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Copyright © 1998-2018 Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved

ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

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Famous Canadian Women's
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Famous Canadian Women's
Historical Timeline
Famous Canadian Women
on Canadian Postage Stamps
On the Job
Over 1,000 Names
Quotes from
Famous Canadian Women
 


 

 

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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.
May 1 Emily Howard Stowe née Jennings. Born May 1, 1831 Norwich, Upper Canada (now Ontario) 1831. Died April 30, 1903.  A life long champion of women’s rights. With no Canadian institution allowing women to study medicine she studied in the United States and became the first Canadian woman to practice medicine in Canada. It was she who organized the Women’s Medical College in Toronto in 1883. She was also founder and first president of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1889. Suggested readings: Emily Stowe by Janet Ray (Toronto : Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. 1978. ISBN 0889022364)  Source: The indomitable lady doctors by Carlotta Hacker (Toronto/Vancouver : Clarke, Irwin & Co., 1974
 

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May 2 Budge Marjorie Wilson (née Archibald) Born Nova Scotia 1927.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, have been for youth although she often writes with adults in mind and she does have many adult fans. Her works have been published in 11 countries and 9 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. She is also well known for her 5 collections of short stories.  In 2006 she was admitted to the Order of Canada. She was selected to write the 2008 prequel in celebration of 100 years of Anne called Before Green Gables. (Information submitted by Alan Wilson)
 
May 3 Julia Arthur.  née Ida Lewis. Born May 3,1869 Hamilton, Ontario. Died March 28,1950 Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  She chose her stage name for her acting career from her mother's family name.  As a youth of 11 she played in some amateur theatricals in her home. She had her stage debut at the age of 14 in the United States performing in Shakespearian plays with the Bandmann traveling theatre. After three seasons she was off to Berlin to study the violin but soon changed to voice and theatre. In 1895 she went to act in London, England. having secured an engagement at the Lyceum Theatre.  Back in North America after her European tour she accepted a position with a company in California, U.S.A.  and eventually headed to New York City, U.S.A. and toured the eastern coast. In 1889 and 1890 she was back to stages in Canada. After more time in the United States she was back with success appearances in London England  and while with the Lyceum Company she earned an international status. In the summer of 1897 she returned to the U.S. as the star of her own company financed by her brother and the wealthy Bostonian Benjamin Cheney.   She married Benjamin Pearce Cheney on February 23, 1898 and took a few years reprieve from the stage. In 1914 she returned to the stage doing a benefit performance at the Boston Theater for the European Actor's Relief Fund. In 1924 she had a very successful tour of her beloved Canada. As well as her stage appearances she was the star of such movies as Napoleon, The Man of Destiny and Uncle Tom's Cabin.
 
May 4 Kathy Kreiner-Phillips.  Born May 4, 1957 Timmons, Ontario. Kathy was introduced to skiing when she was just three years old. She began World Cup competition when she was just 14, the year she joined the national ski team. She won her 1st World Cup race a Pfronten, West Germany in 1974.  She made the Olympic team in 1972 placing fourth in the Giant Slalom. In 1974 she won the gold medal in the Skiing World Cup giant slalom and two years later, at her second Olympics, she captured the gold medal in the giant slalom event. It was the only Canadian medal in Innsbruck. In 1976 she was named Canada’s outstanding female athlete of the year taking the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award and was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. She participated in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid, New York, U.S.A. but did not make the podium. She retired from competition in 1981. After earning her BA from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. she studied at the University of Ottawa earning a Master's Degree in sports psychology.  Kathy married former freestyle skier Dave Phillips. She is the owner and a consultant at Momentus Mental Training. She has consulted with numerous National, Provincial and club level teams since 1990. 
 
