Association. She worked tirelessly with others to organize “monster rallies” and send dozens of petitions to members of the legislature to improve the plight of women and get them the vote. She resigned her position due to her support for the more militant English suffragettes. Her strong life views were expressed in her regular column in the Toronto Sunday World, 1909-1913. During WWI she was a active and strong supporter of the Whitmanite movement which was a social and spiritual movement based on the works of Walt Whitman. In 1916 she published the Whitmanite magazine entitled The Sunset of Bon Echo from 1916-1920. Later she became a theosophist and in just before her deaths she participated in the Theosophist Social Reconstruction League. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia, on line (accessed March 2006)

Clara Dennis

Journalist & photographer

Born 1881, Truro, Nova Scotia. Died February 16,1958. As a child her family moved to Halifax where her publisher father provided the town with its two major newspapers. In 1912 he was appointed to the Senate of Canada. Clara attended both Mount Allison University, Sackville and Dalhousie University, Halifax. She finished her studies with courses in stenography and typing and the Halifax Business College so that she might pursue appropriate employment for a young woman of her era. After a trip overseas she had a great desire to tour her home province. She took alone her camera to provide images of her travels. She would produce three major books of trips in Nova Scotia that would be published by Ryerson Press. Her home province travel writings also appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country informing all of Canada of the beauties of Nova Scotia. In 1939 she composed the provincial chapter on a souvenir booked produced for the King and Queen’s Royal Tour . She had a keen eye for photography and a charming writing style that left a descriptive legacy of her beloved home. Her photographs showed people. Nature. Places and architecture including lighthouses and even Cabbage houses on Tancook Island. Her promotion of the province was her passion which was recognized with and honourary doctor of Literature from Mount Allison University and a life membership in the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Her legacy of thousand of images is preserved in the Nova Scotia Archives.  Source: Clara Dennis: tours Nova Scotia - Biographical Sketch. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. (accessed June 2008.)   Suggestion submitted by Cabot Yu, Ottawa, Ontario June 2008.

Henriette Dessaulles-Jacques

'Fadette'                     3425
Born February 6, 1860, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Died November 17, 1946, Montreal, Quebec. When she was 14 Henriette began to keep a diary. She kept up her diary until 1881 when she married Maurice St-Jacques (died 1897). The couple had seven children together. After the death of her husband she began writing a column for La Patrie using the pen name Jean Deshayes.  She also wrote for  Robertine Barry's (1863-1910) Le Journal de Francoise, Le Courrier de Montmagny, La Revue de la femme, La Revue moderne, Le Canada, and Le Nationaliste. She joined the staff of the newspaper Le Devoir in 1910. Here she wrote a column under the pseudonym 'Fadette' which she continued until the 1940's. Beginning in 1914 compilations of her columns were published as Lettres de Fadette. She also published several several books for children. In 1971 her childhood diaries were published as Fadette: Journal d'Henriette Dessaulles 1874-1881.  .In 1986 and English translation by Liedewy Hawke was published as, Hope and Dreams: The Diary of Henriette Dessaulles 1874-1881 winning the John Glassco Translation Prize and the Canada Council Translation Prize. In 2007 a street was named in her honour in Levis, Quebec.
Rita Shelton Deverell

Born 1945,  Huston, Texas, U.S.A. Rita relocated to Canada in 1967 to work as producer of a children’s television programme. In 1974 was working as a television journalist with the CBC program Take 30. Leaving the CBC in 1983 she taught journalism at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan and by 1988 she had become a founder of Vision TV, the world’s 1st and only multi-faith television network. She worked as an executive and hosted numerous interstitial segments where she was known for often sporting a flower in her hair. She has been named to the Maclean’s Honor Roll of Outstanding Canadians and is a Member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. She has an interest in Black Canadian drama and is a board member of Obsidian Theatre Company, Toronto, Ontario. In 2005 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. Having that same year completed a term as director of News and Current Affairs for APTN, the world’s 1st Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. It was in 2005 that she wrote and performed three, on-woman shows, Smoked Glass Ceiling, McCarthy and the old Woman, and Big Ease.  In 2006 she was awarded the Festival Mentorship Award by Banff TV and in 2007 she became a Quebecer Fellow for the Banff TV Festival. That same year she was appointed the 1st CanWest Global Fellow which is a one-term commitment in residence at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University), London, Ontario in 2007. 2008/2009 she was the 1st storyteller-in-residence at the Centre for Creative Communications of Centennial College. July 2009 to June 2012 she was the holder of the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005 and is a member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. (2019)

Anna Dexter In 1928 Anna took to the airwaves on Station CWHH in Halifax, Nova Scotia becoming the 1st Canadian woman radio broadcaster. She began her career with a daily morning broadcast from her home. She spoke to her listeners  as if she were a guest in a persons home. She talked of local news, items of general interest and ordinary conversation items enjoyed by women. She became known as the "Queen of the airwaves'. During World War l her broadcasts reached overseas on short wave radio. Her last broadcast was given from her hospital bed and had to be cut short as she was unable to breathe. (2020)
Rosaleen Diana Leslie Dickson

née Leslie Born July 2, 1921, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died January 23, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario. She obtained her BA at Guilford College, North Carolina, U.S.A.1941.  Her Masters studies would wait until her family has grown. She received her Masters in Journalism at Carleton University 2003. She Married David Rutherford Dickson (d 1992) in 1942.. As a young woman she and her husband, settled in Pontiac County, Quebec raising a family of 6 children while publishing and editing the weekly newspaper The Equity. Rosaleen served as the newspaper's editor for more than 30 years.  Retiring from the paper  she helped her son Ross in launching the Hill Times in Ottawa an she taught journalism students at Ryerson University at 75 years of age. She continued to write feature articles for the Hill Times, the newspaper of Parliament Hill in Ottawa. She has co-authored, as well as written her own books that have included:  The Leslie-Dickson Family Histories,; HTML: the Basic book for people who would rather do it than read it and The Mother-in-law book. In 2004 she wrote a play One Hundred years of Daring, celebrating the founding of the Canadian Womens’ Press Club. She took to the internet as a natural extension of communication and enjoys writing for senior ‘Zines’ as well as developing and maintaining web sites for such auspicious groups as the National Press Club of Canada. Her personal web site displayed the pride she had of her 18 grandchildren and 21 great grand children. Rosaleen was a life long member of the Media Club of Ottawa (formerly the Canadian Women's Press Club.)

Penelope Billings Reed Doob

SEE - Academics.

Denise Donlan

Born February 22, 1956, Toronto , Ontario In 1985 she began working as a host a producer for MuchMusic. By 1992 she was director of music programming and by 1997 she was vice-president and general manager. She holds two Gemini Awards; Special Event Coverage for Election Night 93 and in 1992, as Producer for The NewMusic. In 1998 she launched MuchMoreMusic. By 2000 she was president of Sony Music Canada. In 2001 she won the Peter Gzowski Literacy Award of Merit along with a Woman of Vision Award, and Woman of the year from Canadian Women in Communications.  On September 17, 2008 she became an executive director of CBC Radio’s English language services. Leaving CBC in 2011 she hosed the TV program, The Zoomer, co-hosting with Conrad Black on Vision television Network. In 2009 she was listed as one of Canada’s Top 100 Powerful women and that same year, son the Rosalie Trailblazer Award during Canadian Music Week. She is a member of the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Bronwyn Deborah Anne Drainie

Born June 8, 1945, Toronto, Ontario. After her master's studies at the University of Toronto she began her career in broadcasting by working at various radio stations in Ottawa and Toronto and then in England. Returning to Canada in 1975 she began working for CBC. As host of CBC. Radio "Sunday Morning" broadcast she won an ACTRA Award for Best Host Interview on Radio in 1980. As a freelance writer she has written for the Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Books in Canada, and London Magazine. In 1987 she won National Magazine Award for her work in Toronto Life. She published a book in 1988 which was awarded the Ann Saddlemyer Book Award.

Monika Deol

Born India. She was brought up on a dairy farm in Beausejour, Manitoba. She attended the University of Winnipeg before entering a career in broadcasting. When she first started her career she wanted to break the mould of the idea that most Indians were either extreme intellectuals, researchers or taxi drivers! She was a very popular host on Much Music's Electric Circus from 1988 through 1996. When she left the show some 35,000 people came to her farewell on her final episode. By 2002 she was working as a Vancouver news anchor for CityTV. In July 2003 she stepped down from City Pulse tonight to spend more time with her husband and children.

Lyse Marie Doucet

Born December 24, 1958, Bathurst, New Brunswick. Lyse attended Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, graduating in 1980. While at university she wrote for the university newspaper. She went on in 1982 to earn her Master's in International Relations from the University of Toronto. After graduating she volunteered for four months to teach English in the Ivory Coast, Africa. In 1983 she worked as a freelance journalist in West Africa for Canadian media and began working for the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). By 1988 she was reporting from Pakistan. From 1989to 1993 she was the BBC correspondent in Islamabad also reporting from Afghanistan and Iran. 1994 found her at the BBC office in Amman, Jordan. She served from Jerusalem and across the middle East through to 1999. In 2003 she earned a Silver Sony Award for News Broadcaster of the Year. In 2010 she earned a Peabody Award for her film work in Afghanistan. That same year she earned the Sony Radio Academy Award for Best News Journalist. 2007 saw named the International Television Personality of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting and the News and Factual Award from the Women in Film and Television. In 2014 she made the documentary Children of Syria which was nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2015. That same year she made the documentary Children of the Gaza War. In 2014 she became an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE). She also received a Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents. In 2017 she earned the Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award at the International Media Awards. Starting in January 2018 she began presenting Her Story Made History; a five-part series on the BBC Radio featuring in-depth interviews with remarkable women with the theme showing the relationship between women and democracy. Proud of her roots she attends the Acadian World Congress which is held every five years. In 2018 she became a Member of the Order of Canada.

Christiane Duchesne

Born August 12, 1949 Montreal, Quebec. She studies industrial design at an architectural school but ended up with a completely different career path. An author, translator and illustrator she has translated more than 400 titles and published more than 60 original books, seven of which she has illustrated herself! She also writes scripts for plans and recorded a series of broadcasts on legends and music for Radio Canada. To think that she does all of this with ease in both of Canada's official languages!!! Her works have be awarded the Governor General's Award (Victor , 1992) and in 1993 La 42e soeur de Bebert and 1995 La Bergerede chevaux won the Mr. Christie's Book Award.

Sara Jeanette Duncan

'Garth Grafton'

Born December 22, 1861, Brantford, Upper Canada (Ontario). Died July 22, 1922, Ashtead, England. Like many women of her era she trained as a teacher at the Toronto Normal School graduating in 1882.  Her 1st published poems appeared in 1880 and an article was published a year later. In 1884 she published articles on the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. She published the articles under the pseudonym (pen name) ‘Garth’ and the articles were picked up by American papers. In 1886 she took over the ‘Woman’s World’ section of the Globe. Using her own name she also wrote a column for the Toronto literary periodical Week on important intellectual issues of the day. She left Toronto in November 1887 to work for the Montreal Star and by February 1888 she was the papers parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa. She and fellow journalist Lily Lewis mourned around the world sending stories of their exploits to the Montreal Star. These stories Jeannette turned into a novel in 1890, A social departure; how Orthodocia and I went around the world by ourselves. The trip provided fodder tor two additional publications. In 1890 she married Everard Charles Coates in Calcutta, India. Her 1st novel appeared in 1894.  A daughter of to-day was the 1st book to appear under the name of Mrs. Everard Coates (Sara Jeannette Duncan). After her marriage she continued producing a steady number of articles and worked on the autobiographical On the other site published in 1901. She would publish 22 books and she had more planned. During World War she travelled between India and London , England working on an original stage play which were sadly unsuccessful. In 1919 the couple settled in England. She died of chronic lung problems exacerbated by her smoking.

Julia Durham SEE - Julia Willmothe/Wilmotte Henshaw

SEE - Authors - Victoria Grace Blackburn


SEE - Social Activists - Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté

Faith Fenton SEE - Alice Matilda Freeman
Agnes Mary Fitzgibbon

née Bernard Born 1862, Barrie, Canada West (now Ontario). Died July 17, 1933. After her marriage in 1882 she left for England with her husband but returned in 1894. As a journalist she used the pen name Lally Bernard. She also wrote the book "Canadian Doukabor Settlements (Toronto, 1899).

Muriel Flexman

née Adams. Born August 25, 1912. Died November 30, 2003.  She was the first female journalist to work at the Canadian Press. She was women's Editor at the Ottawa Citizen and President of the Canadian Women's Press Club. Wife of Lt. Col. Kenneth Flexman, they had five children.

Annie Harvie Ross Foster

Born February 15, 1875, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died June 18, 1974, White Rock, British Columbia. In 1896 she earned her B.A. from the University of New Brunswick. She went on to train as a nurse at the Philadelphia Polyclinic Hospital receiving her diploma in 1901. She worked as a nurse in Woodstock, New Brunswick where she served as the 1st matron of Carlton County Hospital. Poor health forced her to leave her nursing career and she moved first to Saskatchewan in 1905 and then in 1908 on to British Columbia to teach. In 1915 she married William Garland Foster, editor of the Nelson Daily News. In 1916 she followed her husband to England where she nursed with the British Red Cross. Widowed during the war she returned to Canada eventually settling once again in Nelson British Columbia in 1919. She became President of the Great War Veterans Association. In 1920 she was the only woman delegate to the association’s annual convention. In 1923 she began writing for the Vancouver Daily Province. It was at this time that she also attempted unsuccessfully to have a career in politics. She continued writing producing such books as High Days and Holidays in Canada and the Makers of Canada. She also wrote a biography of poet Pauline Johnson entitled the Mohawk Princess in 1931. That same year she graduated from McGill University with a post graduate degree in Library Science. In 1932 she submitted the Mohawk Princess to earn a Master’s Degree from the University of New Brunsw3ick. In 1945 she married Patrick Hanley. She was active in the Vancouver Women’s Canadian Club and the Women’s Civic League. She became the 1st woman to serve on the University of New Brunswick Alumni executive. Source: ‘Annie Harvie Ross Foster.’ New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed May 2014)


SEE - Marcelle Barthe

Alice Matilda Freeman-Brown Born January 14, 1857, Bowmanville, Canada West (now Ontario). Died January 10, 1936, Toronto, Ontario. After attending Bowmanville Union School her family moved to Barrie, Ontario. She spent her youth between family in Barrie and Bowmanville for her studies. She went on to the Toronto Normal School (Teacher's college) and taught school for several years in the Toronto area. During her time as a teacher she began writing for the Northern Advance newspaper in Barrie. She used only her initials 'A. F.' at first but when she began writing a column she used the pen name 'Stella' In 1887 she was wring under the name 'Faith Fenton' for children's article in the Toronto Globe. It was about this time she began writing the 'Woman's Empire' column for the Empire newspaper. In 1889 she wrote of her travels across Canada for the Empire. She had continued teaching to earn a living until 1894 . She syndicated her column which appeared in the Union Advocate, the Ottawa Citizen, the Galt Reporter, and the Toronto Evening News. In October 1885 she became editor of the new Home Journal. Ousted as editor in 1897 she took journey to the Klondike and the travels were published in the Globe. In the Yukon she became Assistant Private Secretary to the Commissioner of the territory where she met and married Dr. John Brown on January 1, 1900. In 1904 the couple moved to Toronto. In Toronto Faith was a member of the Canadian Women's Press Club and write sporadically. (2020)
Barbara Frum

née Roseberg. Born September 8, 1937, Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A. Died March 26, 1992, Toronto, Ontario.  Barbara grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario  Where her father had his business. She married Murray Frum, a dentist and later a real estate developer in 1957 while she was studying at University.  She graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1959. She and Murray would have two children and an adopted son during the 1960’s. She worked as a freelance journalist with her writings being accepted by the Toronto Star, the Toronto Globe and Mail and Saturday Night Magazine. In 1971 she began work as an on air journalist with the CBC radio. For ten years, ending in 1981, she provided interviews with international personalities on the popular radio newsmagazine show As It Happens. In 1975 she was presented with the National Press Club of Canada Award for outstanding contribution to Canadian Journalism.. On December 17, 1979 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. From 1982 until her death she hosted CBC television’s The Journal, a nightly current-affairs program. She was the inspiration for Canadian Sesame Street character, Barbara Plumb and she ever portrayed herself as the reporter Barbara Frum on the Canadian cartoon shoe The Raccoons. You know that you have made it when you have become a puppet, a cartoon character and when you have been parodies on the Canadian TV show CODCO! She died for m chronic leukemia which although it had been diagnosed in the 1970’s had been kept a secret even from her children until the final years. After her death there were numerous tributes. In 1993 the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television awarded her the John Drainie Award for Distinguished Contributions to Broadcasting and that same year the new CBC building, in downtown Toronto, dedicated the Barbara Frum Atrium. The Toronto Public Libraries dedicated a branch library which contains a commemorative sculpture of Barbara. There is also an annual Barbara Frum Lecture co-sponsored by the Department of History, University of Toronto and the CBC. In 1996, her daughter Linda Frum, published Barbara Frum: a Daughter’s Memoir. In 1999 Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp in her honour in the Canada Millennium series.

Linda Frum

Born January 13, 1963, Toronto, Ontario. Linda earned her B.A. from the McGill University, Montreal, in 1984. Linda is married to Howard Sokolowski and the couple has three children. She was a contributing editor for Maclean’s magazine and a columnist with the National Post newspaper. She has written two books: A guide to Canadian Universities published in 1987 and updated edition in 1990 and Barbara From: a daughter’s memoir, published in 1996.. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Linda to the Senate of Canada in 2009. Linda is an active member of the Toronto community. She is vice chair of the board of Upper Canada College. She is also the honourary chair of Zareinu—a school for physically and developmentally challenged children. She is an honorary patron of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.  In 2006, she was chair of the Women’s Division of the United Jewish Appeal. She is a past board member of the Canada Israel Committee, the Art Gallery of Ontario Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council. She is a past recipient of the Golda Meir Leadership Award from the State of Israel bonds.  And in 2010, Yeshiva University awarded her a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. She earned a Gemini Award in 1996 for Best Social-Political Documentary Program.  Source: Senator Linda Frum Online Accessed February 2012

Beatrice Sifton Nasmyth Furniss

Born 1884, Stratford, Ontario. Died October 23, 1977, Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied at the University of Toronto to become a concert pianist. She switched careers and became a journalist working in 1910 in Woodstock, Ontario and later in Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta. While on the west coast she joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club and served as Vancouver’s chapter president in 1913. In 1914 she was a journalist campaigning across the Canadian prairies for women’s right to vote. Shortly after she was running a publicity bureau for the Alberta Government in London, England. She and her cousin Nell Sifton would run the successful 1917 campaign for nursing sister, Roberta MacAdams’ run for the Alberta Legislature. During World War 1 she was one of only 4 women journalist allowed to tour behind the Canadian lines on the war front in France. She reported back to Canadians stories of life and bravery at the war front. In November 1918 she was present when the armitist was signed. The only woman journalist accredited to cover the World War 1 1919 peace treaty negotiations in Paris, France. She married and returned with her husband to Montreal where he worked for the Montreal Gazette newspaper.  She went on to author several short stories and raise her children. In 1952 the couple retired to Vancouver. Source: Herstory 2006: The Canadian Women’s Calendar. Coteau Books, 2005)

Vickie Frances Gabereau

née Filion. Born 1946. Brought up on Canada's west coast she moved to Toronto, Ontario to attend university at 18. By the age of 23 she had married a lion tamer from the circus and had two children. Her early jobs were somewhat eclectic. She drove cab, delivered elephants to Ohio and worked as a professional clown. She even ran as a candidate for the position of mayor of Toronto in 1974. However, once she had worked her first radio job she knew what her career would be. Working at CBC. Radio she had her own show for 12 years. In 1997 she made the switch to television talk show. She as won three ACTRA awards for best host interviewer and in 2003 she earned two Leo Awards for best talk show host. It is estimated that she has completed some 5000 interviews. She has written her autobiography, This Won't Hurt a Bit and also composed a cook book. She also finds time to be a grandma and to be honourary fundraising Chair for the Parkinson Society.

Françoise Gaudet-Smet       3416 née Gaudet. Born October 26, 1902, Sainte-Eulalie, Quebec. Died September 4, 1986. After high school she attended Ecole Normale de Nicolet and then worked in her father's business. In 1926 she began to work as a journalist.  By 1934 she was secretary and editor of the women's pages of Le Canada. That same year she married Paul Smet (died 1950). In 1938 she founded the journal Paysana which was published through to 1949. She did the radio programs Notre pain quotidien and V'la le bon vent on C K A C  and De fils en aiguille and Le Reveil rural on Radio-Canada. She co-hosted the television program Voix de Femmes and then Sans détour on C H L T, Sherbrooke. During her career she contributed articles to La Press, Le Devoir, Montréal-matin, Le Nouvelliste, and La Tribune. In 1946 she founded the Centre Social Claire-Vallée and worked as director until the early 1960's. In 1965 she married a second time to Samuel Brisson. In 1974 she founded a cultural and education centre,  the Gaudet Bourg Centre and was inducted into the Order of Canada. She also taught continuing education at the Université de Québec, Trois Riviéres. She served as president of the Cercle de femmes journalistes 1969-1971 and from 1981-1984 she was president of the Fondation de L'Hôpital de Christ-Roi. In 1985 she became a Chevalier in the L'Ordre National de Québec. Some of her papers are maintained at the Centre d'Archives Régionales, Séminaire de Nicolet. Source: Hommage à 56 femmes d'exception qui ont changé le Québec. Suggested by Larry McNally, Gatineau, Quebec.
Dorothy Bruce Garbutt

née Coldeugh. Born December 16, 1897 , Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died February 18, 1988. She studied German at the University of Manitoba but it was journalism that would become her chosen career. She wrote fiction and non fiction works for newspapers, national and international magazines and the CBC Radio. She hosted a CBC Series Houses I have Known. She was honoured with numerous Manitoba historical and literary awards. In World War ll she was an official escort for British evacuee children who were sent to safer homes in Canada. (2019)

Mae Garnett

Born 1875 (?), London, Ontario. Died May 26, 1984, West Vancouver, British Columbia. Mae moved to Winnipeg in early 1900s as a CPR public relations officer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was one of the first female general news reporters in Western Canada, writing for the Albertan, Edmonton Bulletin and Vancouver News-Herald, before joining the Vancouver Sun in 1930. In 1962, retired as senior court reporter covering the British Columbia Supreme Court and county courts. She was also one of the first women to obtain a mortgage from Central Mortgage and Housing. She was a champion of women's rights at least two generations before the rise of the women's movement. Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame on line accessed December 2012

Amelia Beers Garvin

née Warnock Born 1878, Galt, (Cambridge) Ontario. Died September 7, 1956. Although she was married in 1912 she continued her career as a journalist. She used the name de plume Katherine Hale. Prior to her marriage she had been literary editor for the Toronto Mail and Empire newspaper. After her marriage she would concentrate on her poetry and for the next four decades would pen some 6 volumes of poetry. She also was the biographer for Isabella Valency Crawford and published the work in Toronto in 1923. Her second book of prose would be Legends of the St Lawrence published in 1926.

Françoise Gaudet-Smet

née Gaudet. Born October 26, 1902 Sainte-Eulalie, Quebec. Died September 4, 1986. After attending convent school she obtained her teaching diploma from the École normale de Nicolet and began working in her father's business. By 1924 she was working as a secretary and a journalist. In 1934 Françoise married Paul Smet (d1950).She founded the journal Paysana in 1938 serving as the director until it ceased publication in 1949. She worked for Radio Canada on weekly programs and co-hosted Voix de femmes and later Sans détour in Sherbrooke, Quebec. During this time she continued writing for various Quebec newspapers. In 1946, she founded the Centre Social Claire-Vallée and served as its director until the early 1960s. In 1965 she married Samuel Brisson. In 1969 she served a two year term as President of the Cercle des femmes journalistes  In 1974, she founded a cultural and educational centre, the Gaudet Bourg Centre, in Aston-Jonction. That same year she became a Member of the Order of Canada.  She also taught continuing education at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. In 1985 she became a Chevalier in the Ordre nationale de Québec.

Antoinette Géin-Lajoie

Born 1871. Died May 1945. She chose the career of journalism. In 1904 she was one of the 16 women who traveled to the St Louis World’s Fair on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Railway. While at the Fair she reported for the Quebec City daily, L’Evénement. It was during the train trip back to Canada that the women formed the Canadian Women’s Press Club. In 1905/06 she traveled to Switzerland with a friend Jeanne Andi to teach domestic sciences. Back in Montreal in 1907 the two women opened L’Ecole ménangère. In 1910 she was teaching at L’Académie Marchand in Montreal. In 1926 she was the director of L’Ecole ménangère. In 1936, along with the help of her niece Marie she expanded the school at L ‘institute Notre Dame du Bon-Conseil. She took her retirement from teaching in 1942. Source: Linda Kay, Sweet Sixteen: the journey that inspired the Canadian Women’s Press Club, 2012.

