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ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

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Famous Canadian Women's
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Famous Canadian Women
on Canadian Postage Stamps
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Over 1,000 Names
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Famous Canadian Women









































Use your mouse pointer to touch a date on the
calendar to the left and see which Famous
Canadian Woman has a birthday on that date.
March 1 Anne Kahane.  Born March 1, 1926 Vienna, Austria. Anne immigrated to Montreal with her parents when she was 5 years old. It was at the Montreal Ecole des beaux arts that she took her early formal art lessons. This sculptor emigrated from Austria with her parents in 1925. During the mid 1940's Anne studied at Cooper Union School, New York City, U.S.A. In 1953 she was the only Canadian winning international prizes for her3-dimensional figures carved in wood,  works. Her woodcarvings are the decorative panels for the Winnipeg airport, Winnipeg General Hospital, and Montreal’s Place des Arts. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, representing Canada at the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Canadian Pavilion at the Worlds Fair, Brussels, and at Expo 67 in Montreal Abandoning wood in the late 1970's she began to work with sheets of aluminum with her first showing of this new medium at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario in 1980-1982.
  Monique Bégin. Born March 1,1936 Rome, Italy. She was born in Europe while her French-Canadian father was working overseas. The family escaped to Portugal and back to Canada at the breakout of World War 11. Monique earned a teacher's certificate and then went on to study sociology at the Université de Montreal before living in Paris, France for two years. She began working as executive secretary to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women once back in Canada. . She was 1st woman from Québec to be elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1972. She distinguished herself as the executive secretary-general of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. During her political Career she would serve as Minister of National Revenue, then as Minister of National Health and Welfare. She was responsible for increases in old-age supplements for needy senior citizens and the child tax credit and a new health law which strengthened the health insurance system. Leaving politics in 1984 Monique taught at the University of Ottawa. In 2004 she participated in a play celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Women's Press Club. In 2017 she earned the Maclean's Magazine lifetime award at the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards.
March 2 Ghitta Calserman-Roth. Born March 2, 1923 Montreal, Quebec. Died November 25, 2005. Ghitta attended the Parsons School of Design, New York, U.S.A. from 1939-1943. Returning to Montreal in 1947 she opened  the Montreal Artists School. She served as school principal  with the school accommodating many returned war veterans until it was sold in 1952. At the beginning of the 1960's she studied at the Ecole des beaux arts, Montreal. Here she mixed her appreciation of art she had seen during trips to Mexico where she studied murals.  A very talented artist she is considered an outstanding example of creativity of women artists that have characterized a century of art in Montreal.  She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. She was part of the Jewish Painters of Montreal which have left a legacy depicting expressionistic images of social realism of the 1930's and 1940's. She received the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 and in 1975 she earned the Purchase Prize and Best Graphic Imaage Award from the Ontario Society of Artists. In 200 she became the 1st artist to win the Governor General's Award.
March 3 Marie-Madelaine Jarret de Verchères.  Born March 3, 1678, Verchères. Quebec. Died August 8, 1747, Sainte-Anne –de-La Pérade, Quebec. . when she, with only a handful of helpers would successfully defend the family fort against attack. She and her family lived in a “fort” which had been built as protection against marauding bands of Iroquois. Her mother had “held the fort” successfully fending off attacks in 1690. On October 22, 1692, while her parents were away in Montreal, she was in charge of her home. She was 14 years old. She was outside the walls of the fort when the attackers approached causing her to scramble and ran for the fortifications and safety. There was only one soldier at home at the time and Madelaine donned a soldiers hat and made motions of being in charge of a larger group of defenders. She had the cannon fired as a warning not only to the attackers but to other “forts” along the river that there was danger. By the time help arrived from Montreal the attackers had fled. There are various written reports about the successful defense that day. No doubt recalled in the aftermath of the events and in later years the reports may have exaggerated or did they? Her exploits have been written up in several books, plays and even movies, extolling the young Madelaine as one of Canada's first youth heroines. Even though it was not unusual for girls to be married in their early teens but Madeleine married only on September 1706 to Pierre Thomas Tarieu de La Pérade (1677-1757).The couple would have 5 children.  It seems that she summoned her courage again in 1722 saving her husband from attack of two Indians. In turn her son, Charles-Francois, who was 10 at the time, fended off 4 native women who came to help out the male attackers. It seems that both Madeleine and her husband were not held in high esteem as landlords. They were involved in numerous law suit concerning land ownership and Madeleine even sailed to France in attempts to have courts solve the disputes. In 1923 the Canadian Government designated Madeleine as a Person of National Historic Significance. Source: André Vachon, “JARRET DE VERCHÈRES, MARIE-MADELEINE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 27, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/jarret_de_vercheres_marie_madeleine_3E.html. (Accessed July 2014)
  Menaka Thakkar. Born March 3, 1942 Bombay, India.  She came to Canada in 1972 to visit her brother and to perform classical dance of India.  Her acceptance was so warm that she  made Canada her home. She has founded a dance company and been a major influence in the development and appreciation for Indian classical dance in Canada. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work both in Canada and in India. 
