Vernon Harper (Asin or Asini in Cree; often referred to as Vern Harper), Cree elder, medicine man, Indigenous rights activist, veteran and boxer (born 17 June 1936 in Toronto, ON; died there on 12 May 2018). A well-known community leader, Harper worked to preserve and promote Indigenous culture in a range of contexts, including during the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and at friendship centres, schools, correctional facilities and health care institutions primarily in urban areas.
Viola Irene Desmond (née Davis), businesswoman, civil libertarian (born 6 July 1914 in Halifax, NS; died 7 February 1965 in New York, NY). Viola Desmond built a career and business as a beautician and was a mentor to young Black women in Nova Scotia through her Desmond School of Beauty Culture. It is, however, the story of her courageous refusal to accept an act of racial discrimination that provided inspiration to a later generation of Black persons in Nova Scotia and in the rest of Canada. In December 2016, it was announced that Desmond would be the first Canadian woman depicted on the face of a Canadian banknote — the $10 note in a series of bills released in 2018.1
Jeanne Henriette Corbin, communist activist and union organizer (born in March 1906 in Cellettes, France; died 7 May 1944 in London, Ontario). A member of the Communist Party of Canada and secretary of the Canadian Labour Defense League, she defended the rights of Canadian workers for over 15 years. She gained particular prominence for her role in the lumber workers’ strike in Rouyn, Quebec in 1933.
Hugh Burnett, civil rights activist, carpenter (born 14 July 1918 in Dresden, ON; died 29 September 1991 in London, ON). Burnett was a key figure in the fight for anti-discrimination legislation in Ontario. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, he organized tirelessly against racial discrimination in public service in his hometown of Dresden, Ontario, rising to prominence as a leader and organizer of the National Unity Association (NUA), a coalition of Black community members pushing for equal rights in Dresden and the surrounding area. He was instrumental to in bringing about legislative and legal victories for civil rights at the provincial level related to the 1954 Fair Accommodation Practices Act, an early anti-discrimination law in Ontario.
Colette Beauchamp, journalist and essayist (born in 1936 in Valleyfield, Quebec), has been writing for a variety of Quebec media for over 25 years. In 1987, she published a remarkable essay entitled Le silence des médias, a critical, feminist analysis of the profession of journalism in Quebec. In 1992, she published a biography of Quebec journalist Judith Jasmin, for which she received the Victor Barbeau Award from the Académie des lettres du Québec.
Waneek Horn-Miller, athlete, activist, broadcaster (born 30 November 1975 in Montreal, QC). Horn-Miller, a Mohawk from Kahnawake, Quebec, was co-captain of Canada’s first Olympic women’s water polo team and a gold medallist in water polo at the 1999 Pan American Games. She is a well-known activist for Indigenous rights and a prominent role model, mentor and advocate for youth involvement in sports. The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity named her one of the country’s most influential women in sport in 2015.
James Leo (Jim) Egan, gay activist, writer, politician, environmental activist (born 14 September 1921 in Toronto, ON; died 9 March 2000 in Courtenay, BC). Egan was the first person to publish long articles written from a gay point of view in Canada. He was also one of the first openly gay politicians to serve in Canada. Egan is best remembered for a court challenge he and his partner, Jack Nesbit, launched against the spousal allowance benefit under the Old Age Security Act in 1988. In the subsequent Egan v. Canada decision (1995), the Supreme Court read in that sexual orientation is a protected ground of discrimination inthe Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — a monumental finding in support of LGBTQ2 rights in Canada.
Denise Anne Donlon, CM, music company executive, broadcast program director, producer, host, (born 22 February 1956 in Toronto, ON). Denise Donlon is one of Canada’s most innovative broadcasters and respected corporate leaders. She is renowned for incorporating music, journalism, social issues, and human rights advocacy in her work. Named Broadcast Executive of the Year three times at the Canadian Music Week Industry Awards, Donlon was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the 2018 Juno Awards in recognition of her contributions to the Canadian music industry. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Geographical Society, and a Member of the Order of Canada.
Benjamin Bowring, silversmith, watchmaker, merchant (b in Devonshire, Eng 1778; d at Liverpool, Eng June 1846). One of a large number of Devonshire tradesmen who immigrated to St John's, Bowring first visited Newfoundland in 1811; in 1815 he sold his shop in Exeter and opened a store in St John's.
Corel introduced its first version of CorelDRAW! in 1989. This computer drawing program has since become the world leader in its field. The program is updated annually. Cowpland has led the company with forceful marketing policies that distribute CorelDRAW! with a rich variety of other programs.
Charles Seward Wilcox, businessman (b at Painesville, Ohio 16 Mar 1856; d at Hamilton, Ont 6 June 1938). Wilcox attended Dartmouth College and Yale U, graduating in 1879, the same year as Canada's NATIONAL POLICY tariff gave substantial new protection to the iron and steel industries.
George Leslie Mackay, Presbyterian missionary (b at Zorra, Oxford County, Canada W 22 Mar 1844; d in Formosa [Taiwan] 2 June 1901). A graduate student in Edinburgh, Mackay decided to become a missionary after hearing Alexander Duff, the "apostle to India," call for foreign evangelism.
John George Shearer, Presbyterian minister, social reformer (b at Bright, Canada W 9 Aug 1859; d at Toronto 27 Mar 1925). Shearer left parish work in 1900 to become secretary of the LORD'S DAY ALLIANCE, editor of the Lord's Day Advocate and architect of the Lord's Day Act introduced in 1906.