Emma Gendron




Born 1895, Saint-Barnabé, Quebec. Died 1952 or 1953, Montreal, Quebec. While she was studying in Montreal she started writing for newspapers and magazines. In 1918 she was writing a column on women's fashion using the pen-name 'Manon'. She was also writing serial romances at this time. She wrote as a film critic for Pa Panorama in 1919. By 1922 she was a screenwriter. Sadly many scripts and films of this era in Canada have been lost so it is only known that two of her scripts became films from information located in newspaper accounts. She returned to journalism and writing film chronicles under her pen name 'Manon' all through the 1920's. She married Robert Green and continued to publish serial novels and branched out to children's comics. She became involved in politics running as a candidate in the provincial elections and promoted votes for Quebec women. Source: Women Film Pioneers (2019)

Nicole Germain SEE - Entertainers - Actors - TV and Movies
Lizette Gervais                   3422 Born June 3, 1932, Montreal, Quebec. Died June 8, 1986, Montreal, Quebec. Lizette studied literature and language at Marianopolis College, an English language college in Westmount, Quebec. She married the lawyer and future judge, Robert Sauvé. The couple adopted three international children. After living in Washington , U.S.A. the couple settled to live in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1957 she joined C K C H radio station, Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec. By 1960 the couple relocated back to Montreal where lizette worked at the Société Radio-Canada. She hosted various radio and television shows. In 1967 she became one of the first women to present Téléjournal du midi. She left C B C , being tired of hosting women's programs and worked with Télé-Métropole, a private network. She would return to C B C in 1977 to host the radio show La Vied daily. Leaving the media work place in 1980 she worked as president of the Office des sevices de garde afance du Québec, then coordinator of the Adoption Secretariat where she dealt with international adoptions. In 1984 she learned she had uterine cancer. In 1987 the Lizette-Gervais Prize was found awarded to young graduates in Communication for the quality of their radio or television production. In 1988 Montréal created Lizette-Gervais street in the Riviére-des-Prairies district and the Cap-Rouge district of Quebec also created a street in her honour. Source: Prix Lizette Gervais. online (accessed 2021); Hommage A 56 Femmes D'exception qui ont Changé le Québec. published by Editions Spécial 7 jours. (accessed 2021). Suggestion from Larry McNally, Gatineau, Quebec.
Alexandrine 'Alex' Gibb

Born 1891, Toronto, Ontario. Died December 15, 1958, Toronto, Ontario. She attended the private girls college, Havergal College, in Toronto. The College was known for its advance acceptance of girl’s sports in the early 20th century. She graduated in 1913. During World War l she worked as a secretary in Toronto. Although she was engaged to marry she never married after her fiancé was killed during the War. Her participation in sports continued after her college days. She enjoyed tennis, soft ball gold and track and field. She was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs Ladies Basketball team which won Eastern Canadian championships from 1922-1924. She was becoming an articulated spokesperson for women in sports. During the 1920’s and 1930’s she was Canada’s most preeminent woman journalist. Working with the Toronto Daily Star she maintained a daily column entitled “No man’s land sport” for over 30 years. She began her journalist career in the 1920’s and it was May 1928 that she began her famous column. In 1919 she helped found the Ladies Ontario Basketball Association and served as president in 1925. In 1922 she founded the Canadian Ladies Athletic Club and served as the 1st president. In September 1925 the Women’s Amateur Athletic Union was created and Alex helped draft the Constitution. By December 7, 1926 the Women’s Amateur Athletic Foundation of Canada was founded with her encouragement. She served as President from 1928-1931. In 1928 she was the manager of the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team that would become known as the “Matchless Six”, bringing home gold, silver and Bronze medals in Track and field. In 1934 she had become assistant sport editor at the Toronto Star and she was appointed to be the only woman on the Ontario Athletic Commission. In 1935 she toured Russia and sent home to the Toronto Star articles on life in that country. Some of her stories were front page copy. She gave up her column with the star in 1940 when the country was at war. By 1951 she was accompanying Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinborough in their cross country Tour. In 1954 she was in the thick of the sports story of the year when she encouraged Marilyn Bell’s swim across Lake Ontario.
Sources: “Queen of the Ice Lanes: the Preston Rivulettes and Women’s Hockey in Canada 1931-1940” by Carly Adams in Sport History Review no. 39 pages 1-29 2008; 100 more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster Dundurn Press, 2011

Sondra Gotlieb

née  Kaufman. Born  December 30, 1936, Winnipeg, Manitoba. An author, who has one the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 1978 for her novel Confessions.  she has also authored two Canadian cookbooks.  She writes articles for such notable publications as Saturday Night, Maclean’s, and the New York Times. She is married to Allan Gotlieb, a former Canadian Ambassador to the United States. The couple have three children. Her book, Rollercoaster recounts they years in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. during the Reagan era. Invitations to their Washington parties were highly coveted. She writes a regular weekly column for the National Post.

Doris Giller

Born January 22, 1931, Montreal, Quebec. Died April 25, 1993. She began her working career as a secretary with a supermarket chain. She joined the staff of the Montreal Star newspaper in 1953 and thought persistence and hard work she  never accepted accepted the "Glass ceiling" that kept many women in low positions. She rose to be a reporter and editor at three of Canada's major daily newspapers. Her husband Jack Rabinovitch established the Giller Prize in 1994. It is Canada's premier literary prize for literary fiction.

Anne Marie Gleason


Born October 5, 1875, Rimouski, Quebec. Died Montreal October 21, 1943. As a teenager she was writing for local newspapers using a multitude of pen names for her works. After the death of her father, she and her sister relocated to Ottawa to live with a brother. Here she continued writing with Le Temps. It was here that she first used the pen name “Madeleine” when she was writing the women’s column. She had taken over the job begun by “Francoise” / Robertine Barry.  It was during this time that she became a founding member and treasurer of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. That same year, 1904 she married Dr. Wilfred A. Huguenin. The couple would have one daughter. During World War l  Anne-Marie gave generously of her efforts with the French Red Cross society and l’aide a la France. For her efforts she received the French Medal of Recognition in 1920 and King Albert of Belgium presented her with a gold medal. In the 1920’s both her husband and her daughter died and Anne-Marie immersed herself in her work. After 19 years she left La Patrie and started editing La Revue Moderne. In 1928 she founded La Vie Canadienne which merged with La Revue Moderne, the ancestor of Chatelaine. After publishing several books she decided to compile a history of Canadian women and in 1938 she published Portraits de femmes. A second edition of the popular work was written for younger readers. Feminism was reflected her many works She called upon women to better themselves with education, and becoming interested and involved in Politics. She encouraged women to support their men and raise boys respectful of equality of the genders. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia online Accessed July 2011:  Anne-Marie Gleason (Madeleine) by Amelia Baxter in Biographical Sketches of nine members of the Canadian Women’s Press Club . Ottawa, Media Club of Ottawa, 2011.  page 11-12

Alison Ruth Gordon

Born January 19, 1943, New York, U.S.A. Died February 12,  2015, Toronto, Ontario. Alison attended schools in New York, U.S.A., Tokyo, Japan, Cairo, Egypt and Rome, Italy as her father worked in various countries for the United Nations.  She came to Canada in 1960 to Attend Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. As a journalist she worked for CBC Radio  in various roles including being producer of the show As It Happens and being a news anchor in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1978 she earned a National Magazine Award for humour. She also worked beginning in 1979 for the Toronto Star newspaper. Alison was the 1st woman beat writer covering the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team surviving the waves she caused being a woman in the Jays locker room to win a National Newspaper Award citation for sports writing in 1979. She wrote a book about the Toronto Blue Jays but found her love to be writing mysteries centered on a sportswriter as a main character. She wrote five mystery novels.  If you like mysteries, visit your own public library and look up these books. Sources: Obituary, Toronto Star February 14, 2015.

Bernelda Winona Sakinasikwe Gordon
Aboriginal Journalist and Social Activist
SEE - Social Activists
Margaret 'Miggsy' Graham-Horton

Note card is available in the "Store"

Born 1879, Upper Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia.  Died May 1924, Montreal Quebec. .  At 15 she attended the Normal School at Truro, Nova Scotia. She taught for a few years and was ahead of her times in advocating voting privileges for women teachers in the provincial teacher’s association. In 1898 she became interested in mission work in the West Indies. She was unable to complete her five year term at the mission after a riding accident. She would spend some time in New York City with her journalist brother and by 1897 she was employed as a journalist herself at the Halifax Herald. She would move to Ottawa as the paper’s correspondent by 1904. She was part of the group of Canadian women Journalists who were sponsored to go to the St Louis World's Fair in 1904 and during the trip they established the Canadian Women's Press Club. After the 1904 World’s Fair in July 1905 she married Albert Horton. The couple settled in Ottawa and had a daughter. In Ottawa sh where she worked at the Home for the Blind and the Protestant’s Infant Home. She had little to do with the Canadian Womens Press club after the birth of her daughter but in 1923 she was flown to  Vancouver to attend the triennial CWPC conference as the 'Mother of the CWPC'. In 1975 Her daughter made a donation to the Ottawa branch of the CWPC (now Media Club of Ottawa) and the following year the 1st annual Margaret Graham Award was presented to an Ottawa area journalist for the best feature article. The award was later changed to be presented the a top journalist student in Ottawa.

Edythe Elizabeth Goodridge See - Social Activists
Garth Grafton

SEE - Sara Jeanette Duncan

Jane Gray

Born 1896. Died 1984. She began her broadcasting career in 1924 in London Ontario, at the Radio station for the Free Press. She came first in a list of 90 applicants for a cooking program on CFRB in Toronto. It is said of here that she was a born show-person and it did not bother her to wear an Indian costume to do a live commercial. In the 1940’s she was a main stay on CHML in Hamilton, Ontario with the daily Jane Gray Show. Later she would host the show on CHCH TV in Hamilton. Considered one of the first Canadian women with a career  in radio broadcasting, a true pioneer who is listed in the Canadian Awards in Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  Name submitted by Jeannine Ouellette, Ottawa

Miriam Green Ellis

Born  1879, Rickville, New York, U.S.A. Died 1964, Saskatchewan. Her parents were Canadian and the family moved shortly after her birth to Athens, Ontario. She attended Bishop Strachan School in Toronto and  graduated from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. By 1904 the family lived in Edmonton, Alberta, and she moved on to work as a reporter in 1912 with the Prince Albert Post.  She married George Edward Ellis, who would become Inspectors of Schools for Alberta. When George became principal of Prince Albert Collegiate in Saskatchewan, Miriam became coach for the women’s hockey team. In 1913 she joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club and remained a lifelong member. By 1919 she was back in Edmonton and President of the Edmonton Branch of the CWPC. From 1919 through 1927 she was a reporter for the Edmonton Bulletin. She dubbed herself “Toad” after the character in the Wind in the Willows. She drove across the province for stories and often changed her own sparkplugs in her old second hand car. In 1927 her writing caught the eye of the Family Herald and Weekly Star where she worked until 1952. She retired in 1952 but still wrote freelance articles. While in Edmonton in 1922 she had financed her own journey to Aklavik, North West Territories on the edge of the Arctic Ocean and travelled with her typewriter and camera writing some 40 stories about her travels.  Her photos showed the life of peoples of northern Alberta. Her papers and her photographs were bequeathed to the University of Alberta providing a lasting archival legacy. Sources to read: Miriam Green Ellis: Champion of the West. Edmonton; University of Alberta Press, 2013.

G'Wan SEE - Julia Willmothe/Wilmotte Henshaw
Florence MacLeod Harper

Born 1890? Woodstock, Ontario? In 1914 Florence was reporting from the eastern front of World War l for Frank Leslie's Weekly Newspaper out of New York City, U.S.A. While reporting back to New York she suffered from trench fever and trench foot. In 1916 she left Vancouver, British Columbia sailing to Shanghai, China then taking the Trans Siberia Railroad to Petrograd (now St Petersberg) Russia. She was following a hunch for a story. What she say was the violence of the early days of the Russian Revolution in February 1917. Florence also served as a volunteer nurse at an American Field hospital in Russia. She witnessed and reported on the street violence  in Petrograd and the Bolshevik uprisings in Moscow. Hungry and sick of violence she left Russia in August 1917 just a few months prior to the Bolshevik coup. She reported on Russian happenings from Finland for awhile. From her experiences during World War l and the Russian Revolution she would publish three books with photographer Donald Thomson: Bloodstained Russia, From Tsar to Kaiser; the Betrayal of Russia and in 1918 a more detailed account in Runaway Russia. Her life after this is sparsely documented. She traveled once again to China spent time in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. and Montreal, Quebec. In the 1940's she was in New York City. Little else is known about this journalistic trailblazer.

Ellen Harris

Born 1904, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died June 15, 1967. From the 1920’s she had an active interest in children’s theatre. In1930 she moved to Vancouver. From 1944 through 1952 she was a prominent radio broadcaster with Morning Visit on the CBC. In the 1950’s she became involved with the CBC school broadcasts. Active in the Vancouver Ballet Society she served at one point as President. She was part of the building committee of the University of British Columbia’s International House and was Public Relations Officer for the BCAA and Health Centre for Children. She was an active member of the Vancouver Zonta Club and also a member of the International Zonta Club. Source: The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – Hall of Fame (accessed June 2009)

Lucy Christie Harris

née Irwin.  Born November 21.  1907, Newark, New Jersey U.S.A.  Died 2002. This author soon found her true talent in writing children's' books. Often her stories are told in a Native setting, teaching the need and respect for balance of nature.  She has been awarded the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians book of the year award for "Raven's Cry" in 1966 and "Mouse Woman and the Vanished Princesses"  in 1976.  The "Trouble with Princesses" in 1980 won the Canada Council's Children's Literature Prize. In 2002 she was awarded the Mr. Christie's Book Award. There is even a Canadian juvenile literature book award named after her called the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Book Prize. She is a Member of the Order of Canada. 

Susie Frances Harrison

née Riley. Born 1859, Toronto, Ontario. Died May 8,1935. As an journalist and author she frequently used the pen name Seranus. She published several novels but is perhaps best remembered for her poetry. She was a master of the difficult poetic form known as villanelle. She published in her lifetime some 6 books of poetry. She also published the Canadian Birthday Book (Toronto, 1887).

Kate Simpson Hayes

Born 1856, Dalhousie, New Brunswick. Died 1945. Like many young women of her generation she attended Normal School (Teachers college) in Fredericton and taught at various schools throughout the Maritimes until she married C. Bowman Simpson in 1882. Married women could not work as teachers. The couple had two children. Kate left her husband and moved to the prairies in 1885 living first in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan before settling in Regina. Here she opened a millinery shop and became organist at the Catholic Church.  Within a month of her arrival in the city she founded the Literary and Musical Society and began to write plays and prose using  the pseudonym of “Mary Markwell”. While in Regina she had a torrid affair with one Nicholas Flood Davin. He hired her to write for the Regina Leader as its first female reporter and he put her name forward for the position for legislative librarian, a post she maintained for 8 years.  Kate was separated but still married and refused to marry Davin even with the birth of their two Children in 1889 and 1892.  The Children were placed in living conditions outside their home. Davin married another and attempted to locate his two children to live with him. Kate moved to Winnipeg in 1899 where she was the editor of the women’s page of the Manitoba Free Press. She was part of the group of Canadian women Journalists who were sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway to go to the St Louis World's Fair in 1904. During the trip they established the Canadian Women's Press Club.  She would be elected in 1906 as the second president of the C W P C. In 1907 she was sent overseas as a publicity writer for the CPR and served as an immigration commissioner. She would publish several books one of which Prairie Pot Pourri is considered the first book written and published in the Northwest Territories. * Some resources list her first name as Catherine or Kathleen. Sources: Canadian Who’s Who 1910 : City of Regina. Heritage. Online (accessed January 2011)

Annie Linda Hayr-Jack

née Hayr. Born 1 1839, Northamptonshire, England. Died February 15,1912,  Chateauguay, Quebec. Linda immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1852 and was educated at the Troy Female Seminary, Troy, New York, U.S.A. Often her school compositions were published in the Troy Daily Times. By 16 she was a 1st assistant in the free schools in Troy. She became a teacher in Chateauguay, Lower Canada, a few miles shout of Montreal, where she met her husband Robert Jack (d1900). The couple were married on June 13, 1860 and they had a family of 12 children, 11 of whom lived to adulthood. From 1877 to 1890 she was a regular contributor to the Reports of the Montreal Horticultural Society and Fruit Growers Association of the Province of Quebec. An avid horticulturalist she honed her knowledge from experience but also by corresponding with others in the field. She often had more acceptance for her horticultural writing from the U.S.A. than from her own home. She was also keenly invested in education and in 1882-83 she became a member of the Montreal Ladies’ Educational Association and shortly after the Montreal Women’s Club. She wrote articles on social topics for the Montreal Witness using the pen-name Loyal Janet. She was also a regular contributor to the Waverly Magazine in Boston and published numerous articles for children.  From April 30 1898 to 1903 she wrote a weekly column in the Montreal Daily Witness called Garden Talks. She contributed as well to the Canadian Horticultural Magazine and the Canadian Horticulturist. In 1902 she published a collection of short stories followed in 1903 with The Canadian Garden which influenced a whole era of gardening. In 1904 she published Rhyme-thoughts for a Canadian Year, a small book of poems. Source: D C B Vol 14. Online .(accessed 2002).

Julia Willmothe/Wilmotte Henshaw née Henderson. Born august 8, 1868, Durham, England. Died November 19, 1937, Vancouver, British Columbia. Julia was privately educated at home and spent some time traveling in France and Germany to round out her home schooling. She learned to love the outdoor life from her nature loving Father. She began writing as a youth with articles published in the Girl's Own Paper, London, England. In 1884 she immigrated to Montreal, Quebec with her sister's family. June 15, 1887 she married Charles Grant Henshaw (died 1927). The couple had one daughter. In Canada Julia had articles published in the Canadian Magazine and the Montreal Daily Star. By 1890 the family had relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia. here she combined her love of nature with her photography. She was a founding Member of the Vancouver Women's Musical Club, the Georgian Club, and the Alpine Club where she was an honourary secretary from 1910 to 1920. She joined the Women's Canadian Club and the Independent Order of the Daughter's of the Empire (I O D E) where she became nation vice-president in 1916. Through her writings she joined the Canadian Society of Authors becoming provincial vice-president in 1924. She used the pen name Julia Durham for her serious articles as a book reviewer and theatre critic for the newspaper The Province. From 1900 through 1910 she was editor of the Sunday Page of the Vancouver Daily News-Advertiser. For her women's social work she used the pen name G'Wan. In 1912 with the new Vancouver Sun newspaper she edited the book page. Her 1st novel, Hypnotized? or the Experiment of Sir Hugh Galbraith: a Romance was written under the name Julia Durham and appeared in 1898. She was British Columbia's 1st female novelist. Her following novels appeared under her married name. She also published several guides on plants. Mountain Wild Flowers of Canada was published in 1906 and was also published in the U.S.A. During World War l she was honourary Captain in the Red Cross Society. She visited the war front and lectured across Canada and would go on to drive ambulance in France and act as a director of the Red Cross. For her war efforts she received the Croix de Guerre. After the war she was a delegate at the International Alpine Congress in Monaco in 1920 giving presentations on the Canadian Rockies. It was here that she received the Order of Saint Charles. In the 1920 she also served as Director of the Canadian National Parks Association. Henshaw Creek on Vancouver Island is named in her honour. Source: D C B  (2020)
Sophia Margaretta Hensley

née Almon. Born May 31, 1866, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia  Died February 10, 1946. This author and lecturer wrote of her interest in women’s issues and social tolerance.  She wrote periodical articles and 10 books under her own name but also under the pen name of Gordon Hart, J. Try Davies, and Almon Hensley.

Maude Petit Hill-Beaton


née Pettit Born January 12, 1877, Simcoe, Ontario. Died April 25, 1959. She graduated from the University of Toronto and had written her 1st novel by the time she was 19. In 1913 she married Simpson Hill (1848-1932) and the couple had 2 children. She called herself ‘Videre’ for a series of articles in the Toronto Star newspaper which studied working conditions of Toronto women. She was a member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club (CWPC). When her husband died she travelled extensively with her 2 daughters. And then wrote a book about her adventures. In 1936 she married Norman Hill Beaton (1886-1962) and the couple settled in California, U.S.A. where she produced a 2nd novel. Her shorter pieces where published in such magazines as the Canadian Countryman, Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Saturday Night, and the Star Weekly. Source: Canada’s Early Women Writers, Simon Fraser University.  

Ella Cora Hind


Born September 18, 1861, Toronto, Ontario. Died October 6, 1942. Cora’s mother died when she was very young and her father took the children to live with their grandparents on a farm in Ontario where grandfather taught her about farming. She was educated at home by her aunt until she was 11 and the family built a school. She lived in Orillia with her Uncle George to complete her high school. Moving west to Manitoba in the hopes of landing a teaching position, Cora learned that she had failed the algebra portion of her teaching exams. Not deterred she decided to become a journalist. The Manitoba Free Press did not want an inexperienced woman writer so Cora worked as a typist until 1893 when she opened her own business as a stenographer becoming the 1st public typewriter in the province. Cora joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Along with Dr. Amelia Yeomans (1842-1913) she formed the Manitoba Equal Suffrage Club. Cora also joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club that had been formed in 1904. She never gave up writing and with her knowledge of farming she was soon a regular reporter and became the commercial and agricultural editor for the Manitoba Free Press. She would become renowned for her accurate analysis of crop yields and livestock news and became the western correspondent for several eastern newspapers. Still wanting votes for women she formed the Political Equality League with Lillian Beynon Thomas (1884-1961) and Nellie McClung (1873-1953) in 1912. Women earned the right to vote in 1916. She became a regular columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press and at 75 she travelled around the world to observe agricultural methods, writing her observations in 1937 in the book, Seeing for Myself and My Travels and Findings, 1939. After her death the United Grain Growers created the Cora Hind Fellowship for research in agriculture, and the Free Press created the Cora Hind Scholarship in home economics. Sources: Gordon Goldsborough, Ella Cora Hind Memorable Manitobans (accessed 2002); Carlotta Hacker, E. Cora Hind, 1979.

Simma Holt

née Milner. Born March 27, 1922, Vegreville, Alberta. Died January 23, 2015. As a youngster she was drawn to watching the happenings of a murder trial in her home town. She declared later in life that this is when the love of the big story and the call of writing for newspapers came to her. Simma attended the University of Manitoba, 1941-1944. On May 20, 1949 she married Leon Hold (d1985) a mathematics instructor.  She was a pioneer in journalism, entering the newsroom that was traditionally the strong hold for males only. She would eventually gain women colleagues to fend off the mean spiritedness and jibs of male reporters. Simma was a member of the Canadian Womens Press Club (CWPC) where she served as President of the Vancouver CWPC branch in 1953. She had a talent for front page news. She started her career in Calgary but soon found herself working as assistant city editor for the Vancouver Sun. She was winner and runner-up ten times of the top award for news and features by Canadian women writers. She took up unjust causes and earned reprieve from the death penalty for 3 convicts.  In 1958, she went to South America to investigate the activities of Freedomite leader Stefan Sorokin. After further years spent in Freedomite research, she began work on her 1st book, Terror in the Name of God, published in 1964. In 1967 she published her 2nd book, Sex and the Teen Age Revolution. Her 3rd book, The Devil's Butler in 1972, was almost like a follow-up to her 2nd book. It focused on the drug explosion, the hippy scene and the Satan's Angels motorcycle gang. In 1969, she received the University of Manitoba Alumni Jubilee Award for distinguished achievement in the twenty-five years since her graduation. She returned to the  University of Manitoba in the early 1970’s became the 1st female managing editor of the student newspaper, The Manitoban. On July 8, 1974 she was elected to the House of Commons, the 1st Jewish woman elected to a seat in Ottawa where she worked with fellow Liberal Party maverick, Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000). Even here she faced anti-Semitism and anti-feminism. She was unsuccessful in her bid to return to Ottawa in 1979 and gladly returned to the Vancouver Sun. From 1981-1984 she served as a member of the National Parole Board of Canada. She also wrote in 1982 The Other Mrs. Diefenbaker, which was the life story of the 1st wife of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1895-1979). In 1996 she was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada. She also penned her auto biography: Memoires of a loose Cannon in 2008. Sources: Bob Mickleburgh, No one messed with Simma Holt, Globe and Mail, February 20, 2015; Brian Morton, Trail-blazing reporter was afraid of no one. Ottawa Citizen February 7, 2015; information supplied also by . by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

Dorothy Howarth

Born 1912, Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Like many young women of her era, Dorothy studied and became a teacher. She taught for 2 years on the Canadian Prairies before moving to a more challenging career. She joined the Regina Leader Post newspaper staff and worked her way up to a reporter for the women’s section of the newspaper. During World War 11 she headed for Toronto to work for the Toronto Telegram. In 1949 Dorothy wrote about Newfoundland’s entry into the Canadian Confederation and she won the Canadian Women’s Press Club Award which was a national newspaper award for feature writing.  In the 1950 Dorothy moved west and tried reporting for the Vancouver Sun but she felt she was closely controlled in the stories she covered and that her work was ‘savagely’ rewritten so she returned to the Toronto Telegram. In 1967 she married Dr. Harold ‘Hal’ Richardson and raised 2 stepchildren. By this time she felt that her style of journalism was no longer acceptable especially with the modern effects of television. Source: Chantal Guertin. ‘the 1st lady of razzmatazz: if Toronto’s newspapers in the 50’s was a circus, Dorothy Howarth was in the centre ring.’ In Ryerson Review of Journalism. June 2000.

Agnes Helen Lockhart Hughes née Lockhart. Born 1866, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died January 25, 1942, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. As a youth in Halifax Agnes began writing verses that were published in the local newspaper. After her education at Sacred Hear Convent and County Academy she moved with her mother and sisters to Boston, Massacheutts, U.S.A. In 1893 she was working as a bookkeeper. She soon made her reputation as a writer of poems and songs. Her 1st published collection of poems paid tribute to Nova Scotia and Queen Victoria. In 1903 in Vancouver she married William Frances Hughes and settled in Seattle. The couple had one child. She became music and clubs feature editor for the Seattle Mail and Herald newspaper where her poems were published regularly.  She also wrote for the Greater West Magazine. Agnes wrote lyrics for songs and her friend Amy Beach wrote muisic to accompany the words. By 1920 she was an well established poet and she was the editor for Musical West and Northwest Musician and also editor of the music department for Screenland. Source: ECWW online (2020)
Katherine Angelina Hughes

Born November 12, 1876, Emerald Junction, Prince Edward Island. Died April 27, 1925, New York City, New York, U.S.A.. After completing her education in 1892 in her home province taught aboriginal children in eastern and central Canada. she joined the staff of the Montreal Star in 1903 until 1906. In 1904 she was a member of a group of Canadian women journalists who were sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during this trip that she participated in the founding of the Canadian Women's Press Club (CWPC). By 1906 she had moved west and was working with the Edmonton Bulletin where she covered the news from the Alberta provincial legislature. That same year she published her 1st book, a biography of her uncle.  In 1908 she was appointed as the 1st Provincial Archivist of Alberta. While in Edmonton she was one of the founders of the Catholic Women’s League.  In 1914 she became Assistant to Agent General for Alberta in London, England where she befriended the Irish sentiment for independence. By 1920 she had written a draft biography on William Van Horne. The biography was published but not under her name but that of editor Walter Vaughn.  It was about this time that she moved to Washington  DC, U.S.A. in order to lobby for Irish independence. She also traveled to Australia to support the Irish cause before settling in New York City, New York, U.S.A.   As well as having been a journalist she authored two biographies. Archbishop O’Brien: man and churchman (Ottawa, 1906) and Father Lacombe: the Black Robe Voyageur (Toronto, 1911). Source: Linda Kay, Sweet Sixteen: the journey that inspired the Canadian Women’s Press Club, 2012; .D C B

Joan "Joane" Elizabeth Humphry

J.J. McColl

Born December 24, 1936, Vancouver British Columbia. Died September 23, 2008 White Rock, British Columbia.  While in high school she enjoyed working on the school newspaper and being in the Drama group. She choose the professional name of J.J. McColl and began her radio career as Vancouver’s first woman D.J. hosting her own show on CJOR and later on CBC Radio. She worked with James Cavell the author and with James Beard as his CTV show in the 1960’s. She also created radio documentaries and authored an award winning 10 part drama called Mothering in the 1990’s. After a visit to Ireland she wrote a musical about a group of 50-something women at a high school reunion but the show never took off. In 2001 she dappled in drama again by acting in small roles such as being the real estate agent in Sean Penn’s The Pledge in 2001. At 65 years of age on June 22, 2002 she married Frank Howard. Source Broadcaster and writer… by Moira Dann, The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2008; Herstory: The Canadian Women’s Calendar 2012.

