Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amy Brandon

Jazz guitarist

Born in Charlottetown, grew up in Ottawa; now lives in Nova Scotia.

Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music from Carleton University (Ottawa) in 2006.

Is a regular on the Maritimes jazz scene and has appeared at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

Her haunting melodies blend jazz, classical and folk influences.

Works as a guitar teacher and performer.

Was recently awarded a Nova Scotia Culture and Heritage grant to study in New York with leading jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Natalie Maclean

Sommelier, wine writer

Born in Halifax; lives in Ottawa.

Writes a wine column with more than five million followers.

Author of two books: Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Named the world’s best drinks writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia in 2011.

Member of the National Capital Sommelier Guild and the Wine Writer’s Circle in Ottawa.

Won four James Beard Foundation Journalism Award and multiple other awards.

Her articles have been published in over 60 newspapers and magazines.

Offers a free e-mail newsletter to help people choose wines in restaurants.
STYLE magazine, December 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kellylee Evans

Jazz vocalist

Born in Toronto; lives in Ottawa.

Creates her own original compositions, which seamlessly fuse jazz and her unique style of "soul pop”.

Began her career in 2004 after garnering a 2nd place win at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition.

Has three albums Fight or Flight, The Good Girl, and her latest Nina, which was recorded in France and is a tribute to one of jazz's greatest vocalists and pianists, Nina Simone.

Nominated for a Juno and a Gemini Award in 2007 and won a Juno award in 2010 for Nina.

Has been invited to open for music legends Tony Bennett, Maceo Parker and George Benson along with Chris Botti, Derek Trucks and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Has studied and recorded with Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer and co-wrote and performed on saxophonist Jane Bunnett’s 2009 Juno Award winning release, Embracing Voices.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gabriella Goliger


Born in Italy, grew up in Montreal and has lived in Ottawa for the past 30 years.

Obtained a B.A. from McGill University and an M.A. in English literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Her first book, Song of Ascent, won the 2001 Upper Canada Writer's Craft Award, was co-winner of the 1997 Journey Prize for short fiction, finalist for this prize in 1995 and won the Prism International award in 1993.

Has also been published in a number of journals and anthologies including Best New American Voices 2000 and Contemporary Jewish Writing in Canada.

Her second book, Girl Unwrapped, was published in 2010; it won the City of Ottawa Book Award in the English Non Fiction category in 2011.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Merna Forster

Author, historian (with a particular interest in women's history)
Naturalist, photographer

Born in Alberta; lives in Victoria, B.C.

Wrote the books 100 Canadian Heroines and 100 More Canadian Heroines. You can visit her website at

Earned a B.A. at the University of Alberta and an M.A. in history from Laval University in Quebec City.

Worked with national parks and national historic sites across Canada in the areas of public education programs, outreach and visitor services.

Also worked in the field of Canadian Studies; while based in Ottawa she received the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Commemorative Medal and served as vice-president of the Ottawa Independent Writers.

Was awarded The Lieutenant Governor's Celebration of the Arts Pin by Dr. Lynda Haverstock, Lieutenant Governor, Province of Saskatchewan.

Currently works at the University of Victoria as Executive Director of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Project, which received the 2008 Pierre Berton Award.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Constance Backhouse

Professor, researcher

Holds the positions of Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa.

Teaches in the areas of criminal law, human rights, legal history, and women and the law.

Author of many books including De la couleur des lois : Histoire juridique du racisme au Canada, 1900-1950 (Ottawa:  University of Ottawa Press, 2010) and Her Carnal Crimes: Sexual Assault Law in Canada, 1900-1975  (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2008) and The Secret Oppression: Sexual Harassment of Working Women (Toronto: Macmillan, 1979), the first book published in Canada on the topic, and the second in North America.

Is the recipient of multiple awards honouring her work and her research including the Augusta Stowe-Gullen Affirmative Action Medal by the Southwestern Ontario Association for the Advancement of Learning Opportunities for Women, the Law Society Medal, the President’s Award by the Women and the Law Association of Ontario, the Ramon Hnatyshyn Award for Law.

Has received a series of research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Osgoode Society, and the Department of Justice.

In 2011, she has won the SSHRC Gold Medal for Achievement in Research.

Has served for many years as a mediator and adjudicator of human rights complaints.

Co-founded the Feminist History Society in 2009, an organization dedicated to compiling and publishing books about the history of Second Wave Canadian feminism.,

Is currently writing a biography of the Hon. Madam Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, as well as a cohort biography of one hundred Canadian feminist lawyers who entered the profession in the 1970s and '80s.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pat Logan

Dedicated to preserving Hinterland Who’s Who

Hinterland Who’s Who is the longest-running series of 60-second educational public service announcements in Canada today. –

Born in Florida in 1946; grew up in Amherstberg, ON; died in Ottawa in 2011.

Graduated from the University of Windsor with an MA in English literature.

Worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service for 20 years; played an instrumental role in preserving the original series of Hinterland Who’s Who dating pack to the 1960’s; also played a key role in launching a new generation of Hinterland Who's Who announcements in 2003.

Note on Hinterland Who’s Who
First created in the early 1960s, Hinterland Who’s Who is a series of vignettes that brought Canadian native wildlife into living rooms using excellent film footage and simple narration They became, and remain, an enduring part of Canadian culture. The television spots encouraged viewers to contact CWS to obtain fact sheets about the wildlife presented. People wrote to CWS, at a rate of hundreds a week!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Elizabeth Le Geyt

Birds columnnist, Ottawa Citizen

“If everybody was a birder, I’m quite sure we wouldn’t have any wars.” - Elizabeth Le Geyt

Born in London, England in 1914; moved to Canada in 1952; has lived in Ottawa for the last 57years.

Wrote her first Birds column for the Citizen back in March 1973.

Continues to write her weekly column at the age of 94.

Is among the oldest columnists in Canada.

Over the last 34 years, her Birds column has appeared every single Saturday except one.

Has organized many auctions for the Wild Bird Care Centre in Ottawa; the Centre named an environmental award in her honour.

Was named to the Order of Ontario in 2011.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Phyllis Mayers

Community volunteer

“Education is the one thing no one can take away from you” – Phyllis Mayer’s motto

Born in Barbados; came to Canada at the age of 17; is celebrating 50 years in Canada in 2011.

Graduated as an RNA from St.Vincent Hospital in 1961 where she worked for 42 years; studied Nursing at Algonquin College and Pharmacology at the University of Ottawa.