Kathy Kreiner
Reference source
May 5 Barbara Aileen Wagner.  Born May 5, 1938 Toronto, Ontario.  In 1952 she and Robert Paul formed one of Canada’s most successful figure skating pairs.  They began skating in 1952 and in 1957 won the Canadian, American and World Championships. So spectacular was their gold medal routine at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, U.S.A. that 7 judges ranked them first place.  This was the 1st time that the gold had gone to non-European pair skaters.  They are both members of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Barbara married figure skater James Grogan and the couple steeled in Alpharetta , Georgia, U.S.A. (2018)
 
May 6 Louise Portal. née Lapointe. Born May 6, 1951 Chicoutimi, Quebec. A Twin, both she and her sister Pauline too to being actors. This actress has be recognized with nominations for Best Actress Genie Award in1980 and won the Best Supporting Actress Genie Award in 1987 for the film The Decline of the American Empire. In the film Sous-sol in1996 she won the Guy-L'ecuyer Award for Best Actress. She has also won two Gemini Awards in 1994 and 1996 for her work on TV. As if this was not enough she has written an novel, Jeanne Janvier and has written plays. Composing some 40 songs she has released 4 successful albums. In 2015 she had a staring role in the TV Series Marie-Louise and from 2012- 2015 Lance et Compte. She has been successful appearing in French language series for TV. (2018)
 
May 7 Janina Fialkowska.  Born May 7, 1951 Montreal, Quebec. Janina began talking piano lessons at the age of four from her mother. At the age of twelve she had made her debut as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. By the age of 17 she simultaneously earned her BA and her Master's degree from the Université of Montréal.  This pianist studied in Montreal, Paris, and the Julliard School in New York City, U.S.A. In 1969 she won 1st prize in the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Performers. In 1974 she had a prize-winning performance at the 1st Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv, Israel.  She is celebrated as one of the great interpreters of the music of the composers Chopin and  Liszt.  She also enjoys performing works from Mozart, Chopin, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff.  She is known as a pianist of great power who also plays with warmth and tone. She has performed throughout Europe , North America and the Far East. In 2001 she married Harry Oesterle a German music manager. She is the founder and artistic director of Piano Six, a not-for-profit educational outreach program dedicated to keeping classical music alive in small communities throughout Canada. The program was expanded in 2004 to include musicians from strings and voice as well as piano with the new name Piano Plus. In 2001 Janina was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 2007 she was awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry. In 2007 she was implemented in one of the biggest scandals in the classical recording business.  In 2012 she received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
 
May 8

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.
 

May 9 Barbara Ann Scott.  Born May 9, 1928, Ottawa, Ontario Died September 29, 2012 Amelia Island, Florida, U.S.A. At 10 she became the youngest skater ever to pass the fold figures test and the following year she won her 1st Canadian National Junior title. At 15 she was Canada's Senior National Champions holding the tile 1944 through 1946. In 1947 she became the 1st North American to win the European and World Figure Skating Championship and became Canadian Newsmaker of the Year. One of Canada’s best remembered sports personalities, in 1948 Barbara Ann won the Canadian Figure skating Championship, the European Championship, and became the 1st to hold consecutive World Championships. On February 2, 1948 , a week before the Olympic Games, she was on the cover of Time magazine. She won the gold medal in figure skating in the Olympic Games of 1948 on an outdoor rink in St Moritz, Switzerland, the 1st Gold medal in figure skating for Canada. That year she was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. It is the only gold won by  a Canadian Woman in figure skating to date (2018).  She won the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1945, 1947,and 1948 as Canada's top athlete.  After the Olympics she toured North American and British ice shows as the headliner. February 4, 1952 her story was a feature in Life magazine.  She married Thomas Van Dyke King in 1955 and the couple settled in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.. That year she became a member of the Canada's Sport Hall of Fame. She opened a beauty salon  in Chicago and became interested in training horses. In the late 1950's she founded and was chancellor of the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Toronto, Ontario. In 1966 she became a member of the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame.  In the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games she was part of a group to carry the Olympic torch. In 1991 she was inducted into the Order of Canada the Skate Canada Hall of Fame.  In 2008 the Order of Ontario.  In 1996 the couple retired to Amelia Island, Florida, U.S.A. In 1997 she entered the International Women's Sport Hall of Fame and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. The following year she received a Star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario. She remained involved in figure skating as a judge promoting her sport and encouraging many others to partake in the sport. Beginning in 1949 through 1999 she would appear as herself in various movies and TV shows. An area was named for her honour in Nepean (Ottawa), Ontario. In 2012 the city of Ottawa created the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery which displays photographs, her championship awards, and her gold medal which she donated to the city in 2011. The Barbara Ann Scott doll that came out shortly after the games did not really look too much like the young skater but it is today a very highly prized collector's item.
 
