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.