timeline

Arts

This timeline chronicles great events in literature, music, theatre, film and TV, and visual arts in Canada.

November 14, 1606

Arts 

Marc Lescarbot's Theatre

Marc Lescarbot put on the first European theatrical production in Canada, or North America, called Le Théâtre de Neptune.

January 09, 1613

Habitation at Quebec

Arts 

Champlain Publishes Voyages

Samuel de Champlain published his Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain, describing his adventures in New France.

June 02, 1779

Arts 

Gazette Littéraire Ceases Publication

The Gazette Littéraire pour la ville et district de Montréal ceased publication. It was the first entirely French newspaper in Canada.

October 04, 1796

Arts 

Birth of John Richardson

Writer John Richardson, whose most enduring work, Wacousta, was set at the time of Pontiac's uprising, was born at Queenston, UC.

December 17, 1796

Thomas Chandler Haliburton, author and politician

Arts 

Birth of Thomas Haliburton

Author Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the first Canadian writer to gain an international reputation, was born at Windsor, NS.

March 14, 1802

Arts 

Parliamentary Library Established

The Parliamentary Library of Lower Canada was established when clerk Samuel Phillips was placed in charge of the House's entire holdings, about 25 books.

November 19, 1804

Arts 

Canada's First Theatre

Canada's first theatre was opened in Montréal, by a Scottish actor named Ormsby.

November 08, 1817

Four Children and a Dog

Arts 

Birth of Théophile Hamel

Théophile Hamel, one of the most popular portrait painters of his time, was born at Ste-Foy, Lower Canada.

June 17, 1845

Boat Encampment, Painting

Arts 

Kane Departs

Artist Paul Kane departed Toronto on a painting expedition of Canada's west.

April 09, 1847

Medicine Masks

Arts 

Kane Arrives at Fort Victoria

Artist Paul Kane arrived at Fort Victoria. He recorded both through sketches and writings the area's First Nations and their customs.

October 01, 1848

Winter Travelling in Dogsled

Arts 

Kane Returns

Paul Kane returned to Toronto with over 700 sketches of life in the Canadian West. That winter he started painting canvases based on these sketches.

October 08, 1864

Arts 

Birth of Ozias Leduc

Ozias Leduc, whose paintings of daily life and nature have both a symbolic and spiritual dimension, was born at St-Hilaire, Qué.

June 06, 1866

Parliament Buildings (Original)

Arts 

Original Parliament Buildings Open

The original Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, a fine example of mid-19th-century Gothic revival style, were opened. On the night of 3 February 1916, fire broke out in the Centre Block's House of Commons reading room. All that remained the following morning were the building's exterior walls and the Parliamentary Library. Reconstruction began later that year.

December 30, 1869

Arts 

Birth of Stephen Leacock

Humourist Stephen Leacock, whose comic masterpiece Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town embedded the fictional small town of Mariposa in the Canadian psyche, was born at Swanmore, England.

January 29, 1871

Aubert de Gaspé, Philippe-Joseph

Arts 

Death of Philippe de Gaspé

Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé, whose historical romance Les Anciens Canadiens is considered the first classic of French-Canadian fiction, died at Québec City.

November 30, 1874

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Arts 

Birth of Lucy Maud Montgomery

Writer Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose first novel, Anne of Green Gables, was an instant best seller, was born at Clifton, PEI.

August 22, 1878

Arts 

Birth of Edward Johnson

Tenor Edward Johnson, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera 1935-50, was born at Guelph, Ont.

March 06, 1880

Arts 

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts was founded by the Marquis of Lorne.

June 24, 1880

Les Voltigeurs de Québec

Arts 

O Canada First Performed

O Canada, composed by Calixa Lavallée, was first performed at a banquet attended by the governor general, the Marquis of Lorne.

July 17, 1880

Film and TV 

Birth of Mack Sennett

Early Hollywood director, producer and actor Mack Sennett (born Mikall Sinnott) was born in Danville, QC. In 1912, he co-founded the Keystone film company, and in the next few years created there a style of wild and rambunctious comedy that made his name a byword for delirious, uninhibited slapstick.

March 05, 1883

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of Marius Barbeau

Ethnologist Marius Barbeau, founder of professional folklore studies in Canada, was born at Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, Que.

January 15, 1886

Arts 

Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News Published

The first issue appeared of the Vancouver Weekly Herald and North Pacific News, Vancouver's first weekly newspaper.

February 09, 1891

Arts 

Vancouver Opera House Opens

The Vancouver Opera House, built for $100,000 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, opened on Granville Street.

August 02, 1892

Film and TV 

Birth of Jack L. Warner

Film producer and studio boss Jack L. Warner was born in London, ON. One of 12 children, he started a film distribution business in Ohio with his brothers Albert, Sam and Harry Warner and later opened a studio lot, Warner Bros Studios, in Burbank, California.

June 14, 1894

Arts 

Massey Hall Opened

Massey Hall, which had been presented to Toronto by Hart Massey, opened.

January 14, 1895

Arts 

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Premiere

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, founded by Augustus Stephen Vogt, gave its first concert at Massey Hall.