Has been recognized and honoured often for her longtime volunteer work, doing community work, and volunteering on various boards and committees.

Partial list of awards
City of Gloucester Outstanding Volunteer (1997)
Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship (1998)
City of Gloucester Heart of Gold Award (2000)
International Year of the Volunteer Award (2001)
United Way Community Builder Award (2002)
Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award (2009)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ottawa Council of Women

Advocacy group

“Do unto others as you would have that they should do unto you”. — Motto, Ottawa Council of Women

The Council is made up of various committees such as Education, Cultural and Health; they are a voice for advocacy at the local, provincial and national level.

The Council supports women through advocacy that promotes policy directions that build trust and cooperation, maximize citizen participation, build consensus and encourage collaboration, as well as build alliances with others – women’s groups, environmentalists, and others intent on ensuring that democracy survives.

The Ottawa Council of Women, along with the Canadian Federation of University Women, co-hosts the celebration of International Women’s Day every March in Ottawa.

Gay Cooke

Author, food journalist, expert on Canadian culinary issues

Born in Ottawa in a family that has been in the food business since 1911.

Dreamed of becoming a chef and enrolled in the first class of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Administration at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto in 1953. 

Used the training she received there to cook in homes throughout Europe, South America, and the U.S.A. .

Writes a weekly food column - Talk of the Town - in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and is a former food editor of the Ottawa Sun newspaper.

Also writes freelance for publications such as Fifty-Five Plus and Food & Leisure Magazine.

Regularly teaches demonstration cooking classes and is frequently engaged to speak about Canadian culinary issues.

Is an honorary member of the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks and winner of the Sandy Sanderson Award recognizing outstanding food journalists.

Is on the Board of Governors of the National Capital Sommelier Guild and a member of Cuisine Canada.

Sue McGarvie

Sex and marital therapist

One of Canada‘s best known sex and marital therapists, trained in psychology and reproductive medicine; is an Ottawa-based therapist who offers services via telephone and Skype all over the world.

Has degrees from Carleton University in Psychology and Education, Laurentian University in Sexuality and Family Life, The Banff Center in New Media, and Ryerson University in Broadcast Technology.

Has been a registered Sex and Registered Therapist since 1992 with unique expertise on libido and bio-identical hormones for sexual desire.

Founder of The Ottawa Sex Therapy Clinic and member of The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, The Canadian Urology Association, and The Federation of Medical Women.

Author of four books on sexuality and relationships, and as a sex expert, she has been an expert witness, insurance industry consultant, pharmaceutical and government lobbyist and a professional speaker (CAPS member).

Nominated for the Roman’s Canadian Women Entrepreneur for 2002, and is a Top 40 under 40 finalist; given the Province of Ontario Award for Women in the  Community leadership by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in 2010.

Hosted and produced a number of radio and television shows such as Sunday Night Sex With Sue, Sexual Solutions, The Love and Romance Show, and currently Love and Lipstick targeting women 30-55 on EZ Rock, evenings with Astral Media.

Has been a named a Woman of Distinction (1997), the I. H. Asper Broadcast Entrepreneur of the Year (1998), Business and Professional Women’s Association Woman of the Year (1994).

Also won an unprecedented award as Volunteer of the Year for 2002 for both Wired Women of Canada and Canadian Women in Communications for her work as National Mentorship Chair and Director.

Joannie Rochette

Spokesperson, Ottawa Heart Institute for the “iheartmom” campaign
Olympic medalist

Born in Montreal in 1986.

Is the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2009 World silver medalist, the 2008 and 2009 Four Continents silver medalist, the 2004 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, and a six-time (2005-10) Canadian national champion.

In February 2010, two days before the beginning of ladies’ figure skaing competition at the winter Olympics in Vancouver, her mother died of a heart attack at age 55.

Is currently spokesperson for the “iheartmom” campaign at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute which deals with raising awareness for heart disease in women.

Florence Hannay

Dedicated volunteer for drop-in and street outreach service

“I could be at home in bed, like a lot of people,but I like to keep moving. I don’t think being a good Christian is about how many times you go to church.” – Florence Hannay

Born in 1921.

Retired from the federal government 28 years ago.

Seven months ago, became one of the 100 volunteers at Ottawa Innercity Ministries, a Christian organization that pools the volunteer labour and resources of some 74 churches into a drop-in and street outreach service.

At 90 years of age, she spends her days making and delivering sandwiches to street people in downtown Ottawa, also handing out socks, juice boxes, cookies and hugs.

Loris Jordan

Dedicated volunteer for drop-in and street outreach service

“I think I get more out of this than I give.” – Loris Jordan

Born in Victoria in 1927.

Has a long history of social activism.

Studied nursing in Vancouver and began to travel the world, whereupon she met her future husband, Tedd, a mining engineer, in South Africa; was a psychiatric nurse for about 25 years, a peacenik and Raging Granny.

For the last 15 years, spends her days making and delivering sandwiches to street people in downtown Ottawa, also handing out socks, juice boxes, cookies and hugs.

At 84 years of age, she begins her days at 9 am at the offices of Ottawa Innercity Ministries, a Christian organization that pools the volunteer labour and resources of some 74 churches into a drop-in and street outreach service.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Michaëlle Jean

Chancellor of the University of Ottawa (as of February 2012)

Born in Haiti; came to Canada in 1968.

Studied comparative literature at the Université de Montréal; taught modern languages at the Université; worked in shelters for female victims of domestic violence and helped establish a network of emergency shelters in Quebec and across Canada.

Television journalist, past anchor and host of news programs on CBC Newsworld and Radio-Canada.

Former Governor General of Canada, from 2005 to 2010; first black woman to be named governor general.

UNESCO special envoy for Haiti.

Named chancellor of the University of Ottawa, replacing Huguette Labelle who has been chancellor of the university for 17 years.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rita Larocque Morel

Translator, interpreter, pioneer franco-ontarian woman

Born in Ottawa in 1911; died in 2011.

One of the first franco-ontarian woman to study at the University of Ottawa (general arts). When she graduated, she was one of only two women in her class. At the time, she would have liked to study Greek or chemistry, but the priests did not allow her to do so because she was a woman.

Received medals in literature, French and swimming.

Developed her own system of symbols in order to get work as a stenographer in the public service (she had not studied stenography).