March 4 Nellie J. Cournoyea.  Born March 4, 1940 Aklavik, Northwest Territories.  Nellie grew up traveling and hunting in the traditional manner of her people. She married a Canadian Forces officer and the couple were posted in Halifax and Ottawa prior to heading back to the Northwest Territories with their 2 children. Shortly after the couple divorced.  In the 1960’s she worked as an announcer for the CBC radio. In 1969 she co-founded with Agnes Semmler a political association to help the people of Inuvialuit which gave her an active role in the 1984 land claim. In 1979 she was elected to the Legislature of the Northwest Territories and served on various cabinet positions prior to becoming the 1st native woman to lead a provincial territorial government in Canada. She served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from November 14, 1991 to November 2, 1995. Nellie was awarded the Woman of the Year for NWT in 1982 and in 1986 she received the Wallace Goose Award. She was recognized with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994. In 2004 she received the Energy Person of the Year from the Energy Council of Canada. In 2008 the Governor General of Canada awarded Nellie Cournoyea the Northern Medal in recognition for her significant contributions to the evolution and reaffirmation of the Canadian North as part of our national identity. She volunteers as Director of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Center in Inuvik and is a founding member of the Northern Games Society. She is also a volunteer in Inuvialuit historical and cultural activities. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2006); Nellie J. Cournoyea, Collections Canada. National Library of Canada, (Accessed 2006).
  Carroll Ann Baker.  Born March 4, 1949 Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Carroll was performing at the age of 4. At 16, Carroll and her family relocated to Toronto. Carroll had her 1st single song hit in 1970.    She dominated the country music scene in the 1970's winning several Juno Awards as Country Female vocalist in 1977, 1978 and 1979. In 1976, she won a Big Country Award for best album of the year, and in 1978 and 1977 she was named top female country singer at the same awards. She produced over 20 albums of her music. In the summer of 1983 she hosted her own television show and was always a welcome guest on the long running Tommy Hunter show. She decided to take partial retirement in the early 1990's. She was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1997 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Nova Scotia Country Music Association. In 2010 she became a Member of the Order of Canada for her singing and songwriting.
  Catherine Anne O’Hara.  Born March 4,1954 Toronto, Ontario. She was a waitress at the Firehall Theatre in Toronto when she convinced Canadian actor John Candy to listen to her comedy routine. She joined the Second City TV troupe in 1973.  She began her film career in 1980 and has appeared in such films as Beetlejuice, Dick Tracey, Home Alone, and such TV series as Tales From the Crypt. In 1981 she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. In 1988 she had the staring role in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice. In 1992 she married production designer Bo Welch and the couple have two sons. She has also stared in additional Tim Burton productions including the Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie. In 2000 she won a Genie Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in the film the Life Before This. She played the mother in the two Home Alone movies. After 2000 she has done mainly voice over work for animated stories. In 2001 she won the Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture from the American Comedy Awards. In 2006 she won the National Film Board Review for Best Supporting Actress in For Your Consideration.  In 2016 she was playing in the series Schitt's Creek.  and won the Canadian Screen Award for Bst Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role for this series. Her role also garnered her an ACTRA Toronto Award for Outstanding Performance.  She has won two Canadian Screen Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, at the 4th Canadian Screen Awards in 2016 and the 5th Canadian Screen Awards in 2017.
March 5 Phyllis Dewar-Lowrey.  Born March 5, 1916 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Died April 8, 1961 Toronto, Ontario. As a young swimmer she earned the nickname “Moose Jaw Mermaid. In 1934 & 1935 she held every single Canadian freestyle swimming record from 100 yards to one mile! She set records and won a 4 gold medals at the 1934 British Empire Games in London, England. That same year she won the Velma Springstead Trophy as Canadian female athlete of the year,. She returned to the British Empire Games in Australia 1938 for another gold medal in the 4 X 110 yard freestyle relay.  She married Murray Lowery and the couple have 4 children.  In 1967 she was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and in 1971 she was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame followed in 1972 with a membership in the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.  Sources: Who’s who in Canadian Sport by Bob Ferguson, (Scarborough: Prentice Hall, 1977; Phyllis Dewar (1916-1961), The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, Online, Accessed March 2016)
  Pauline Donalda. née Lightstone. Born March 5, 1882 Montreal, Quebec. Died October 22, 1970. Pauline was educate at Royal Victoria College, McGill University, Montreal. In 1902 she went to study at the Conservatoire de Paris, France on a grant from Donald Smith (1820-1914), Lord Strathcona. It was here that she adopted the stage name Donalda in honour of her patron. In 1904 she made her singing debut in Nice, France. In November 1906, Returning to Montreal with her husband Paul Seveilhac, to make her North American debut. In December 1906 she began a season with Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera House in New York City, U.S.A. By 1907 she was once again singing in Europe. She remained in North America during World War l returning to Paris in 1917 to marry her second husband, Mischa Leon in 1918. 1n 1922 she opened a teaching studio in Paris, France returning to Montreal only in 1937 to open her studio there. She founded the Montreal Opera Guild in 1942 where she served as president and artistic director until 1969. In 1967 she became an Officer in the Order of Canada.