Janet Jamieson SEE - Authors Elspeth Janette 'Elsie'  Bell Gardner
Judith Jasmin

Born July 10, 1916, Terrebonne, Quebec. Died October 20, 1972, Montreal, Quebec. Educated in France and in Montreal she would be described as a talented, brilliant determined and energetic pioneer of TV broadcasting. As a youth she joined a theatre group in Montreal and her talents took her to work in radio drama presentations where she gained acclaim. But her true love would become TV journalism. When medium of TV came along she would use her theatrical background to ultimate advantage in her presentation as an interviewer. providing good body language to compel attention. She and colleague Rene Levesque were credited with developing Quebec street journalism, taking reporting out of the newsroom to where the story action actually unfolded. She was a true pioneer who worked around the world on site to provide viewers with a the full report.

Michaelle Jean



Born September 6 1957, Port au Prince, Haiti.  She emigrated with her family in 1968 to live in Canada’s Province of Quebec. After she completed her Masters of Arts at the University of Montreal she took up teaching. She also worked for the betterment in the lives of women and children in crisis by contributing to the establishment of safe shelters. Taking some time off work,  she studied language arts in Italy. She is fluent in five languages, French, English, Spanish, Italian and Creole. Returning to Canada she began an energetic broadcast journalism career with Radio-Canada and earned the right to have her won show. Her journalistic efforts were put to use to create an awareness in human rights. Her efforts  gained her awards and recognition from the Human Rights League of Canada, Amnesty International , Canada and awards such as the Prix Mirelle-Lanctot, the Galaxi Award and being made a Citizen of Hounour by Montreal. She is married and has a daughter, Marie Eden. She was invested as Canada’s 27th and first Afro-Caribbean Governor General in September 2005.

Eleanor 'Ella' Johnson

Born 1875. Died 1950. She worked as a reporter of ladies fashion. She donned men’s clothing posing to prove she could do a news story as well as any man. She worked reporting on the waterfront docks for the Vancouver World. She also reported on life in Chinatown and City Hall. She became Financial and Marine editor for the Vancouver Sun. Tired of being a reporter she became the 1st woman taxi driver in British Columbia working in Victoria prior to World War l. She also worked as a logger and even tried real estate. A handy carpenter she built her own house in Burnaby, British Columbia and then ran her own cement construction company winning contracts to build the 1st sewers in Burnaby and for a roundhouse for the Canadian Pacific railway. In 1933 she took an interest in provincial politics and ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Liberal Party. She ran in 1937 as an independent but was once again unsuccessful.  In 1941 she left Vancouver and some people saw her on a Mexican newsreel. In 1951 she was found dead in a hotel room in Arizona under the name Edna Jepson. Source: Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi. Walrus Books 2001.

Elizabeth Jones SEE - Social Activists - Emily Spencer Kirby
Edith Josie

Aboriginal Columnist

Born December 8, 1921, Eagle, Alaska, U.S.A.  Died January 31, 2010, Old Crow, Yukon. She was a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin Tribe, “People of the Lakes. Along with regular schooling, Edith learned the traditional sills of her peoples related to hunting and living from the land. The family moved to the Yukon Territory upon the death of an Uncle. In the Yukon she would raise two of her three children and care for her aging parents. In 1957 she was appointed Justice of the Peace in her community of Old Crow. In 1962 Edith became a correspondent at the Whitehorse Star newspaper it was not long before her column “Here are the News” became popular and syndicated! She wrote of the everything and anything of interest to Old Crow and her readers were charmed with the description of everyday life in the Yukon bush. Her article went our each week on the local supply air route. Grammar, spelling and sentence structure with of little import to Edith. She wrote as she spoke. The writing style endeared her to her rapidly growing fan base which eventually reached across the globe, and was translated into several languages. Her work also became the base of several books. Her life was opened to CBC TV viewers, readers of magazines such as Weekend Magazine and Life.  With all her success she remained humble and genuine. She received many honours such as the Canadian Centennial Medal of 1967, the Order of Canada in 1995 and the Aboriginal Achievement Award. She wrote her last column in 2005 but continued as an active elder in Old Crow. In 2006 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2019 a bust of Edith was unveiled in Old Crow, Yukon. (2021)

Linda Kay SEE - Authors
Elizabeth Margaret Hannah "Betty" Kennedy

née Styran. Born 1926, Ottawa, Ontario. Died March 20, 2017  As a teenager she worked beginning as a teenager at the Ottawa Citizen newspaper but in the 1940's she switched to radio. She married Gerhard William Thomas Kennedy (d. 1975)and the couple had four children.. She began working for CFRA radio station in Toronto in 1959 where she worked for 27 years during which time she became one of the most popular radio personalities in Toronto.  She hosted her own she and was a panelist on the CBC Television program Front Page Challenge which ran from 1962-1995. She also has an extremely long list of credits of business appointments such as being a Director of Simpson's Ltd 1974-1979, Bank of Montreal, since 1975, Northern Telecom ltd, 1987, member of metro Toronto Hospital Planning Council 1965-70. She was the 1st woman chair person for the Advisory Committee for the University of Western Ontario (School of Journalism).  She wrote two books: Gerhard; A Love Story, 1976 and Hurricane Hazel,1982. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1982 and became a member of the News Hall of Fame and the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1983. In 1998 she was made a Sister in the Venerable Order of Saint John. Both Betty and her husband, G. Allan Burton (d 2003) were part of the initial Milton Walk of Fame June 20, 2000 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada.

Katherine Kent

SEE - Authors - Jean Blewett

Anna Veronica 'Bonnie' Kines

née McIntosh. Died 1998, Ottawa. By the time she was 20 she had earned her BA and her degree in Education from the University of British Columbia. She began teaching in the coastal areas of the province. She taught in a one room schoolhouse at Rivers Inlet in Northern British Columbia were she arrived by steamboat with supplies need to open the school. In 1941 she was in Ottawa working for the for the Royal Canadian Air Force eventually working in the Intelligence Unit redacting letters from Prisoners of war. She went on to work for the Department of Reconstruction and the Bureau of Statistics. In 1952 she became a writer with the Department of Transports staff newspaper, News on the Dot. She returned to the RCAF as editor of the pilot’s magazine Flight Comment.  She also worked at the National Museum, National Health and Welfare. In 1955 she joined the Media Club of Canada (Formerly the Canadian Women’s Press Club) In 1965 she married Don Kines (1925-2014). In 1976 she returned to school to earn a Library Technician’s diploma. Retiring from the government and relocating to Kanata in the west end of Ottawa she began working with the Kanata Standard working  to being community news editor. She also wrote for the Ottawa Carleton Immigration Service’s ethnic newspaper, Mosaic.  She encouraged new writers to be curious . Her action packed life included helping capture a bank robber and being rescued from an overturned foot Bridge. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.

Namugenyi 'Nan' Kiwanuka

She and her family escaped the civil war in Uganda in 1983 and settled in Canada. She studied at Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario and graduated with a BA. She has worked as a videographer for MuchMusic and has contributed to the Marilyn Denis Show. She has hosted and produced shows for Sportsnet and Bet as well as reporting for ET Canada, and CNN. In 2008 she was an Ambassador for the Canadian Red Cross and was declared by Chatelaine Magazine as one of ’89 Canadian women to watch. In 2010 she directed a TV pilot after writing a popular column for the BBC’s Focus on Africa Magazine. In 2013 she was named an Emerging Filmmaker by the ReelWorld Film Festival. She is mother to two children. (2018)

Myrna Kostash SEE - Authors
Audrey Jeanne Kunkel

Born October 27, 1946. Died April 2, 2009 , Phoenix, Arizona.  Audrey studied to become a teacher with her BEd 1969 and her BA in 1971 from the University of Saskatchewan. She was a member of the Canadian Educational Press Association from 1972 and in 1985 she began serving as the Executive Secretary for the association. She received eight Distinguished Achievement Awards for Excellence n Educational Journalism from the Educational Press Association of America. She was also a member of the communications staff of the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation where she served as editor of the Saskatchewan Bulletin. From time to time she also worked for the United Church Observer. Sources: Audrey Kunkel, Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada 1991 ; Obituary, The Star, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. April 2009.

Sylvia Maria Kuzyk

Born February 27, 1950, Berlin, Germany. In 1968 she attended the Red River Community College to study nursing. Thinking that nursing was not her niche she graduated from the Actor’s Showcase Theatre School in 1972. She has one daughter. For over 20 years she has been at the forefront of broadcasting on Manitoba television. She was one of the 1st female TV broadcasters in Western Canada. She has worked with the United Way and bolstered donations to the Koats for Kids program. In 2004 she was the YM-YWCA woman of Distinction and in 2009 she was inducted into the Order of Manitoba. (2018)

Cécile Laberge

Born 1861. Died 1948. In 1904 she was a member of a group of women journalists sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during the train trip that she participated in the founding of the Canadian Women's Press Club. In 1908 she married Arthur Léger. In the 1920’s she served as president of the Provincial Franchise Committee/Comité provincial pour le suffrage feminine.  She wrote the English language history for the 50th anniversary of the Ladies Morning Musical Club which had a member ship of 1200. She had served as president for 9 years and was there when the famous African American singer, Marion Anderson, was not allowed into a hotel in Montreal. The singer stayed at Cécile’s home. Source: Linda Kay, Sweet Sixteen: the journey that inspired the Canadian Women’s Press Club, 2012.

Lisa Laflamme

Born July 25, 1964, Kitchener, Ontario. Lisa earned her B.A. from the University of Ottawa. In 1989 she began her career with CTV in Kitchener, Ontario on C K C O. By 1997 she was the consumer reporter for CTV News. In 1998 -2000 she was the prime news ancho for CTV Newsnet. In 1999 she earned the Galaxi Award form Canadian Cablevision Television Network. She became an Ambassador of PLAN International highlighting child poverty around the world. In 2003 through 2010 she served as the national affairs correspondent for CTV national news covering wars, elections and disasters. In 2011 she was appointed Chief Ancho and Senior Editor for CTV News. In 2014 she earned the Canada Screen Award and the Bert Canning Award from the RT News Directors Award.

Michele Landsberg-Lewis

Born July 12, 1939, Toronto, Ontario. After high school she spent a year on a kibbutz in Israel. Returning home she attended the University of Toronto graduating in 1962 and joined the staff of the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. The following year she married politician Stephen Henry Lewis (born 1937) and the couple has three children. After taking off some time to have her children she began working as a writer of a regular column and editor for Chatelaine magazine in 1971. In 1978 she became a staff member of the Toronto Star newspaper writing a regular column on feminist issues. In the 1980’s, while living in New York City, U.S.A. she wrote a column for the Globe and Mail on New York living and a book This Is New York, Honey.  In 2005 the Michele Landsberg Award to recognize outstanding young women in media and activism by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. That same year she returned to work at the Toronto Star. During her long career she has received two National Newspaper Awards, has been the YWCA Woman of Distinction, received the Dodi Robb Award from MediaWatch, received the Robertine Barry Prize for journalism, earned the Florence Bird Award from the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, as well at the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case. In 2006 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2011 she published Writing the Revolution published by the University of Toronto Press. In 2012 she became a member of the Board for Women’s College Hospital.

Louise-Marguerite-Renaude Lapointe

Born January 3, 1912  Disraeli, Quebec. Her early studies in Music and foreign languages were useful to the journalist who first newspaper post saw her responsible for music criticism and women’s issues. She would be the first Canadian woman to become an editorial writer in 1965 which was marked with her being named “journalist of the year” In November 1971 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada where she would be the first French Canadian Woman to hold the position of Speaker of the Senate.

Laurette Laroque-Auger

née  Laroque. Born September 1, 1906 Hull, Quebec. Died January 27, 1965, Montreal. As a youth she worked in amateur theatre which would become a life long love for her. At 22 she married actor Jacques Auger in Paris, France where the couple studied at the famous Sorbonne. The couple had one daughter.  The Image result for Laurette Larocque-Auger Jean Desprezcouple separated and Laurette found the need to support herself. She soon had gained a reputation for script writing and wrote the plots for Quebec French language soap operas for decades. Even when on holiday she would send along her scripts for production. In 1947 she was recognized by the Legion for her generous attention s providing treats,  and entertainment for the wounded soldiers at St Anne de Bellevue Hospital. She used the pen name of Jean Despréz and was well known for speaking her mind freely on all subjects. She appeared on local French radio and television and earned a reputation as a theatre critic. She was a playwright who also directed and produced French language plays. Laurette is an integral part of history of French Canada's theatre, radio, cinema and television. (2019)

Monique Laure

Born April 3, 1948 Longueil, Quebec. After attending the College Marie-de-France she attended the Université of Montréal and the Ecole des hautes études in Paris France.  Returning to Quebec she began her long teaching career at Cégep Edouard-Montpetit, Longueuil. A respected author in the French language she began publishing novels in 1979. She has sat on juries for various literary prizes, including the Prix Émile-Nelligan, the Prix Athanase-David, the Governor General's Literary Awards and the Grand prix littéraire de la ville de Montréal. (2018)

Lillian Laurie SEE - Lillian Baynon Thomas
Agnes Christina Laut

Born February 1871, Stanley Township, Huron County, Ontario. Died November 14, 1936. While still a toddler in 1873 her family relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Like many of her generation she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) and when just 15 she was teaching in public schools. In 1889 she attended the University of Manitoba but ill health forced her to withdraw in her second year. In 1895 she began a 2 year stint with the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1898 she travelled across country submitting travel articles to various publications along the way. In 1901 she published a book, Lords of the North , which helped finance her relocation to Wassaic, New York, U.S.A. Continuing to writing she submitted articles to various North American publications including Financial Post, Saturday Evening Post, Review of Reviews and Collier’s. In 1909 she published the book The Canadian Commonwealth, and began writing for MacLean’s Magazine often items of political commentary which was unusual for a female journalist. Her commentary allowed Canadian to open their perspective to the wider North American scene. In all she would publish 24 books with a north American historical background. Source: The Pioneering Journalism of Agnes C. Laut During the Great War. Cleo’s Current August 18, 2014. Online (Accessed August 2014) ; Agnes C. Laut Funeral today., The Windsor Daily Star, November 17, 1936.

Lily Janet Laverock

Born 1880 (?),Edinburgh, Scotland. Died December 2, 1969, Duncan, British Columbia, She was the 1st woman to graduate in moral philosophy from McGill University, Montreal. She became the1st woman reporter in Vancouver with the World and Two years later, she was assigned women's editor of News-Advertiser. In 1909, founded Vancouver branch of Canadian Women's Press Club. An avid arts supporter, she promoted her 1st Celebrity Concert in 1921, bringing  world-famed performers to Vancouver packing the Denman Arena auditorium with acts like the Ballet Ruses de Monte Carlo and Belgian Royal Symphonic Band. Source: The Vancouver Hall of Fame online (Accessed November 2012)

Jessie Kerr Lawson

Born 1838 Fifeshire, Scotland. Died July 30, 1917. As a journalist she would first use the pen name Hugh Airlie for her regular column in the publication The Grip. In 1988 she would publish a book of these articles called the Epistles O' Hugh Airlie (Toronto, 1888). later she would use and Irish pen name, and continue her popular writing. She also published more books including Dr. Bruno's Wife (Toronto , 1893) and while she lived in Scotland,  the Harvest of Moloch ( London, 1908). The family, including ten children, returned to again live in Canada in 1911.  She turned her talents to poetry and published Lays and Lyrics (Toronto, 1913)

Eunice Laycraft

née Gardiner. Born Merlin, (now Chatham) Ontario.  Eunice always loved to write and at 12 she had her 1st bylines in the Family Herald and the Star Weekly.  From 1946 through 1956 she was news editor for the Radio station CFCO, Chatham, Ontario. For the next two years she was a broadcaster and news writer for CFPL Radio in London, Ontario. After 1958 she moved to a position as morning commentator for CBC Radio in Ottawa, Ontario. It was here that she moved to print media becoming the Women’s Editor for the Ottawa Journal until 1967. She had married Norman Laycraft in 1966 and decided to leave her full time day job but she freelanced and remained with the Ottawa Journal as a columnist until her retirement in 1979. She was a Member of the Media Club of Canada serving as president in 1963. She was also an active member of the Young Men’s Christian Association serving as one of the two first women delegates to the national meeting in Toronto in 1956 which she followed up as a delegate to the YMCA Centenary in Paris, France in 1955. Source: Eunice (Gardiner) Laycraft , Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada, 1991; files of the Media Club of Ottawa.

Betty Lee

Born December 18, Sydney, Australia. Died March 17, 2015 Toronto, Ontario. In grade school Betty produced a daily neighbourhood newspaper in long hand and sold copies for a penny. This was the beginning of her desire to write. She left school at 16 learn shorthand and typing so she could become a secretary. She preferred to be called by her last name saying she felt like a ‘lee’. An early job was writing scripts for a Radio station and then as a writer and editor for a publishing house and fashion magazine. In 1950 she went to London, England to work for the Daily Mirror newspaper but the job was short lived. By 1953 she was working at the Toronto Globe and Mail as a reporter, rewrite editor, feature writer and editorial writer. She took off for New York City in the United States where she covered stories of the United Nations. She returned once again to the Globe and Mail as a feature writer for the weekly Globe magazine which was included in the weekend edition of the newspaper. She would tale and interest and fought for criminal justice rights. She traveled the world for the Globe and Mail and won a national newspaper award for her lengthy series on the insurance industry. In 1972 she became the 1st Canadian woman granted a journalism Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. Leaving the employ of the Globe and Mail she did freelanced writing for such magazines as Chatelaine, Canadian Business and the Moneyworth TV show. She would publish a book about the life of her partner Dorothy Knight who had worked as a nurse in the Canadian Arctic. Source; Lisa Fitterman, Obituary, Globe and Mail March 24, 2015.

Gail Elizabeth Lem

Born November 20, 1955. Gail attended Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario to earn her Bachelor of 1978. During her studies She worked for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. After graduating she worked for the Canadian Press until 1982. She was the 1st woman to be president of the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild (SONG) In 1986 she returned to school for studies at Humber College, Toronto, Ontario for a Certificate in Labour Studies and became a union representative. In 1994 she became the 1st woman to sit on the Executive Board of the International Organization of Journalists. (2018)

Marjorie 'Marge' Anthony Linden

Born October 10, 1935, Mill Village, Nova Scotia. Died April 1, 2013, Malibu, California. Her mother died when she was three but thanks to siblings she enjoyed an active childhood. She loved to sing and she sang and danced at 13 on radio. She began her career as a script assistant , communicator and singer for CBC TV in Halifax.  At 24 she relocated to Montreal singing and recording her own album. She soon joined radio as a commercial writer and then on to working for Television. She was the 1st female all night disc jockey on Montreal radio and the 1st woman to appear in regular programming on CFCF-TV. She worked for N B C in Houston , Texas before ending up in Hollywood managing the famous comedians the Smothers’ Brothers. She was at CBS New York prior to moving back to Canada in 1978. In the 1980’s she was v-p of network relations at CTV but her office door read “Vice Princess”. She was the 1st woman v-p in Canadian television. In 1984 she married for the third time to Judge Allen Linden and became a loving step mom to three daughters. She was the 1st female President of the Broadcasting Executive Society and in 1997 she was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. She had a gift with people and it was said that she charmed all whom she met including the Pop and Queen Elizabeth 11. She retired in 1990 1st to Ottawa and shortly after to Malibu , California.  Source: “Broadcast pioneer charmed all she met…” by Susan Ferrier MacKay and Allison Lawlor. The Globe and Mail May 4, 2013.

Anne Lindsay

née Elliott. Born 1943, Vancouver, British Columbia. Anne trained as a home economist earning her degree at the University of British Columbia. In 1966 she married Bob Lindsay and the couple would have 3 children. In the 1970’s she was a home Economist for the Toronto Daily Star newspaper. In 1979 she started writing for Canadian Living magazine. In 1984 she wrote a cook book for the Canadian Cancer Society and produced 5 additional cook books with and for charitable organizations. In 1992 she became nutrition editor for Canadian Living. Her work for magazines and her books provide accurate good nutrition by employing fun and a practical approach to healthy eating and living. In July 2003 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. Sources: Order of Canada online (accessed July 2011).

Genevieve Elsie Alice Lipsett-Skinner

Born 1886 Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Died January 29, 1935, Montreal, Quebec. The young Lipsett family moved to Toronto when Genevieve was just an infant. Later they relocated to Winnipeg and back to the U.S.A. settling in New York. From 1900-1903 she attended New York Normal School (Teachers College) and in 1904 she was off to Manitoba to teach. She found herself working from 1904 through 1917 with the Winnipeg Telegram newspaper as a reporter and editor to the “Sunshine Department of the paper. Outside of the office she served in 1909-10 as Secretary for the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. In 1910 she served as Director of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society. On June 6, 1911 she married Winnipeg businessman Robert Curtis Skinner, whom she stated was a staunch supporter of herself as a modern working woman. In 1912 she joined the Political Equality League, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights including the right to vote. In 1918 she and her younger brother Robert Lipsett started the Lipsett-skinner Press News Bureau specializing in Publicity Campaigns. It was a memorable year for Genevieve as she graduated in law from the University of Manitoba as the 1st qualified married woman in this field. By 1919 she saw the end of her marriage and was once again working back at the Telegram. In June 1920 she was an unsuccessful candidate for the Progressive Conservative party running for the Manitoba Provincial Legislature. Later that same year she began working for the Vancouver Sun Newspaper out of British Columbia. She would spend the next five years as an official Parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa, the 1st woman member of the Press gallery. By 1926 she was writing for the Montreal Star newspaper. In the late 1920’s she toured England and Ireland lecturing about the Dominion of Canada. In 1933 her picture was hung on the Ottawa Press Gallery wall along with her male colleagues. While in Montreal she served four years as President of the local branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. At her funeral in Montreal large floral displays were presented from the CWPC and Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Source: Memorable Manitobans. Online. (Accessed June 2014) ; “Associates Mourn Noted Journalist.” Montreal Gazette February 21, 1935 ; Obituary. Winnipeg Tribune January 30, 1935.

Dorothy Kathleen May Livesay

Born October 12, 1909, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Died December 29, 1996 Victoria British Columbia. Dorothy attended the University of Toronto graduating in 1931 and earned a diploma from the School of Social Work at U of T in 1934. She also did some studies at the University of British Columbia and the Sorbonne in Paris, France. In 1931 she became a Communist and joined the Communist Party of Canada in 1933. Image result for Dorothy Livesay imagesA journalist and literary critic, she is also known for her short stories of fiction and her poetry. She was active in the Canadian Labour Defense League, the Canadian League Against War and Fascism, Friends of the Soviet Union and the Workers' Unity League. In 1935 she settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1937 she married Duncan Macnair and the couple had 2 children  In 1941  she was one of the founders of the poetry magazine Contemporary Verse. In 1944 she won the Governor General’s Award for her work Day and Night and won again in 1947 for Poems of the People. That year she was elected a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and earned the Lorne Pierce Medal from the Society.  She taught in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) from 1953 through 1963. In 1973 she wrote a memoir, A Winnipeg Childhood which she followed in 1977 with another memoir, Right Hand Left Hand: A True Life of the Thirties. She was an instructor and writer-in-residence at universities across Canada. In 1977 she was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal.  In 1984 she earned the Governor General's Persons Case Award. She was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987. In 1989 The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize was named in her honour. It is a category of the BC Book Prizes that is awarded to authors of the best work of poetry in a given year, where those authors are British Columbia or Yukon residents. In 1991 her last memoir, Journey With My Selves: A memoir 1909-1963 was published. (2019)

Florence Hamilton Livesay SEE - Poets
Jeannine Lock

Born (Twin of Robert) April 16, 1925 Indian Head, Saskatchewan. Died February 26, 2012. While still in high school she became a correspondent for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. She continued her education and earned an Masters degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1949. Taking a staff position at Chatelaine Magazine she moved to Toronto. By 1960 she was a reporter for the Toronto Star and was living in London, England as the Star’s 1st woman bureau chief. In 1964, back in Toronto she married Peter Reilly, a journalist. The couple moved to New York City, U.S.A. in 1967 when Mr. Reilly was the United Nation’s correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). While in New York City Jeannine wrote articles for the Toronto Star Weekly . In 1969 she moved to television journalism producing documentaries. In 1979 she turned her talents to drams producing her own scripts for TV. In 1987 she won an ACTRA Award for Chautauque Girl as the best program of the year. She retired in 1990 using her time to volunteer for causes such as saving Ramsden Park in Toronto. Source “A trailblazing Woman Journalist” by Susan Ferrier Mackay, The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2013.   Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Jessie London



née Macwalker. Died July 24, 2014, Toronto, Ontario. As a student at Acadia University she worked as a journalist in Saint John, New Brunswick. After graduating from university she relocated to Toronto, Ontario to work with Public Relations at the Robert Simpson Company. She became editor of Chatelaine  Magazine but the post was short lived as she was lured back to work for Simpson’s in 1964. A volunteer with the Helicon Society she was the founder of the Heliconian Foundation. She married Allison Cheyne London (1918-1975) and the couple had 2 children. Source: Obituaries, The Globe and Mail, July 28, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Irene Currie Love

Born 1881(?) Died 1945. As a school girl, she won a prize in a writing competition run by the London Advertiser and she became a contributor to the newspaper. In 1904 she was a member of a group of women journalists sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to travel and cover the St Louis World's Fair. It was during the train trip that she participated in the founding of the Canadian Women's Press Club. In 1912 she would marry journalist Elfred S. Archibald of Montreal. Using Margaret Currie as her byline from 1914 through 1945 she was editor of the Women’s pages of the Montreal Daily Star.  1924 a compendium of her advice columns including helpful household and beauty tips was published as Margaret Currie – Her Book Source: Linda Kay, Sweet Sixteen: the journey that inspired the Canadian Women’s Press Club, 2012.