Worked for the Turkish embassy at the Château Laurier and the Bureau of Statistics before becoming a translator at Secretary of State, and eventually, a sought out oral simultaneous translator who could interpret from French to English, but also from English to French, thus translating both in her mother tongue and her second tongue.

Became Chief House of Commons translator. After her retirement, she freelanced as an interpreter well into her 80s.

Also did some volunteer work with former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar, helping refugees from Vietnam.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nancy Riche

Labour organizer, social activist, women’s rights advocate

“Nancy’s contribution to the social fabric of Canada will live on in the work of the countless labour and women’s activists whose lives she touched and inspired,” Ken Georgetti, President of the CLC, 2011

Born in St.John's, Newfoundland in 1944; died in 2011. 

Graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

One of Canada’s leading women labour leaders and a tireless advocate for workers’ and women’s rights; pioneer in the Canadian Women’s movement.

Held various positions in her career including secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), vice-president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour and secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees.

Lived in Ottawa's Carleton Heights neighbourhood for 18 years while she was secretary-treasurer of the CLC from 1984 until her retirement in 2002.

Served as Vice-President of the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and Chair of its Women’s Committee from 1993-2002.

Received both the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) Woman of Courage Award and the Governor-General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case in 2002.

Became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Women's History Month

October is Women's History Month in Canada. Proclaimed in 1992 by the Government of Canada, Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the important contributions of women and girls to our society.

Beginning in 1998, a theme was assigned each year.

1998: Canadian Women – Making an Impact
1999: Yesterday and Today – Francophone Women in Canada
2000: Making History, Building Futures – Women of the 20th Century
2001: In Praise of Canadian Women Volunteers
2002: Women and Sports – Champions Forever!
2003: What do you mean, women couldn’t vote?
2004: Yes, Women Are Persons!
2005: Women and War – Contributions and Consequences
2006: Aboriginal Women – The Journey Forward
2007: Celebrating Immigrant Women in Canada
2008: Women in the Lead – Past and Present
2009: Women in the Lead – Winter Sports
2010: Recognizing Canadian Women in Business
2011: Women’s Invaluable Contributions to the Military

Carolyn Waldo

Olympic athlete, sports broadcaster, motivational speaker

Born in Montreal, Quebec; works in Ottawa.

Despite a fear of water, learned to swim at the age of 10 and managed to win two gold medals in synchronized swimming by the time she was 23.

First Canadian woman to win two gold medals at the same Olympic games (1988 Seoul Games).

Also won a silver medal at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

Was flagbearer at the 1988 Olympics.

Is a 6-time world champion, a Lou Marsh Award winner, a 4-time Canadian Female Athlete of the year, a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Is a successful sports broadcaster at CTV Ottawa and a passionate speaker, inspiring a full range of audiences to discover the possibilities in their own lives.

Betty Kennedy

Broadcaster, journalist, author, retired Senator

Born and raised in Ottawa; born in 1926.

As a teenager in the 1940s, honed her journalistic skills as a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper.

Appointed Public Affairs of CFRB, Canada’s largest radio station in Toronto where she stayed for 27 years. As host of the Betty Kennedy Show, she interviewed 25-thousand guests.

Brought a “feminine point of view” to CBC-TV's Front Page Challenge from 1962 to 1995; best known to most Canadians as a panelist on this show (the longest-running television program).

Appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.

Was the first woman chair-person of the School of Journalism at the University of Western Ontario.

First non-medical member of the Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Author of two books: Hurricane Hazel and Gerard.

Inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1991.

Appointed to the Senate in 2000.

Nathalie Gamache

Gynecologist specialized in women’s health (menopause)

Studied medicine in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Completed her residency in gynecology and obstetrics, as well as a fellowship in menopause and women’s health in Ottawa.

Practices at the Shirley E. Greenberg Centre for Women’s Health at the Ottawa General Hospital and recently opened the Centre de Santé pour Femmes GAÏA in Gatineau.

Areas of interest are abnormal bleeding and fibromas, menopause and hormone therapy, sexuality, premenstrual syndrome, and early ovarian failure, especially among cancer survivors.

Is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa, where she helped develop and start the new medical program in 2009.

Winner of two awards of excellence in teaching, she was also recently awarded a prize for the best oral presentation at the SOGC in 2010.

Is a frequent presenter at both local and international conferences.

Mother Tongue Books

Independent feminist bookstore

Located in Old Ottawa South at 1067 Bank street in Ottawa.

Specializes in poetry, literature and non fiction from local to international, personal to political; specifically targets women readers.

Also holds discussion groups and workshops.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dawn Monroe

Librarian, author and creator of the Famous Canadian Women Website

Born in Toronto in 1945. Lived in Ottawa from 1971 to 2006.

Obtained a B.A. in Canadian history at the University of Guelph in Ontario and a Masters in Library Science at the University of Western Ontario.

Worked at the National Library of Canada, the Library at the National Archives, and retired from her role as Manager of Library Services Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 2004.

Has also taught and coached archery to youth at the RA Centre in Ottawa.

Was involved in the Ottawa Girl Guides, where she developed a series of activities for her Guide Unit relating to Famous Canadian Women; these activities eventually became a website featuring Famous Firsts accomplished by Canadian women, a historical timeline, quotes by Canadian women and career highlights in various fields of work where women have excelled.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Keys to the City of Ottawa

1937: Cecilia Colledge, British figure skater.

1948: Barbara Ann Scott: Canadian figure skater born in Ottawa.

1951: H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth, upon her first visit to the Capital as future queen. 

1954: Her Majesty the Queen Mother. 

1955: H.R.H. Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary The Princess Royal.

1960: Anne Heggtveit, alpine skier, born in Ottawa.

1968: Nancy Greene, Olympic skier, born in Ottawa.  

1984: Sue Holloway, cross-country skier, born in Halifax.

1984: Linda Thom, Olympic shooter, born in Hamilton.

1988: Elizabeth Manley, Olympic figure skater, born in Ottawa.

1989: President Corazon Aquino.

1996: Alannis Morissette, singer, born in Ottawa.

1997: Angela Hewitt, pianist, born in Ottawa.

2000: Margaret Atwood, author, born in Ottawa. 

Source: City of Ottawa

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bytown Beat Chorus

Creative outlet for musical growth open to women of all ages

Ottawa chapter formed in 2005.

The chorus is a charter member of Sweet Adelines International (SAI) since October 2007; SAI is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, non-profit music education association is one of the world‘s largest singing organizations for women. The SAI organization has 35 regions comprised of more that 120 quartets and 600 choruses.