November 11, 1897

Arts 

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's First Concert

The 23-member orchestra that was the forerunner of today's Vancouver Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert.

April 25, 1898

Film and TV 

Birth of John Grierson

John Grierson, film producer and founder of the National Film Board, was born at Deanston, Scot.

August 15, 1898

Arts 

Semlin Appointed BC's Premier

Charles Augustus Semlin was sworn in as BC's 12th premier.

August 09, 1899

Nelligan, Émile

Arts 

Émile Nelligan Collapses

French-Canadian poet Émile Nelligan collapsed on the verge of insanity. He was taken to hospital, where he remained until his death in 1941.

August 29, 1899

Arts 

Death of Catharine Parr Traill

Pioneer writer Catharine Parr Traill, whose most famous book, The Backwoods of Canada, is a factual account of her first three years in the bush, died at Lakefield, Ont.

August 12, 1900

Arts 

Théâtre National Opens

The Théâtre National, the first French theatre in Montréal, opened its doors.

August 13, 1900

Film and TV 

Birth of Gordon Sparling

Pioneer director and filmmaker Gordon Sparling, who created the Canadian Cameo series of short films that were Canada's first major films with sound, was born at Toronto.

June 19, 1902

Arts 

Birth of Guy Lombardo

Bandleader Guy Lombardo, whose dance band, the Royal Canadians, was among the most popular of its day, and whose New Year's Eve broadcasts were a traditional part of N American celebrations, was born at London, Ont.

November 28, 1902

Arts 

First Quebec Symphony Orchestra Concert

The Quebec Symphony Orchestra played its first concert, at Tara Hall on rue Sainte-Anne. Joseph Vézina was the conductor.

August 31, 1903

Arts 

Auditorium de Québec opens

The Auditorium de Québec opened with a concert by the Orchestre symphonique de Québec with choir and soloists.

November 27, 1905

Arts 

Bernhardt Visits Québec

The great French actress Sarah Bernhardt arrived in Québec. The clergy did not appreciate her visit, saying that she failed to represent the good family values of French Canadian women.

January 01, 1906

Arts  Film and TV 

The Ouimetoscope

Léo Ouimet opened the first permanent film theatre in Canada at Montréal, the Ouimetoscope. A year later he opened the first large film theatre in North America.

December 23, 1908

Arts 

Birth of Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh, whose portrait of Winston Churchill in 1941 catapulted him into international fame as a photographer, was born at Mardin, Armenian Turkey.

October 24, 1909

Arts 

Birth of Sheila Watson

Writer Sheila Watson, best known for her classic novel The Double Hook, was born at New Westminster, BC.

August 15, 1910

Arts 

Vancouver Exhibition Opens

The Vancouver Exhibition (now Pacific National Exhibition) opened to the public for the first time. PM Wilfrid Laurier presided over the official opening on August 16.

June 13, 1912

Arts 

Birth of Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau

Poet Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, whose writing marked a turning point in the history of Québec poetry, was born at Montréal.

September 23, 1912

Film and TV 

Mack Sennett's First Films Released

Silent film producer and director Mack Sennett released the first of his Keystone comedies, Cohen Collects a Debt and The Water Nymph. Born in Québec, Sennett was called “the King of Comedy” for the hundreds of shorts he produced during Hollywood’s early years. His films were known for pratfalls, chases and moustache-twirling villains, creating the guidelines for American film comedies for generations. His stable of actors included such silent greats as Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Kops.

August 28, 1913

Robertson Davies, undated.

Arts 

Birth of Robertson Davies

Writer Robertson Davies, who is acknowledged as an outstanding essayist and brilliant novelist, was born at Thamesville, Ont.

December 15, 1913

Arts 

Elgin Winter Garden Theatre Centre Opens

The opening performance at Toronto's Elgin Winter Garden Theatre Centre was attended by Irving Berlin, who came onstage to perform.

April 11, 1914

Film and TV 

Birth of Norman McLaren

Norman McLaren, Canada's leading director of animated film, was born at Stirling, Scot.

July 10, 1914

Superman

Arts 

Birth of Joe Shuster

Cartoonist Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman, the most famous hero in comic-book history, was born at Toronto.

May 03, 1915

Flanders Fields

Arts 

"In Flanders Fields" Composed

John McCrae of Guelph, ON, wrote the famous poem "In Flanders Fields." It was composed in 20 minutes at Ypres and first published in December 1915 in the English magazine Punch.

August 01, 1916

Arts 

Birth of Anne Hébert

Award-winning author and poet Anne Hébert was born in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, QC. Her prolific and ever-evolving output — which includes Les enfants du sabbat (1975) and L'enfant chargé de songes (1992) — was recognized by three Governor General's Awards, one for her poetry, two for her prose.

July 08, 1917

Tom Thomson

Arts 

Tom Thomson Drowns

Artist Tom Thomson, whose paintings of Algonquin Park have become talismans of our image of the Canadian landscape, died under suspicious circumstances at Canoe Lake, Ont.