Doris Clark Ludwig

Born October 25, 1909. Died October 6, 2005. She attended McGill University in Montreal in 1930 and then a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto. She began her career in Hamilton, Ontario in city planning. It was here that she began to build a reputation as a writer. She made the novel suggestion of having a professional report on social work  Her feature column, “Successful Living” was published in some 25 daily newspapers and more than 100 weeklies across North America 1960-1988.  A true pioneer, she bequeathed to those who followed in journalism an ideal of professionalism and independence. She settled down and married at 82 and enjoyed travelling with her husband until she became a widow at 92.  (Submitted by Connie Johnson)

Constance Lynd SEE - Social Activists - Emily Spencer Kirby
Gloria Macarenko

Born 1962 Prince Rupert, British Columbia. For her 1st job  in broadcasting was she presented the news after school on weekdays and weekend mornings for Prince Rupert Radio. In 1979 became Miss Pacific Northwest Exhibition. She studied journalism at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and worked as a beat reporter for a Vancouver radio station. She then spent four years traveling in Sprain and France studying languages, art history, and teaching English. In 1989 she was back in Canada working for the CBC TV in Vancouver. On September 2, 1998 she was reporting the crash of the SwissAir Flight crash near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia for five hours and won Radio and Television Director's Association and Gemini Award for Best Live News Coverage. Her work has garnered her numerous awards including the Jack Webster Aware for best New Reporting in 2002 the Leo Award for Best Anchor in a News Program in 2004. She is an active community volunteer and host for such organizations as Arts Umbrella, Dr. Peter Centre, and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. In 2005 she was named one of TVWeek's 10 Most Beautiful People in British Columbia. (2019)

Mary 'Ida' Mackie

née Luxton. Born 1926 British Columbia. Died March 3, 2012 Toronto, Ontario. Ida earned the title ‘BC Mary as a crusading journalist and later crusading blogger. She began her career as a freelance writer for the Family Herald magazine and other publications of the 1950’s. She wrote during time she was raising her two children and a mountain cattle ranch with her husband Bernard Allan Mackie. The couple worked together producing several books on such topics as construction with logs. They also founded the B. Allan Mackie School of Log Building and the Canadian Log Builders Association which is now the International Log Builders Association. Ida enjoyed developing a lively network son British Columbia politics. Her death was acknowledged in the British Columbia Legislature as a defender of democracy. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.



SEE - Anne Marie Gleason


SEE - Emma Gendron

Fredelle Bruser Maynard

née Bruser.  Born 1922 Foam Lake, Saskatchewan. Died October 3, 1989, Toronto, Ontario. When she was 9 years old her family moved into Winnipeg. After high school she became an award winning university student. She earned her B.A. at the University of Manitoba and then went on to the University of Toronto for her masters’ degree. She then went to  Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. where she earned her PhD at Radcliff (Harvard University). She married Max Maynard in 1948 and moved to Vermont were her husband was a professor at the University of Vermont. The couple had two daughters.  While she originally did not work at the university she began a successful career in journalism writing books and articles on child care. In the 1960’s and 1979’s she became a ghostwriter for Good Housekeeping Magazine writing columns including the Dr. Joyce Brother’s advice column. By 1952 she was hired as a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire in Continuing Education. She also taught a high school where she enjoyed nurturing young minds. In 1961-62 she lectured at the University. In 1972 she wrote an autobiographical volume called Raisins and Almonds. This was followed by the book, The Tree of Life. It was at this time her marriage folded.  Shortly after she met Toronto Businessman Sydney Bacon who would become her best friend and partner. Relocating to Toronto a Fredelle continued her success as a journalist, writing, lecturing and working on radio and television. In 1989 after being diagnosed with cancer, she died shortly after she and Sydney were married. An historic plaque has been erected by her house in Cabbagetown, an inner city neighborhood of Toronto. Sources: Cabbagetown People : The social History of a Canadian Inner City Neighborhood. Online (Accessed March 2014) ; Fredelle Bruser Maynard, Library, University of Manitoba, (Accessed March 2014)

J.J. McColl

SEE - Joan "Joane" Elizabeth Humphry

Margaret Moran Dixon MacDougall / McDougall

née Dixon. Born December 25, 1828, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Died October 22, 1899, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. When she was in her 20’s Margaret came to Canada with her mother, stepfather and siblings. She married Alexander Dougald McDougall (1827-1997) in 1852 and the couple had 6 children. The family settled in the Ottawa Valley where Margaret taught school. Her 1st publication was a book of poetry. She also wrote for local newspapers and in the early 1880’s while she was in Ireland as a correspondent for the Montreal Witness and the New York Witness. In 1882 she published her columns from Ireland in a book: The Letters of ‘Norah’ on her tour through Ireland. She told about her travels again in her novel Days of a Life in 1883. After the death of her husband Margaret Became an active member of the Baptist Home Missionary Society, working in Michigan and later in Montesano, Washington. Source: Obituary in Seattle Post Intelligencer. ; Margaret MacDougal in Canada’s Early Women Writers.

Christina McCall

Born January 27, 1935 Toronto, Ontario. Died April 27, 2005. She stared work as a secretary to Maclean's Magazine but continued her education. After receiving her B.A. in English form the University of Toronto she continued at Maclean's, as a writer. As a pioneer in journalism she would be monumental is dispelling the idea that women could write only 'fluff''. She moved to Ottawa, for a while and took an interest in politics that would become a lifetime pursuit. While in Ottawa she covered political writings for both Chatelaine and Saturday Night Magazines. Back in Toronto with her family of three daughters she honed her writing skills and began more in depth projects of writing publications such as the history of the Liberal Party of Canada and a two volume biography of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Pearl McCarthy

Born 1895, Toronto, Ontario. Died March 25, 1964. She studied at the University of Toronto (B.A. 1917) and at Oxford University in London, England (B. Litt 1927). She returned to Canada and was a reporter for the Montreal Gazette and by 1937 she had married Colin Sabiston and had been appointed as Art Critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. She wrote Leo Smith: a biographical Sketch (1937) and collaborated in an number of other books.

Hughena Dickson Elliott McCorquodale

née Elliott. Born September 6, 1881 Lilacdale, Ontario. Died December 21, 1961 Trail, British Columbia. Hughena married lawyer, Alexander McCorquodale (d 1949) on June 10, 1908 and the couple settled in High River, Alberta.  She began writing in the 1920’s. She wrote freelance features and acted as correspondent for the Winnipeg Free Press, the Calgary Herald and the Lethbridge Herald as well as such magazines as Survey Graphic Magazine and Chatelaine.  She became a full time journalist and editor of the High River Times in the fall of 1927 after raising her three sons. Member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club from 1932-1945. In 1944 the Stoney Indians expressed their appreciation of her writing in support of their rights to their land when they gave her the honorary title of ‘Eagle Woman’ with gifts of an eagle feather and a sweet grass necklace. When Hughena retired from the paper in 1956 she was honoured with the town declaring June 7 as Mrs. McCorquodale Day. She moved to Trail, British Columbia to be near her youngest son and his family. In 1960 her play Inside Out was aired by the CBC.

Kit McDermott

Born May 5, 1922, Newtonville, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Died July 15, 2010, Brantford, Ontario. Her parents were Dutch and in 1931 the family returned to Holland. As a teen she worked as a spy for the Dutch Resistance, gathering information from German soldiers and being a courier with messages carried in the sole of her boots. After World War ll she served as an Allied Forces Interpreter with the Canadian occupation army in Germany. After she married she moved to Lethbridge Alberta to be with her husband’s family but later relocated to Hamilton/Stoney Creek area in Ontario with her three children.  In the late 1950’s she was co-owner and assistant editor of weekly newspaper The Stoney Creek News, with Jean Craig and another woman. They were pioneers as producers and distributors of a weekly paper and their story was written up in Time Magazine. In1960-1 she worked as an advertising copy writer the Right House Dept stores, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1961-62 she worked as editor The Stoney Creek News for Brabant Publishers, who had purchased the weekly newspaper. From1962-88 she was Women’s editor and broadcaster CKPC radio in Brantford where the hour long daily Kit McDermott Show was aired. Trilingual she also provided French lessons on air.  In 1976 she served as National President of the Media Club of Canada. (Formerly Canadian Women’s Press Club).In 1988 Kit changed media and became a  columnist and freelance writer for the Brantford Expositor, Brantford, Ontario.  She believed in serving her community and was a volunteer with Big Brothers Association Brantford/Brant County, and a Trustee with the Art Gallery of Brant. In 1986 she served as honorary Chairman, Brantford/Brant County United Way campaign and in 1989 as honorary Chairman, Cancer Society. She lived in Brantford with her life companion Vern Cavanaugh for 32 years.  Sources: Kit McDermott, Who’s Who in the Media Club of Canada, 1991 ; Richard Beales, ‘Media Pioneer Enjoyed her Many Roles’, Brantford Expositor, July 16, 2010. Online (Accessed July 2015)

Marguerite McDonald

Born December 18, 1941 Morris, Manitoba.  Died August 25, 2015 Ottawa, Ontario.  1960 she worked as a student intern for the Winnipeg Free Press and she never forgot the enjoyment of journalism. By 1962 she had earned her BA at St Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba. In August of that year she entered the Society of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and became Sister Audrey Catherine and taught high school. She took on part-time work for a local radio stations as a commentator on religion. After 12 years she felt she could no longer retain her commitment to her religious order and left joining CBC Radio. On October 22, 1977 she became the host of the program called The House. By 1980 she the social affairs reporter for CBC TV’s The National.  In 1986, she became producer of CBC Radio's religious and spiritual show Open House, and became the program's host in 1990. She remained with the program until it was replaced in 1994. She was the 1st female national reporter at CBC TV’s parliamentary bureau in Ottawa. She not only broke the barriers but she also held her own! After her retirement in 1996 she returned to university and earned her master degree in counseling and worked with the Employee Assistance Program for a government Department. Marguerite married Harry Elton (d2004) and there was a second marriage to Bill Young. While she did not have any children of her own she was step mother to 6 children. Source: Fred Langan, ‘CBC Journalist Marguerite McDonald Broke Gender Barriers.’ the Globe and Mail September 6, 2015;  Marguerite McDonald 1st to host CBC Radio’s The House dead at 73. CBC News, August 24, 2015. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

Doreen McKenzie-Sanders.

SEE - Businesswomen

Sara Anne McLagan

née Claeys. Born December 30, 1924, St Vita, (Winnipeg) Manitoba. Died March 27, 2013, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. There were no facilities for women at a mandatory camp for engineering students at the University of Manitoba so Yvonne studied chemistry and Math and was 1st in her class. She went on to post graduated studies and earned her Masters from the University of Southern California. She began her engineering career at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. where she was one of the only women working and the 1st American plans and projects for satellites. In 1951 she married William Franklin Brill. The couple had three children. Her career carried her across the country where in 1981 through 1983 she worked at the National Aero Space Administration (NASA). She invented a propulsion system to help keep communication satellites in their orbits which is still in use today in 2015. It was in the 1980’s that Harper’s Bazaar magazine and DeBier Corporation presented her a Diamond Superwoman Award for combining family life and successful career. In 2001 she was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal which was followed in 2002 with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Wyld Award. She also earned the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal which is the highest award in the engineering profession. In 2010 she was inducted  into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and in 2011 President Obama presented her the National Medal of technology and Innovation. Superwoman indeed! Source: Douglas Martin, Yvonne Brill, a pioneering Rocket Scientists Dies at 88, in the New York Times March 30, 3013: Memorable Manitobans Online. (Accessed June 2015)

Margaret Stovel McWilliams

See - Social Activists

Josephine Hersélle-Henriette Marchand-Dandurand

née Marchand. Born December 5 1861, Saint Jean sur Richelieu, Lower Canada (Now Québec). Died March 2, 1925, Montreal, Quebec. Josephine was educated in a convent school where she enjoyed education in both French and English. She began to write short stories, tales and plays when she was young. From 17 she kept a secret diary sometimes with entries sometimes in English. On January 12, 1886 she married Raul Dandurand, a lawyer and later appointed to the senate of Canada. The couple would have one daughter. From 1893 through December 1896 she founded the monthly magazine Le coin du feu which was the 1st French language periodical in Canada to be edited by a woman. She wrote much of the articles and columns in the monthly production using such pen names as Mme Danderand or Marie Vieutemps. After ceasing her own magazine she wrote for Le Monde illustré, Le journal de Francoise and La Revue moderne. In 1894 she became a lecturer in English as was called ‘the female Laurier’ which was a reference comparing her to the eloquent Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In 1898 she founded the Euvre des livres gratuits to provide reading materials to students and teachers in remote areas. The Government of France awarded her with the title of Officier d’Académie in recognition of her championing the French language in Canada. In 1900 she represented Canada as a commissioner of the Government at the International Congress of Women and the Paris World Fair. She was a member of the Montreal local Council of Women and went on to serve as the Vice President of the Council of Women of Canada. In 1902 she founded the women’s section of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal which provided another outlet for her strong feminist views. In 1924 she published a book of her journalistic writings. In 2015 the city of Ottawa announced that it would name a street after Josephine Marchand-Danderand as part of a special project to rename 12 streets after Canadian women of Achievement. Sources: Line Gosselin, MARCHAND, JOSÉPHINE (Dandurand), Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol. 15, Toronto: University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2005; Erin McCracken Names of trailblazing Canadian Women may be coming to a street near you. Ottawa South News, November 5, 2015. (2020)

'The Marchioness' SEE - Agnes Mary Scott
Marie-Louise-Joséphine-Ester-Eliza Marmette

Born March 29, 1870 Québec. Died May 2, 1928 Montréal, Québec . A granddaughter of known historian François Xavier Garneau there was no doubt of her literary birthright. As a child she was educated by religious sisters and is thought to have studied literature in Paris, France. July6, 1892 she married Donat Brodeur ( d. 1920) in Ottawa, Ontario. The couple settled in Montreal where they had a family of 3 sons and 5 daughters. She wrote articles , newspaper columns, poetry, short stories and novellas but it was not until after her death that her daughter, Marguerite, collected several pieces of her work and published a book, Figures et paysages (Montreal, 1931) Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. XV online accessed August 2011.

Amy Louise Marsland

née Downey. Born March 23, 1924, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Died June 3, 2013, Greene, New York, U.S.A.   Amy attended the University of Saskatchewan graduating with a BA in 1943. While a student she volunteered on the university newspaper the Sheaf.  She was one of seven students, all women, who collaborated on the publication in 1943 of Seven Sheaves, a volume of poetry dedicated to the Sheaf. She went on to complete a PhD degree in Romance Languages at the University of Michigan in the United States where she settled, combining writing books with newspaper editing and some university teaching. In 1951 she married William D. Marsland from New York State in the U.S. The couple had four children.  In 1958, Amy and her husband, bought the weekly Chenango American, in Greene, New York and went on to purchase then The Whitney Point Reporter, then The Oxford Review-Times and in 1961 the Tri-Town News of Sidney, beginning  a family business publishing weekly newspapers. Amy edited the American, and she wrote a regular column. She reports, “anything from obituary photos to global warming to how to give a cat medicine, and after all this time my few thousand readers probably know more about me than my family.” During her life in Greene she was chairman of the Bicentennial celebration, active as a member of the Greene Historical Society in putting Genesee Street on the historical register, and chaired for some time, what later became Greene Community Services. She belonged to the Art Group of Greene, Book Club, and was a member of Zion Episcopal Church, where she served briefly on the vestry. She was the author of two Doubleday Crime Club novels, and, with her husband, of two non-fiction books: Venezuela Through Its History and Snow White, the Wolf and the Unicorn. Symbols in Art, of which she was sole author, was published on the web in 1998, and 2009 her last scholarly work, The Origin of Culture, was published by Academia Press. Source: Duff Spofford, ‘Stop the presses! Looking back on 100 years of Sheaf alumni in the media (Part 3: 1940-1946)’   Sheaf, University of Saskatchewan, September 18 2012. ; Amy Louise Marsland (1924-2013) Obituary. (Accessed July 2013)

Suhana Meharchand

Born April 22, 1962. She is a television news journalist who was inspired by her uncle, also a journalist, who ran an underground newspaper in her native South Africa. She is a graduate of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. Before becoming the host of the CBC Evening News in Toronto, she worked at TV stations in Hamilton, Windsor, and Ottawa   She has received 2 Gemini Award nominations for her work. 

Alanna Mitchell

In 1982 she completed her BA at the University of Toronto and went on to earn a Bachelor in Applied Arts in Journalism at Ryerson University, Toronto in 1987. She began her career at the Financial Post winning awards for her writings about the Collapse of the Campeau empire. She went on to work at General Motors winning 4 major national and international awards. Being a journalist she writes freelance magazine and newspaper articles and occasionally make radio documentaries for CBC. She has done work for the New York Times science section, CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, National Geographic, The Guardian, GQ India, The United Church Observer and Canadian Geographic Magazine.  In 2004 she decided to try her had at writing books. In 2008 she won the Atkinson Fellowship and in 2010 she won the Ghantham Prize. She turned her book Sea Sick: the global Ocean in Crisis into a one woman play in 2014 and has toured throughout North America performing. She married James Paterson and the couple has two children.

Margaret Teresa Lally 'Ma' Murray

Born 1888, Kansas, U.S.A. Died September 25, 1982 Fort St John, British Columbia. Born in Kansa she had the wanderlust and relocated to Western Canada in search of handsome cowboys. February 5, 1913 she married newspaper editor and future Member of Legislative Assembly George Matheson Murray (   -1961). In 1920 she started a magazine called Country Life in BC that lasted until 1927. In 1933 George is elected Liberal MLA for Lillooet British Columbia. Margaret, who was dubbed ‘Ma Murray’ by an Ontario journalist, began the Howe Sound News in Squamish. Her son Daniel began the Cariboo News in Williams Lake. In 1937 Ma and George went to the orient and witnessed an air raid on Shanghai. Bach home Ma wanted nothing to do with Lillooet being a reception area for interned Japanese Canadians and the family relocated to Fort St. John, a rough and ready settlement with a camp of 5000 U.S. soldiers. Here she began the Alaska Highway News on March 17, 1944. As editor Ma took the town and the province to task on bringing progress to the area. She traveled rough unfinished roads or flew to locations that provided stories for the newspaper. In her own words “We raised a lot of hell and had a lot of fun.” She was well known for her “salty” language. In 1971 she was presented with the Order of Canada. In 1988 the Murray home in Anmore British Columbia was donated to the town along with some of the family presses. Sources: “Ma Murray: Fighting Editor of the Peace” by Stephen Franklin, Weekend Magazine Vol. 8 No. 23, 1958


SEE - Social Activists - Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté

Emilie Musgrave-Boswell

Born November 14, 1886, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Died May 18, 1955,Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1915 she started reporting for the women’s page of the Winnipeg Tribune, remaining there until 1945 when she became head librarian for the newspaper. She retired in 1948. She was a President of the Winnipeg Women’s Press Club. Sources: Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Beatrice Nasmyth

World War 1 Correspondent
Born August 12, 1885, Stratford, Ontario. Died October 24, 1977, Burnaby, British Columbia. When Beatrice was 16 the family relocated to Woodstock, Ontario and Beatrice attended Alma College, St. Thomas, Ontario. She began university studies at the University of Toronto but left her studies in 1907 to work as a journalist. She began her career in Woodstock but by 1910 she had followed her brother to Vancouver, British Columbia. Here she worked for the Vancouver World and Saturday Sunset magazine. She then became was assistant woman's editor of the Vancouver newspaper The Province. She was a charter member of the local Canadian Women's Press Club (CWPC) and served as president in 1913. With the advent of World War 1 in 1914 she went overseas as war correspondent for The Province and was one of only a few women journalists permitted to tour the front lines in France. To supplement her pay she worked for Canadian Pay and Records. She then worked in the London Office of the Alberta Agent General. While in London in 1917 she managed the campaign of the first woman elected to the Alberta legislature, Roberta MacAdams (1880-1959).  In 1918 she married Guy Mackenzie Furniss (1888-1963), and officer in the English Army. In 1919 she was witness to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles as Arthur Sifton's publicity secretary. In 1920 she and her husband settled in Montreal to raise their two children. In 1952 the couple retired to Vancouver. Her story was part of four plays: Her Voice, Her Century: four Plays About Daring Women by David Cheoreos, Karen Simonson, and Debbie Marshall published in 2012. Source: E C W W 
Nell Netherby SEE - Social Activists - Emily Spencer Kirby
Georgina Alexandrina Newhall

née Fraser. Born September 2, 1859, Galt Canada West (now Ontario). Died November 11, 1932, Calgary Alberta. She worked as a journalist in Toronto where she became the 1st editor of the woman’s Pages of the Toronto News. While in Toronto she developed an interest in problems facing working women and she introduced working women to the use of shorthand writing. She was the 1st woman teacher of Shorthand in Canada. In the 1880’s she served as assistant secretary to General Manager of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1884 she married Eugene Pierre Newhall. She also wrote poetry and some of her poems appeared in Selections from Scottish Canadian Poets. (Toronto, Imrie Graham, 1900). Source: Guide to the Literary Heritage of Waterloo and Wellington Counties. 1985. 

Erna Paris

née Newman. Born 1938 Toronto, Ontario. Erna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1960. She attended the Sorbonne in Paris, France to earn her Master's Degree. By the 1970's she was working as a journalist and radio broadcaster. Ema is also know for her books. In 1970 she won the Medial Club of Canada Award for feature writing. In 1973 and again in 1974 the Media Club of Canada recognized her feature writing and her radio documentary work. In 1981 her book, Long Shadows made the Now magazine Best Book ranking. April 26, 1981 Erna Married Thomas More Robinson  and the couple had two children. In 1983 she was a Gold Medal winner from the National Magazine Awards. In 1990 she earned the Best Canadian Essays for her work, The Boat People which also won in 1991 the Bronze Medal, The White Award the North American City and Regional Magazine Completion awards. In 1996 the End of Days: Tolerance, Tyranny and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain earned the Canadian Jewish Book Award for history. In 2001 she earned the Now magazine Best Books Award, the Globe and Mail Best Books Award, the Pearson Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, the Dorothy Shoichet Prize for History, The Christian Science Monitor Best Books Award, and  the New Statesman Best Books! In 2002 she worked to have a resolution presented in the U.S. House of representatives to create a monument to American slaves on the Washington Mall in D.C., U.S.A. In 2005 Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History was credited as one of the 100 Most Important Canadian Books Ever Written by the Literary Review of Canada. In 2008 and 09 she served as Vice-Chair of the Writer's Union of Canada and was Chair in 2009-2010. In 2012 she earned the World Federalist Movement-Canada World Peace Prize. In 2015 she was appointed to the Order of Canada as a Member. (2019)

Elizabeth Parker

SEE - Social Activists

Amanda Parris

Black Broadcaster

Born London, England. Amanda earned her Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Women's Studies from York University, Toronto, Ontario. She continued her education with a Master's Degree in Sociology of Education from the University of Toronto. In 2005 she created ROOTS at York University that is a student organization that explores history and pursuing alternative education.  She had also studied theatre at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film and Theatre in West Hollywood, California, U.S.A. and Theatre Ontario.  She began her career working with the Remix Project and as co- founder and coordinator with Lost Lyrics, an arts education program that used theatre, dance, poetry, film and music to reach at risk youth. She produced exhibits and concerts with Manifesto Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario , and T-Dot Renaissance. Amanda is a CBC art columnist. She hosts three television show on the CBC including From the Vaults. She also host radio programs such as Marvin's Room. As a Playwright she  written The Other Side of the Games which is a love letter to the strength of Black Women. The play was staged in 2017 at the Cahoots Theatre, Toronto. (2019)

Lise Payette SEE - Politicians
Borgny Pearson

née Eileraas. Born July 9, 1920, Saskatchewan. Died November 18, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario.  Borgny  completed a degree in English and Social Science at the University of Saskatchewan in 1944. Her passion for writing led her to volunteer at the university newspaper, The Sheaf, where she wrote articles and poetry and became its editor. With so many men off at war in 1941, women were being hired to fill in jobs and on October 1, 1944 she was hired by the Regina Leader-Post newspaper to write human interest stories. After an automobile accident in 1945 Borgny began working for the slower paced weekly paper, The Shaunavon Standard in southwestern Saskatchewan. By 1948, Borgny was a reporter for The Swift Current Sun. She crossed paths with a lady soliciting for the Unitarian Service Committee (USC) and became so engaged with this overseas development organization, which helped orphans through setting up resources in third world countries, that in 1950 she accepted the position of Promotions Manager with the USC in Ottawa. In 1955, she took up a job with the advertising department at Murphy Gambles department store. In 1956 she became Editor of the Homes Page at the Ottawa Citizen for 3 years. She quickly moved into CBC radio, writing scripts and doing interviews. Another highlight in her career was working for the federal department of Citizenship and Immigration, where her duties included writing promotional material on citizenship for new Canadians, including youth. She also worked for 10 years at Statistics Canada becoming editor in 1976 for the Canada Yearbook and just before she retired she spent six months at the Department of Justice. In retirement she freelanced for her community paper the Glebe Reporter. She was a long time member of the Media Club of Ottawa (Formerly Canadian Women’s Press Club) and served as president in 1995. Borgny married Joe Pearson, who was Presse Attache for the Russian Embassy, and together they raised their son and daughter.  Sources: Jessica Goodfellow, Borgny Pearson’s Eclectic Career, The Galley, Media Club of Ottawa. August 2007 ; Duff Spofford, Stop the Presses! Looking back on 100 years of Sheaf alumni in the media (Part 3: 1940-1946) The Sheaf, University of Saskatchewan, September 18 2012. ; Obituary The Ottawa Citizen, December 12, 2014.