Members learn music, good vocal production techniques and singing as a harmony team; they also learn about choreography, stage production, costuming, makeup and much more. Training and certification programs are available in the areas of directing, arranging, judging, teaching, personal growth and leadership.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

France Chrétien Desmarais

Business woman, lawyer, philanthropist

Graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law; received the Meritas Tabarat Award for Alumni Achievement awarded by the University of Ottawa in 2011.

Served and chaired many boards in the fields of business, health and sports; currently serves on the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

Vice-chair of the Guy Laliberté Foundation and ONE DROP.

Member of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the board of McGill’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviours; was also a member of the board of directors of VANOC for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Received the Order of Canada in September 2012 for her philanthropy.

Daughter of Jean Chrétien, 20th prime minister of Canada and Aline Chrétien.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Greta Hale

Entrepreneur, community advocate, author

Emeritus Governor on the University of Ottawa Board of Governors.

Chairman Emeritus of Morrison Lamothe Inc., a national family frozen food company now headquartered in Toronto.

Comes from a pioneer Ottawa family (1818) and has lived all her life in Ottawa’s oldest house (1828).

Has served on numerous national corporate and provincial boards and continues to be an active volunteer in dozens of Ottawa organizations, including President of Beechwood Cemetery and on the board of the Community Foundation of Ottawa.

Received the YM-YWCA Life Time Achievement Award in 1997, the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1998, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa in 1999 and the Order of Canada in 2006.

Has published her memoirs entitled “Baker’s Daughter: The Story of a Long, Rich and Very Canadian Life“. Her book is filled with Ottawa stories.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Marianne Florence Scott

National librarian of Canada

Born in Toronto in 1928. Worked in Ottawa.

Studied at McGill University where she earned her Bachelor in Library Sciences; received several LLD honours during her career.

Started her career as a law librarian at McGill University where she worked for 20 years, was also lecturer in the Faculty of Law from 1964 to 1974, and Director of Libraries at McGill University from 1975 to 1984.

Was the cofounder of the Index to Canadian Legal Periodical Literature which began in 1963.

Was the first woman to be appointed as National Librarian of Canada in Ottawa, a position she held from 1984-1999.

Was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Order of Canada in 1995.

Lynn Marshall

Masters swimmer

Part-time professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, in the department of systems and computer engineering.

Head swim coach of the Carleton Masters Swim Club.

Represented Manitoba at the 1977 Canada Summer Games, was named to the Canadian team for the 1983 World University Games, and was a Top-20 swimmer at the Canadian championships.

Has been among the world's Top 10 swimmers for the past 25 years, and has beaten more than 20 Canadian records in her age group (50-54).

Has set five long course and 23 short course FINA Masters World Records.

Recently inducted into the Masters Swimmer Hall of Fame (the second Canadian to enter the hall; the first one was Bonnie Pronk in 2010).

Sylva M. Gelber

Arts patron

Born in Toronto in 1910; lived in Ottawa; died in 2003.

Distinguished Canadian who served Canada in various capacities, most notably as Director of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labour and Canadian representative on the UN Commission for the Status of Women from 1970-74.

Held many international appointments during her lifetime, including that of Canadian delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1976 and 1978.

Outspoken advocate of women's rights; helped to introduce equal-pay legislation, maternity leave and women's pension benefits into Canadian society.

Spent 15 years as a medical social worker and government administrator in British-mandate Palestine, an experience she chronicled in No Balm in Gilead, an award-winning 1989 memoir.

Known for her wit, humour and a love of music, stylish clothes and fast cars, she led a colourful life that included early stints in theatre and radio; passionate music lover; known in Ottawa as an arts patron.

Created the Sylva M. Gerber Music Foundation to help talented Canadian students with high costs of training.

A Piano Lab at the University of Ottawa was named the Sylva Gerber studio in her honour.

She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Canada's Walk of Fame

Canada's Walk of Fame engages Canadians in celebrating those who have excelled in music, sport, film, television, as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation.

Since 1998, there have been a total of 137 Canadians inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame of which 39 are women. Of the 39 women, 5 have an Ottawa connection. They are:
  • Barbara Ann Scott, figure skater, inducted in 1998.
  • Nancy Greene, skier, inducted in 1999.
  • Margaret Atwood, writer, inducted in 2000.
  • Alanis Morissette, singer, inducted in 2005.
  • Sandra Oh, actress, inducted in 2011.
You may read individual entries on each of these women in this blog by consulting the alphabetical listing or you can type their name in the Search option in the upper left hand corner.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ottawa Book Awards

Based on information provided on the City of Ottawa website, the Ottawa Book Awards have been given to Ottawa authors since 1986 in English and since 1989 in French (Prix du livre d'Ottawa).  It has been awarded 65 times including 32 women. From 1986 to 2003, the award alternated between fiction and non-fiction books on a yearly basis.

1986 (non-fiction)
  • Jean Bruce, Back to the Attack! Canadian Women During the Second World War.
  • Joan Finnigan, Legacies: Legends and Lies.
1988 (non-fiction)
  • Patricia Morley, Kurelek: A Biography.
1991 (fiction)
  • Rita Donovan, Dark Jewels.
1993 (fiction)
  • Rita Donovan, Daisy Circus.
  • Nadine McInnis, The Litmus Body.
  • Gabrielle Poulin, Petites fugues pour une saison sèche.
1994 (non-fiction)
  • Penelope Williams, That Other Place: A Personal Account of Breast Cancer.
  • Gilberte Paquette, Dans le sillage d’Élizabeth Bruyère.
1995 (fiction)
  • Frances Itani, Man Without Face.
  • Andrée Christensen, Noces d’ailleurs.
1996 (non fiction)
  • Dr. Elizabeth J. Lacelle, L’incontournable échange. Conversations oecuméniques et pluridisciplinaires.
2000 (non fiction)
  • Patricia Smart, Les femmes du Refus Global.
2001 (fiction)
  • Nicole Champeau, Dans les pas de la louve.
  • Michèle Matteau, Quatuor pour cordes sensibles.
2002 (non-fiction)
  • Anna Heilman, Never Far Away.
  • Françoise Lepage, Histoire de la littérature pour la jeunesse.
2003 (fiction)
  • Nancy Vickers, La Petite Vieille aux poupées.
  • Madelaine Drohan, Making a Killing: How and Why Corporations Use Armed Force To Do Business. (non-fiction)
  • Mila Younes, Ma mere, ma fille, ma soeur. (non fiction)
  • Elizabeth Hay, Garbo Laughs. (fiction)
  • Frances Itani, Poached Egg on Toast. (fiction)
  • Valerie Knowles, From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne. (non-fiction)
  • Heather Menzies, NO TIME: Stress and the Crisis of Modern Life. (non-fiction)
  • Charlotte Gray, Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell. (non-fiction)
  • Janet Lunn, A Rebel’s Daughter. (fiction)
  • Elizabeth Hay, Late Nights on Air. (fiction)
  • Andrée Christensen, Depuis toujours, j’entendais la mer. (fiction)
  • Margaret Michèle Cook, Chronos à sa table de travail. (fiction)
  • Claire Rochon, Fragments de Sifnos. (fiction)
  • Gabriella Goliger, Girl Unwrapped. (fiction)
  •  Lucie Joubert, L’envers de landau : Regard extérieur sur la maternité et ses débordements (fiction)