January 05, 1918

Music 

Birth of Dal Richards

Beloved swing bandmaster Dal Richards was born in Vancouver, BC. The clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger and conductor was a fixture in the Vancouver-area music scene from the 1930s until the 2010s. Having famously performed New Year's Eve shows 79 years in a row until 2014, Richards died at 11:41 p.m. on New Year's Eve 2015.

February 07, 1918

F.H. Varley, Self-Portrait

Arts 

War Artists Commissioned

Canadian artists F.H. Varley, Maurice Cullen and others were shipped off to England to paint for the Department of Canadian War Records.

January 02, 1919

Theatre 

Birth of William Needles

Actor William Needles, who spent 47 seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, was born in Yonkers, New York. Needles was raised in Kitchener, Ontario, where his family moved when he was a child. He served in the Second World War and subsequently returned to Canada, resuming an acting career that would last another six decades. A Member of the Order of Canada, Needles is also remembered as a generous mentor by former students to whom he taught drama at University of California, Irvine.

March 08, 1919

Arts 

Birth of Mavor Moore

Actor, writer, producer, director, critic, essayist, teacher, Chair of the Canada Council 1978-79, and Canada Council Molson Prize recipient Mavor Moore was born at Toronto.

April 07, 1919

Plouffe Family

Arts 

Birth of Roger Lemelin

Novelist Roger Lemelin, a pioneer of social realism in French Canada best known for Les Plouffe, was born at Québec City.

July 12, 1920

Pierre Berton, historian, media personality

Arts 

Birth of Pierre Berton

Journalist, historian and media personality Pierre Berton, was born at Whitehorse, Yukon.

August 24, 1920

Arts 

Birth of Alex Colville

Painter Alex Colville, whose representations of his immediate environment reflect a world which is at once joyful and disturbing, was born at Toronto.

February 15, 1921

Capitol Theatre

Arts 

Winnipeg's Capitol Theatre Opens

The Capitol Theatre, a luxurious movie palace, was officially opened in Winnipeg.

October 13, 1921

Arts 

McCord Museum Opens

The McCord National Museum opened at McGill University. Founder David Ross McCord wanted to make history accessible to everyone.

August 18, 1922

Joseph Shoctor, lawyer and theatre producer

Arts 

Birth of Joseph Shoctor

Joseph Shoctor, founder of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, was born at Edmonton.

November 13, 1922

Film and TV  Theatre 

Birth of Madeleine Sherwood

Actor Madeleine Sherwood was born in Montréal, Québec. She had a long career in the United States, performing in Broadway shows, plays by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, and the 1960s TV series The Flying Nun. A civil rights activist, she was blacklisted for a time in the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, and was arrested for participating in a Freedom Walk in Alabama in 1963. She returned to Canada later in life.

April 23, 1923

Arts 

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Formed

The New Symphony Orchestra, now Toronto Symphony Orchestra, gave its first concert at Massey Hall under the direction of Luigi von Kunits.

May 15, 1923

Trent University

Arts 

Birth of Ron Thom

Architect Ronald James Thom, who planned the campus and designed colleges and the main library for Trent University, Peterborough, was born at Penticton, BC. A Canada Council award for young architects bears his name.

July 21, 1926

Arts  Film and TV 

Birth of Norman Jewison

Film director and producer Norman Jewison, who has an international reputation as a filmmaker of talent and integrity, was born at Toronto.

July 24, 1926

Low, Colin

Film and TV 

Birth of Colin Low

Documentary filmmaker Colin Low, whose pioneering work at the National Film Board broke new ground in Canadian film, was born in Cardston, Alberta. Low was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996, and in 1997, he was awarded Québec's Prix Albert-Tessier for his life's work and his contribution to Canadian cinema. He died on 24 February 2016 in Montréal, Québec.

August 23, 1926

Arts 

Ogopogo Named

The name "Ogopogo," a palindrome from a music-hall song, was first used at a luncheon in Vernon to refer to the legendary beast the Salish called N'ha-a-itk, "snake in the lake."

October 29, 1926

Arts  Music  Theatre 

Birth of Jon Vickers

Jon Vickers, acclaimed as one of the greatest heldentenors of his generation, was born at Prince Albert, Sask.

August 10, 1927

Stephán G. Stephansson, poet

Arts 

Death of Stephansson

Stephán Stephansson, the foremost west-Icelandic poet in Canada and one of Iceland's major poets, died at Markerville, Alta.

December 05, 1927

Arts 

NGC Features Carr

The National Gallery of Canada opened an exhibit featuring the work of Emily Carr, along with members of the Group of Seven. The show revitalized Carr's career and brought her out of obscurity.

June 25, 1928

Film and TV 

Birth of Michel Brault

Cinematographer and director Michel Brault was born in Montréal, Québec. A pioneering documentary filmmaker, and the only Canadian to win the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Brault was one of Canada’s most acclaimed and revered filmmakers.

January 01, 1929

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of D.G. Jones

Poet and translator Douglas Gordon (D.G.) Jones was born in Bancroft, Ontario. Jones published influential volumes of poetry, translations and literary criticism from the 1950s into the 21st century, and spent many years teaching at the Université de Sherbrooke. A winner of two Governor General’s Awards and an Officer of the Order of Canada, he is credited with having greatly advanced the art of translation between French and English in Canada.