© Public Domain
March 6 Irene F. Whittome.  Born March 6, 1942 Vancouver, British Columbia.  After her early studies at the Vancouver School of Art in British Columbia she went on study in Paris France where she chose etchings as her 1st major form of artistic expression. Returning to Canada she attended Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec.   By 1975 she had produced a series of sculptures and went on to use the medium of hand made paper relief and sculptures to produce several one-woman shows in many Canadian galleries and museums. Her modern works continue to receive acclaim and awards, including the Victor-Martyn-Staunton Award in 1991. In 1992, she received an award from the Gershon-Iskowitz Foundation. In 1997 she was awarded Québec's Prix Paul Émile Borduas and in 2002 she received a Governor General's Visual and Media Arts Award. in 2005 she became an officer in the Order of Canada.
March 7 Diane Jones Konihowski.  Born March 7, 1951 Vancouver, British Columbia.  As an athlete, she competed in pentathlon and track and field internationally in 1967. She would go on to win gold medals in the 1975 and 1979 Pan-American Games, as well as gold in t he 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games. After leaving competition she continued her career as an amateur sports administrator. Her work included working with the Alberta Sports Council until 1994.  She is a Member of the Order of Canada. 
March 8 Charlotte Whitton. Born March 8,1896 Renfrew, Ontario. Died January 25, 1975. This social worker, politician, and feminist was a colourful, energetic, outspoken, flamboyant individual.  In the 1920’s she was a relentless crusader for professional standards of juvenile immigrants and neglected children. She was the spark that ignited the Canadian Council on Child Welfare.  She was in demand across North America as a lecturer on social programs. When she became mayor of Ottawa in 1951 she was the first woman in Canada to be a mayor of a major metropolitan area. In November 1950 , Whitton entered Ottawa City politics when she won a seat on what was then called the board of control. When the elected mayor died the next year she succeeded him. She was elected mayor in 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1964 and later served as an alderman until 1972. 
March 9 Flavia Elliott Redelmeier. née Elliott.  Born March 9, 1926. Flavia received her BA in 1948 from the University of Toronto, on the same day as her mother received her degree.  On December 29, 1950 she married Ernest Redelmeier and the couple would have two sons.  Her wedding dress was the adapted gown from her grandmother's wedding in 1897. By 1951 she had graduated with a Masters degree.  This volunteer has donated her life time to such organizations as the Girl Guides of Canada where she was an executive member and camping commissioner for Canada. She has  served on hospital and museum boards including as a board member at the Canadian Museum of Nature.  May 8, 2013 Flavia was honoured by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) with the  Distinguished Service Award tor the incredible impact and support for the ROM.
  Marlene Streit. née Stewart. Born March 9, 1934 Cereal, Alberta. A powerful golfer she would win the Canadian ladies champion title 11 times between 1951 and 1973. She was the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year in 1951 and 1956. In 1967 she was inducted as an officer in the Order of Canada. During her golfing career she would win 24 Canadian Ladies Golf Association Championships and by 2003 she had a career total of 30 national or international championships with at least one championship each decade . She claimed her third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in 2003, the oldest person to ever triumph in that event. She is the only person to have won the Australian, British, Canadian and United States womens’ amateur championships!  She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and in 2004 she became the first Canadian member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
  Donna Arlene Chow.  Born March 9, 1941. After her studies in science at university she entered the field of research. She also has an interest in recognizing women's work and has contributed to Women In Science. She has herself become a teacher at the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba and has been recognized at the YWCA Woman of Distinction in 1992.  She is also a recipient of the the Canada 125 medal. 
  Marilyn C. Bodough. Born March 9, 1955. A business woman who managers her own lumber yard and has owned several businesses including a funeral home and flower business. She is a well known motivational speaker. In her spare time she found time to be a member of the 1996 Canadian and World Championship Curling teams. She has also co-authored a book on the sport of curling. She is a member of the St Catherines Ontario Hall of Fame. 
March 10 Julia Catherine Hart. née Beckwith. Born March 10, 1796  Fredericton, New Brunswick. Died November 28, 1867.  She wrote the first work of fiction by a native born Canadian to be published in Canada.  Her novel was called:: St Ursula’s Convent or The Nun of Canada, Containing Scenes from Real Life”  published in 1824. She wrote this book when she was only 17 years old! She would continue publishing her writings while she raised 6 children!
  Emily Pauline Johnson.  Born March 10, 1861 Six Nations Indian Reserve, Canada West (now Ontario). Died March 7, 1913. Canada’s first renowned native poet she was also the first native born cultural ambassador. She was working towards unity for all peoples and the land when most settlers were only thinking of human unity.  She took her works all over Europe where she performed her readings in her native dress. Her native name was Tekahionwake. The latest biography by Charlotte Gray was published in 2002 and is available at your public library.