Joanne Strong Philpott

née Stoddart. Born October 5, 1930 Toronto, Ontario. Died Toronto, Ontario August 2, 2011. She had started her interest in journalism with working on her high school newspaper. After attending the University of Toronto she became a cub reporter for the Globe and Mail. She noticed that there was nothing in the paper for young mother and put forth the idea of a column. The Morning Coffee Club ran for 10 years and won the Canadian Women’s Press Award! This was the 60’s when young mothers were expected to stay home. Joanne Strong was mother to three children who were often featured in her column. She did decide to stay at home returning to her writing only when the last child was out of high school. She wrote informal columns for the Globe and Mail where she interviewed prominent Canadians such as Roberta Bondar, and returned to school to earn her Master’s Degree. She was appointed to the Governing Council of the University or Toronto. In the 1980’s she married a second time another writer and the couple enjoyed travelling the world. Source: Lives Lived. Globe and Mail. September 2011.  Nominated for this site by June Coxon

Lucy E. Potter                  3517 In 1897 Lucy became the first woman to head a McGill University, Montreal, student publication, the weekly, The McGill Outlook. The first copy appeared November 2, 1898. It was the third student newspaper at McGill published November 2, 1898  It was started up in response to students wanting more regularly paper with Luck as Editor-in-Chief. Lucy graduated from McGill in 1899/1900 with an honours Bachelor degree in Mental and Moral Philosophy. Sources: Lucy E. Potter, first woman to head a student publication. online (accessed 2021)
Jean Elinor Portugal

née Stenton. Born April 19, 1921, Kingston Ontario. Died November 26, 2016, Scarborough, Ontario. The family relocated to Peterborough, Ontario where Jean and her sister attended high school. It was here  at the Peterborough Examiner newspaper that Jean got the 1st job as a journalist in 1942. She worked being in charge of foreign news and military news including covering D Day on June 6, 1944. She remained at this job until 1956 when she left to freelance and travel to Mexico. By 1958 she was a copy editor with the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper. She worked as a foreign correspondent covering Asia from Japan to Cambodia where she met her husband, Felix Portugal. Jean began working with the United States Information Agency in Cambodia. She received a commendation for her cool leadership she the American Embassy was under siege. In 1965 she was back in Canada working as a provincial information officer with the Ontario Department of Municipal Affairs. She went on to work for Maclean Hunter Publishing until 1987. She took on the ambitious project ‘we were there’  recording stories of World War ll veterans. The stories were published in seven volumes. On the 5oth anniversary of D-Day she received a commemorative medal for her telling stories of veterans. She also received awards from France for her travel and tourism writings. Source: Fred Langan, Obituary, Toronto Globe and Mail, January 1. 2017.

Valerie Pringle

Born September 5, 1953 Windsor, Ontario. Valerie graduated with a degree in radio and television from Ryerson University, Toronto. While she was still a student when she took a summer job with CFRB radio in Toronto in 1973. She became a full time reporter on CFRB and in 1981 she was hosting her own daily show on CFRB. She switched over to CBC and was a host of Midday until 1992. Switching again she began working as co-host to the CTV program Canada AM. She also hosted special events such as elections, the Oscars, royal weddings, and the Olympic Games. Valerie is married to Andy Pringle and the couple have one daughter. In 2001 she hosted a travel show, documentary specials for Discovery Channel Canada and from 2006 she hosted Antique Road Show. That same year she was appointed to the Order of Canada for her work in broadcasting and philanthropy. She is the official spokesperson for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Trans Canada Trail. She also volunteers with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. In 2017 she was appointed as a Mentor with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. (2019)

Hugette Proulx              3436 Born January 4, 1923, Montreal, Quebec. Died August 8, 2011, Lachine, Quebec. Although as a youth she had wanted to be an actor she began a career as a journalist working as an editor at Radiomonde.  She was also responsible for the women's pages at Petit Journal and La Patrie.  She married and the couple had three children. By the 1960's she was working as a television host with Télé-Métropole on such shows as Tout pour la femme et Domino. In 1963 she was crowned Miss Radio-Télèvision. She was also know for her show Rario-sexe on C J M S radio from 1974-1985, one of the first to discuss openly on sex and sexuality.  In 1972 she openly supported a same sex marriage of one of her friends. Source: Hommage à 56 femmes d'exception qui ont changé le Québec. Editions spéciale 7 jours, 2021.
Jane Purves

Born 1949, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died June 1, 2013, Halifax, Nov Scotia. She graduated high school at 16 and entered university. Here she was introduced to drugs and by 19 she was married to Roderick MacEachern. Mother to a son and sported a drug addiction. She was able to turn her life around and in 1974 began working as a reporter at the Halifax Chronicle Herald. She excelled as a journalist and became the 1st woman to work as managing editor of the newspaper. During this time she also served on the boards for the Canadian Press and the National Newspaper awards. In 1999 she was up front about her addiction and ran successfully becoming a Member of the Legislative Assembly until 2003. She held cabinet positions in education and health as well as for the Status of Women. After being defeated in the 2003 election she returned to newspapers working as editor of the Halifax Daily News. She also served as chief of staff for premier Hamm and was an analyst for CBC who was known for being out front and frank. Source: “From heroin addict to Cabinet Minister” by Allison Lawlor in the Globe and Mail June 25, 2013

Joy Roberts-White

Born March 24, 1910, England. Died  January 3, 2013, Edmonton, Alberta. Privately educated she decided against any of the accepted career choices and took off to be a reporter. She worked during her career for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Reuters  and the Canadian Television (CTV) She worked with Reuters from 1935 through 1944 interviewing such notables as Emperor Haile Selasie. During the war she was a member of the U.S. Air Force. From 1948-1954 she owned a PR organization serving such notables as the actress Deborah Kerr. She immigrated to Edmonton Alberta when she was 44 where she owned and operated an accessories and hat shop while she continued to serve as a reporter, playwright and a theatre reviewer and taught Radio and TV Arts at the University of Alberta! In the 1960’s she hitch hiked to the Distance Early Warning Line (DEW LINE) that was set up as defence for the north during the cold war, to interview Canadian troops. She was a proud member of the Canadian Woman’s Press Club. Source: Joy Roberts-White 1910-2013, The Ottawa Citizen January 26, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario

Heather Robertson

Born March 19, 1943, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died March 18, 2014, King City, Ontario. Heather attended the University of Manitoba and was a feisty editor of the university newspaper, The Manitoban. She went  on to post graduated studies at the Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. In 1966 she began work on her 1st published book Reservations are for Indians (1970). She worked after university for the Winnipeg Free Press and then moved to the Winnipeg Tribune and she stood her ground to write for more than women’s pages. Her writings were also found in the major journals and magazines in Canada such as : Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, Saturday Night, Equinox, Elm Street, Canadian Forum and others. In 1973 she met her life partner Andrew Marshall and became a stepmother and later a son arrived. Concerned with the lack of respect given to writers she became co-founder of both the Writer’s Union of Canada and the Professional Writer’s Association of Canada.  In 1983 she tried her had at fiction writing Willie: a Romance. This garnered her the Books Canada First Novel Award. She went on to turn her work into a trilogy with Lily: a Rhapsody in Red and in 1989 Igor: a Novel in Intrigue. In her own local she founded the King Township Archives. She had two close brushes with Cancer and in 2000 she became a certified caregiver visiting hospices in Canada, England and Africa. She wrote about in pending death from her experiences. In 20011 she earned the Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Source: “Heather Robertson, Writer, 72: Reform Spirit Drove her Work, Private Life…” by David Hayes. The Globe and Mail, April 4, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.

Mattie Rotenberg

née Levi. Born 1897, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1989, Toronto, Ontario. Evan as a child she exhibited a powerful desire for leaning and retention of knowledge. In 1921 she earned her BA in Mathematics and physics from the University of Toronto. In 1924 she married Meyer Rotenberg (1894-1958) a lawyer and businessman. The couple would have 5 children. By 1926 she had completed her doctorate and was the 1st woman and 1st Jew to earn a PhD in Physics at the University of Toronto. Her thesis “on the characteristics X-rays from light elements” was actually published in 1924. In     1929 she founded the Hillcrest Progressive School the 1st Jewish Day School in Toronto. She served as a director through to 1944. Mattie also enjoyed being a journalist, in 1930 she worked for the Jewish Standard writing a women’s column. From 1939 through 1966 she was a regular commentator on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) Trans Canada Matinee, which was dedicated to women’s issues. In 1945 her work was recognized by the Canadian Women’s Press Club (CWPC) with the presentation of the Memorial Award. In 1947 she covered the session at the United Nations and the Status of Women for the CBC.  By 1941 she had returned to the University of Toronto where until 1968 she was a demonstrator at the University physics laboratory. She was always a strong family oriented person who  made sure  the younger generations knew of their religious beliefs. Sources: Mattie Levi Rotenberg by Nessa Rapoport. We Remember, Jewish Women’s Archives. Online Accessed December 2012.

Dora Russell

Born 1912 Change Islands, Newfoundland. Died 1986. She originally studied to be a teacher and taught in St John's for a couple of years. She resigned and was married in 1935. For the next ten years she moved to various rural communities with her magistrate husband. In 1945 she became the first woman's editor of the Evening Telegram in St John's. She contributed columns, editorials and fictional works all from a woman's perspective. She supported local women in political, business, volunteer and domestic roles and stressed activities of the local women's community. She had a dispute with the political views and resigned. She cared for her five children and interested herself in astronomy, music and working with the Girl Guides. She was awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 1977 for her work with the Girl Guides.

Annette Saint-Amant Frémont

née Marie Jeanne Annie Saint-Amant. Born July 1, 1892 L’Avenir, Quebec. Died August 4, 1928, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was educated by the sisters of L’Assomption and L’Ecole Norman (Teacher’s College) Laval graduating with diplomas in both English and French. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent 2y years at a sanatorium in New York State, U.S.A. During this time she occasionally sent articles to newspapers in Montreal. IN 1914, Back in Canada she and her sister, Marie moved to Gravelbourg Saskatchewan to teach. In 1918 the editor of the first French language newspaper in the province, La Patriote de l”Ouest,  sought Annette out to become the editor of the women’s page. Annette moved to Prince Albert Saskatchewan and became the 1st francophone woman journalist in Saskatchewan. Her writings reached rural women throughout the province and her works included poems, stories along with helpful hints. Soon she created a second column, Le Coin des Enfants which encouraged children to write. On December 26, 1918 she married Donatien Frémont (  -1967) the assistant editor of the paper. The couple had one child. In 1923 the family moved to St. Boniface, Manitoba where Donatien was Chief Editor for La Liberté Annette soon became editor for the women’s section. After her death, Donatien produced a collection of her writings, L’ Art d’être heureuse. (Montréal 1929. Sources: Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books, 2005; Dictionary of Canadian Biography online Accessed April 2013.

Henriette Saint-Jacques

née Dessaulles. Born February 6, 1860 St Hyacinthe, Canada East (Quebec).  Died November 17, 1946. As a journalist she used the pen - name "Fadette" and wrote for Le Canada and Le Devoir newspapers. Between 1918 and 1933 she also published 3 books, one of which Lettres de Fadette (Montreal 1918) was a collection of many of her newspaper columns.

Mariruth Sarsfield

Born March 6, 1930, Montreal, Quebec. Died May 7, 2013, Toronto, Ontario. She was raised in the Black neighborhood called Little Burgundy in Montreal, Quebec. Her mother often took family to museums  and as many musicals outings as they could afford. Mariruth attended Sir George Williams College and McGill University as well as studying journalism at Columbia University in New York City. She worked on Montreal’s TV news show, The hourglass and moved to the CBC as a researcher and on-air host. She worked at Expo 67 for Canada’s Centennial year and then she was posted to the United Nations in New York City. She continued her education earning a master’s degree from the University of Ghana in education. By the 1980’s she was serving as a governor at the CBC. She was awarded the Order of Quebec for her work. Both her daughter and her son died before she did, one from an accident and the other from breast cancer. She became active in MATCH the international women’s development and taught prisoners how to read. She also was an active member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club/Media Club of Canada. In 1975 her 1st marriage to Cullen Hodge disintegrated and she remarried to Dominick Sarsfield, a director with the Canadian International Development Agency. The couple lived in Nairobi and she worked for the Department of External Affairs. In 1997 she penned an autobiographical novel No crystal star which was republished by Women’s Press in 2005. Source: Mariruth Sarsfield from Little Burgundy to Expo 67 by Elizabeth Renzetti, Globe and Mail June 12, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Doris Jean Saunders

née Martin. Based on “On the Edge of Canada: Creating Labrador Identity Within ...Born June 6, 1941, Cartwright, Labrador. Died May 28, 2006, St. John's, Newfoundland. Doris was of mixed Indigenous and European heritage who often called herself an Inuit woman, an Aboriginal, and a Settler. While she was still a child her family relocated to Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Labrador.  Doris worked with the Labrador Heritage Society publishing of oral histories of the people of Labrador. In 1974 Doris established Them Days, a quarterly magazine documenting and preserving the stories of the people of Labrador. Doris came from a background of storytellers. Bother aunts Margaret Baikie (1844-1940) and Elizabeth Goudie (1902-1982) and her great-great-grandmother Lydia Campbell (1818-1907) had published their autobiographical reflections and memories. Doris married Frank Saunders (1935-1987) and the couple had three children. Doris was actively involved in the local Girl Guides, coaching minor softball, and hockey, and local arts and crafts organizations. Doris also enjoyed the Labrador wilderness. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1986. Doris also enjoyed doing embroidery and presented Queen Elizabeth ll with a piece of her embroidery during the royal visit to Labrador in the 1990's. (2020)
Agnes Mary Scott Born December 12, 1863, Quebec City, Canada East (now Ontario) Died November 19, 1927, Paris, France.  After the death of her father in 1868 Agnes grew up in Ottawa. After the death of her mother in 1898 she lived with her Uncle. In 1896 she began reporting on social events in Ottawa with and article about one of Lady Aberdeen' (1857-1939) famous balls. Two years later she joined the National Council of Women. For her writings she employed the pen name 'Amaryllis'. She wrote a column for Saturday Night magazine until 1902 and was on the staff of the Ottawa Free Press from 1897-1903 where she used the pen name 'The Marchioness'. Her columns were witty and spoke to the mores of the day. April 29, 1903 she married William Patrick Davis (1873-1916). After the death of her husband she again took up her pen witting for the Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa.  In 1926 she and her daughters moved to France where living was cheaper. From Paris she sent articles to the Montreal Star newspaper. ending her journalistic career. SOURCE: ECWW online.(2020)
Mary Ann Shadd-Cary

née Shadd Born October 9, 1823 Wilmington, Delaware U.S.A.  Died June 5, 1893 Washington D.C. U.S.A.. Born a free black, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, was the granddaughter of a Hessian soldier with the British army who came to America during the French and Indian War in the mid 1700's. growing up her family home was used as refuge Related imagefor runaway slaves. After the u.s. passed the fugitive Slave Act in 1850 the family relocated to Canada and settled in south western Ontario. Mary Ann worked with Black refugees in Windsor, one of the Canadian ends of the famous Underground Railway for slaves escaping for the United States. She opened a racially integrated school in the Windsor, Ontario area and served as a teacher. In 1853 she became the 1st Black woman in North America to become publisher of a newspaper when she established the Provincial Freeman, a weekly paper designed to cover the lives of Canadian Blacks and promote the cause of Black refugees to Canada. although it was published in Canada the newspaper was also circulated in major northern cities in the U.S.A. In 1855 she attempted to participate in the Philadelphia, U.S.A. Colored Convention but the assembly debated whether to even let her sit as a delegate. The following year she married Thomas F. Cary, a barber from Toronto, who also worked on the Provincial Freeman. The couple would have two children. In 1880 she was writing for the National Era and the People's Advocate newspapers and was organizing the Colored Women's Progressive Franchise.  In 1883 at 60 she became one of the 1st Black female lawyers in the United States. She joined the national women's suffrage association and became the 1st African American to vote in national election. In 1976 the house she lived in from 1881-1885 in Washington D.C. was declared a National Historic Landmark in the United States. She was inducted into the U.S. National Women's Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2018 Canada designated her a person of national historic significance.(2019)

Rosa  L. Shaw

Born 1895 (?). Died 1981, Ottawa, Ontario. Rosa earned her teaching certificate at Normal School in Montreal, Quebec. She taught for two years but was unsatisfied with the profession. She was a reporter in London, England for Vogue magazine and by the late 1920’s she had returned to Canada. She worked for 14 years with the Montreal Gazette as their 1st woman news editor. She relocated to Ottawa to work with the Canadian Welfare Council where no doubt she grew to know Charlotte Whitton. Rosa lived with fellow reporter Bettie L. Cole (  -1989).. After being President of the Canadian Women’s Press Club Montreal Branch she went on in 1938 to be president of the national Canadian Womens Press Club. In 1957 she authored the book Proud Heritage: a history of the National Council of Women. Source: “Section B, Range 6, Graves 20A & 25” by Marci Surkes, “Stories from the Grave”, Ottawa Citizen September 28, 2004.

Geraldine Sherman

Born June 17, 1941 Chatham, Ontario. In 1962 she graduated from McGill University, Montreal and the following year she earned from the University of Toronto  a Graduate Diploma in Town Planning. From 1963 to 1966 she worked as a town planner out of Toronto, England and the Ontario Department of Municipal Affairs. She is married and has two children. From 1966 through 1988 she was the executive producer of the programs: State of the Arts, The Arts Report, and Identities and Ideas. As a journalist and short story writer has had her works published in Saturday Night magazine, Toronto Life magazine and the Globe and Mail  and  Ottawa Citizen newspapers. In 1992 she earned the Canada-Japan Literary prize from the Canadian Department of External Affairs. She 1st had dreams about visiting Japan when she was 14. It took thirty years before her dream would come true. She has written about her experience in Japan Diaries: A Travel Memoir published by McArthur & Co. in 1999. She has served on several boards including PEN, Energy Probe and the Ontario College of Art.

Jackie Shymanski

Born January 21, 1965. Died May 13, 2016. Jackie graduated from Red River College studying journalism. Paul White became her life partner. She worked as the weather girl with IMTV, Dolphin, Manitoba and thrived in her chosen journalism field in small town Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1989 she was working at CTV in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She left for Europe for a decade and worked as an international journalist with CNN. In 1994 she earned the Silver Du Pont Award from Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. for her work in Bosnia Herzegovina. Back in Manitoba she worked at the Manitoba Telecom Services and the Manitoba Lotteries Commission in Public Relations. Later she worked as Director of Cancer Care Manitoba. Source: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press May 19, 2016.

Angela Sidney Born January 4, 1902 Carcross, Alberta. Died July 17, 1991. Angela's Tagish name is Ch'oonehte'Ma  Angela's mother was not strong physically and the two Angela Sidney Bust Unveiling - Hougen Group of Companiesspent hours together with Angela providing need care. o pass the time Maria, Angela's mother would tell her daughter Tagish stories.  Angela receive a little schooling at the Anglican Mission when not caring for her mother. She did however become trilingual speaking Tagish, , Tingit and English. When she was just 14 she married  Sidney (1888?-1971). The couple had seven children, four of whom sadly died young. Angela wanting to ensure the stories and traditions of the Tagish would be passed on began teaching  to schoolchildren. . She also taught her Tagish language. A consummate storyteller she related her audiences beginning with a traditional prayer and would seek forgiveness before offense was taken. In 1986 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. Angela was also the inspiration for the Yukon International Storytelling Festival which was created in 1988. Four books would be published to preserver her works, Place-names of the Tagish Region, , Our Family History, Tagish Stories and My Stories are my Wealth. After her death a plaque with a bust was installed in Whitehorse. (2020)
Connie Smith

Connie graduated from Mohawk College with a diploma in communication Arts. Looking for work she was told that TV viewers were not ready to have women present the news! When she came to CHCH in 1976, she was the first female weather person the station had ever had and she went on to become the station’s first female anchor when she joined Dan McLean on the desk in 1988 through 1992. At the same time she co-anchored with Tom Cherington the noon news show. . She has hosted the CTS show Always Good News since 2008. She has produced and hosted the weekly interview show Straight Talk.  Until 1992.  She was co-host of the Chedoke-McMaster Children’s Hospital Mother's Day Telethon, has been honorary co-chair of the YMCA Breakfast with Santa for inner city kids, and was named Hamilton’s Woman of the Year for her production of the documentary Elizabeth’s Hope. The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) Society of Canada also awarded her the Exceptional Public Awareness Award for the same project. Her leadership has also been recognized with the 2002 Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Hamilton Health Sciences Cornerstone Award, the Hamilton Fire Departments Silver Helmut Award and the Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ Howard Caine Award. Connie was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction 2010. Connie is married and has one child. 

Amelia Turner Smith

née Turner. Born February 11, 1894, Tottenham, Ontario. Her family relocated 1st to Fernie, British Columbia where her father ran a hotel and then the moved to southern Alberta as homesteaders. Amelia earned a job in Fort Macleod at the newspaper the Macleod Advertiser in 1911 and by 1913 she had settled in Calgary where she worked at odd jobs and became active with labour groups joining the Labour Representation League. In 1922 she joined the staff of the United Farmers of Alberta. . She also served 12 years on the Calgary school board. She attended the founding convention of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and ran in 2 by elections as a CCF candidate. She was unsuccessful in both the by-election of January 9, 1933 and again in the by election of January 15, 1934. Even though the working class women turned out to vote for Amelia she could only place a close second in the voting. Somewhat discouraged she retired from politics. In 1937 she married Walter Norman Smith (1887-1972) who worked for the United Farmers of Alberta. From 1936 through to their retirement in 1954 the couple published the Western Farm Leader.

Mary Adelaide Dawson Snider

Born 1879, Lambton, County, Ontario. Died September 3, 1932. Mary joined the workforce at the Toronto Evening Telegram in 1901 as the paper’s 1st female reporter. She worked as a columnist for the women’s pages as well as serving as secretary for the editor. In 1904 Mary was 1 of the 16 women who travelled by train to cover the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. On the return train trip the women formed the Canadian Women’s Press Club which would endure for 100 years. Mary was not credited with a byline for her reports from the World’s Fair. In 1908 she married reporter and historian Charles Henry Jeremiah (Jerry) Snider (1897-1971). In 1912, posing as a nurse and slipping through security lines, Mary reported meeting the ship Carpathia’ which brought survivors of the fateful Titanic to New York City, U.S. A. This time she was credited with her own byline! In 1919 she covered the Winnipeg General Strike and filed copies of her stories to the Telegram from Minnesota to ensure the arrival uninterrupted by Canadian telegraphers. During World War l she was in Charge of women working at a Toronto munitions Plant. Mary continued writing for the Toronto Telegram until her death. Sources: Linda Kay. The Sweet Sixteen. (McGill-Queens University Press, 2012) : Marjory Lang. Women who made the news. McGill Queen’s University Press, 1999.

Jean Southworth

Born 1923 Omemee, Ontario. Died May 23, 2008.Born Omemee, Ontario 1923. Died May 23, 2008. Raised on a dairy farm her heart turned to music as a youth. She went on to study history at the University of Toronto and began her working career on an Oshawa newspaper. She joined the Ottawa Journal in 1948 when she was one of the few women on staff. Jean said she learned to smoke and wore pants and was soon putting her legs up on the desk the way the men did! She wrote about the Ottawa arts and music scene for the Journal until it closed in 1988. She continued writing for other publications including the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Up until her death she was a member of the Media Club of Ottawa, formerly the Canadian Womens Press club. For some 50 years Jean shared her music as assistant organist at the Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. The Journal was a morning paper and no doubt Jean worked late into the night as a reporter. Music often wafted from the Cathedral after midnight as Jean played. She was active in the Royal Canadian College of Organists and a board member of the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival which offers a scholarship in her name. She wrote of youth and their musical talents and encouraged such hopefuls as Angela Hewitt. Along with writing and music, Jean had a passion for tennis, a game she played until she was 79 years old!  Source Obituary- Jean Southworth: Writer was tireless supporter of Ottawa’s music community by Steven Mazey Ottawa Citizen Saturday June 7, 2008.; personal acquaintance .  

Rosemary Speirs

Political activist

Born 1940. Rosemary enjoyed being out doors when she was growing up and was a junior member of the Toronto Field Naturalists. A historian with a PhD from the University of Toronto, Rosemary  has been a professional journalist as Ottawa Bureau Chief and Political columnist for the Toronto Star newspaper. In the 1980’s she worked with the Committee of 94 which wanted to have women working in the House of Commons. The goal was to have 94 women, or at that time ½ of the membership of the House of Commons. This group fell short of it’s goal but Rosemary stayed true to the idea of move women in politics.  She is founder and chair of Equal Voice / A voix égales, an influential national advocacy for groups for the election of more women to every level of government in Canada. She also founded the Women’s Political ConneXion linking women’s groups and individuals in support of electing more women. She has earned the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award and October 2004 she was presented with the Governor’s General Award commemorating the Persons Case. Her interest in politics has also led her to write a book: Out of the Blue: A history of Ontario Politics. Maintaining her love of nature she has also been President of the Board of Directors of Ontario Nature, one of Canada’s largest environmental organizations.

Ellen Elizabeth Spragge

née Cameron. Born 1854 Toronto, Canada West (now Ontario). Died May 2, 1932. She married Arthur Spragge and contrary to many women of her era she continued her career as a writer. While she enjoyed being a known artist with her water colours she is best remembered as a free lance journalist. In 1886 she journeyed to Winnipeg to board the first cross Canada train on the Canadian Pacific Railway. She would write and publish her exploits on this trip, during which time she traveled alone with a bunch of rather rambunctious male journalists. From Ontario to the Pacific by CPR was published in Toronto in 1887. The book is available in electronic format at Canadiana online.