Heather Crowe

Promoter of smoke-free workplaces

Born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in 1945; died in Ottawa in 2006.

Was a career waitress who became the public face of Canada’s anti-smoking campaign.

Claimed that she contracted lung cancer in 2002 from second-hand smoke encountered at her workplace of 40 years, including an Ottawa restaurant.

Appeared on numerous television public service announcements.

Submitted a successful claim relating to second-hand smoke exposure in the workplace to the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board for lost earnings and health care benefits.

Due to a large part of her lobbying, the province of Ontario passed a tough anti-smoking bill which came into effect four days after her 2006 death of lung cancer at the age of 61.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame

Since 1966, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 243 Ottawa athletes in their Hall of Fame, of which 35 are women. I would like to thank Sue Kavanagh at the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her help with this research!

Anne Heggtveit born in Ottawa in 1939; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of skiing; at age seven won Gatineau Zone senior women's slalom; at age 15, became youngest-ever winner in the half-century history of the Holmenkollen giant slalom in Norway; first Canadian to win in Olympic ski competition at Squaw Valley in '60; was Canadian Female Athlete of year 1959-60 and won Lou Marsh Trophy top Canadian athlete 1960; is a Member of Order of Canada.

Barbara Ann Scott born in Ottawa in 1928; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of figure skating; learned her figure skating at Ottawa Minto Club; was Canadian senior women’s champion (1944-48), North American champions (1945-48) and won European title, World title, and Olympic title; was also World title holder in 1947 at age 18. Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 1945, 1947 and 1948. Turned pro with Hollywood Ice Review 1949-54. Member of World and Canadian Figure Skating Halls of Fame and Officer of the Order of Canada.

Alexa Stirling Fraser born in Atlanta Georgia in 1897; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of golf; came to Ottawa after being rated one of the world’s greatest golfers; won at least a dozen golf titles, mostly in the 1920s and 1930s.

Shirley Laura Thomas born in Ottawa in 1928; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of equestrian; was a world famous rider in horse shows on this continent and in Europe; first red ribbon in Toronto Pony Show at 12; first woman rider ever chosen to represent Canada (1951); first female rider to claim international class honours at Madison Square Garden.

Elizabeth Clifford born in Ottawa in 1953; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of skiing; was a Canadian junior champion at age 12, senior champion at 13, youngest ever in Olympics at 14, and youngest to win a world title at 16, winning the giant slalom at Val Gardena, Italy in 1970. Won many international events as well as the Canadian Giant Slalom eight times.

Sheryl Boyle born in Renfrew in 1965; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of paddling; began competitive canoeing at 19 and a national team member in 1986; claimed the national whitewater kayak championship title in 1993 and 1994 and became the first woman to win World Cup whitewater medals, a silver in 1992 and bronze in 1993. Competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and then turned to coaching in 1997.

Patricia Marilynn Messner born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1953; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of waterskiing; first Canadian woman to win World Waterskiing Slalom championship in 1979; won Waterskiing Slalom Masters in 1978, silver medal in 1977 and 1980 World Cup Championships as well as many Canadian and North American titles. Canada's first and only Olympic medalist in waterskiing. Currently runs the Mesle Canada Water Ski School in Ottawa.

Sue Holloway born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1955; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of canoeing; versatile athlete who represented Canada in Olympic cross-country skiing and canoeing; member of the Rideau Canoe Club, earned silver and bronze medals in 1984 Olympics in canoeing; first woman to compete (placed third) in Hawaii outrigger race in 1979.

Linda Mary Alice Malcolm Thom born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1943; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of shooting; represents Canada internationally since 1970, established handgun records and won a variety of national, North American, world shooting awards. Held up to 16 Ontario records, two Canadian standards and two French marks. First woman to win sport pistol gold medal in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Hélène Madeleine Grégoire born in Hull, Québec in 1943; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of waterskiing; won her first major title at age 16; was a member of the national team from 1970-77, won 10 national titles and six gold medals in Can-Am competitions; participated in one World Cup event, one Pan-Am Games and three World Championships.

Lynn Nightingale born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1956; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of figure skating; was Canadian senior champion for four years: 1974-77; won Skate Canada competition in 1973-74, Prague Skate in 1973, Moscow Skate in 1974; placed ninth in 1976 Olympics; turned pro with Ice Capades in 1977 and remained with them until 1982; was Canadian Ladies Pro Champion in 1981.

Ann A. Peel born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1961; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of race walking; dominated Canadian women’s race walking in the 1980s; held four national 5-km and one 10-km titles; won medals at Pan-Am and World University Games, World Indoor championships and America’s Cup meet; holds national indoor 3,000-metre record in sprint walking; instrumental in Canadian lobbying efforts to have women’s event included in 1990 Commonwealth and 1992 Olympic Games.

Glenda Reiser born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1955; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of running; former member of Uplands Harriers; set the Canadian open record of 4:06.71 for 1500 metres while competing in the 1972 Olympics in Munich; won three national titles at this distance and won the gold medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Linda Carbonetto born in New York City in 1949; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of figure skating; won 1969 Canadian Women's Championship after placing second in 1968; was third in North American and sixth in World Championships in 1969; competed in 1968 Olympics; turned pro 1970 and became featured skater with Ice Capades through 1972.

Elizabeth Ann Manley born in Belleville, Ontario in 1965; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of figure skating; member of 1984 and 1988 Canadian Olympic and world championship figure skating teams; won silver medal 1988 Calgary Olympics; Canadian champion in 1985, 1987 and 1988; first woman in Canada to land a triple combination in competition; named Woman of the Year by Chatelaine magazine (1988); turned pro with Ice Capades in 1988.