© Canada Post Corporation
  Avril 'Kim'   Phaedra Campbell. Born March 10, 1947 Port Alberni, British Columbia. Known as “Kim” since a teen, she attended the University of British Columbia and went on to earn a PhD at the London School of Economics, London England. Entering politics as a member of the Vancouver School Board from 1980-4. She moved to the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, 1986-88 and was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1988. In 1989 she was appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.  The 1st woman to serve as Minister of Justice, February 1990, by January 1993, she also became the 1st woman Minister of Defense of a NATO country.   In June 1993 she became the 1st woman elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and the 1st woman Prime Minister of Canada. She resigned after election defeat in, November 1993. Appointed Consul General to Los Angeles, California from 1996-2000, she was also chair, 1999 – 2003, for the Council of Women World Leaders. Working with a group of national leaders to strengthen democracy in the world, she was founder and acting President of the Club de Madrid, and was appointed Secretary General in 2004.  A lecturer of public policy at Harvard, she currently describes herself as a teacher and recovering politician. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2004); Canadian Who's Who.

© Famous Canadian
  Debbie Brill.  Born March 10, 1953, Mission British Columbia. She began competitive track and Field in 1966 when she was just 13 years old and appeared in her 1st international event at 15. At 16 she became the 1st North American woman to cleat 6’ in the high jump. She used a style of jump that became known as the “Brill Bend”. It was a style that revolutionized this event. Debbie has held the Canadian high jump record since 1969. That year she won a gold medal at the 1st Pacific Conference Games. She took gold again at the 1977 games. In 1970 she earned gold at the Commonwealth games and in 1971 gold at the Pan Am Games. She was disillusioned in the 1972 Olympic Games and retired from competition. In 1975, confidence returned and she returned to place 4th at the 1977 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the World Cup. In 1978 she earned a silver at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1979 she took a gold at the World Cup in Montreal and was ranked #1 in the world. Canada boycotted the 1980 Olympics so Debbie continued to compete and in 1982 jumped 1.99 meters at the World Indoor High Jump Record just 5 months after giving birth to her son and went on to earn gold in the Commonwealth Games that year. In 1983 she was presented with the Order of Canada.  She set her final outdoor record 1.98 meters (6’6”) in September 1984. In 1989 she was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. During her days of competition she would attend 65 National and International competitions.  In 1999 she broke the World Masters (athletes over 45 years) record and in 2004 she broke the over 50 Masters record in Australia. Source: British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame Online (Accessed March 2014)
  Shannon Lee Tweed.  Born March 10, 1957.  This native Newfoundlander has been busy with appearing in 49 movies and TV productions since 1978. She made her debut in  Of Unknown Origin” and she has been on the TV series Falcon Crest from 1978-1983, daytime drama with Days of Our Lives as well as Pacific Blue in 1996 and more recently Diaries of Darkness and My Guide to Becoming a Rockstar.
March 11 Leslie G. Cliff. Born March 11, 1955, Vancouver, British Columbia. Leslie was a strong competitor in the 1970 Commonwealth Games and showed future promise. She studied at the University of British Columbia. In the 1971 Pan-Am Games she won 3 gold 2 silver. 1971 to 1973 British Columbia’s Swimmer of the Year and in 1971 she was British Columbia’s Junior Athlete of the year. In the 1972 Olympic Games, Munich, Germany she won a silver medal in the 400 meter individual medley.  In 1971-2 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada and in 1972 she was presented with the Beatrice Pines Trophy as Canada’s Outstanding Female Swimmer. In 1974 she won 2 gold medals, one in the 200 meter individual medley and one in the 400 meter individual medley at Commonwealth Games. During her competitive swimming career she received a total of 33 medals! After retiring from competitive sport she co-founded the Zajac annual swim camps organized by the alumni of Canada’s Swim Team. In 1976 she was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. In 1984 she became a member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. In 1989 she founded a financial management firms, Genus Capital Management.  In 1997 she entered the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. Source: Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Online. Accessed February 2016.
March 12 Susan Musgrave.  Born March 12, 1951 Santa Cruz, California, U.S.A.  She published her first book of poems, Songs of the Sea-Witch, at 17. She would find her personal life embroiled in a love affair that would end in a marriage in prison.  Her life and relationship is recorded in the CBC series Life and Times. She continues her prolific writing from her family tree house in Victoria, British Columbia.
March 13 Judith Rose Marcuse née Margolick. Born March 13, 1947. A versatile dancer who has danced with les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Bat-Dor of Israel, and the Ballet Rambert of England. She now prefers choreography.