Stella SEE - Alice Matilda Freeman
Edith McConnell Stewart-Murray

Born 1900, Montreal, Quebec. Died November. 22, 1965, Victoria, British Columbia. She moved to British Columbia with her family in 1904.  Her father, John P. (Black Jack) McConnell, was co-founded the Morning Sun, the forerunner of the Vancouver Sun  in 1912. Edith worked as a columnist and women's page editor of the Sun and Vancouver News-Herald for 40 years. Her best known column was Let's Go Shopping.  She was a life member, Canadian Women's Press Club. Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame Online (Accessed November 2012

Mutsumi Takahashi

Born January 21, 1957? Shiroshi, Japan. Mutsumi and her family Immigrated to Canada in 1963. At six she was studying piano at the Toronto Conservatory of Music.  After high school  and went on to Concordia University, Montreal to earn he Bachelor Degree in 1979. It was at Concordia that she began writing for The Georgian, the university newspaper.  In 1980 she was working on a TV pilot project with the university. After her BA  and using the name Lisa Takahashi the began working at CFCF TV in Montreal as a news reporter. In 1986 she began presenting the news for Pulse, now CTV News.  By 1995 she had earned her Masters Degree. She would go on to earn the Montreal Mirror's Best Local Newscaster. In May 2017 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from RTDNA. She is also the Honorary Patron, West Island Palliative Care Residence. In June 2018 she was named to the Order of Canada. (2019)

Carol Taylor

Born 1945 Toronto, Ontario. While a student at the University of Toronto she was named Miss Toronto 1964 and was invited to be a co-host on the CFTO-TV show After Four. Her broadcasting career was off to a running start. In 1972 she was one of the hosts on the new Canada AM on the CTV network. In 1973 she was the first woman to move into the high profile show W5. Married in 1976 the newlyweds settled in British Columbia where she became a well known broadcast personality. In 1986 she was elected to the Vancouver City Council. In 2000 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada and she is included in the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Jan Tennant

Born 1937, Toronto, Ontario. After high school Jan earned a degree in Physical Education from the University of Toronto. She taught for a year in Port Credit, Ontario and 1961-62 she was in Switzerland. Returning to Canada she attended the Ontario College of Education to earn teaching certificates in physical education, English and French. She taught for a year at Castle Frank High School in Toronto. Dissatisfied with teaching as a career she began working as a secretary for the CBC. She became a script assistant for some popular TV shows and then a TV and Radio announcer. She substituted on the National news one night and became the 1st woman to host the National. In 1987 she switched to work for the Global Television Network retiring in 1998.

Anne Terry

1st Lady of Cape Breton

née MacLellan. Died June 15, 1985, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. While still in High school she studied speech. As a tall youth she usually played the male roles in school drama productions. She won the 1st Cape Breton Festival of Speech and Drama as outstanding individual. While attending St. Frances Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia she began her two decade broadcasting career on the university radio station. She moved on to the CBC as a radio reporter and adapted the name ‘Ann Terry’. In 1954 she returned to Sydney in Cape Breton to take over a homemakers show on CJCB Woman’s Morning Program.  She had a passion for anything Cape Breton which she eagerly shared with her listeners. She covered royal visits, interviewed visiting VIP’s and served as master of ceremonies for community events. She would become known as Cape Breton’s ‘First Lady’. She also was a familiar figure on Cape Breton TV.  She became nationally known after appearances on the TV show Front Page Challenge. In 1972 she took the position of Director of Tourism with the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO). She was a founding member of the Federation of the University Women and became the 1st woman on the Board of Governors at St. Francis Xavier University.   In January 1986 The Ann Terry Society was founded to sponsor the Anne Terry Project helping women living in Cape Breton enter the paid workforce.

Lillian Beynon Thomas

'Lillian Laurie'

née Beynon. Born September 4, 1876 Streetsville, Ontario. Died September 2, 1961 Winnipeg, Manitoba. As the result of a childhood accident she was lame in her left leg for life. In 1889 the family relocated to farm in Manitoba. She earned her teacher's certificate like her younger sister Francis Marion Beynon and taught in Manitoba for a few years. She then went on to study at Wesley College and in 1905 graduated from the University of Manitoba. In 1906 she began working for the Manitoba Free Press newspaper. Using the name Lillian Laurie she wrote articles and edited the Women's page. She and her sister founded the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Womens Press Club where Lillian served as secretary in 1907/1908. In 1910 she was elected to the executive of the Women's University Club. She also organized the Women's Institutes in association with the University of Saskatchewan. In 1911 she married A. Vernon Thomas. A supporter of votes for women she was involved with the Manitoba Political Equity League with her sister. Lilian served as the 1st President. In 1917 the Lillian and Vernon moved to join Frances in New York City, U.S.A. The two sisters worked at the Seamen's Church Institute, an Episcopalian Mission for sailors in New York. In the mid 1920's the couple returned to Canada where Lillian wrote a number of successful plays. In 1946 she published her 1st novel, New Secret. In 1948 she published the book, Some Manitoba Women who did First Things.

Michelle Tisseyre née Ahern. Born December 13, 1918, Montreal, Quebec. Died December 21, 2014, Montreal, Quebec. Michelle joined Radio-Canada in 1941 and did pioneering work as a broadcast journalist on both radio and television as the first woman to present a 15-minute newsletter broadcast in C B C's French services. Fluently bilingual she was an asset to the C B C and was assigned to C B C International Service from 1944-1946 where she was hostess for the show La Voix du Canada for the French armed services. In 1936 she was the first French Canadian to study history and philosophy at McGill University, Montreal. She dropped her college studies and married Jacques de Braband in 1937.  During the second world war her husband left her and they divorced in 1946 leaving her with their one child. On January 17, 1947 she married Pierre Tisseyre (1905-1995) and the couple had four children together. After 1947 she became a freelance broadcaster and was a director with Radio-Canada from 1953 through 1960. In 1948 she started to perform for theatre with a radio play and continued to act for theatres in Montreal until 1970. In 1970 she became a translator  working with her husband at Les Editions Pierre Tisseyre. in 1975 she would earn the Governor General's Award for translation of Winter by Morley Callaghan. She also translated worked from English by Margaret Lawrence, W. O. Mitchell and Robertson Davies.  She also became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001. At 80 in 2001 she returned to college and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, Montreal. In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. Source: Canadian Encyclopedia
Alice Ashworth Townley SEE - Social Activists

SEE - Maude Petit Hill-Beaton

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

Graduated from university and earned her Teaching certificate. She spend 32 years teaching in Ottawa. Her eclectic range of interests varies from writing and painting, to psychology, spirituality, esoterism and the paranormal to horticulture and birdwatching. Women’s issues and mental health have always been of interest also as she has spoken to women’s groups since 1990. A member of the Ottawa Independent Writers, AAOF and AOE, she offered the English version "The Neglected Garden" of her award-winning novel, "Le jardin négligé": a study in relationships, some abusive, some destructive, a story of courage, self-discovery, acceptance and forgiveness. Her second novel "Une prière pour Hélène" touches on the challenges of fragmented families, of women raising their children on their own and the redeeming value of friendship. She writes a column ‘Bits and Bites’ in True North Perspective and ‘Seeds for Thought’ for Perspectives Vanier. She has also written A Genie for Jessica available in both English and French  as a tool to teach awareness about the negative impact of bullying and bring hope to students who have encountered this problem. (2019)

Marie Paule Villeneuve

SEE - Authors

Adele Ward

née Hartman. Born April 9, 1932, Sudbury, Ontario. Died November 12, 2014. At 16 Adele moved from northern Ontario to Toronto where she met and married G. Kingsley (d. 2014) in 1959. The couple would have 2 children. Adele worked at the Toronto radio station CHUM hosting as ‘Aunt Susan’ a children’s radio show. Several years later she moved to CBC television writing for the popular children’s TV show Mr. Dressup. She worked 17 years helping Ernie Coombs, Mr. Dressup himself helping young viewers be educated. She would also edit and published 4 books that were written by her husband including, Letters of a Businessman to His Son which was translated into 28 languages. When her mother suffered a stroke she began a business manufacturing mobility chairs, ‘Go Chairs’ to help people with disabilities. She enjoyed music and composed her own music. With John Hartman she co-composed music for the poem In Flanders Fields. On top of all this creativity she was an accomplished portrait and landscape artist. Source: Obituaries, Globe and Mail, November 22, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.

Marie Warder

née Van Zyl. Born April 30, 1927 Fictsburg, South Africa. Died October 20, 2014 Delta, British Columbia. While still in school in 1936 she won a province wide essay competition and she just continued writing. The youth Marie wrote a play, contributed to the local newspaper with stories which also could be found on pages of periodicals and even a British magazine. At 19 she married Thomas Warder and the couple had 2 children. The couple played in a dance band when 1st married while she worked as a teacher and public relations officer. In 1977 they immigrated to Calgary and she continued to write. In all she would complete 24 novels some written in Afrikaans and were extremely popular in South Africa. She suffered from Hermochromatois which is an iron overload disorder. She served as president in 1994 of the Canadian Hermochromatois Society and took part in the international organization as well. She would contribute over 300 articles attempting to get the word out to doctors and those who suffered with the disease. In 1995 her own story was published in Reader’s Digest. She received the Volunteer Medal of Honour from Health and Welfare Canada and in 2001 her work was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work around the world. Source: Obituaries, The Globe and Mail November 15, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Marjorie Douglas Weir

Born August 14,, 1893 (Sometimes reported as 1896) Died after 1929. Marjorie studied at the McGill Conservatory of Music, Montreal, Quebec and the Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston University, Massachusetts, U.S.A. . She perhaps came to her writing skills honestly as her father Robert Stanley Weir penned the English words to ‘O Canada’. In the mid 1920’s she was on stage with the Boston Repertory Theatre. In 1927 she produced her 1st poem, ‘Faggots’. She contributed her writings to such notable publications as the Canadian Magazine, Bookman, the Poetry Yearbook the Montreal Daily Star, and  the Montreal Gazette . She worked as Editor of the Women’s Pages at the Kingston Whig Standard, Kingston, Ontario and was an active member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club., She volunteered with such groups as the Girl Guides of Canada and was a major worked in the movement to provide children’s playgrounds in Montreal. Source: Who’s Who Among North American Authors 1929-30 edited by Alberta Lawrence: 1929.

Frances Shelley Wees

Born April 29, 1902 Gresham. Oregon, U.S.A.. Died November 27, 1982. Frances attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) after high school and began to teach when she was just 17. She went on to earn her BA from the University of Alberta and during this time she completed her 1st novel which she never published. During the 1920’s she was directory for Chatauquas, an American adult education movement while working in public relations in Toronto. In 1924 she married Wilfred Rusk Wees and the couple had two children.  In 1931 she wrote the Maestro Murders and continued to write more than 20 mystery and romance novels. She also wrote and published readers for primary schools. During World War ll she lead the national clothing drive for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. After the war the family settled in Stouffville, Ontario. They retired to Denman Island in British Columbia in 1981.

Margaret Wente

Born February 15, 1950 Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. In 1964 she settled in Toronto Ontario wish her family. She earned her Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A. She chose to live in Canada as a protest against the American War in Viet Nam. She went on to earn her Masters’ degree from the University of Toronto.  In 1986 she joined the staff of the Globe and Mail newspaper and by 1992 she was writing columns and by 1999 she became a full-time columnist.  Margaret is married to television producer Ian McLeod. She has edited two leading business magazines, Canadian Business and ROB Magazine. Margaret won the National Newspaper Award in 2000 and 2001 for her column. In 2004 she published Accidental Canadian, an autobiography about working at the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto. Unfortunately she was found to have plagiarized in a number of her columns and was suspended from writing at the Globe and Mail. She was re-instated and continued to work at the newspaper. In 2009 she wrote: You Can’t Say That in Canada published by Harper Collins.  In 2016 was found to have failed to meet the standards of the newspaper. She was also suspended from the CBC Radio program Q where she had been a panelist. In 2018 she was still a columnist at the Globe and Mail.

Helen Weinzweig



Born 1915 Poland. Died February 11, 2010 Toronto, Ontario. Helen immigrated to Canada with her mother when she was nine years old. They settled in Toronto, Ontario. She soon learned English from friends at school. As was common during the Great Depression, she left school at 17 to work. She had gained, at school, a love for reading and continued to learn through her passion. She married composer John Weinzweig in 1940 and the couple had two sons.  Considered a late bloomer she published her first short story Surprise when she was 52. Her writings dealt with subjects such as homosexuality, female promiscuity and motherhood. Her second novel Basic Black Pearls won the Toronto Book Award. In 1996 a stage version of her work A View From the Roof was produced for CBC radio and then on stage in Toronto.

Agnes Elizabeth Wetherald

Born April 26, 1857 Rockwood, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 9, 1940 Pelham Township, Ontario. Agnes was educated at Pickering College in Pickering Ontario. At 17 her 1st poem  in St. Nicholas Magazine which was followed up with stories in Rose-Bedford's Canadian Monthly. She began her adult  career in 1886 as a journalist on the staff of the Toronto Globe using the pen name Bel Thistlethwaite.  She would spend most of her career as a freelance writer. She also enjoyed writing verse and would publish some five volumes of verse for which she was well known. (2020)

Florence 'Flo' Whyard

Born January 13, 1917 London, Ontario. A journalist who graduated in 1938 from the University of Western Ontario she holds one of her life highlights as receiving an honorary LLD from the Western Faculty of Journalism. A longtime northerner who was editor of the Whitehorse Star in the Yukon. It is one of only an handful of independent daily newspapers in Canada. During World War 11 she joined the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service where she traveled to write about Canadian Wrens wherever they were serving in Canada and the Eastern U.S. Oh yes she was at the same time editor of the WRCNS Magazine. She earned promotions and later worked as a commissioned officer our of the Naval Information Office in Ottawa where she would meet her husband to be who hailed from northern Canada. She would become an elected member of the Yukon Territorial Council where she found herself in cabinet! After her term in office she returned to her editorial work to help continue the battle for political recognition of the Yukon. She would become Ambassador of the Yukon, a position that would replace the Yukon Commissioner was absent. In retirement, along with her husband and his camera she had turned to publishing works to inform people of her beloved north and building up a historical collection now hosed in the Yukon Archives. Now a widow she continues to write and preside on boards benefiting the daily life of people of the Yukon.

Helen Dacey Wilson

Born August 21, 1927 Wilson Cove, Nova Scotia. Died June 15, 2015 Ottawa, Ontario. She grew up in a family of 8 girls and 5 boys and would use stories of their growing up in her future bestselling books, Tales From Barrett’s Landing and More Tales From Barrett’s Landing. Her life stories would also find themselves interwoven into stories for prominent magazines (she used pseudonyms) and her radio broadcasts. Hallie worked as a public servant with federal cabinet minister Judy LaMarsh for the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and as communications officer in the office of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Source: Kate Zimmerman, Lives Matter: Helen Dacey Wilson Globe and Mail December 4, 2015. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.

Jan Wong



Born August 15, 1952 Montreal, Quebec.  She graduated from McGill University in Montreal to become 1 of 2 foreign college students permitted to study at Beijing University during Maoist regime and eventually was forced to escape back to the West. She met her future husband Norman Shulman in China. The couple married in 1976 and they have 2 sons. She began her journalist working as a news assistant at Fox Butterfield the correspondent for the New York Times. She studied journalism at Columbia University, New York City, New York, U.S.A. graduating in 1981 and began working with the Montreal Gazette, Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal before becoming a business reporter for the Toronto Globe and Mail. She worked 6 years in China as foreign correspondent and later wrote a book, Red China Blues on her experiences. Back in Canada in the late 1990’s she produced a second book, Jan Wong’s China. From 1996 to 2002, Wong was best known for her Lunch with... column in The Globe and Mail, in which she had lunch with a celebrity, who was usually but not always Canadian. The column finished in 2002 and she continued writing with the Globe and Mail in various capacities. Including going undercover writing a series on low-income living. The newspaper was sued by the family involved in her articles alleging embarrassment and mental distress.  After additional controversial articles and depression from events she was let go from her work at the Globe and Mail.  She has since worked at CBC Radio 1 and in 2010 was Visiting Irving Chair of Journalism at St Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. She also writes a column for the Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia and free lances with numerous magazines. Her 3rd book Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness was self-published in 2012 for which the Globe and Mail took her to court and won its case.

Miscellaneous                  Return to categories
Norma Fleck

Born 1906. Died 1998. Norma studied to become a nurse and worked in the profession until 1930 when she married Robert Douglas Fleck. The couple had three sons. When the boys were growing up Norma read to them and instilled in them the joys and importance of reading. On May 17, 1999 the Fleck Family Foundation established with the Canadian Children's Book Centre the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian children's non fiction books. The $10,000.00 Award is considered one of Canada's most Prestigious literary awards. (2020)

Sophia Thomas Mason

Métis translator of Cree written language Bible
née Thomas. Born November, 1822, Red River Territory, Manitoba. Died October 10, 1861, London, England. Sophia was one of six daughters born to Dr. Thomas Thomas, a Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company and his Aboriginal wife. After her father's death she was raised by two Methodist ministers and was educated at the Red River Academy. She married a Methodist minister, Rev. William Mason in 1843. The couple would have nine children together. Settling at the Rossville Mission Sophia learned the Cree syllabic writing from the inventor of this Cree written language, Rev. John Evans (1801-1846). In 1854 the Masons were serving with the Anglican Church in York Factory. Sophia helped with a n Aboriginal school an worked on the translation of the Bible into the Cree language. The New Testament was published in Cree in 1859 with Rev. Mason overseeing the printing and credited with the translation. William Mason himself proclaimed that his wife had made the final translation. The couple had traveled to England for the printing and it was hear at Sophia continued translation work. She would live just long enough to see the published Cree language Old Testament in 1861. It was the 1st Cree language Bible to be published. Source DCB (2020)
Playwrights                        Return to categories
Marguerite Martha Allan

Born 1895, Montreal, Quebec. Died March 31, 1942, Victoria, British Columbia. A amateur dramatist and playwright, she organized the Montreal Repertory Theatre which became on of the most successful amateur dramatic groups in all Canada. In 1935 she was presented with the Canadian Drama Award for her outstanding service to the development in Canadian theatre. She wrote three plays. The Dominion Drama Festival awards the Martha Allan Trophy annual award for the best visual performance. (2020)

Anne-Marie Alonzo

SEE - Poets

Carol Bolt

Born August 25, 1941, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died November 28, 2000. Carol grew up in mining towns of Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia. In 1961 she earned her BA at the e University of British Columbia. She became a writer for children’s television including such series as Tales of the Klondike; the Raccoons and Fragle Rock. A founding member of the Playwrights Union of Canada by the 1970’s she had settled writing for the Toronto Theatre scene. One of her works, Red Emma, about the life of a Russian anarchist and suffragette, Emma Goldman, was aired on CBC TV and by 1995 was adapted as an opera. Many of her works took place in Canadian locations. One Night Stand, from Taragon Theatre in 1977 became her most often produced work and the movie won 3 Canadian film awards in 1978. In 1989 Bolt herself won the Chalmers Award for Icetime, a story about a 12 year old girl wanting to play hockey. Again in the 1970’s she was playwright in residence at the University of Toronto. In 2010 a collection of her plays was published: Reading Carol Bolt. Sources: Oxford Companion to Canadian Theatre Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Gail Bowen

SEE - Authors

Katherine 'Kit' Brennan-Waters

Born April 9, 1958, Vancouver, British Columbia. During her studies at Queens University she received awards including the Lorne Green Award. She began her career as an actor but soon found that she preferred writing plays to acting. In 1994 her play about the woman Dr. James Barry won the Canadian National Playwright Competition. he acted for several years but prefers writing plays. One of her works, Spring Planting has received the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award. She is married to Andrew Waters and works as a professor at Concordia University, Montreal. In 2013 she began writing a series of novels starting with Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards.

Frances Brooke SEE - Authors
Shirley Cheechoo
Cree playwright

SEE - Entertainers - Actors stage and film

Marie Arzélie Éva Circé-Côté

SEE - Social Activists

Lynn Coady SEE - Authors
Sarah Anne Curzon SEE - Poets
Margaret Hollingsworth

Born June 5, 1939, London, England. Margaret graduated as a librarian from Loughborough College and emigrated from England to Canada in 1968. She studied psychology at Lakehead University , Thunder Bay, Ontario, prior to moving to British Columbia for post graduate studies. She is a notable playwright. Five of her plays were collected and published in 1985 in the book Willful Acts. Her 1st play, Bushed, was performed in 1973 by the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. In 1983 she won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award for her work, Ever Loving. In 1995 she received the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Ring of Fire. She published a collection of short stories in 1990 and in 2004 her novel, Be Quiet, was published.

Marie Laberge

Born November 29, 1950, Quebec City, Quebec. Marie studied journalism at Laval University in Quebec City but changed her studies to join the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Quebec. she began her career as a comedy actress before trying her hand at being a playwright, director and novelist.1977-1980 she was an administrator for the Theatre du Trident in Quebec City and as served at this time as an administrator for the Centre d'essai des auteurs dramatiques and from 1987-1989 she served as president of the organization.   In the 1960 she polished several collections of poetry. She received the Governor General's Award for French language drama in 1981 for her play, C'etait avant la guerre a L'Ance s Gilles. In 2002 she was named a Chevalier in the French Order of La Pleiades and in 2004 she became a Chevalier in the National Order of Quebec and an Officer in the French Ordre des arts et des lettres.   Many of her works have done well  translated into English and her work has often been popular in France.  She has also written son lyrics for such notable singers as Celine Dion.

Elizabeth Minnie "Betty" Lambert

née Lee. Born August 23, 1933, Calgary, Alberta.  Died November 4, 1983.  This playwright wrote some 70 works for adults and children to watch and listen to on radio, TV, and stage.  She also wrote novels.

Rina Lasnier

Born August 6, 1915, St-Grégoire d'Iberville, Quebec. A youthful playwright who blossomed into a renowned poet. She published her 1st verses in 1941.  She won the Molson Prize in 1971, and the Prix France –Canada in 1973.  All her work is written in her beloved French language.

Wendy Lill

Born November 2, 1950, Vancouver, British Columbia. Born on the Canadian west coast she was raised in Ontario and choose to live as an adult in Nova Scotia. She brings a lot of knowledge of living across her country to her writings. She described herself as a playwright, journalist, community-development worker and an historian on her web site when she served as a member of the Canadian Parliament from 1997 to 2004. She was elected in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia where she ran as a candidate for the New Democratic Party. She has won two ACTRA Awards and she has been nominated 4 times for the Governor General Drama Award. Many of her plays have an historical setting. While she was in parliament a video about her was produced Wendy Lill : Playwright in Parliament (Montreal, Ralston Productions/National Film Board, 1999) 

Antonine Maillet SEE - Authors
Conni Louise Massing

Born November 20, 1958. This writer has many screenwriting credits with the National Film Board of Canada and CBC TV. She has written for the TV program "North of 60" and has some 20 produced stage works to her credit. In 1994-5 she was the playwright in residence at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Abbie Mary Lyon Sharman SEE - Authors
Gwendolyn Ringwood

née Phares.  Born August 13, 1910, Anatone, Washington U.S.A.  Died May 24, 1984, Williams Lake, British Columbia. After graduating from the University of Alberta she worked as a secretary and later as registrar at the Banff Centre for the Arts were she wrote her 1st play The Dragons of Kent in 1935. She also studied playwriting at the University of North Carolina in the U.S.A. In 1939 she won an award from the Dominion Drama Festival for her tragic play Still Stands the House. In 1941 she received the Governor General's Award for outstanding service to Canadian drama. She was the 1st Canadian playwright to publish a volume of collected plays in 1982.The theatre in Williams Lake, British Columbia is named in her honour. The Writers Guild of Alberta presents the Gwendolyn Ringwood Drama Award. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online. Accessed last time 2000)

Erika Ritter

Born April 28, 1948, Regina, Saskatchewan. She began her studies with drama at McGill University and then she earned a Masters degree in drama from the University of Toronto, 1970. She taught briefly in Montreal in the mid-70's, prior to embarking upon a freelance writing career. She has written plays, radio dramas, humorous essays, fiction and radio broadcasts. Publications include: The Hidden Life of Humans (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1997); Ritter in Residence (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1987); Urban Scrawl (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1984) and Automatic Pilot (1980). Her awards include 2 ACTRA Awards,  in 1986 and 1981, and the Chalmers Canadian Play Award for Automatic Pilot in 1980. She is the familiar radio-friendly voice of CBC Radio's, The Arts Report, heard weekdays and has been a cultural mainstay on this country’s airwaves for many years.