January 02, 1929

Where I Used To Live

Visual Arts 

Birth of Allen Sapp

Cree artist Allen Sapp, one of Canada's foremost Aboriginal painters, was born at Red Pheasant Reserve, Saskatchewan.

January 06, 1929

Arts 

Opening of Regina's Darke Hall

Regina's Darke Hall auditorium opened.

July 13, 1929

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of Basil Johnston

Anishinaabe author, storyteller and educator Basil Johnston was born on the Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario. A survivor of the residential school system, Johnston published his first book in his 40s and went on to publish over 20 more — many of them devoted to the history, stories and language of the Anishinaabe people. Five of his books were written in the Anishinaabemowin language. Johnston, who was a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, had a profound impact on a younger generation of First Nations writers, including Tomson Highway, Drew Hayden Taylor and Joseph Boyden.

October 24, 1929

Arts 

Birth of Hubert Aquin

Brilliant and tormented novelist Hubert Aquin, who was the first Québec writer to refuse the Governor General's Literary Award, was born at Montréal.

December 10, 1929

Venus Simultaneous

Film and TV 

Birth of Michael Snow

Michael Snow, whose work as a painter, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker and musician has been concerned with defining and redefining the relationships between different media, was born at Toronto.

December 31, 1929

Guy Lombardo

Arts 

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians first played for New Year's Eve celebrations at New York's Roosevelt Grill, beginning an annual tradition.

January 03, 1930

Theatre 

Birth of Marcel Dubé

Québec playwright Marcel Dubé, who also wrote for TV and radio, was born in Montréal. In addition to his literary career, Dubé held several distinguished positions related to the promotion of the French language, serving as the first secretary of the Conseil de la langue française from 1977 to 1979.

April 03, 1930

Emma Albani, singer

Arts 

Death of Emma Albani

Dame Emma Albani, the first Canadian-born artist to distinguish herself in the international world of opera, died at London, Eng.

October 05, 1930

Arts 

Vancouver Symphony at the Orpheum

The revived Vancouver Symphony Society (now the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) gave its first concert at the new Orpheum Theatre under conductor Allard de Ridder.

October 30, 1930

Timothy Findley, writer

Arts 

Birth of Timothy Findley

Writer Timothy Findley, whose novel The Wars won a Governor General's Literary Award and an international reputation, was born at Toronto.

December 14, 1930

Arts 

Vancouver Bach Choir

The Vancouver Bach Choir, the longest-lived community choir in BC, gave its first concert, the BC premiere of Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

January 22, 1931

Radio Drama

Arts 

First Radio Drama

The first episode of "The Romance of Canada" was broadcast from Montréal; it was the first series of radio dramas produced in Canada.

June 30, 1931

Reason Over Passion

Film and TV 

Birth of Joyce Wieland

Artist Joyce Wieland, whose work was the first exhibition of a living Canadian woman artist by the Art Gallery of Ontario, was born at Toronto.

July 10, 1931

Munro, Alice

Arts 

Birth of Alice Munro

Short-story writer Alice Munro, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Wingham, ON.

September 19, 1931

Don Owen, filmmaker

Film and TV 

Birth of Don Owen

Filmmaker Don Owen was born in Toronto, Ontario. Owen is widely recognized for having created two of the most significant narrative films in Canadian history: Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964) and The Ernie Game (1967). An award-winning director, producer, editor and writer, Owen was also an acclaimed documentarian.

November 08, 1931

Film and TV 

Birth of Morley Safer

Veteran journalist Morley Safer was born in Toronto, Ontario. After opening the CBS Saigon news bureau in 1964, he was among the first journalists to report negatively on the war in Vietnam, capturing the burning of Cam Ne village by US Marines. In 1970, he joined the weekly news program, 60 Minutes.

February 28, 1932

Film and TV 

Birth of Don Francks

Actor Don Francks, who has appeared in more than 100 movies, was born at Vancouver.

June 24, 1932

Mel Hurtig

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of Mel Hurtig

Publisher and nationalist Mel Hurtig, who first published The Canadian Encyclopedia (1985 and 1988), was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Hurtig also co-founded the Council of Canadians and wrote a number of books on Canadian society and politics.

September 25, 1932

Glenn Gould, musician

Arts 

Birth of Glenn Gould

Pianist Glenn Gould, who abandoned a thriving international concert career for performances using recorded-sound technology and whose work had a unique importance in music and communications, was born at Toronto.

October 29, 1932

Arts 

Dominion Drama Festival

The Dominion Drama Festival was founded.

November 10, 1932

Music 

Birth of Paul Bley

Avant-garde jazz pianist Paul Bley was born in Montréal, Québec. In 1949, Bley got his professional start at age 17 in Montréal, replacing Oscar Peterson in the latter's trio when Peterson went on tour. After attending the Juilliard School in New York City, Bley embarked on a prolific career as a recording artist and performer, influencing the development of free jazz over the next half-century. In 2008, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

November 26, 1932

Solemn Land, The

Arts 

Death of J.E.H. MacDonald

Painter J.E.H. MacDonald, one of the founders of the Group of Seven, died at Toronto.