Anna Rose Fraser-Sproule born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1963; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of skiing; six years member national free-style ski team; twice national aerials and combined champion; winner of five World Cup aerials gold medals; won World Cup Grand Prix aerials championship 1986; placed fourth in aerials in 1988 Calgary Olympics.

Dr. Penny Christine Werthner-Bales born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1951; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for athletics; represented Canada in two Commonwealth, two Pan-Am, one Olympic, and one FISU Games; set world 1,000-metre record and earned bronze medals in 800 metres at 1971 Pan-Am Games and in 1,500 metres at the 1978 Commonwealth and 1979 Pan-Am Games; named outstanding Canadian track athlete 1978.

Barbara Caswell McLeod born in North Bay, Ontario in 1937; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of fame for the sport of running; set a myriad of national and world age group records and winning road races throughout Canada and the world since 1981; claimed the world masters championship; considered a trailblazer for Canada's women runners.

Janet Katherine Morrissey born in Ottawa in 1959; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of figure skating; won the Eastern Ontario Juvenile ladies skating title at age 11; capped her figure skating career with the national senior championship in 1979; won medals in St. Gervais and Nebelhorn events.

Gail Amundrud born in Toronto, Ontario in 1957; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of swimming; began competitive swimming career with Ottawa Kingfish in 1967; moved to Vancouver Dolphins in 1974; first Canadian female to swim 100-metre freestyle in under one minute and 200–metre freestyle in under two minutes; represented Canada in Commonwealth, Pan-Am, World and Olympic Games, winning medals in each; set 10 national records and was a four-time all-American at Arizona State, winning gold in US Nationals in 200-metre freestyle (1977).

Deborah Ellen Huband born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1956; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of basketball; adept in swimming, softball, track and field, volleyball, touch football, and basketball; member of Canada's national women's basketball team for more than a decade; competed in the Olympics, guard with the 1980 Jones Cup gold medal squad; recipient of seven school athlete of the year awards, CIAU MVP, all-star honours, and Bishop's University academic awards.

Judy Elizabeth Dietiker Davison born in Manchester, England in 1956; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to sport; held various age-level speed skating titles, 1970-1994, as well as Ont. outdoor closed (mass start) 1500m record; Canadian national team member at competitions in Holland and China; Canadian road champion in cycling, 1973, and track champion, 1974; set world record of 1000m cycling at Montreal Velodrome, 1980.

Marjorie Blackwood born in Karachi, Paskistan in 1957; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of tennis; won three Canadian tennis championships and captured 14 titles in Pro Tour Singles and Doubles play; World Tennis Association Top 50 player; third round Wimbledon 1982; Canada’s No. 1 player 1979-81.

Dawn Ventura born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1940; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to sport; was a catcher for senior softball teams from 1953 to 1963, a member of four Eastern Ontario senior title teams, two Ottawa interdepartmental league titles and third in six OCA divisional mixed title rinks; won the 1972 Lady Gilmour Lem Cushing trophy winners, runner up in 1973, and skipped the Ottawa Crystal Pebble grand aggregate title rink; holds eight Eastern Ontario ladies’ championships and two Ontario titles; member of the Ottawa RA Curling Club and the Rideau Curling Club; is a three-time RA curler of the year, twice the RA female athlete of the year, and twice the Ottawa ACT curling award winner.

Alison Korn born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1970; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of rowing; was a member of the national women’s rowing team from 1996 to 2000; was part of the 1995 Head of the Charles coxed fours gold crew and claimed 1996 Olympic silver medal as part of the women’s eights; teamed with Emma Robinson to win the world pairs gold in 1997 and 1998 and a silver with the 1997 women’s world eights; was a member of the all-women’s ski trek to the North Pole in 2001, a feat she chronicled for the Ottawa Citizen.

Isabelle Duchesnay born in Hull, Québec in 1963; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame (with her brother Paul) for the sport of figure skating; unable to meet their Olympic aspirations in Canada, took advantage of dual Canadian-French citizenship and competed for France internationally; Olympic participation in 1988 and 1992 where they earned dance silver; capped their careers with World championship gold in 1991.

Mary Haydon Provost born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1920; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of high jumping; excelled in long, broad and high jumping at a time when most young ladies were discouraged from participating in such strenuous pursuit; set a national junior high jump record in 1937 and was recognized the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada as a top prospect for the 1940 Olympics; was among the first to master the roll-over high jump technique and earned a variety of provincial and national laurels. Among the Ottawa Track Club founders, she later excelled in golf, basketball, bowling and curling and as a track official.

Heather Wallace born in Kitwe, Zambia in 1962; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of squash; began playing squash at 16 and claimed Rhodesian and South African titles; moving to Ottawa, quickly proved her dominance in the sport by running off a record 12 consecutive national singles titles; was undefeated by any Canadian woman from 1987 to 1998 while amassing more than 40 major championships in international competition; earned three gold medals in 1995 Pan-Am Games competition; frequently competed against and defeated her male counterparts in tournament play.

Carol-Ann Alie born in Gracefield, Québec in 1960; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of boardsailing; honed her skills on the Ottawa River while a student at the University of Ottawa; wide variety of provincial, national and international honours, including three world Mistral windsurfer titles; earned Pan-American Games gold and two silver medals and represented Canada in three Olympic Games; Ottawa ACT Athlete of the Year in 1985; also received Canadian Yachting Association Athlete of the Year Awards and is a member of both the Canadian Amateur and Canadian Olympic Sports Halls of Fame.

Mariann Domonkos born in Budapest, Hungary in 1958; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of table tennis; developed her skills after moving to Ottawa as a youngster; wide array of provincial and national championships, including an unprecedented 10 successive national women's singles crowns; joined the national team in 1972 and earned Pan-Am Games gold in 1979; became the first Canadian to win the National Open women's singles title in 1982; represented Canada in the 1988 Olympics; became a national team coach for the next decade and was inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame.

Linda Jackson born in Montreal, Québec in 1958; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for the sport of cycling; received her MBA at Stanford; decided to pursue her dream as a top-flight competitive cyclist at the age of 32 where she experienced instant success; career highlights include a 5th place finish at the 1994 Women’s Tour de France and a 3rd place finish at the 1997 Tour de France.