Lillian Beynon Thomas SEE - Journalists
Judith Claire Francesca Marie Bernadette Thompson

Born September 20, 1954, Montreal, Quebec. Died June 11, 2005, Laval, Quebec.  After graduating from Queen’s University, Kingston, 1976 and the National Theatre School, Montreal, 1979 she turned to writing plays as her form of expression.  In 1987 “I Am Yours” won her a 2nd Governor General’s Award and also the Chalmers Canadian Play Award. Additional recognition includes the Order of Canada in 2005 and being the first Canadian to win the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2008. Her plays have been performed in both official languages across Canada as well as worldwide.  She has expanded into radio, screenplays, and plays for youth. Her plays depict a graphic darker side of modern life but also provide hope. She is currently teaching at the University of Guelph, Ontario and enjoys life in Toronto with her husband and five children.  Source: Judith Thompson by Anne Nothof, Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia online ( accessed May 2008) :

Poets                                   Return to categories
Mary Alloway

SEE - Authors

Anne-Marie Alonzo Born December 13, 1951, Alexandria, Egypt. Died June 11, 2005, Laval, Quebec. Anne-Marie immigrated to Quebec as a child of 12..In 1966 she was in a car accident which left her a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. Not one to be held back she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976 then a Master's Degree two years later and followed up with a Doctorate. from the Université de Montréal in 1986. Endowed with a love of languages, Anne-Marie spoke five languages. Her collection of poetry, Bleus de mine  earned the Prix Emile-Nelligan and was nominated for a Governor Generals Literature Award. She was a co-founder of Trois magazine and helped launch the Festival Littéaire de Trois in 1989. She  would publish 20 books of plays, poems, and novels. In 1996 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2016 the city of Laval dedicated Place Mme Anne-Marie Alonzo.  (2020)
Shari Andrews

Born 1953, New Denmark, New Brunswick. After attending a Maritime Writers’ workshop at the University of New Brunswick in 1987 she began to write poetry seriously. In 1990 she produced a chapbook of her poems. She attended various writing workshops by noted authors and in 1999 she published her 1st full length work of collected poems, The Stone Cloak followed in 2001 with another book of poems. In 2005 her third book was followed by the publication Walking in the Sky. Her individual works have appeared in such magazines as Canadian Literature and Fiddlehead. She has served on the executive of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. Her works have garnered numerous awards including the Alfred G. Bailey Prize. Source:  ‘Shari Andrews’ by Carissa St. Armand. New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed May 2014) (2020)

Harriette Annie SEE - Harriette Annie Wilkins
Attala or Atala

SEE - Léonise Valois

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

SEE -  Authors

Margaret Avison

Born April 23, 1918, Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario. Died July 31, 2007, Toronto, Ontario. Margaret attended the University of Toronto. She was a spiritual or metaphysical poet, librarian, historian, and social worker. She used her writing to bring history alive for young readers in her text book, History of Ontario. She won the Governor General's Award for literature in 1960 for her 1st book of poetry, Winter Sun. Converting to Christianity from agnosticism in 1963 her next book was about this experience was called The Dumbfounding in 1966. From 1966-1968 she taught at Scarborough College of the University of Toronto and volunteered at Presbyterian mission named Evangel Hall. In 1973 she was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario, London. From 1973-1978 she worked in the archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In 1978 she became secretary for the Toronto Mustard Seed Mission until she retired in 1986. In 1984 she became an Officer in the Order of Canada. 1990 saw the fourth collection of poems, No Time, winning her a second Governor General's Award. In 2003 she was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize for Wild Carrot. (2020)

Emily B  / Mrs. B

SEE - Authors - Emily Elizabeth Beaven

Helga Steinvor Baldvinsdotir

SEE - Authors

Augusta Baldwin/Baldwyn

Born 1821? St Johns, Lower Canada (now Quebec). Died May 9,1884. The daughter of the 1st Anglican rector of St. Johns, Lower Canada. Augusta made regular contributions of her poems to both Canadian and American Magazines including the Literary Garland, Montreal, and the Christian Mirror of Boston. she was the author of a volume of poems published in Montreal,1859. She continued to send her poems to various magazines after she published her book of poems. Some of her poems appeared in published collections of Canadian poetry. (2020)

Jessie Louise Beattie 

SEE - Authors

Emily Elizabeth Beaven

SEE - Authors

Clare Bernhardt

SEE - Authors

Marie-Angèle 'Jovette' Alice Bernier

Born November 27, 1900, Saint-Fabien-de-Rimouski, Quebec. Died December 4,1981, Longueil, Quebec. As did many young women of her era Jovette attended Norman School. She taught in the Gaspe and Quebec City. By 1923 she was working as a journalist, 1924 saw the publication of her 1st book of poetry, Poems Roulades. Four additional published works of poetry would follow as would two novels. By 1932 she appeared on a daily TV show called Bonjour Madame. From 1939 through 1958 she hosted a radio show called Quelles nouvelles. For two years in the mid 1960’s she wrote scripts for the soap opera called Rue de l’Ance. The city of Sherbrooke boasts of a street named in her honor and Le Prix Jovette Bernier was created by Salon du livre de Rimouski to help authors. Source: Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. (2020)

Minnie Blanch Bishop Born December 27, 1864, Greenwich, Nova Scotia. Died October 16, 1917, Greenwich, Nova Scotia. In 1879 Blanch entered the Acadia Seminary, Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. By 1886 she had graduated as the only woman in her class at Acadia College. In 1888 one of her long poems was read and published at the College. She when on and studied in Germany and traveled in Europe for two year. She sent travel accounts to be published in the Family Herald, Montreal. Returning to Canada she taught in Toronto at Moulton College. She would pen the school song, Perardua. She continued her education earning her Master's degree at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Acadia College in 1894. The following year she rested at home in Nova Scotia but by 1898 she was teaching at Harding Hall, London, Ontario. She left London to work at a New York City publishing house in the U.S.A. In 1900 her poems were included in a Treasury of Canadian Verse. By 1901 she was back home in Nova Scotia teaching at Acadia College where ill health forced her to retire in 1912. Source DCB. (2020)
Caleb Black SEE - Helena Coleman
Marie-Claire Blais

SEE - Authors

Ronna Bloom

Born 1961, Montreal, Quebec. Ronna is a registered psychotherapist. She loved writing poetry and is educated at the Slade School of Art, London, England. Starting with her 1st book of poems in 1956 she had by 2017 published six books of her poetry. Her books have been long listed and short listed on several poetry award listings. She has served as Poet-in-Residence at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. She not only provides readings of her poems but also provides talks to help others to share their passion for poetry.(2020)

Ruth Elizabeth Borson

Born January 20, 1952, Berkeley, California, U.S.A. Ruth attended Goddard College before going to Santa Barbara to attend the University of California. After her education in the U.S. she moved to study at the University of British Columbia. She began publishing her poetry in 1977. Her pen name is Roo Borson. Her published works have earned her the Governor General's Award for Literature in 2004 and  the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2005 for Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida. She and her partner Kim Maltman are members of the group called Pain Not Bread. She has also published Hand Not Glove: the Poetic Collaborations of Kim Maltman and Roo Borson. (2020)

Monique Bosco

SEE - Authors

Paulette Bourgeois

SEE - Authors

Marilyn Bowering

SEE - Authors

Louise Bowman

née Morey. Born January 17, 1882,  Sherbrooke, Quebec. Died September 28, 1944. Louise had private tutors before attending Dana Hall, in Massacheutts, U.S.A. In 1909 she married Archibald Bowman and the couple lived for ten years in Toronto before settling in Montreal. Hest poem to be published, North Room appeared in the publication Outlook in May 1913 and she would also become published in the Dalhousie Review, Queen's Quarterly, and Canadian Magazine. She enjoyed writing poems and would publish three volumes between 1922 and 1938 including Dress Tapestries (Toronto, 1924). (2020)

Dionne Brand

SEE - Authors

Di Brandt

Born January 31, 1952, Winkler, Manitoba. After completing studies at the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, and earning her PhD in English Literature at the University of Manitoba she turned her writing talents to editing the poetry magazine, Prairie Fire. Her own poetry is also well recognized. She has won the Gerald H. Lampert Memorial Award for the best 1st book by a Canadian poet, the Canadian Authors' Association national Poetry Award and the Dillson Commonwealth Poetry. Her book Questions I Asked My Mother, published in 1987 won the Governor General's Award for Poetry. She has taught at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, the University Alberta, Windsor University in Ontario and Brandon University . She has also presented workshops internationally. (2020)

Nicole Brassard-Soubliére

née Matte. Born November 27, 1943, Montreal, Quebec. Nicole graduated with her BA from the Université de Montréal in 1960. In 1965 she published her 1st book, Aube a La Saison and founded the literary magazine La Barre du jour. In 1966 she married Robert Soubliére. She concentrated on organizing the jazz and poetry reading for the Youth Pavilion at Expo '67. She obtained her Masters' degree in 1972. She became a mother in 1975 and that same year she won the Governor General's Award for poetry. She would win again in 1984. She was a visiting professor at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario 1982-1984 and Princeton University in U.S.A. in 1991. She served as Vice President of the Quebec Writer's Union from 1983-1985. After founding the feminist editorial collective Les Tetes de Pioche and touring Europe she founded her own publishing house. (2020)

Elizabeth "Betty" Winifred Brewster

Born August 26, 1922, Chipman, New Brunswick. Died December 26, 2012, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As a child she was considered a low learner when it came to letters and number and as a result she was kept at home. While at home she began to enjoy books and read everything from Eaton’s catalogue to the complete works of Shakespeare. At 12 her 1st poem was published in a local newspaper. She would go on to attend the University of New Brunswick on scholarship. In 1946 she attended Radcliffe College in the U.S.A. and earned her Master’s in literature. In 1947 while teaching in Cobourg, Ontario she fell off a horse and broke her back forcing her to return home to Fredericton to recuperate. She returned to formal studies attending Indiana University (where she later earned her PhD) and King’s College in London England. In the 1940’s and 1950’s she was one of the few women poets who were published in Canada. She was a founding member of the literary journal The Fiddlehead. In the 1950’s teaching jobs in Canada were scarce so in hopes of becoming a secretary she attended Business College. The jobs that followed were boring so she studied at Library School at the University of Toronto where she won the E.J. Pratt Award in Poetry. She took a teaching position replacing Margaret Atwood at the University of Alberta. She moved to the University of Saskatchewan in 1972 until she retired in 1990. She won the Saskatchewan Book Award twice and the Saskatchewan Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Source: “Poet’s journey to self awareness resulted in a prolific output of verse” by Noreen Shanahan in The Globe and Mail, February 5, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario. (2020)

Nicole Brossard

(married name Soubliére)  Born November 27, 1943, Montreal, Quebec. In 1965 Nicole published her 1st book, La Barre du jour. She concentrated on organizing the jazz and poetry reading for the Youth Pavilion at Expo '67. She obtained her Masters degree in 1972 and became a mother in 1975. Motherhood did not slow her down and  in 1975 she won the Governor General's Award for poetry. She would win again in 1984. After founding the feminist editorial collective Les Tetes de Pioche and touring Europe she founded her own publishing house. (2020)

Audrey Alexandra Brown

Born October 29, 1904, Nanaimo, British Columbia. Died September 20, 1998, Victoria, British Columbia.. She was educated at St Anne’s Convent and showed talent at writing at an early age. She composed her 1st poem when she was only Six years old. She would during her career publish five volumes of verse. In 1927 she suffered and attack of rheumatic fever and was forced to take treatment to be able to walk again.  She wrote numerous works for various publications and as a freelance journalist she wrote columns under the pen name of ‘The Khoji” for the Nanaimo Free Press newspaper. In 1936 she earned the Members Memorial Medal of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. In 1944 she became the 1st female poet to win the Royal Society of Canada’s Lorne Pierce Medal for her poetry. In 1967 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and received the Canada Centennial Medal. (2020)

Catherine G. Brown SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Mabel Grace Burkholder SEE - Authors
Anne Carson

Born June 21, 1950, Toronto, Ontario. A distant descendant of Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882) the Ontario educator for whom Ryerson Polytechnical University is named) she was perhaps destined to leave her mark. She has taught Classics at McGill University, Montreal as well as teaching at the University of Michigan and at Princeton University from 1980-1987. This was her personal preference for studies when she earned her PhD at the University of Toronto. As well as being a distinguished professor she is a renowned poet. She blends theories, ideas and themes from her fields of studies and modernizes them in her poems and essays. She has several published books and has won the Lannan Award in 1996, the Puscart Prize in 1997, and the Gugenheim and Macarther Fellowships in 1998 and 2000 and the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2001. In 2014 she was awarded the Folio Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize for Red Doc. She is a member of the Order of Canada.(2020)

Hollis Cattwin SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Cecile Charbot

Born 1907, L'Annonciation, Quebec. Died 1990. Cecile attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montreal from 1933 to 1938. She wrote and illustrated books of poetry. She was a member of the Royal Society of Canada. A street in Sherbrooke, Quebec has been named in her honor. (2020)

Ruth Jacobs Cohen

SEE - Ruth Jacobs Cohen Collie

Helena Jane Coleman

Born April 28,1860, Newcastle, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Died December 7,1953, Toronto, Ontario.  Helena graduated from the Ontario Ladies College, Whitby, Ontario with the Gold Medal in Music. She was Head of the Music Department from 1880 through 1892. She would take a year to do post graduate studies in Berlin, Germany. A poet and journalist who, for a long period, contributed poems anonymously to a large number of Canadian and American journals. She did not use her real name until 1906 when she published her 1st book Songs and Sonnets. Her pseudonyms (pen names) included Caleb Black, Catherine G. Brown, H. C., Helen Gray Cone, Hollis Cattwin, L. D.  Clark, Winifred/Winnifred Cotter, A. T. Cottingham, Winnifred Ford, C. H., Mrs. R. H. Hudson, Hollis Hume, Shadwell Jones, Annie Lloyd, M. D. Merrivale, Helen Saxon, Emily A. Sykes, and Gwendolyn Woodworth. With a list of pen names as long as she had it is no surprise to learn that she contributed to some 60 North American magazines. She would publish two additional books of poetry: Marching Men, 1917 and Songs, 1937. (2020)

Ruth Jacobs Cohen Collie

née Jacobs. Born November 1888, Cambridgeshire, England. Died March 6, 1936, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ruth married E. Arakie Cohen, a Canadian lawyer, in 1908 while he was visiting England. The couple settled Winnipeg, Manitoba where they had one son. In 1913 she began writing book reviews for the Winnipeg Telegram using the pen name Sheila Rand. By 1917 she had become an editor and was publishing her own poems and short stories. In the beginning of 1919 she was recruited by the Winnipeg Tribune to write a book column. After her husband’s death in March 1919 she took a second job and began working with the famous Eaton’s Department Store writing advertising for their catalogues. She went on to become the literary editor for the Western Home Monthly and served as vice-president of the Canadian Author’s Association. By 1922 she had her poetry published in several North American newspapers. Taking a new pen name, Wilhelmina Stitch, she moved back to England. In 1924 she married a Scottish physician, Dr Frank Collie. She began writing daily poetry in the London Daily Graphic which garnered her notoriety. In 1939 she went on a North American speaking tour. one of the best-known women writers in the British Empire. (2020)

Alice Helen Collins

née Roger. Born January 18, 1879, Whitby, Ontario. Died February 6, 1955, Peterborough, Ontario. After attending Havergal College she attended the University of Toronto and the Toronto Conservatory of Music (Now the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto). She continued her studies in Leipzig Germany and London England. She travelled to the Orient, Egypt before returning to see Europe and return to Canada.  On October 24, 1906 she married, Alexander James Hay Collins (1881-1960)a Bank Manager with the Bank of Montreal and the couple had 4 children. The family relocated often usually within Ontario whenever the Bank of Montreal posted them. Alice taught piano and music theory and was often church organist wherever they lived. She composted music herself often setting the poems of Kipling and Masefield to music. Her own poetry writing often appeared in local newspapers including the Toronto Star, The Toronto Globe and Mail, The Guelph Mercury and the Peterborough Examiner. The poems were later collected into books. She used various pen names: Alice H Roger for her songs, Alice Roger Collins or Helen A Roger for her poetry. Sources: Guide to the Literary Heritage of Waterloo and Wellington Counties, (Waterloo, Ontario, 1985); Canada’s Early Women Writers. SFU Library Digital Collections. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. 1980-2014 (2020)

Helen Gray Cone SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Karen Marie Connelly

SEE - Authors

Agnes Grote Copeland née Grote Born September 16, 1847, Whitby Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 19, 1932, Toronto Ontario. Agnes relocated to Toronto  living with her half-sister. She would teach school in St. Catharines, Ontario prior to her marriage to Jacob J. Copeland (1852-1927) in 1884. The couple originally lived in Boston, Massauchetts, U.S.A. Returning to Toronto the couple would raise three children. Agnes escorted her daughter Phoebe to Russia to study music. This trip found them detained in Germany during World War l. Agnes would have poems accepted by Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Agnes would also dedicate poems to three generations of British Royalty that included Queen Victoria. One of her poems was set to music, the Coronation Hymn, s popular in both Britain and Canada. Additional songs were published in pamphlet or broadsheet formats. Source: ECWW (2020)
Winifred/Winnifred Cotter SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
A. T. Cottingham SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Isabella Valancy Crawford

Born December 25, 1847, Dublin, Ireland. Died February 12, 1887, Toronto, Ontario. Isabella emigrated with her family from Ireland around 1857. At one point when life was at its worst for the family they became acquainted with Richard Strickland of Lakefield, Upper Canada (now Ontario) and his famous writing sister Susanna Moodie (1803-1885) and Catherine Parr Trail (1802-1899) and this is perhaps when Isabella began writing. In 1869 the family settled in Peterborough, Ontario and she published her 1st poem in the Toronto Mail newspaper on December 24, 1873. After the death of her father in 1875 she began publishing popular verse and serialized novels in publications in Toronto and New York City, U.S.A. By 1876 she was living in Toronto, Ontario. In 1884 she published her only book; Old Spookses' Pass, Malcolm's Katie and Other Poems. She would be the 1st important woman poet in Canada. A complete collection of her works was published posthumously. She had died in poverty and for years her body lay in an unmarked grave. A fundraising campaign was begun in 1899, and on November 2, 1900 a six-foot Celtic Cross was raised above her grave, inscribed: "Isabella Valancy Crawford / Poet / By the Gift of God." A Provincial Historic plaque  has been set up in Paisley, Ontario.  In 1947 the Canadian Historic Sites and Monument Board declared Isabella a Person of National Historic Significance.  A small garden park in downtown Toronto has been named in her honour. (2020)

Lorna Crozier

Born May 24,1948, Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Lorna attended the University of Saskatchewan for her BA and went on to the University of Alberta to earn her Master's Degree in 1980. She began her career as a teacher of English and a guidance counsellor. She published her 1st poem, in Grain magazine. She taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts and the Sechelt Summer Writing Festival. Her early books were published using the pen name Lorna Uher. In 1983 she was the writer-in-residence at Cypress Hills Community College and in 1989 at the Regina Public Library in Saskatchewan  and the University of Toronto. A poet she has produced 15 collections of poetry. in 1992 her work earned the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Canadian Author's Association Award for Poetry. She has won the Gold Medal from the National Magazine Awards and the 1st prize in the National CBC Literary Competition. Many of her works explore traditional myths and histories. She has also published two works of Non-fiction. In 2009 she published Small Beneath the Sky and was made a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and in 2012 she published The Book of Marvels: a Compendium of Everyday Things. In 2011 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada. She has also been recognized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Land Conservatory of British Columbia. She has read her poetry on every continent save Antarctica! (2020)

Sarah Anne Curzon

née Vincent. Born 1833, Birmingham, England. Died November 6, 1898. In 1858 Sarah married Robert Curzon and in the early 1860’s the young couple settled in Toronto. She believed in access to higher education for women, female suffrage and equal property rights for women. As a journalist she would put her thoughts in written support of her beliefs. In November 1876 she, along with Dr. Emily Stowe, founded the Toronto Women’s Literacy Club which was actually a platform for women’s rights. She enjoyed writing history to prove it was not just a male domain. In 1881 she was the editor of the Canadian Citizen, Canada’s 1st prohibitionist paper. She also wrote a column in the paper concerning women’s issues, such as the need for accessible education. One of her early plays “The Sweet Girl Graduate” mocked the idea that women were not smart enough to study at University. On October 2, 1884 and Order in Council admitted women to University College in Toronto! In 1887 she published a play that she had written a few years earlier, Laura Secord: the Heroine of 1812. It is sometimes referred to as Canada’s 1st feminist play. It is largely responsible for the popularity of the Secord story. In 1895 she was a cofounder of the Women’s History Society and served as the 1st President. An historic plaque of a local history group marks her home in Cabbagetown, an inner city neighborhood of Toronto. Sources: Cabbagetown People : The social History of a Canadian Inner City Neighborhood. Online (Accessed March 2014) ; Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Accessed March 2014) ; The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed March 2014) (2020)

Annie Charlotte Dalton

née Armitage. Born December 9, 1865, Berkby, Huddersfield, England. Died January 12, 1938, Vancouver, British Columbia. As a child Annie suffered from and eye weakness and was hearing impaired. She was educated privately and enjoyed writing from and early age. In 1891 she married businessman Willie Dalton (1866-1953) and in 1904 the couple emigrated to Canada where they became parents to a daughter. Her home in Vancouver, British Columbia, became a meeting place for the writers and readers of the area. She would serve on the executive of the Vancouver Poetry Club and was an executive member of the Lower Mainland Branch of the Canadian Author’s Association and the Dominion Council. Left partially deaf from a childhood disease she became known as the Poet Laureate of the Deaf for her work on their behalf. She authored several books including The Marriage of Music, Flame and Adventure, and Lilies and Leopards. In 1935 she became the only woman, at the time, to become a member of the Order of the British Empire.  Sources: Collections notes UBC, Simon Fraser University. (2020)

Mary diMichele


Born August 6, 1949, Lanciano, Italy. Mary immigrated to Toronto, Ontario with her family in 1955. In 1972 she completed her studies at the University of Toronto for her BA which she followed in 1974 with her MA from the University of Windsor. She was one of the poets included in the anthology Roman Candles (1978), and in The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse (1982), edited by Margaret Atwood. Her 1st solo poetry book, Tree of August, was published in 1978 would be followed by several more poetry works. Her 1st novel Terror of Love  appeared in 2005.  She is a founding member of the Association of Italian Canadian writers in 1986. Working as a freelance writer and editor she has worked with Toronto Live, Poetry Toronto, and the Toronto Star newspaper. She has held posts as writer-in-residence in Toronto, Regina, Banff, Montreal, Rome, Italy, and Bologna, Italy.  Since 1990 she has been professor of creative writing at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Mary has received numerous awards for her books of poetry. Including a silver medal in the CBC poetry competition, duMaurier Award for Poetry, an Air Canada Writing Award, a Toronto Arts Award and ARC Confederation Poets Award. Source: the Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Last accessed July 2015) (2020)

Nora M. Duncan

née Dann. Born 1883 Clarina, County Limerick, Ireland. Died May 31, 1946. She emigrated as a child with her family to London Ontario. She received her education at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. She married in June 1908 to Wallace Craig Duncan and the young couple spent several years in the Canadian prairies before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of her poems would be published in two of her books : Down to the Sea and Rainbow Reveries. She became the well known organizer of the radio program the Lyric West. Source: The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – Hall of Fame (accessed June 19, 2009) (2020)

Evelyn Sybil Mary Eaton

Born December 22, 1902, Montreaux, Switzerland. Died July 17, 1983 Independence, California, U.S.A. Evelyn was born while her Canadian parents were living in Switzerland. She was educated in New Brunswick and Ascot England. Even as a young scholar she enjoyed writing poetry when by 8 years of age her poems were published in the Montreal Star Newspaper.  While studying at the Sorbonne in France she gave birth out of wedlock to a daughter. She married a Polish Count, Ernest Paul Richard Viedt and left France just before Hitler invaded. She divorced the Count six years after their marriage and landed back in Canada. She supported herself writing book reviews, and making contributions to such publications as the New Yorker Magazine. She was vice-president of the Canadian Authors association in 1940-41. She penned two novels before she really received notice. In 1940 her work Quietly My Captain Waits, an historical novel set in Acadia in Nova Scotia found monetary success. In 1945 she took out American citizenship and 1946 to 195o she served as president of the Pen and Brush Club of New York. In 1949 she was teaching at Columbia University while more novels set in New France were published. From 1951 through 1960 she taught at Sweet Brian College and moved on as writer-in-residence with the Huntingdon Hartford Foundation. By 1960 she had settled in California, U.S.A.  In 1974 she published her autobiography. In all she would publish 26 books. In 1988 a biography, Joy Before Night: the Last Years of Evelyn Eaton was written by her daughter Terry. (2020)

Esperance SEE - Authors - Alice Maud Ardagh
Juliana Horatia Ewin

née Gatty. Born August 3, 1841 Yorkshire, England. Died May 13, 1885 Bath, Summerset, England. Juliana married Major Alexander Ewing, a military gentleman who was also a music composer. A week after their wedding the couple sailed to Fredericton, New Brunswick where their regiment had been posted. Juliana is the author of more than 30 published popular books for children , including such titles as: Trinity Flower published in 1871, It is the story of the legend about the trillium which had Canadian settings. She is considered by some as the first outstanding writer of children’s novels. Life in Canada included botany, sketching and despite chronic ill health, she enjoyed winter activities such as sleighing and snowshoeing. The family was recalled to England in 1869.  Notable among her published verses was a work entitles "Canada Home" in 1879. Her biography was written by H.K.F. Gatty in 1885. Source: Early Voices: portraits of Canada by women writers 1639-1914. Natural Heritage books, 2010. (2020)

Sheree Fitch

Born December 3, 1956 Ottawa, Ontario. In grade two at school, Sheree published her 1st poem! She enjoyed the feeling of making people smile with her poem. She still enjoys the power of words. Her first short story sold when she was 19 years old. She works diligently to develop the text for nonsense books. It may take her up to two years to get every word in a poem just right. In 1992 , her book, There Are Monkey's In My Kitchen won the Mr. Christie's Book Award. In 1997 her book , If You Could Wear My Sneakers won the Hackmatack Award. (2020)

Winnifred Ford SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Gail Fox

Born February 5, 1942.  She immigrated to Canada in 1963 and came to public attention with a group of poets at Queen’s University, Kingston.  She is also known as editor of the journal called Quarry. (2020)

Rozelle Victoria Myers Funnell SEE - Medical Professionals - Physicians
Rebecca Gibbs

Black poet
Born 1808?, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Died November 14, 1873, Victoria, British Columbia. Little is know of her early life. Was she porn a slave? At some point in her youth she relocated to Bakerville, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is not known if she came with her family or not. She Married R. Gibbs (Robert or Richard where two brother living in British Columbia) September 16, 1868 she was one of many who lost everything in a fire that destroyed Bakerville. She is considered on of the first female Black Canadian poet and she would later compose a poem about the Bakerville fire. Some of her poems were published in the Cariboo Sentinel/ Her most famous poem was titled, The Old Red Shirt, written in 1869. This poem would be inscribed on the back of her tombstone. (2021)
Phyllis Fay Gotlieb

Born May 25, 1926.Toronto, Ontario.  Died July 14, 2009 Toronto, Ontario . She attended Victoria College for her B.A. in 1948 and she earned her M.A. in 1950 from University College, University of Toronto. She married computer scientist Calvin 'Kelly' Gotlieb (1921-2016) She was a prolific author  including six volumes of poetry, five verse plays and several science fiction stories and 13 full novels in the 1960's,1970’s and 1980’s. Her 1982 novel, A Judgement of Dragons won the Prix Aurora Award for best novel in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In 2001 the new Starburst Award, given annually for speculative fiction in named in honor of her 1st book, Sunburst published in 1964.  Source Jewish women’s Archive. Personal information for Phyllis Gotlieb  (Accessed June 2013) ; The Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed March 2013) (2020)