  Pamela Ann McDougal Born 1925.  A diplomat and public servant she joined the Department of Externals Affaires in 1949.  She served in Germany, Vietnam, India, and Poland.  She headed the Royal Commission on Condition of the Foreign Service in 1981.
 
May 10 Antonine Maillet. Born 1929. 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.   Born 1965. At 15 while a unsuccessful contestant in a beauty contest she was approached by a modeling agent.  A serious and successful international model she has been on the cover of every major fashion magazine cover around the world.
 
May 11 Sheila Branford.  Born 1918. An author she is perhaps best known for her novel about animals called the INCREDIBLE JOURNEY. The book was an immediate international best seller and in 1963 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 will be available to borrow from your local library.
 
  Nancy Greene.  Born Ottawa, Ontario 1943. A skier of determination, Nancy won the 1967 World Cup and dominated the racing scene the next year as well winning a gold medal in the giant slalom and a silver medal in the slalom at the Olympic games as well as her second World Cup.  She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1967 and named Athlete of the year in 1968.  She is a member of the Canadian Sports hall of Fame.
 
May 12 Anne Ottenbrite.  Born 1966.  She was the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. She won the medal in 1984 in the 200m-breastroke event. At the same games she won sliver in the 100m breaststroke and played a key role in the 400m-medley relay team that won bronze.  She is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
 
May 13 Patricia Beatty. Born  May 13, 1936 Toronto, Ontario. Born in Canada, her early dance training was in the United States at the Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont graduating in 1959 and the Martha Graham School in New York City. She worked at both the Connecticut College and the Juilliard School, New York City from 1960-1965. She soon brought her talents back to Canada and founded the New Dance Group of Canada in 1966 and in 1968 the Toronto Dance Theatre. She retired in the early 1990's but continued to give occasional performances. In 2004 she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. (2017)
 
May 14 Marie-Josephite Corriveau. Born Saint-Vallier, Quebec 1733. Died on the gallows April 18(?) 1763. She has become simply known as La Corriveau.  After two trials she was condemned to death for murdering her second husband Louis Dodier in January 1763. She was, as the law provided, hung and her body exposed in chains. Her body was exposed for about a month in an iron cage, The cage would be found in a graveyard in 1850. Writings over the years drew on the story as a base.  These stories never quite separated facts and fiction. Legends grew and are still recounted as fantastic tales. 
 
  Solange Chaput-Rolland. Born Montreal, Quebec May 14,1919. Died November 1, 2001 Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac, Masson, Quebec. Solange attended the Convent d'Outremont for her early education and then attended the Sorbonne and the Institut Catholic de Paris in France. In 1941 she married André Rolland. She began her working Career as a journalist for the CBC. In 1975 she was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada. Solange served as a member of the Canadian Task Force on Canadian Unity which was established in 1977 by the federal government in response to the election of a sovereignty-oriented Quebec government. Its purpose was to gather opinions about the problems of unity in the country, to publicize efforts being made to solve those problems  and to advise the government on how to strengthen national unity.  In 1979 she ran in a by-election. and was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec. She was not re-elected in 1981. . In 1985 she was inducted as an Officer in the National Order of Quebec. In 1988 she was appointed to the Canadian Senate where she served until retiring in 1994. A  she served on the Federal Task Force on Canadian Unity. Between 1963 and 1996 she wrote 13 books.
  Catherine McKinnon.  Born May 14,1944 Saint John, New Brunswick. . This singer and actress began her career on radio at age eight. By age 12 she had appeared on TV. After studies at Mount St. Vincent College, Halifax, Nova Scotia,  she appeared on the CBC TV series Sing-along Jubilee, Don Messer's Jubilee, and Music Hop. Her 1st and biggest selling album was entitled Voice of an Angel, was a collection for folk songs. She would also have her own radio show on the CBC called That McKinnon Girl. On stage she excelled in musical productions. March 12, 1969 she married actor and comedian Don Harron becoming step mother to two children. Catherine often appeared with her husband, until they divorced in 2003. Catherine continued to record and make albums until 2007.
 