March 14 Abigail Becker Rohrer. née Jackson. Born March 14, 1830. Died 1905.  At eight she married a widower who was a trapper by profession and lived at Long Point Island, Lake Erie. In November 1854 she became a heroine when she was instrumental in saving the lives of the master and the six crew members of the schooner, Conductor, which was wrecked off of Long Point Island.  The story of her heroism was reported in the Atlantic Monthly in 1869 and in 1899 a book entitled The story of Abigail Becker was published.  Since the turn of the 20th century her story seems to have been forgotten by most. 
  Emily Murphy. Born March 14, 1868 Cookstown, Ontario. Died October 27, 1933. Emily was  journalist who would write about the adventures of the famous "Janey Canuck" character. She became the first woman in the British Empire to become a judge when she was appointed a  police magistrate for Edmonton, Alberta in 1916. She is also a member of the Famous Five who would be part of the Persons Case in 1929 which would have women declared "persons" in the eye of the law. If you watch the "Historical Moments" which appear on Canadian TV be sure to watch for her story.
  Megan Follows. Born March 14, 1968 Toronto, Ontario. In December 1985 Megan became a household name in Canada as six million viewers tuned in to the CBC to watch her Gemini Award winning performance as Anne Shirley in “Anne of Green Gables” Since then she has appeared in numerous TV and screen movies, as well as live theatre and documentaries. In 2000 she returned to the role of Anne in a controversial adaptation of the life of the adult Anne in a CBC mini series. She married Christopher Porter in 1991 and is the mother of a son and a daughter.  
March 15 Mary Pratt née West. Born March 15, 1935 Fredericton, New Brunswick. Mary studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University  It was while at university she met Christopher Pratt. The couple married September 12, 1957 and relocated to Scotland were their first two children were born. Upon returning to Newfoundland Mary completed her Fine Arts Degree and two more children rounded out the family.   This artist is perhaps best described as a photo realist. Her paintings of common household items  look so real, you might think that there were a photograph! Many of the subjects of her works are thins found in the kitchen of her home, like the work entitled ”Christmas Turkey” (1980). Her works have been exhibited since 1967 in major Canadian galleries and form part of the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Rooms, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Canada House, London England. Her works have often toured including  the 2013-2015 solo exhibition simply entitled Mary Pratt. Mary has served her community by holding positions on the Government Task Force on Education in 1973 Newfoundland, the Federal cultural Policy Review Committee. She chaired the Sir Wilfred Grenfel College, Corner Brook, Newfoundland Committee to advise the creation of the School of Fine Arts. She has also held position on the Canada Council 1987-1993 and being a member of the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University 1983-1991. In 1996 Mary was inducted a Companion of the Order of Canada. Sadly she and her husband Christopher separated in 2004. In 2007 Canada Post honored Mary with a series of postage stamps. In 2013 she became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
March 16 Patricia Irene Rideout  She is an opera singer who has performed exclusively in Canada. She has performed major choral works with most of Canada’s leading orchestras and choral societies. .She specializes in contemporary Canadian music. Bruce Mather wrote Madrigals Three for her.  She is a fine and committed performer of modern music.  
  Kate Patricia Colleen Nelligan. Born March 16, 1950.  She was born in London, Ontario, and studied at York University and in London, England. As an actress, she has appeared in films for over 30 years. She is at home in both cinema and TV. In the movie  “Up Close and Personal” she worked along side of leading actor Robert Redford. A count shows 29 movies and TV productions since 1990 alone! She has also worked on several TV specials including the mini series "A Wrinkle in Time A" in 2002.
March 17 Clara Morrison. née La Montagne. ..Born March 17, 1848 Toronto, Ontario. Died November 20, 1925. Her stage name was Clara Morris and she was known as the “Queen of the Melodrama”. She is said to have had the ability to bring a whole audience to tears with her acting.  She would later write her life story in three volumes of memoirs.
  Lillian H. Smith. Born March 17, 1887 London, Ontario. Died 1983. Graduating with her BA from the University of Toronto in 1910 Lillian trained as a children's librarian at he Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. In 1911 she worked at the Children's Department of the New York Public Library and within three weeks of being hired she was in charge of the children's room at the Washington Heights Branch Library in New York City, U.S.A. The following year in 1912 she was hired to organize the children's department for the city of Toronto. She would devote the next  40 years of her working life to the development of the children's collection within the Toronto Public Library. Lillian was the 1st trained children's librarian in Canada. Lillian also led the idea of the importance of libraries in schools. In 1928, when the University of Toronto established its post graduate Library School, Lillian was on staff to teach Children's literature until she retired in 1952.In the early 30's she served on the Executive Board of the American Library Association and chaired it's Children's Services Division thorough the 1940's.  In 1930 she developed a special classification system fitted to children's books. This system was in use for some 30 years before it was accepted that the Dewey Classification would be used in the Toronto Board of Education. Up until 1999 some public libraries still used the Smith classification for picture books. Retiring in 1952 her legacy was in print with her book The Unreluctant Years. The book was also translated into Italian and Japanese. In 1962 she was the 1st Canadian to earn the Clarence Day Award . It is in her honor that the Toronto main children's library is named; The Lillian H. Smith Library. It houses an electronic resource center, the Osborne Collection of Early Children's books, the Lillian H. Smith Collection, the science fiction fantasy and horror  collection (known as the Merrit Collection), the Bagshaw collection of puppetry and children's drama, videos, CD's and lots and lots of children's books to be read and loved. Sources: Personnel Toronto Public Library 2002
  Pat Messner. Born March 17, 1954  Hamilton, Ontario. This former Girl Guide was the first Canadian woman to win a world championship in waterskiing in 1979. She is also the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in her sport. Pat won a bronze Olympic medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. She holds 19 Canadian titles and 20 national records. She is also the first Canadian woman to have won the United States Master’s waterskiing title. She is the founder of the Water Ski and Wakeboard Canadian Hall of Fame. In her spare time she has a career as a high school teacher, musician and paramedic. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1980, the youngest Canadian woman to ever receive this honour.