December 11, 1933

Film and TV 

Birth of Rock Demers

Film producer Rock Demers, famed for his immensely popular Tales for All collection of films, was born at Sainte-Cécile-de-Levard, Québec.

July 26, 1934

Arts 

Birth of Austin Clarke

Novelist, short-story writer and journalist Austin Clarke was born in St. James, Barbados. His book The Polished Hoe (2002) was awarded the prestigious Giller Prize for fiction (2002), the 16th Annual Trillium Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Best Book Award for Canada and the Caribbean region (2003) and the Commonwealth Writers Award for best book.

September 21, 1934

Leonard Cohen

Literature and Publishing   Music 

Birth of Leonard Cohen

Poet, novelist, singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen was born in Westmount, Québec. Cohen was one of the most iconic Canadian artists of the 20th century. A sage, mystic, bohemian and romantic, he built an acclaimed body of literary work and a revered career in pop music.

February 16, 1935

Theatre 

Birth of Brian Bedford

Actor Brian Bedford, known to generations of theatregoers for his roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and on Broadway, was born in Yorkshire, England, to a family beset by poverty and illness. A scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, provided a springboard into a successful acting career, eventually leading to roles in New York, NY, where he moved before settling in Stratford, Ontario.

July 17, 1935

Sutherland, Donald

Film and TV 

Birth of Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland, whose career in film and television includes more than 100 roles in a truly remarkable gallery of screen personae, was born at Saint John, NB.

August 30, 1935

Arts 

Birth of William Glassco

Director of the Tarragon Theatre, William Glassco, who was a major force in the development of Canadian theatre, was born at Québec City.

November 17, 1935

Arts 

Birth of Audrey Thomas

BC writer Audrey Thomas was born at Binghamton, New York.

April 22, 1936

Arts 

Birth of Pierre Hétu

Pierre Hétu, who conducted Canada's leading orchestras, was born at Montréal.

January 05, 1937

Arts 

Stravinsky Conducts TSO

Igor Stravinsky appeared as guest conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for a performance of his own Firebird Suite and Petrushka, at Massey Hall.

May 13, 1937

Carrier, Roch

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of Roch Carrier

Poet and storyteller Roch Carrier, who was director of the Canada Council from 1994 to 1997, was born in Beauce, Qué.

November 24, 1937

Arts 

Governor General's Awards

The Governor General's Literary Awards were established by the Canadian Authors Association. The then Governor General, Lord Tweedsmuir, wrote numerous books, including the novel The Thirty-nine Steps, under his name John Buchan.

July 14, 1938

Habitat '67

Arts 

Birth of Moshe Safdie

Architect Moshe Safdie, whose projects include the National Gallery of Canada, was born at Haifa, Israel.

May 02, 1939

Film and TV 

National Film Board Created

The National Film Act created the National Film Board, headed by Scots film producer John Grierson. The NFB pioneered developments in social documentary, animation, documentary drama and direct cinema. Its films have won hundreds of international awards.

May 20, 1939

Evelyn Hart, dancer

Arts 

Royal Winnipeg Ballet Founded

Canada's oldest ballet company, the Winnipeg Ballet (designated "Royal" in 1953), was founded by Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Hall Farrally.

October 05, 1939

Arts 

Birth of Marie-Claire Blais

Novelist and playwright Marie-Claire Blais was born in Québec City, QC. Fearless, inventive, Blais made waves with her first novel, La belle bête, which she published at the age of 20. She went on to publish numerous books, an oeuvre which garnered four Governor General's Awards.

November 18, 1939

Margaret Atwood

Arts 

Birth of Margaret Atwood

Novelist Margaret Atwood, who is one of Canada's major contemporary authors, was born at Ottawa.

January 20, 1941

Music 

Birth of Pierre Lalonde

Beloved Québec crooner and television personality Pierre Lalonde was born in Montréal. Lalonde began his singing career at age four and started releasing music in the early 1960s. Having mastered English during his studies in the United States as a teen, he achieved success in Canada and across the border, where he performed under the name Peter Martin. In 2011, he was awarded the Québec National Assembly’s Medal of Honour.

June 25, 1941

Denys Arcand

Film and TV 

Birth of Denys Arcand

Filmmaker Denys Arcand, who won the highest award by a Canadian film at the Cannes Film Festival, was born at Deschambault, Qué.

November 18, 1941

Nelligan, Émile

Arts 

Death of Émile Nelligan

Émile Nelligan, French Canada's most beloved and admired poet - a romantic figure whose literary career was tragically short-lived - died at Montréal.

January 16, 1942

Music 

Birth of René Angélil

René Angélil, Céline Dion's husband and manager, was born in Montréal, Québec. Angélil's career in the music business began in the early 1960s as a member of the band Les Baronets, who achieved some success in Québec with their French covers of Beatles songs. Angélil later moved into talent management. In 1981, he discovered Céline Dion, then aged 12, and resolved to make her a star. Over time, the two developed a romantic relationship, and they married in 1994. Angélil won a number of awards over the course of his career and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 73 after a long battle with cancer.