May 15 Julia Levy.  Born 1934.  She enjoyed mathematics in high schools and was inspired by her grade 11 biology teacher.  She earned her Ph.D. and became a professor at the University of British Columbia. Together with some university colleagues, she founded her own drug company dealing with photodynamic Theory. Recognized for her contributions to cancer treatments she is also investigating treatment of diseases such as arthritis, psoriasis ( a skin disease) and multiple sclerosis.  She is also very proud to have two grandchildren. 
 
  Vivienne Poy. Born 1941. A fashion designer, entrepreneur and author, Vivienne is the first Canadian of Chinese descent to be a member of the Senate of Canada, appointed in 1998.  She was educated in her native Hong Kong and England and holds a B.A., McGill University, a M.A, & a PhD. from the University of Toronto, where she is Chancellor Emeritus.  Her extensive community endeavors include being involved with cultural and philanthropic causes across Canada. She is Honourary Co-Chair for the Campaign for Diversity with the Canadian Centre for Diversity, Honourary Patron of the Ottawa Chinatown Gateway Project, and the International Centre of Winnipeg and remains an active supporter of many other organizations. She was instrumental in having May recognized as Asian Heritage Month in Canada, and serves as Patron for Asian Heritage Month Societies in cities across Canada.  She was named a Trailblazer by Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (Women’s Executive Network), and received an International Women's Day Award.  In recognition of her international influence, she has received honourary degrees from universities around the world.
 

Used with Permission
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May 16 Denise Filiatrault. Born 1932. An actress, director and writer, most of her work has been done in the French language. One of her TV series Moi et l'autre was considered the biggest comedy hit in the History of Quebec TV. Her stage productions earned her acclaim and awards. Her first film C't'a ton tour Laura Cadieux was so successful that it required a sequel, Laura is Back or Laura Cadieux...la suite!
 
May 17 Anna Brownell Jameson. (née Murphy). Born Dublin, Ireland 1794. Died March 17, 1860. 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” (1838).
 
May 18 Rose Sheinin. (née Shuber). Born 1930.  A professor at the department of biology at Concordia University and Continuing Senior Fellow, Massey College, this scholar has had scholarships, fellowships, and been visiting lecturer to numerous international institutions.  She chaired many groups including Women in Scholarship Committee (1989-1994). She was on the National Advisory Board for the Canadian Encyclopedia and was winner of the Woman of Distinction Award in 1988.
 
May 19 Sue Holloway. Born 1955. Sue was a four time Olympian competing in 1976 in Cross Country Skiing and Kayak, 1980 and Kayak again in 1984 where she took Silver and Bronze medals. Although Canada withdrew from the Moscow Olympics in 1980 she was the appointed Olympic flag bearer. She was the first Canadian woman to ever compete in both winter and summer Olympic Games in the same year. She and her husband, former Olympian Greg Joy, now work together as motivational speakers.
 
May 20 Eliza Ritchie. Born Halifax, Nova Scotia 1856.  Died September 5, 1935. An educator, feminist and author in 1889 Eliza received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in the United States. She is probably the first Canadian woman to receive her doctor of letters. Her appointment to the Dalhousie University board of governors in 1919 is also a first for Canadian women.
 