© Famous Canadian
March 18 Maude Elizabeth Abbott. Born March 18, 1869 St. André Est, Quebec. Died September 2, 1940. This doctor wrote a successful medical paper on heart murmurs, but a male friend had to present her paper since women were not admitted to the hall where the paper was presented! Later she would specialize on heart disease and eventually published the “Atlas of Congenital Cardiac Disease" for which she gained a good deal of respect. She also wrote a history of nursing, a basic text for Canadian nursing schools. She was even made an honorary member of the all-male Osler Society.
March 19 Marie Morin. Born March 19, 1649. Died April 8,1730. She took her vows as a nun on October 27, 1671. She was the first Canadian born woman to become a religious sister. She would become bursar and superior of the Hospitalièrs of Montreal. She was also one of the first women writers in New France. She wrote the annals of the Hotel Dieu (1697-1725) and her own memoirs. She was a heroic woman, a true product of the early days of New France. 
  Betty Roodish Goodwin.  Born March 19, 1928.  An artist who trained in Canada and Europe, her works are represented in the collections on the National Gallery in Ottawa.
  Rachel Blanchard.  Born 1976 Toronto, Ontario, She started her career in a McDonald’s commercial! She appeared in “Are You Afraid of the Dark? ” before she landed her current role in the series “Clueless". Other movies she has appeared in are "Road Trip" , "Nailed" (2001) and "Wild Dogs" (2002).
March 20 Caroline Brunet.  Born  March 20,1969. In March 1998, Caroline became the recipient of the Velma Springstead Award to become Canada's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. Her recognition began in 1995 when she won a gold and 2 silver medals at the World Championships. In Atlanta's Olympic Games in 1997 she claimed the silver medal. She swept the World Sprint Canoe Championships in 1997 when she won three gold medals which represented "a best ever" Canadian Kayak team performance.  She gold medal also represented a first for a Canadian woman in a singles event. She also won a medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
March 21 Jehane Benoit. née Patenaude. Born March 21,1904. Died November 24, 1987.   This food consultant turned to TV as a medium to explain Canadian cuisine to her home and native land.  She also published some 30 books to generate interest in her field. She studied at the Cordon Bleu and held a degree as a food chemist from the Sorbonne in France. She opened a cooking school in Montreal.  In 1973 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
March 22 Jane Mackenzie. née Syms. Born March 22,1825. Died March 30, 1893.  She would become the second wife of Alexander Mackenzie, second Prime Minister of Canada. The Toronto Globe newspaper described her as "the best-known woman of Canada...and one of the most admired and respected." It was a role she did not really enjoy but she supported her husband and entertained all of Ottawa's politicians. 
  Gabrielle Roy. Born March 22, 1909. Died July 13, 1983. A 3 time winner of the Governor General’s Award in Literature as well as international award holder, she is one of the most important Canadian writers of the Post World War II Era in Canada. Some of her works have been translated into 15 different languages.
March 23 Amanda Plummer. Born March 23, 1957 New York, New York, U.S.A. This daughter of actor Christopher Plummer was born in New Your City. Following her fathers love for acting she won a Tony in 1982 in Agnes of God.  She has starred in such films as The Fisher King, The World According to Garp, Pulp Fiction, Dallmake, The Last Angel, and Triggerman. With movies and TV she has had some 9 appearances in 2002 alone!