February 28, 1942

Phillips, Robin

Theatre 

Birth of Robin Phillips

Theatre director Robin Phillips, whose artistic vision and dedication had a profound impact on theatre in Canada, was born in Haslemere, Surrey, UK. Phillips emigrated to Canada to head the Stratford Festival from 1975 to 1980 — a tenure that has been described as revitalizing the institution — and continued to earn acclaim as one of the country's finest stage directors.

June 25, 1942

Michel Tremblay, writer

Arts 

Birth of Michel Tremblay

Michel Tremblay, whose first widely produced play, Les Belles-soeurs, opened the floodgates of theatre in Canada, was born at Montréal.

March 15, 1943

Dead Ringers

Arts  Film and TV 

Birth of David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg, whose films, such as Dead Ringers and The Fly, reflect his fascination with the darker side of human psychology, was born at Toronto.

April 17, 1943

Music 

Birth of Bobby Curtola

Singer-songwriter Bobby Curtola, who emerged as a teen idol and dominated the Canadian pop chart in the 1960s, was born in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). Curtola was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997 for his contributions to the Canadian recording industry as well as his many charitable works.

September 19, 1943

Film and TV 

Birth of Mireille Dansereau

Filmmaker Mireille Dansereau, who directed the first dramatic feature film made by a woman in Québec, was born at Montréal.

February 11, 1944

Ballet BC Dancers

Arts 

Birth of Annette av Paul

Ballet dancer Annette av Paul, who through her artistry and experience has made an important contribution to dance performance and training in Canada, was born at Stockholm, Sweden.

March 02, 1945

Arts 

Birth of Luc Plamondon

Prodigious songwriter Luc Plamondon, who has written hits for such stars as André Gagnon, Céline Dion and Johnny Hallyday, was born at St-Raymond-de-Portneuf, Qué.

July 22, 1945

Music  Theatre 

Birth of Michael Burgess

Tenor Michael Burgess was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. Famed for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the successful Canadian production of Les Misérables, Burgess was also beloved by Canadian audiences for his performance of O Canada at major-league sporting events.

September 02, 1945

Arts 

Birth of Victor-Lévy Beaulieu

Victor-Lévy Beaulieu, author of more than 60 books, essays and television screenplays, was born at Saint-Paul-de-la-Croix, Qué. He was called the voice of bas du fleuve (a region of Rivière-du-Loup), winning many literary prizes for his collected works and 4 prix Gémaux awards (1988 to 1996) for his programs (Héritage; Montréal, PQ; Bouscotte).

August 27, 1946

Arts 

Birth of André Brassard

Director André Brassard, who has directed the premiere of nearly all of Michel Tremblay's plays as well as numerous productions from the likes of Chekhov, Beckett and Shakespeare, was born at Montréal.

September 23, 1946

Wheeler, Anne

Film and TV 

Birth of Anne Wheeler

Filmmaker Anne Wheeler, whose popular films are distinguished by a sensitivity to human problems, was born at Edmonton.

August 19, 1948

Arts 

Death of Frederick Philip Grove

Frederick Philip Grove, whose The Master of the Mill is the first Canadian novel to explore the social effects of monopoly capitalism, died at Simcoe, Ont.

October 17, 1948

Film and TV 

Birth of Margot Kidder

Movie actor Margot Kidder, who achieved widespread recognition as reporter Lois Lane in the four Superman movies, was born at Yellowknife, NT.

October 27, 1948

Film and TV 

Birth of Tom Jackson

Actor, singer and humanitarian Tom Jackson was born on the One Arrow Reserve near Batouche, Saskatchewan. Jackson is known for roles in film and television, especially on CBC TV’s popular drama North of 60. His humanitarian work has earned him accolades, including the Order of Canada and numerous honorary degrees.

November 06, 1948

Arts 

Chez Gérard Opens

Gerard Thibaut opened his first cabaret nightclub in Québec City just after the war, with Charles Trenet as a star. Chez Gérard was the first nightclub to serve meals during shows, and became host to a gallery of Québécois artists, contributing to the expansion of the chanson française in Québec.

November 30, 1948

"Les belles-soeurs"

Arts 

Théâtre du Rideau Vert Founded

The oldest professional theatre company in the province of Québec, Théâtre du Rideau Vert (named to challenge fate, as green is considered bad luck in the theatre), was founded.

April 20, 1949

Arts 

Don Giovanni Aired on CBC

The CBC Opera Company's performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni aired for the first time on CBC Radio.

November 01, 1949

Arts 

Birth of David Foster

Musician, songwriter, composer and arranger David Foster was born at Victoria, BC.

January 28, 1950

John Weinzweig, composer, teacher, administrator

Arts 

Premiere performance of To the Lands Over Yonder

The Toronto Jewish Folk Choir gave the premiere performance of To the Lands Over Yonder, by Canadian composer John Weinzweig.

October 31, 1950

Candy, John

Film and TV 

Birth of John Candy

Actor John Candy, who was a gifted screen comedian, popular in "SCTV" and major films, was born at Toronto, Ont.