R .H. Grenville

SEE - Beatrice 'Bea' Caroline Rowley

Carla Jean Hartsfield

Born August 29, 1956, Waxahachie, Texas. Carla began piano lessons when she was just 4 years old and she almost immediately began winning local and state-wide honours. She attended University of Texas earning a Bachelor and Masters in piano Music. She immigrated to Canada in 1982. She became a member of the Piano Faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1987. In 1988 she published her 1st book of poems, The Invisible Moon. On May 18, 1990 she married Kenneth Hartsfield and the couple have one son. Her second book of poems was published in 1993 and the following year co-authored New Piano Series Student Guides in 1994. In 1995 her 3rd book of poetry Fire Never Sleeps was published and she was included in Understatement: An Anthology of Twelve Contemporary Poets in 1996.She also operates CJH Piano Studio in Ottawa.  Source: Canadian Who’s Who, Toronto, University of Toronto.  1997. (2020)

Erica Elizabeth Arndt Harvor

Born 1936 Saint John, New Brunswick. This award winning poet earned her Masters degree from Concordia University, Montréal, in 1964. She has taught at Concordia University, York University, Toronto and the University of New Brunswick. She has also established courses at several institutions including Algonquin College in Ottawa. She has produced several volumes of short fiction as well as several successful novels which have been finalist for the Governor General's literature awards. She has also contributed to many periodicals including Event, Grain, The New Yorker, The Canadian Forum, Fiddlehead, Saturday Night, and Poetry Canada Review. (2020)

Anne Hébert

Born August 1, 1916, Sainte-Catherine-de-Fossambault, Quebec August 1, 1916. Died January 22, 2000, Montreal, Quebec. Anne moved to Paris in the 1950's but made frequent visits to her home in Canada. A poet, playwright, and novelist worked on Radio-Canada broadcasts and also wrote scripts for the National Film Board. She wrote books of prose and some of her novels have been made into films. She wrote in her native French but most of her works have been translated into English. She has been awarded the Molson Prize in 1967 and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. She was also the winner of the Prix Fémina and 3 Governor General's Awards in literature. She eventually returned from France to retire in Quebec. (2020)

Sophie Margaretta /Margaret Almon Hensley

née Almon. Born 1866, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Died February 10, 1946, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Sophia was educated at home and then travelled abroad to England and France for additional studies. This author and lecturer wrote of her interest in women’s issues and social tolerance. She wrote periodical articles which appeared in The Week, The King's College Record, the Dominion Illustrated Monthly and The Current. Her 1st collection of poems appeared in April 1889 and was simply titled, Poems. On April 25, 1889 she married a barrister, Hubert Arthur Hensley, and in 1890 the couple settled in New York City, U.S.A. The couple had three children. In 1895 she published her second volume of poems, A Woman's Love Letters. She lectured on literary topics, went on to write a novelette  and a musical play the was done in collaboration with her husband and three more collections of poems. She not only wrote under her own name but also used the pen name of Gordon Hart, J. Try Davies, and Almon Hensley. As Almond Hensley she served as secretary for the New York State Assembly of Mothers and was co-founder and vice-president of the New York City Mother's Club and founding president of the Society for the Study of Life. She was a member of the New York Press Club and served as associate editor of the magazine; Health; a Home Magazine Dedicated to Physical Culture and Hygiene. She maintained a summer home in Nova Scotia and in 1937 relocated to the English channel island of Jersey, where she was forced to leave during the 1940 invasion by the Nazis. She then returned home to Windsor, Nova Scotia. (2020)

Honoriah 'Norah' Mary Holland

Born January 19, 1876, Collingwood, Ontario. Died April 25, 1925, Toronto, Ontario. Norah moved to Toronto, Ontario with her family in 1989. After completing high school she worked for the Dominion Press Clipping Bureau for several years prior to joining the Toronto Daily News. She would also work as an assistant editor of the Canadian Courier magazine. A cousin to the famous Irish writer, W. B. Yeats, this Canadian novelist toured Ireland on foot in 1904.Her 1st published poems were signed in the Globe newspaper as by Bridget. She published several of her works and in her own day she was a well-respected poet. She also published short stories and a play When Half Gods Go in 1929. At the age of 46  on September 9, 1922 she married a widower and fellow author, Lionel William Claxton (1857-1929). She was a member of the Canadian Womens Press Club in Toronto. Source: Canada's Early Women Writers. SFU Library Digital Collections. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada. 1980-2014. (2020)

Mrs. R. H. Hudson SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Agnes Helen Lockhart Hughes SEE - Journalists
Hollis Hume SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Sally Ito

Born 1964, Taber, Alberta. Sally studied at the University of British Columbia earning her Bachelor in Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 1987. After graduating she traveled to Japan on a Mombusho scholarship. She returned to Canada in 1990 and attended the University of Alberta where her Master's thesis, a collection of short stories was published in 1998. This 1st book won the Howard O'Hagan Award for Best Short Story Collection written by an Albertan in 1999.  Since then she has published several books of poetry and creative non fiction. Sally teaches writing at King's University College, University Edmonton, Alberta. (2020)

Marja 'Maria' Jacobs

SEE  - Authors

Paulette Kay Jiles

Born 1943 Salem, Missouri, U.S.A. Paulette studied at the University of Illinois, U.S.A. and settled in Canada in 1969 where she worked for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). Learning the Ojibwe and Anishinaabeg languages she helped establish native language FM radio stations in northern Ontario and Quebec for ten years. In 1984 her publication Celestial Navigation was the winner of the Governor General’s Award for English Poetry, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. In 1985 she again won the Governor General’s Award. In 1986 she wrote her 1st novel, Late Grate Human Road Show, a post-bomb science fiction novel set in Toronto, Ontario. Paulette married a Texan, Jim Johnson, and the couple settled in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. in 1991 with Paulette being stepmother to three children. The next several years were spent traveling and living in far-flung locations including North Africa, the Canary Islands and Mexico. In 2002 she was the winner of the Rogers Writer’s Trust  Fiction Prize. The couple divorced in 2003 and Paulette continued writing.  In 2016 her novel News for the World was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. (2020)

Rita Joe


Aboriginal poet

née Bernard. Born March 15, 1932, Whycocamagh, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Died March 20, 2007, Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Her mother died when she was only five years old and she began to live in various foster homes. When she was ten her father died and she left Cape Breton to attend Shubenacadie Residential School. Here she was told that she was no good. Years later she would publish a book on her life at the school. After school she returned to live on the Eskasoni First Nations Reserve. In 1954 she married Frank Joe and the couple would raise 8 children and two adopted sons. In 1978 her 1st book of poetry was published. She would continue to produce books of poetry and stories and her works were included in anthologies. Her writings earned her the unofficial title of Poet Laureate of the Mi’kmaq people. In 1989 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1992 she was called to the Queen’s Privy Council, one of the few non-politicians to be appointed. In 1993 she was the subject of a National Film Board Documentary “Song of Eskasoni”. In 1996 she wrote her autobiography. In 1997 she was presented with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed January 2014) (2020)

Helen Mar Johnson

Born October 27, 1834 Magog, Lower Canada (now Quebec). Died March 13, 1834. Her poetry was usually religious in nature. . There are two published works of her poetry. Poems (Boston, 18550 and Canadian Wild flowers (Boston, 1884). (2020)

Emily Pauline Johnson

Aboriginal poet

Born March 10, 1861 Six Nations Indian Reserve, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 7, 1913 Vancouver, British Columbia. Her Mohawk name was Tekahionwakeh, meaning double life. Her mother was from England and her father a Mohawk hereditary clan chief. She was raised learning both English and Mohawk languages and was home schooled until she was 14 when she attended Brantford Central Collegiate graduating in 1877. In 1884 she published her 1st full length poem, My little Jean in Gems of Poetry magazine out of New York, U.S.A. It was during this decade that she began to  be published regularly in the Toronto Globe, Saturday Night magazine and the Week.  She became Canada’s 1st renowned native poet she was also the 1st native born cultural ambassador. She  worked towards unity for all peoples and the land when most settlers were only thinking of human unity.  She took her poetry all over Europe where she performed her readings in her native dress. In 1912 a collection of her poems was published, Flint and Feather, which as been one of the best-selling titles of Canadian poetry has been republished many times. She retired from the stage in 1909 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where she wrote of the Squamish people of North Vancouver. In 1922 a cairn was erected at the burial site in Vancouver's Stanley Park, with an inscription reading in part, "in memory of one whose life and writings were an uplift and a blessing to our nation". In 1945 Pauline Johnson was designated a Person of National Historic Significance. On the Centennial of her birth in 1961 Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp with her image making her the 1st woman, other than the Queen, the 1st author, and the 1st aboriginal Canadian to appear on a Canadian stamp. There are 4 schools named in her honour and her birth home, Chiefwood is listed as a National Historic site.  Her biography by Charlotte Gray was published in 2002 and may be available at your public library. That same year Tekahionwake: Collective Poems and Selected Prose was published containing all of Pauline's poems found to that date. (2020)

Shadwell Jones SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Agnes Bell Joynes SEE - Authors
Surjeet Singh Kalsey

Born 1944 Amritsar, Punjab, India. Surjeet earned her Master degree at Punjab University, Chandigarth, India and worked as Pujabi Regional news Anchor for All India Radio for some 5 years. In 1974 she immigrated to Canada and settled on the west coast in British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia and earned another Master degree this time in Creative writing. She worked as a freelance writer, interpreter and translator. Her 4th Master degree was in Counseling Psychology from UBC. She worked as a family therapist at the Vancouver Community College. From In 1979 she published her 1st book of poetry in Punjabi and this was followed by more poetry books in both Punjabi and English. She has also published books of short stories and plays. Many of her works reflect women's issues in Indo-Canadian life, violence against women and women's and children's rights. In 2007 the book Surjeet Kalsey's Literary Journey was published. (2020)

Diane Margaret Keating

née Heys. Born July 20, 1943 Winnipeg Manitoba. She attended the University of Manitoba graduating in 1963. She married Christopher Keating in 1967 and the couple have two children. In 1978 she published her 1st poetry book; In Dark Places.  In 1982 No Birds or Flowers was published and garnered her the Governor General’s Award for English Language Poetry. She published again in 1984: the Optic Heart. In 2001 she produced: The Year One: new and Selected Poems. In 2014 she published a novel, The Crying Out. Source: The Canadian Who’s Who, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997) (2020)

Penn Kemp

Born  August 4, 1944, Strathroy, Ontario. Penn  received her BA in 1966 from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario and followed it with he Certificate in Education from Althouse College at Western. A poet, playwright and novelist she has produced 25 books (The first in 1972) and 10 CD’s. Her poetry is enhanced by sound to lift poetry off the written page. Her works have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages. Her sound poem Peach in Many Voices  it available in 128 different translations from Ancient Egyptian to Ojibwa. She calls herself an activist poet, dedication herself to political, social and environmental issues. In 1988 she was awarded the Ontario Geological Society (OGS)  scholarship to earn her Masters in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto. She has been writer in residence at the University of Mumbai, twice, 1995 and again in 1999 as well as in Brazil and her own University of Western Ontario. While at Western she provided a radio show on the UWO radio station. She is the 1st appointed poet Laureate of the city of London, Ontario. Married to Gavin Stairs and the couple have a daughter and son. They both run Pendas Productions which produces had-bound poetry books and CD’s. Sources: University of Toronto Canadian Poetry online: Penn Kemp Personal correspondence. (2020)

Ada Florence Kinton Born April 1, 1859, London, England. Died May 27, 1905, Huntsville, Ontario. Florence studied art and earned her Master's degree by the time she was 23. After the death of her father in 1882 she visited her brothers in Muskoka District Ontario. Returning to England she took up a teaching position and began to attend meetings of the Salvation Army. She quite her job and again studied art at the South Kensington School of Art where she was encouraged to return to Canada to open an Art school In 1886 she immigrated to Kingston, Ontario and then moved to Toronto where she joined the Salvation Army in 1889. She served at the Drunkards Home, the Children's Home and the Rescue Home for Women before becoming an associated editor with the Salvation Army magazine The War Cry. She also wrote poems and articles for the publication. By 1893 she was working in the home of the Canadian Salvation Army's Commandant. She would follow the family to Australia and the U.S.A .In 1900 she published a collection of her poems which she illustrated herself called Vignettes of Muskoka. In 1902 ill health forced her to return to Huntsville, Ontario. Her sister Sara Amelia Kinton published Florence's collected works posthumously in 1907. Source: Early Canadian Women Writers; Online (accessed 2020) DCB (2020)
Blanche Lamontagne-Beauregard

Born January 13, 1889, Les Escoumains, Quebec. Died May 25, 1958, Canada. Blanche was educated at convent schools and earned her BA from the Université de Montréal. In 1913 she became what may be the 1st female poet of Gaspé to have published her writings. Her 1st collection of poems, Visions gaspéiennes, was awarded the Prix de la Société du parler français au Canada. In July 1920 she married a lawyer, Hector Beauregard. After her marriage she was able to devote her life to her writing. She produced 12 published works during her lifetime and in 1989 and 1991 collected and selected works were published. The municipal library in Saint Anne-des-Monts is named in her honour and Mont Blanche Lamontagne is a popular ski destination. Beauport Quebec boasts of rue Blanche-Lamontagne and there is a Inn Blanche Lamontagne in Gaspé where much of the background of her works is situated. (2020)

Rina Lasnier

Born Born August 6, 1915, St-Grégoire d'Iberville, Quebec.  Died Québec May 9, 1991.Rina was  youthful playwright who blossomed into a renowned poet. She studied at the Université de Montréal, graduating in 1931. She would later return to school to earn her degree in Library Sciences in 1942. From 1932 she worked as a journalist and in 1939 her 1st literary work, a play about the life of Kateri Tekakwitha, was published. Her writings garnered her  the Prix David in 1943 and again in 1974.  In 1957 she was awarded the Prix Dulemay. In the 1970’s her works were recognized with the 1971 Molson Prize, the 1973 Prix France-Canada and in 1974 the Lorne Pierce Medal. In 1987 she was inducted into the National Order of Quebec. .  

Evelyn Lau

Born July 2, 1971, Vancouver, British Columbia. This author published her 1st work while still a teenager! At 14 she ran away from home.  In 1989 she recorded her experiences as a street kid in Vancouver in a best selling work, Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. The book was made into a movie for the CBC. In 1990 she published a collection of poetry, You Are Not Who You Claim. In 1992 she became the youngest poet to be nominated for a Governor General's Award. She is also a winner of the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. In 1993 and 1999 she publishes some of her short stories. In 1995 she published the novel, Other Woman. In 2001 she published her second memoir, Inside Out. In 2005 she published more of her poems in Treble. Source: Canadian Encyclopedia. Online   (2020)

Leanora Aura Angelica Leigh SEE - Mary Elizabeth Jane Muchall
Rosanna Eleanora Leprohon

née Mullins. Born January 12, 1829,  Montreal, Quebec. Died September 20, 1879, Montreal, Quebec. A poet and novelist she would be published when she was 17 years old. Many of her novels were published a serials, where a portion of the story would appear in a magazine each week. Her serials were carried by such noteworthy Canadian publications as the Literary Garland and the Family Herald. The second magazine brought her work into the farm homes across the country. In June 1851 she married Dr. J. L. Leprohon. Many of her works were translated into French so that her writings were well known in both main cultures in Canada. She accomplished all this while being the mother of 13 children!!  v Sources; Canadian Encyclopedia; DCB  (2020)

Ray/Rae Lewis

SEE - Ray/Rae Lewis - Entertainers - Miscellaneous

Florence Hamilton Livesay

née Randal.  Born November 3, 1874 Compton, Quebec. Died July 28, 1953, Grimsby, Ontario. This writer was a poet, a journalist, a translator and a novelist. As a young woman she attended Compton's Ladies College and in the 1890's her first poems were published in Massey's Magazine. She turned to journalism and wrote for both the Ottawa Journal and the Winnipeg Telegram. She was one of 30 volunteer teachers who . at the end of the Boer War in 1902 went to South Africa. She continued to send articles to Ottawa and Winnipeg from Africa. Married life found the family settling in Winnipeg and she produced Songs of the Ukrania (1916) consisting mainly of translations of folk music. Her career continued with more published poetry and novels. She found her young daughter's poetry hidden in a drawer and sent it to a newspaper who thought it good enough to publish, and Florence launched a career of her daughter Dorothy Livesay (1909-1996). (2020)

Patricia Louise Lowther

Born July 29,1935 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died September 24, 1975, Vancouver, British Columbia. When Pat was just ten years old her 1st poem was published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. Her 1st volume of poetry was published in 1968.  She was Co–chair of the league of Canadian Poets in 1974 and later the British Columbia Arts Council.  She devoted herself to the promotion of poetry. She published 4 collections of her own poetry. A mother of four children, she was murdered by her husband, Roy Lowther ( d 1985), in September 1975. The couple had married in 1963 and they had four children. In 1977 A Stone Diary was published. In 1980 her early works and previously unpublished poems were published in Final Instructions.  The League of Canadian Poets annually awards the Pat Lowther Award for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman. In 1996 a new manuscript was discover and published with the title; Time Capsule. Pat's life and death was the inspiration for the Carol Shields (1935-2003)  novel, Swan: A Mystery. (2020)

Annie Lloyd SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Gwendolyn MacEwen

Born September 1, 1941, Toronto, Ontario. Died November 29, 1987, Toronto, Ontario. Gwen had her 1st poem published in the Canadian Forum magazine when she was just 17 years old and at 18 she had written her 1st novel Julian the Magician.  At 20 she produced her 1st complete book of poetry The Drunken Clock. Along with poetry and novels she also wrote numerous radio docudramas for the CBC. In 1969 her poetry book, The Shadow Maker, won the Governor Generals Award.  In 1972 she opened a coffee house with her 2nd husband Nikos Tsingos and in 1973 she won the A.J.M. Smith Poetry Award. In 1983 she won the Borestone Mountain Poetry Award the CBC Literary Competition and the DuMaurier Awards gold and silver for poetry.  In 1985 she became Writer in Residence at the University of Western Ontario and went on to the University of Toronto as Writer in Residence in 1986-1987.  That same year she won her second Governor General’s Award posthumously. An accomplished linguist she taught herself to read Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and French using her skills to translate writers from each of these languages. Her own original works have been translated into numerous foreign languages including French German and Italian. In 1995 Rosemary Sullivan published, Shadow Maker: the Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen which won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. In 1994 the former Walmer Road Park in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto was renamed Gwendolyn MacEwen Park in her honor and in September 2006 a bronze bust of the writer by sculptor John McCombe Reynolds was unveiled in the park. A one-woman play by Linda Griffiths, Alien Creature: A Visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen, won the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Chalmers Award in 2000. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2008) (2020)

Mary Ellen Macnab SEE - Social Activists
Jean Jay Macpherson

Born June 13, 1931. Died March 21, 2012, Toronto, Ontario. When Jay was nine she was a ‘war guest’ in Newfoundland. This was a term used for British evacuee children who were sent from Britain for their safety during World War ll. In 1944 the  family settled in Ottawa, Ontario. She earned her BA from Carlton University, Ottawa in 1951. While still a student at Carleton she had some of her poems published in the Canadian magazine Contemporary in 1949. After achieving her BA she went on to University College in London for post Graduate studies prior to earning her PhD from the University of Toronto. She also earned a post graduate Bachelor of Library Science. In 1952 her 1st published work Nineteen Poems appeared. In 1954 Jay began her own small press, Emblem Books. Her most popular work, The Boatman, was a series of 80 poems published in 1957 garnered the 1958 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. From 1997 through 1996 Jay taught English at Victoria College at the University of Toronto becoming a full professor in 1974. Her works also earned her the E. J. Prat Medal for poetry and the Levinson. (2020) 

Miriam Mandel 

née Minovitch. Born June 24,1930, Rockglen, Saskatchewan. Died February 13, 1982, Edmonton, Alberta. In 1949 she married Eli Mandel. After studying at the University of Saskatchewan University she and her husband settled in Toronto and later in Edmonton. The couple had two children. She began writing poetry in her late 30’s when her marriage broke down. She suffered from manic depression and she was able to express her feeling with courage and honesty in her work. She won the Governor General’s Award in 19783 for her collection of poems; Lions at Her Face. Sadly she he took her own life in Edmonton. The University of Calgary Archives holds a collection of her papers. (2020)

Lorna Marsden SEE - Academics
Daphne Marlatt

née Buckle. Born July 11, 1942, Melbourne, Australia. When she was young her family relocated to Malaysia and then when she was nine they moved to British Columbia. Daphne graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1964 where she was an editor for Tish, a Canadian literary journal. She married Gordon Alan Marlatt and the couple settled in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1968 she earned her Master's from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A. As a writer Daphne has published two novels and her poetry has appeared in literary journals and magazines. In 1969 she published a collection of shorter poems followed in 1971 with a collection of poems about pregnancy, birth and parenting. She began working at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia, where she also edited the Capilano Review. In 1974 she published poems about Japanese Canadians during World War ll. More publications would follow. In 1977 she co-founded Periodies: A Magazine of Prose which lasted until 1981. She and her son travelled to England and from that trip she published How Hug a Stone. In the 1980's she became interested in feminism and in 1985 she co-founded the feminist magazine Tessera. It was at this time that she 'came out' as a lesbian. In 1988 she published the novel Ana Historic. While she still published volumes of her poems she also taught at several colleges and universities across Canada. For her writings she has received the MacMillan and Bissenden for Creative Writing, the Vancouver's Mayor's Award for Literary Arts, and she is a Member of the Order of Canada. By 2017 she had published over 20 books.  (2020)

Joyce Anne Marriott

Born November 5, 1913, Victoria, British Columbia. Died October 10, 1947, Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1939 Joyce penned a long poem, The Wind Our Enemy, depicting draught on the Canadian prairies. At the University of British Columbia she co-founded with Dorothy Livesay (1909-1996) and others the journal, Contemporary Verse. In 1941 she earned a Governor General’s Award for Poetry for her work Calling Adventurers. In 1943 she earned the Woman’s Canadian Club Literary Award. In 1945 she relocated to Ottawa, Ontario working as an editor for the National Film Board of Canada. In 1947 she married Gerald McLellan (d 1974) and the couple returned to British Columbia to raise their three children. After her marriage she wrote multiple scripts for the CBC. In 1956 she earned a Koerner Foundation Scholarship and in 1958 she wan the Ohio Award for educational Broadcasting. In the 1970’s she provided poetry workshops for young people and in the 1980’s she published multiple volumes of poetry and a volume of short stories. (2020)

Alma Frances McCollum Born December 7, 1879, Chatham, Ontario. Died March 1906, Toronto, Ontario. After high school Alma studied at the Toronto Presbyterian Ladies' College and later in Cambridge in the U.S.A. She would also train in music  at the School of Expression at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She wrote plays for children and poetry some of which were comic. In 1902 she published Flower Legends and Other Poems.  She also had some of her work published in the Globe and Mail newspaper and the Canadian Magazine. She died as the consequence of an operation. (2020)
Laura Elizabeth McCully

Born March 17, 1886, Toronto, Ontario. Died July 7, 1924, Toronto, Ontario. As a youngster she wrote often and some of her writings were published in the Children’s Corner of the Daily Mail and Empire newspaper. She was even profiled in Harper’s Bazaar magazine which was published in New York, U.S.A. in 1899. Laura attended the University of Toronto receiving her B.A. in 1907 and her M.A. in 1908.While still a student she became interested in the votes for women movement and attended suffrage rallies including August 8, 1908 in Orillia, Ontario.  In 1909 she studied at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. returning to Canada in 1910. In 1915 she expanded her pacifist views to include the right to bear arms and joined the Women’s Home Guard to train with the idea of relieving men for active duty. By the end of 1916 she had developed diabetes and suffered from mental illness with bouts of hospital care which led to poverty and a life of fear. Source: Sophia Sperdakos, McCully, Laura Elizabeth. Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 15. University of Toronto/Laval University Presses 2003-. Online Accessed March 2015. (2020)

M. D. Merrivale SEE - Helena Jane Coleman
Maria Moffatt

née MacGregor Born May 13, 1884, Stratford, Ontario. Died October 8, 1923. In 1906 she earned her B.A. from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1909 she married Thomas E. Moffatt. While she enjoyed writing verse all her life it was not until after her death that her verses were published  A Book of Verse (Toronto, 1924).  (2020)

Shani Mootoo

SEE - Authors

Mary Elizabeth Jane Muchall

Leanora Aura Angelica Leigh

née Traill. Born November 7, 1841, Ashburnham, Ontario. Died May 28, 1892 Peterborough, Ontario. She was born into the literary family of Catherine Parr Trail as the 4th daughter. She sometimes used variations of the pseudonym Leanora Aura Angelica Leigh for her many published articles and short stories which appeared in such publications as The Canadian Monthly and National Review. In 1862 she married Thomas William Muchall (1820-1898) and they had four children.  One book of verse was published: Step by Step: the Shadow on a Canadian Home (Toronto, 1876) followed by The Stolen Skates: a Canadian Tale in the 1870's.  Source: Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography. (2020)

Susan Musgrave

Born March 12, 1951 Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.  Susan published her 1st book of poems, Songs of the Sea-Witch, at 17. She would find her personal life embroiled in a love affair that would end in a marriage in prison. Susan married  Stephen Reid, a writer, convicted bank robber and former member of the infamous band of thieves known as the Stopwatch Gang. Their relationship was chronicled in 1999 in the CBC TV series Life and Times.  She continues her prolific writing  which includes poetry, fiction, children's literature and song lyrics from her family tree house in Victoria, British Columbia. She teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia. (2020)

Marion Georgina Francis Osborne

née Francis. Born May 14,1871, Montreal, Quebec. Died September 5, 1931, Ottawa, Ontario. Marion attended classes at the University of Toronto but did not finish her degree. She married Charles Lambert Bath (1858-1899) a factory manager. The couple originally settled in Swansea, Wales and the couple had two children. Charles committed suicide and Marion returned to Canada. July 19,1902 she married a second time to Colonel Henry Campbell Osborne (1874-1949) and the family settled in Toronto.  After a trip to Alaska in 1904 she produced a pamphlet on Alaska and a children's story. Turning to writing poetry and she published a collection in 1914. After the war, living in Ottawa she was again writing with some children's verses, some sonnets and a play and two ballets. It is perhaps to support herself that she turned to publishing her books of poems and plays and prose. Between She would publish some five volumes of work which garnered her a good reputation in Canada and England. A British film syndicate bought her work, The Priest an