March 24 Agnes Campbell Macphail.  Born March 24, 1890  Preston Township, Grey County, Ontario. Died February 13, 1954 Toronto, Ontario. Like many young women of her era she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) after high school. She taught in numerous schools in Ontario and Alberta. She was the 1st and only woman elected to the Canadian parliament in 1921 when women finally had the right to vote. A pacifist she was a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and in 1929 she became the 1st woman nominated to the Canadian delegation to the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations). As the 1st woman to inspect Kingston Penitentiary, it left her a lifelong advocate for better conditions of women in prison. In 1935 the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System in Canada and the 1939 Penitentiary Bill with 88 recommendations for change were no doubt influenced by her efforts. She became a founding member of the C.C.F., Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (forerunner of the National Democratic Party). Losing her federal seat in the 1940 election, she toured giving lectures and wrote for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper before turning her attention to provincial politics. In 1943 she was 1 of 2 women elected to the Ontario Legislative Assemble where she continued to support farmers, industrial workers, prison inmates and women’s rights.  In 1951 she saw the passage of the 1st equal pay legislation in the province. She was also the founder of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada which even today works to give help to women in need. She died just prior to have been offered a seat in the Canadian senate. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2001); Agnes Macphail website Online (accessed 2003)
March 25 Ethel Dorothy Blondwin-Andrews Born March 25, 1951, Tulita, Northwest Territories. Ethel attended various schools including residential school and Grandin College Leadership Program at Fort Smith. She followed this with a teacher certificate from Arctic College prior to earning her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1974. She was one of the 1st accredited Aboriginal teachers in the North, teaching in Tuktoyaktuk, Délįnę, Fort Providence, and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. From 1984-1986, she served as a Senior Public Servant with the Public Service Commission in Ottawa and before returning to the north to join the Government of the Northwest Territories as Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture from 1986 to 1988 where she served on the Arctic Institute of North America for two terms as well as the Assembly of First Nations Language Committee and worked on the Special Committee on Education for the Government of the Northwest Territories. In 1988, Ethel was elected as a Liberal from the District of the Western Arctic to the Canadian Parliament, the 1st aboriginal woman elected to the House of Commons. She went on to win the next four federal elections in 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2004. Under Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin she would be appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State, then Minister of State for Children and Youth. She returned to the North to work as Chairperson for Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated the organization created by the Sahtu region’s seven land corporations to ensure the Sahtu land claim (signed in 1994) is properly implemented. Sources: Ethel Blondwin-Andrews. Canadian House of Commons. Online (Accessed 2004) ; Ethel Blondwin-Andrews, Biography. Sahtu Secretariat INC. Online (Accessed July 2015)
  Elizabeth Legge. Born March 25, 1952. After university studies in Toronto and England she became a curator of Fine Arts and worked at in Winnipeg before returning to the U of T to teach post 1945 art and be curator at the U of T Art College. She is also and author and editor in her field. Her personal recreation is to create soft sculpture  caricatures.  
March 26 Marie Catherine Pélissier Sales Laterière. née Delezenne Born March 26, 1755. Died 1831. As a young woman she was forced to marry a man more than twice her age, Christophe Pélissier, in 1775. During her arranged marriage she continued her affair with the man she really loved, Sale de Laterière.  The lovers eventually signed a marriage contract for which she was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. In 1779 Laterière was imprisoned for treason. Marie visited him in prison until his release in 1782. They became legally married in 1799 with the death of Pélissier. She is perhaps a true symbol of one who fought for the rights of individuals. 
  Phyllis Marion Boyd. Born March 26,1946. In 1968 Marion graduated from Glendon College, York University, Toronto, Ontario. She was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 1990. She has held several cabinet posts including Minister responsible for Women's Issues and Attorney-General for the Province of Ontario.  She is the 1st woman and the 1st non lawyer to have been Ontario's Attorney General.  She has been honoured many times for her work on behalf of battered women, an area in which she still serves with great zeal. 
March 27 Elizabeth Muriel Elsie Gregory  MacGill.  Born March 27, 1905 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died November 4, 1980 Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  She became Canada’s 1st woman graduate to hold a degree in electrical engineering.  She also held a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. During WW II her primary responsibility was the production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. Her staff of 4,500 people produced more than 2000 aircraft.  In 1937 she was the 1st woman to be admitted corporate membership in the Engineering Institute of Canada. In the 1940 an American comic book featured Elsie by her nickname Queen of the Hurricanes referring to her role in the production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. In 1943 she married an aviation project works manager E. J. 'Bill' Souls and the couple opened an aeronautical consulting business. In 1946 she became the 1st woman serving as a Technical Advisor for the International Civil Aviation Organization. The following year she became the 1st woman to chair a United Nations Committee becoming chairman of the UN Stress Analysis Committee.  In 1953 she was one of only 50 people, and the only woman, to have her picture in the Gervaert Gallery of Canadian executives honour her contributions and influence. That same year she published the biography of her mother: My Mother the Judge: A Biography of Judge Helen Gregory MacGill. She became an honourary member of the American Society of Women Engineers and was named Woman Engineer of the Year becoming the 1st woman out of the United States to earn this award.  In 1967 she received the Canadian Centennial Medal and in 1971 she received the Order of Canada. for her accomplishments as an engineer and for being a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and the Ontario Status of Women Committee. . She is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and in 1992 she was among the 1st to be listed in  the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.
Public domain
  Jann Arden.  Born  March 27, 1962 Calgary, Alberta. Her full name is Jann Arden Richards. As a youth she wanted to be a teacher but preferred life as a musician. She would fight off alcoholism at age 26 and use her talents to release her first album in 1993. She has been recognized with 19 Juno Award nomination and received 8 including Songwriter of the Year in 1995 and 2002, and Female Artist of the Year in 1995 and 2001.  In 2006 she received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. November that year she  received the National Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) for having six singles reach the 100,000 airplay mark on Canadian radio. In November 2007, Arden was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and was the winner of the International Achievement Award at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards. December 29, 2017 she became a Member of the Order of Canada not only for her music but also in recognition of her extensive charitable works. She has published her memoirs several times in 2002, t2004, 2011 and 2017.