April 05, 1951

Vanderhaeghe, Guy

Arts 

Birth of Guy Vanderhaeghe

Writer Guy Vanderhaeghe, whose novel The Englishman's Boy won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, was born at Esterhazy, Sask.

June 01, 1951

Massey, Vincent

Arts 

Massey Report Tabled

The report of the Massey Commission was tabled in the House of Commons; among its recommendations was the creation of the Canada Council.

November 12, 1951

Swan Lake

Arts 

National Ballet's Debut

The National Ballet gave its debut performance, at the Eaton Auditorium in Toronto. The program included Les Sylphides.

September 06, 1952

Film and TV 

Canada's First TV Station

Canada's first television station, CBFT in Montréal, began transmitting. English-language CBLT in Toronto began operations September 8.

September 29, 1952

Arts 

CBC Symphony Orchestra Debuts

The CBC Symphony Orchestra made its broadcasting debut under Geoffrey Waddington, playing the overture to Rossini's La Cenerentola and Sibelius' Symphony No. 3.

October 31, 1952

Arts 

Edmonton Symphony Society Established

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra was established and their first concert was performed a month later.

November 11, 1952

Literature and Publishing  

Birth of Judith Fitzgerald

Poet Judith Fitzgerald was born in Toronto, Ontario. Fitzgerald survived a harrowing childhood of poverty, abuse and neglect to become one of her generation's most respected and inventive poets, publishing more than 20 books to wide acclaim from critics and peers. She also worked as a writer-in-residence at several universities and as a columnist for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. Leonard Cohen called her work “stunningly original; distinguished by wit, beauty, and a powerful sense of language.”

June 09, 1953

Arts 

Birth of Denise Chong

Denise Chong was born at Vancouver. Her book The Concubine's Children won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 1994 and the Vancity Book Prize in 1995.

July 13, 1953

Stratford

Arts 

Stratford Festival Opens

The Stratford Festival opened its first season with Alec Guinness in Richard III.

December 26, 1953

Pink Reflections, Bishop's Pond

Arts 

Death of David Milne

David Milne, whose unique style of painting endowed the simplest subjects with majestic stature, died at Bancroft, Ont.

April 21, 1954

Arts  Film and TV 

National Ballet of Canada's TV Debut

The National Ballet of Canada opened its Toronto season with a ballet version of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It was the first time the National Ballet appeared on television.

January 01, 1955

TCE-Home-23

Arts 

Gould Records Goldberg Variations

Glenn Gould made his Washington and New York debuts. He made his first recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations later that year (released 1956), one of the most famous recordings of the century.

June 16, 1955

Boy With a Piece of Bread

Arts 

Death of Ozias Leduc

Ozias Leduc, whose paintings of daily life and nature have both a symbolic and spiritual dimension, died at St-Hyacinthe, Qué.

August 05, 1955

Arts 

Death of Izaak Walton Killam

Financier Izaak Walton Killam died at Grand-Cascapedia, Qué. The endowment fund for the Canada Council was established from the succession duties on his estate.

April 04, 1956

Evelyn Hart, dancer

Arts 

Birth of Evelyn Hart

Ballerina Evelyn Hart, whose sublimely lyrical dancing made her one of the most compelling stage personalities in Canada, was born at Toronto.

August 07, 1956

Doc Snider's House

Arts 

Death of Lionel FitzGerald

Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald, whose painting is distinguished by a painstaking, original handling of paintbrush, pen and pencil, died at Winnipeg.

October 28, 1956

Arts 

Lévesque's Point de mire

The first episode of René Lévesque's Point de mire aired on Radio-Canada. He quickly became a star journalist, much appreciated by his viewers.

January 26, 1957

Stratford Festival Theatre, Interior

Arts 

Stratford's Festival Theatre Foundation Stone Laid

The foundation stone of the Stratford Festival's permanent Festival Theatre was laid by Governor General Vincent Massey.

March 28, 1957

Arts 

Canada Council Established

The Canada Council was established by the government of Louis St-Laurent as an independent body to encourage the development of the arts and social sciences in Canada.

June 27, 1957

Arts 

Death of Malcolm Lowry

Novelist Malcolm Lowry, author of Under the Volcano, died at age 48.

July 16, 1958

Arts 

Manitoba Theatre Centre

The first regional theatre, the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, staged its first production.

October 13, 1958

Arts 

Stratas Debuts

Soprano Teresa Stratas made her professional debut to great acclaim as Mimi in La Bohème with the Toronto Opera Festival.

January 13, 1959

Arts 

Lois Marshall TV Opera Premiere

Soprano Lois Marshall sang in the opera Peter Grimes on CBC, a TV premiere.

April 27, 1959

Arts 

Birth of Louis Lortie

Pianist Louis Lortie, one of his generation's outstanding musicians, was born at Montréal.

November 18, 1959

Film and TV 

Canadian Content Rules

The Board of Broadcast Governors announced that television programs must have 45% Canadian content from 1 April 1961 and 55% from 1 April 1962.

February 17, 1960

John Diefenbaker

Arts 

New National Gallery Opened

Prime Minister John Diefenbaker opened the new National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

November 02, 1960

Arts 

National Theatre School Opens

Canada's National Theatre School opened in Montréal.