Hazel Minor born in Outlook, Saskatchewan in 1935; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of fame for sports administration; after moving to Ottawa, formed the Nepean Amateur Basketball Association where she was president from 1970 –1983; founded the Ottawa Rookies League, was president of the National Capital Basketball Association and operated annual summer basketball training camps from 1976 –1988.

Joan Hendry born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1945; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to the sport of long jump; was a member of the Canadian 1968 Olympic and 1970 Commonwealth Games team; won two Commonwealth Games bronze medals in long jump and the 4x100 relay; was the only member of a Canadian team to win two medals; was the Canadian long jump champion in 1968, and the silver medalist in 1964, 1967 and 1969, and the bronze medalist in 1966; was the first Canadian woman to jump over 6 metres in the long jump.

Anne Merklinger born in London, Ontario in 1958; inducted in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to multiple sports and sports leadership; had an impressive career in high-performance sport for over four decades as both an athlete and leader; was a member of Canada’s national swim team from 1977-81  then focused her athletic career on the curling rink, consistently ranking as one of Canada’s most distinguished women’s curlers, then turning to administration, began twenty years of management with national sport organizations including CanoeKayak Canada, the Commission for Inclusion of Athletes with a Disability and the Canadian Federation of Sport Organizations for the Disabled.

Shriely Moulds born in Ottawa in 1904; inducted posthumously in the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for her contribution to sport; what set her apart from most women who grew up in the 1920’s was not the wide array of sports that she played - tennis, bowling, basketball, softball and hockey – but the proficiency that she displayed, particularly in hockey; played for the Ottawa Alerts from 1919-25, a team that won the Canadian Championship six times in those years; was captain of the Ottawa Rowing Club (later the Soloway Mills) Ladies Hockey team – Canadian Champions in 1927; a leading scorer for the Ottawa and District Champion Alerts Basketball team, played shortstop on the Rowing Club’s city and district champion softball team and was a top scorer on their championship basketball team. She was also a 3-time city champion in tennis in ’23-‘25 and a bowling champion in her 50’s.

For more information on these women and all inductees in the Ottawa Sports Hall of fame, please visit their website at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ellen Fairclough

Pioneering politician

Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1905; died in 2004.

Was a Chartered Accountant and owner of a Hamilton accounting firm.

Elected to the Canadian House of Commons in a 1950 by-election after being defeated in the 1949 federal election.

As a Member of Parliament, she advocated women's rights including equal pay for equal work.

Appointed to the position of Secretary of State for Canada by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1957.  

First woman to be a cabinet minister in Ottawa’s House of Commons; became Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in 1958, and from 1962 until her defeat in 1963, was Postmaster General.

First female Acting Prime Minister of Canada from February 19 to February 20, 1958.

Nominated Kim Campbell for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership in 1993, after which Campbell became Canada's first woman prime minister. Fairclough

Agnes Macphail

Pioneering politician

"I owed it to my father that I was elected to Parliament in the first place, but I owed it to my mother that I stuck it out once I got there." - Agnes Macphail

Born in Grey County, Ontario in 1890; died in 1954.

Canadian women gained the right to run for Parliament in 1919; Agnes Macphail was elected in 1921, the first federal election in which women had the vote.

First female Member of Parliament in Canadian history after she was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1921.

Began her career as a country schoolteacher.

Bcame a member and active spokesperson for the United Farmers of Ontario. Her move into politics stemmed from her desire to represent the farmers of her region.

Courageous and dedicated champion of human rights who successfully fought for old-age pensions, prison reform, and farmers' co-operatives.

Saw herself as representing women's issues and founded the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada.

First Canadian woman to be sent as a delegate to the League of Nations in Geneva in 1929.

One of her final political achievements occurred in the Ontario legislature in 1951, when she championed legislation that mandated equal pay for equal work for Ontario women.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frances Susan Itani


Born in 1942 in Belleville, Ontario; lives in Ottawa.

Studied nursing in Montreal and North Carolina, a profession which she taught and practiced for eight years.

After enrolling in a writing class taught by W.O. Mitchell, she decided to change careers.

Has published ten books, ranging from fiction and poetry to a children's book. Her 2003 debut novel Deafening won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Caribbean and Canada region, and has been published in 16 countries.

Her lastest book is entitled Requiem (2011).

She has received the Order of Canada in 2006.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sylvia Tennisco


“I use many Algonquin Anishnabe Cultural components and elements to my designs, but yet keeping a generic feel. I would like to thank the Creator of the Universe for allowing me the opportunity to see-”in the moment “and for indulging in the pleasure of adding to the betterment of the World.”

Born in Pembroke, Ontario, grew up partly in Ottawa, Ontario and Point Gatineau, Quebec.

Completed a three year Graphic Design Program at St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Ontario. Her studies also include” The Visual Arts”,  a program offered at the High School of Commerce in Ottawa, Ontario.

Paints historic Algonquin Scenes; considers herself an illustrator and has had her work published with The Cree School Board of Education and “The Nation” magazine, a joint investment partnership to help stimulate the Cree Language.

Illustrated and designed the graphics for the recently Birth Website —

Developed a two year Art program for youth and adults of the Pikwakanagan Community, giving the students a chance to explore the mixed mediums in the creative field and with the added bonus of Anishnabe Cultural substance to the program.

Her creative center is now located in Golden Lake, Ontario.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Marie-Louise Marmette

Author, lecturer

Born in 1870 in Quebec City; died in Montreal.

Baptized Marie-Louise-Joséphine-Esther-Eliza, known as Louyse de Bienville (also used the pseudonym Domino Noir).

Grand-daughter of historian Francois-Xavier Garneau.

Daughter of Joseph-Étienne Marmette who helped found the Cercle des Dix, an Ottawa literary society in 1884. He was an archivist for the federal government.

Was schooled by the Ursulines in Quebec from 1880 to 1882, and later taught by the nuns of the Congregation of Notre-Dame in Ottawa.

Married lawyer Donat Brodeur in Ottawa in 1892; subsequently settled in Montreal.

Pursued a literary career including writing articles for the Journal de Françoise, a Montreal newspaper founded by Robertine Barry; also published articles in Le Temps of Ottawa, the Montreal paper Le Pays, Le Courrier de Montmagny, and Quebec's Le Soleil.

Occasionally wrote about the state of Canadian literature, as well as about the advent of feminism.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lisa LaFlamme

News anchor, journalist

Born in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Communication graduate of the University of Ottawa.