May 21 Linda Bouchard. Born Val D'Or, Quebec May 21. 1957. Linda is a composer and orchestra conductor  was invited by musical director Trevor Pinnock to become the 1st composer in residence for the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa , 1992-1995. She introduced programs to encourage public involvement at the NAC and made great strides in bringing contemporary classical music to the attention of the audiences. Her first CD in 1998 Exquisite Fires: Music of Linda Bouchard was made with the NAC Orchestre. In 1998 she was honoured as Composer of the year , Camseil Québécois de la musique .  Sources: Linda Bouchard web site www.lindabouchard.com ; Women in Ottawa; Mentors and Milestones http://womeninottawa.blogspot.com accessed June 2011.
 
  Francis Marion Beynon. Born Streetsville, Ontario 1884. Died October 5, 1951.  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", an influential Prairie magazine, over views on World War I.
 
  Lori-Ann Muenzer Born Toronto, Ontario  1966. Although at 5’10” she is the shortest in her family it was never a drawback. It seems she was always on her bicycle. In 1987 she began Road Racing at the Toronto Cycling Club. In 1994 she embraced Veledrome Racing and became a member of the National Cycling Team. She has accumulated 13 National titles and 11 World Cup medals during her career. She has also earned medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 & 2002. She made her debut at the Olympics in 200. At the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 she became the firs Canadian to win a gold medal in Cycling. Selected as the Canada’s Female Athelete of the year in 2004 she was also the 2005 winner of the Lois E. Hole Lifetime Achievement Award from the YWCA. After the 2004 Games she began her own business called Pure Momentum which seeks to find and promote a community of female speakers. She has published her own biography and a documentary both called One Gear, No Breaks. Nomination and Information submitted by Wayne Mackenzie.
 
May 22 Clara McCandless Thomas.  Born 1919.  She would publish as her first book her, University of Western Ontario, masters thesis on Canadian Novelists 1920-1945. In 1961 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. She is 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. 
 
May 23 Pauline Julien.  Born 1928. This actress, singer, and songwriter studied drama in Paris.  She recorded her first album in 1962. In 1968 she began to write words for her songs. In 1970 she won the Grand Prix du Disque from France and in 1974 she received the Prix de Musique Callixa-Lavallée.
 
May 24 Frances Anne Stewart. (née Browne) Born Dublin, Ireland 1794. Died October 24, 1872. She married Thomas Alexander Stewart on December 16, 1816. When Thomas lost his job with a bankrupt company the young couple decided to emigrate to Canada with other family members. They left Ireland on June 1, 1822 spending seven weeks aboard ship for the crossing to Canada! A true pioneer  to Upper Canada, she was a diarist and letter writer.  Her letters to home have left us with a rich insight into early Canadian life of such of her friends as the Strickland family. Her family published her writings after her death. Many of her personal writings are stored in the Archives at Trent University , Peterborough, Ontario.
 
  Lorna Crozier.  Bon May 24,1948Swift 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.  and taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts and the Sechelt Summer Writing Festival. 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!
 
May 25 Phyllis Fay Gotlieb.  née Bloom. 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. She married a computer science professor Calvin Gotlieb (1921-2016).  Source Jewish women’s Archive. Personal information for Phyllis Gotlieb <http://jwa.org/archive/jsp/perinfor.jsp?personID=639 (Accessed June 2013) ; The Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed March 2013)
 
  Nicole Luiken.  Born 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.
 
May 26 Muriel McQueen Fergusson. Born 1899. Died April 11, 1997. After her husband's death she took over his law practice. She worked to have women recognized as possible appointees to government positions. She was one of the early women senators and is credited with pushing the government o revise the Criminal Code so women could sit on juries in criminal cases. Women could now plead rape charges with women on the jury!
 