March 28 Frances Ramsey Simpson. née Simpson. Born  March 28, 1812 London, England. Died March 21, 1853. (Lady Simpson) She married her cousin, George Simpson, February 24 1830. His career a Governor with the Hudson Bay Company would bring her to Canada. She and her companion, Catherine Turner, wife of another HBC employee, were the first white women to travel to remote Hudson Bay Company areas. After a visit to Rainey Lake ( in modern Ontario) the settlement was named Fort Frances in her honour.  Living in Red River she became homesick and lonely and remained semi invalided after the birth and death of her first child. Eventually the family settled permanently in Lachine Quebec in 1845 and raised their five Canadian born children.

Public domain
  Karen Kain. Born March 28 1951 Hamilton, Ontario. Karen trained at the National Ballet School, Toronto, Ontario. She joined the Corps de Ballet of the National Ballet of Canada in 1969. A prima ballerina, Karen has won international recognition for her dancing. At 19 years of age she was the principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada. In 1973 she earned the silver medal in the Women's category at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, Russia. In 1983 Karen married Ross Petty, a stage and film actor.  In 1991 she was elevate to the level of Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1997 after her fair well tour she became Artist-in-residence at the National Ballet. She has been named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France. In 1997 she received a Governor General's National Arts Centre Award and received a Governor General's Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in 2002. From 2004 to 2008, she was Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2007, she was presented with the Barbara Hamilton Memorial Award for demonstrating excellence and professionalism in the performing arts. In 2008, the Karen Kain School for the Arts officially opened,She is the founding president and president for life of the Dancer Transition Centre which is dedicated to helping retrain retiring professional dancers. In 2005 she was named Artistic Director of the National Ballet. In 2011 she received the Distinguished Artist Award from the International Society for the Performing Arts.  Her Biography Movement Never Lies may be found at your library.
  Carol Ann Cole. Born March 28. She has written 5 of books including Comfort Hearts; a personal memoir. She is the founder of Comfort Heart Initiative which raised over a million dollars for Cancer Research. Maclean's Magazine recognized her as one of 12 outstanding Canadians in 1998. Among the many awards she hold are the Terry Fox Citation of Honour, the YWCA Women's Recognition Award and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2001 she became a Member of the Order of Canada.  In 2005 she was listed as one of 1,000 Great Women of the 21st Century from the American Biographical Institute.

With Permission

March 29 Amelia Yeomans  née Le Sueur. Born March 29,1842. Died April 11, 1913. In 1878, after the death of her medical doctor husband, Amelia and her daughter Lillian decided to study medicine. Since there were no schools in Canada accepting women as students the two women studied in the U.S. Both specialized in midwifery (birth of children) and diseases affecting women and children in the Canadian Midwest. Soon they were joined by another daughter Charlotte who was a nurse. The medical trio became champions of woman's suffrage ( votes for women), temperance (stopping excess drinking of alcohol) and crusaded against prostitution and the diseases of prostitution. Amelia had a great speaking presence and lectured successfully for social equality and improvement of life. Modern Canadian women owe a lot to these social pioneering women.
March 30 Laurie Graham. Born March 30,1960. Ski racing since the age of 9, Laurie Graham made the national Ski team in 1978. The 1985-86 season was her most successful.  She recorded two World Cup Downhill victories along with 2 second and 3 third place finishes.  The winner of a total of 6 World Cup races, Laurie also represented Canada at the Olympics in 1980, 1984 and 1988.  Graham retired after an eleven-year career. In 1991 she was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and in 1993 the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.  In 1998 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2015 she was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. (2017)
Céline Dion.  Born March 30, 1968 Charlemagne, Quebec. .  She is an internationally known recording artist and superstar.   She began performing with her family when she was only five years old!  Her first song composed when she was 12 caught the eye of manager René Angelil who financed the recording. Her career advanced with the Gold Medal at the Yamaha World Song Festival in 1982.  There was no looking back. She became the first Canadian to receive a Gold Record in France. She recorded the sound track for Disney's Beauty and the Beast which would win and Academy Award and a Grammy. Other movie hit songs have been in Sleepless in Seattle and Titanic. She married her manager and has chosen to slow her career to have private time devoted to her family. . She is a member of the Order of Canada.  
© Famous Canadian
March 31 Beverley Rosen Simons. née Rosen. Born March 31, 1938 Flin Flon. Beverley studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Alberta, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec and the University of British Columbia. A playwright of dramatic works she drew from her own background for some of her play settings.  She also wrote of women elders, studies of life in retirement homes and of the contemporary human condition.  She is considered a Canadian playwright of significance. (2017)
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