Named Lloyd Robertson’s successor as anchor of CTV National News; beginning September 5, 2011.

Canada’s first full-time female anchor in one of the three major English-language national newscasts.

Well known as the CTV National Affairs Correspondent; has enjoyed a successful career anchoring the CTV News and interviewing numerous guests as co-host of Canada AM, Canada's most-watched national morning show.

Was a political correspondent for CTV News in Ottawa and the prime-time NewsNet anchor.

Has received five Gemini nominations in the Best News Anchor category and has won several RTNDA awards; also received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. and was awarded the Meritas-Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement from the University of Ottawa.

Actively involved with the community, promoting events for organizations such as the Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Women's Foundation.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mamta Gautam

Physician, executive coach, author, speaker and physician health pioneer

Was a psychiatrist in private practice in Ottawa for 20 years, and is a clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. 

Specialist in physician health and well-being, hailed as “The Doctor’s Doctor"; trained in CoActive Coaching from Coaches Training International and certified physician development coach.

Founding director of the University of Ottawa Faculty Of Medicine Wellness Program. 

Co-Chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Section on Physician Health. 

President of the Ottawa chapter of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and has recently launched the International Alliance for Physician Health.

Has published Irondoc: Practical Stress Management Tools for Physicians in October 2004.

Has received several major awards to recognize and honor her pioneering work in the field of physician wellness, including the 2004 CPSO Council Award and the 2005 University of Ottawa Alumni Award for Community Contributions.

Has recently been awarded the Canadian Medical Association’s first ever Physician Misericordia award which recognizes contributions to the field of physician wellness in August 2011.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gladys Cameron McGregor Watt

Theatre promoter

Born in Galveston, Texas.; died in Ottawa in 1979.

Graduated from Brooklyn’s Adelphi College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Married Canadian forestry engineer Roy McGregor Watt in 1917.

Lived in Dauphin, Manitoba where she was paramount in establishing a local library and a little theatre.

Moved to Ottawa in 1937 where she became involved in local theatre; she advanced the One Act contest Play at the Ottawa Little Theatre to a national level. Upon retirement from the Ottawa Little Theatre, a seat in the Theatre was named for her.

Was Governor of the Canadian Drama Festival and was presented with the Canadian Drama Award for her efforts in 1958.

Lady Bird Johnson, first lady of the United States, presented her with the Margo Jones Award in 1963 for her impact on encouraging live theatre.

Was instrumental in preserving Ottawa’s old Union Station building in the heart of downtown Ottawa and campaigned vigorously against the demolition of the West block of the Canadian Parliament buildings.

The City of Ottawa honoured her for her dedication in 1964 and in 1967, she was recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clare Beckton

Social entrepreneur, member of the Women's Leadership Board, Harvard Kennedy School

Executive director of the Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership at Carleton University in Ottawa; the Centre is focused on increasing the representation of women in public leadership and politics.

Has an MPA from Harvard, an LLB, and a BA from the University of Saskatchewan.

Was the deputy head of Status of Women Canada from 2007-2009.

Has over 25 years experience leading teams and organizations to create innovative multi-sector and multinational partnerships and networks to develop policies, to provide services, to deliver programs, and to incorporate diversity, gender, and learning to assist the development of organizations through times of significant change.

Was named the Federated Press woman of the year for her leadership and recognized by the Women's Executive Network as one of Canada's most powerful women in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category in 2008.

Is the author of several books and a number of articles on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

University of Ottawa Trailblazers

The University of Ottawa Senate approves the Bachelor of Arts program for the women’s colleges (Bruyère and Notre-Dame). Women students begin to attend classes.

Sister Paul-Émile (Marie-Louise Guay), sister Marie-du-Rédempteur (Angélique Beaulieu) sister St. Lorenzo (Gabrielle Lemaire) and sister Joseph-Arthur (Martine Moreau) are the first women to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa.

Women students attend the new Ottawa Normal School (later known as the Ottawa Teacher’s College and now as the Faculty of Education).

The Ottawa Normal School has a majority of female students.

Bernadette Tarte and Rita Roy become the first lay women to obtain a Bachelor of Arts at the University. Soon thereafter, Mrs. Tarte became one of the first lay persons to work as a librarian at the Normal school. She worked at the library for 30 years. The University named the Bernadette Centre (daycare) in her honour.

Sister Joseph-Arthur (Claire Laramée) and Thérèse Archambault are the first two women to receive a PhD from the University.

A School of Nursing is created exclusively for women students and the teaching staff is exclusively female (Sisters of Charity). Sister Madeleine de Jésus (Corinne Laflamme) is the first woman director of a school at the University.

Hélène Landry-Labelle became director of pianist teaching at the School of Music, the first lay woman to teach at the University of Ottawa. She was a Paris-trained accomplished and renowned musician

Claire Boult (Bélanger) is the first woman to receive a diploma in a non-traditional sector for women at the time – BA in Commerce.

Foundation of the School of Domestic Sciences for female students with an all female teaching staff (Congrégation Notre-Dame).

First women to appear on the mosaics of the Faculty of Arts building.

Évelyne LeBlanc becomes the first Dean of Women, responsible for the recruitment of female students. She was involved in the development of the LeBlanc residence which was completed in 1965, providing the first accommodations for women at the University.

Sister Madeleine de Jésus (Corinne Laflamme), director of the School of Nursing, becomes the first woman to sit at the Senate of the University.

Magaret Beznack becomes chair of the department of physiology. She is the first female to occupy the position of department chair at the University of Ottawa, and of any Faculty of Medicine in Canada.

Pauline Vanier becomes the first woman and the first lay person to occupy the position of chancellor at the University of Ottawa.

Margaret Beznack is the first woman elected to the board of governors. She will go on to be the first female vice-dean and the first female dean at the University (Faculty of Medicine). She is the first woman to hold such a position in any Canadian university.

Gabrielle Léger becomes the second female chancellor at the University.

Susan Mann becomes the first female vice-president, academic, of the University. She was also the first woman chair of the department of history at the University and one of the first in Canada to teach a course on women’s history.

Carole Workman becomes the first female vice-rector, resources.

Huguette Labelle becomes the third chancellor at the University. She still occupies that position as of today.

Chantal Beauvais becomes the first female rector at St.Paul University, affiliated with the University of Ottawa.
A Chronology of Women's History at the University of Ottawa, by Michel Prévost, Chief Archivist, University of Ottawa, 2011.