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.