  Teresa Stratas. née Anastasia Stratakis. Born May 26, 1938 Oshawa, Ontario. As she entered her teens Teresa was performing Greek songs on the radio. She attended the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto and made her professional opera debut in La bohème  at the Toronto Opera Festival when she was 20. In 1959 she was the co-winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and appeared that year at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, New York, U.S.A. In 1961 she was appearing at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in England. Teresa began her singing career by singing Greek pop songs.   Her beautiful soprano voice has been heard all over the world and she is considered one of the foremost singing actors of the 20th century.  In 1972 She was inducted into the Order of Canada.  The Canadian Music Council named her artist of the year in 1980. She won Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording and for Best Classical Album in 1981 and again in 1984. In 1987 she was given the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress. In 2000 she earned the Governor General's Performing Arts Award. In 2001 she was given a Star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. (2018)
 
  Lucille Lessard. Born May 26,1957 Quebec City, Quebec.  Introduced to the sport of archery by her schoolteachers she became a devoted competitor. In 1972 she was the Canadian junior Champion in Outdoor Field Archery followed in 1973 with winning the National Target Outdoor Junior Championship.  She won her 1st National Outdoor Senior Championship in 1974 at just 17 years of age and successfully defended her title in 1975 and 1980.  In 1974 she became the 1st Canadian to win the World Field Archery Championships, she was the youngest world Champion in Archery up to this point in time in time. Field archery means competitor face targets at unknown distances on varied terrain. That same year she was top female athlete in Quebec and winning the Elaine Tanner Award as Canada's Junior Athlete of the Tear.  She also won the Canadian National Indoor championship in 1975 and 1976. In 1977 she was inducted into Canada's Sport Hall of Fame.  She won a spot on the Canadian team for the 1980 Olympics but Canada boycotted the Moscow games.
 
May 27 Francess Georgina Halpenny. Born May 27, 1919, Ottawa, Ontario. Died December 25, 2017. In 1941 she earned her Master's degree in English language from the University of Toronto. With the war storming over Europe she decided not to continue her education as she would have liked  and signed up with the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the War she became  known for her energetic and courageous editor working as head of the editorial department at the University of Toronto Press from 1957-1969.  She was general editor to the mammoth project of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and at the same time Dean of the Faculty of Library Science, University of Toronto from 1972-1978.   She was awarded the Molson Prize in 1983 and inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and promoted to a companion of the Order of Canada in 1983 while she was serving as President of the Royal Society of Canada. . She received the University of Toronto Faculty Award in 1985 and the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography in 1986. She was presented with the Governor General's Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Confederation in 1992. She has also received 11 honorary degrees from various Canadian universities including the University of Guelph in 1969 when this librarian and web page writer remembers her speaking at her graduation ceremony. In 2013 she decided to enter the Sunnybrook Veterans Wing for long term care in Toronto.
 
May 28 Beatrice Gladys Lillie. (her birth name is sometimes reported as Constance Sylvia Gladys Munston)Born May 28,1894. Died January 29, 1989. She would become known as the “Funniest woman in the world.” She has a sweet voice and when singing she would add jokes between her songs until she was better known for the jokes than her music.  She won a Tony in 1953,.  She married Sir Robert Peel and became Lady Peel in 1920 and it was her career that gave her strength to continue after his death in 1934.
 
  Annette (1934-  ) , Emilie (1934-1954), Yvonne (1934-2001) , Cécile (1934-   ), and Marie (1934-1970) Dionne all share the same birthday May 28, 1934 in Corbeil, Ontario. They were the only known-surviving quintuplets in the world at the time of their birth. While they were young they were wards of the provincial government of Ontario and their life in their nursery had special viewing areas for the public who flocked to see these little miracles. Most of their youth they were exploited. They were even taken to Hollywood where they would do commercials for products. In 1965 the remaining four sisters published their story in the book We Were Five. Three of the sisters would marry but their marriages did not survive and they returned to living with one another in Montreal.                                                                                        
  Lynn Johnston.  Born May 28, 1947 Collingwood, Ontario. Lynn grew up in North Vancouver British Columbia and studied at the Vancouver School of art, now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. In 1969 she married and the couple relocated back to Ontario where she worked as a medical artist at the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.  Pregnant with her 1st child she presented her obstetrician with drawings which he could place on his otherwise boring ceiling. These drawings were the bas of her 1st boo, David We're Pregnant in 1973. After her divorce she published Hi Mom! Hi Dad! in 1975. She then married dentist Rod Johnston and the family relocated to the remote community of Lynn Lake, Manitoba. When she submitted panels for a comic strip to the Universal Press Syndicate she was offered a 20 year contract. For Better For Worse was a Canadian hit and was carried by about 2000 newspapers internationally. The storyline and the characters lead real lives with friends admitting to being gay and the family dog dies after rescuing a child. Lynn continued to work from her home in Corbeil, Northern Ontario. She became the first woman to win the Reuben Award for outstanding cartoonist of the year in 1985 from the national Cartoonist Society In 1987 she earned a Gemini Award for Best Cartoon Series and in 1988 she became the 1st woman to be president of the Cartoonist Society. In 1991 she received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Comic Strip Award.   She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1992 and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for the story o Lawrence's coming out. in 2001 she was the winner of the Comic of the Year, Editor and Publisher. In 2003 she was honoured with a Star on Canada's Walk of Fame, Toronto.  In 2007 she was inducted into the Order of Manitoba and she and her husband became separated. In 2008 she was inducted into the Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame and the National Cartoon Museum Hall of Fame. In 2015 she relocated back to North Vancouver. The Library and Archives Canada holds a large collection of her original works. Now semi retired she continues her comic strip in newspapers using a mixture of new and older stories.
 
May 29 Esther Marjorie Hill.  Born May 29,1895 Guelph, Ontario. Died January 7,1985. Esther earned her BA at the University of Alberta in 1916.  In 1920 this Canadian architect was the 1st woman to enter into and graduate from this profession. This was the era of women's suffrage and it was a tough time for women in male dominated professions. She encountered considerable discrimination both during her studies and while attempting to work as a professional architect. She had problems finding a job and her application to be a registered architect was denied and only accepted after legislative changes forced acceptance.  In 1922 she took classes in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto and then studied at Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. In 1925 she was accepted into the Alberta Association of Architects becoming the 1st Canadian woman to be a registered architect. She survived the depression years with her own resourceful talents by selling handmade gloves and handmade greeting cards.  In 1936 she relocated to Victoria, British Columbia.  In 1942 she won 1st prize for her weaving at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. After World War ll she opened her own architectural firm. In 1953 she joined the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and worked on city planning until to 1958.  She would go on to become a prolific and valued member of her chosen profession. She retired in 1963.
 
May 30 Ruta Lee. née Kilmonis. Born May 30,1936 Montreal, Quebec. In 1948 she moved to Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. where she studied at Hollywood High School and Los Angeles City College and the University of California. Her 1st TV appearance was as a guest on the George Burns and Gracie Allen show and then the Roy Rogers Show.  This actress began her career in films in 1954 in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  She has mainly appeared in lesser-known films such as Pterodactyl Women from Beverly Hills. She also continued to appear in numerous TV shows and was popular on TV western and TV detective shows. She made regular appearances on Game shows such as Hollywood Squares. In 1974 she hosted the show High Rollers for two years. In 1976 she married Webster B. 'Webb' Lowe Jr., a restaurant executive.  During the 1980's she did voice for cartoon shows such as the Flintstones and the Smurfs. Turning to the live stage she performed extensively in such musicals as Peter Pan. In the 1990's she once again did numerous guest appearances on TV .In 1995 a Golden Palm Star was placed for her on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.  In 2002 she earned a Golden Boot Award for her work on western TV shows. In 2006 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the 2000's she once again took to stage work. On August 24 she was inducted into the National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame.
 
May 31 Sophie  / Sophia Margaretta / Margaret Almon Hensley. née Almon.  Born Bridgetown, Nova Scotia 1866.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 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.
 
   
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