November 05, 1960

Film and TV 

Death of Mack Sennett

Early Hollywood director, producer and actor Mack Sennett (born Mikall Sinnott) died in Woodland Hills, CA. In 1912, he co-founded the Keystone film company, and in the next few years created there a style of wild and rambunctious comedy that made his name a byword for delirious, uninhibited slapstick.

January 01, 1961

Arts 

Atwood published Double Persephone

Margaret Atwood self-published her first book, the collection of poetry, Double Persephone.

January 01, 1961

Arts 

Atwood Awarded Governor General's Award

Margaret Atwood's reputation as a poet was established when her second book, The Circle Game, was awarded the Governor General's Award.

July 12, 1961

Mazo de la Roche, writer

Arts 

Death of Mazo de la Roche

Novelist Mazo de la Roche died.

September 06, 1961

Massey, Vincent

Arts 

First Canada Council Medals

The first Canada Council medals were awarded to Vincent Massey, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Edwin John Pratt, Ethel Wilson, Charles Marius Barbeau, Lionel-Adolphe Groulx, Healey Willan, Wilfrid Pelletier and Brooke Claxton.

April 30, 1962

Arts 

Stravinsky's Eight Instrumental Miniatures World Premiere

The CBC Symphony Orchestra gave the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Eight Instrumental Miniatures with the composer conducting.

June 29, 1962

Shaw Festival

Arts 

Shaw Festival Opens

The Shaw Festival opened its first season in a renovated courthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

August 16, 1962

Arts 

Death of Mungo Martin

Mungo Martin (Nakapankam), Kwakwaka'wakw artist and one of the best-known carvers on the coast, died at Victoria, BC. He played a major role in preserving Kwakwaka'wakw artistic traditions.

September 11, 1962

Arts 

Place Ville Marie Opened

The Royal Bank of Canada Building at Place Ville Marie, Montréal, was opened.

September 21, 1963

Arts 

Place des Arts Opens

Montréal's new concert hall, Place des Arts, opened.

October 02, 1963

Arts 

Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company

The curtain was raised on the first production by the newly formed Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company: Brendan Behan's The Hostage.

December 04, 1963

Arts 

TSO at Carnegie Hall

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra made its first appearance at Carnegie Hall, New York, under the direction of Walter Susskind.

December 23, 1963

Arts 

National Arts Centre Approved

The government approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Performing Arts in Ottawa.

August 22, 1964

Arts 

Beatles Invade Vancouver

The arrival of the Beatles caused pandemonium in Vancouver.

October 06, 1964

Confederation Centre, Charlottetown

Arts 

Confederation Centre of the Arts Opens

The Confederation Centre of the Arts was declared open by Queen Elizabeth II on the 100th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.

November 16, 1964

Diana Krall

Music 

Birth of Diana Krall

Internationally acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall was born at Nanaimo, BC. She has won numerous Juno and Grammy awards, and in 2005 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

November 10, 1965

Citadel Theatre

Arts 

Citadel Theatre Opens

Citadel Theatre, Edmonton's first professional theatre, opened with Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

February 02, 1966

Arts 

Bagged Place Installed

Iain Baxter's Bagged Place, one of the first installation works exhibited in Canada, was presented at the UBC Fine Art Gallery.

September 01, 1966

Film and TV 

CBC's First Colour TV

Colour television broadcasting was inaugurated by the CBC.

March 10, 1967

Arts  Film and TV 

Film Agency Formed

The Canadian Film Development Corporation (later called Telefilm Canada) was formed as a Crown corporation — its mandate was "to foster and promote the development of a feature film industry in Canada."

May 05, 1967

Arts 

Georgia Straight Published

The voice of Vancouver's "underground" community, the weekly Georgia Straight, was first published by founder Dan McLeod.

June 15, 1967

Arts 

The Arts of the Raven Exhibit Opens

The Arts of the Raven, a path-breaking exhibit of First Nations art, opened at the Vancouver Art Gallery. For the first time, Aboriginal art was presented as art, not artifact.

August 02, 1967

Arts  Film and TV 

In The Heat of the Night Premiers

Respected director Norman Jewison's In The Heat of the Night premiered. The film won the Oscar for best picture.

April 01, 1968

Film and TV 

CRTC Formed

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission was formed under the Broadcasting Act.

May 14, 1968

Arts 

TD Centre Opens

The tallest building in Canada to that date, the 56-storey Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto, was opened. It was designed by Mies van der Rohe.

August 28, 1968

Arts 

Premier of Les Belles-Sœoeurs

The Théâtre du Rideau Vert premiered Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Sœoeurs, becoming the first play to use Québec joual instead of Parisian French.

December 18, 1968

Arts 

Henry Moore's Donation

Henry Moore, the British sculptor, announced a donation of 400 to 600 of his works to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

January 01, 1969

Arts 

Atwood Published The Edible Woman

Margaret Atwood published The Edible Woman, a novel in which themes of women's alienation echo those in her poetry.

January 17, 1969

Arts 

Séminaire de Québec Declared Historic Monument

The Séminaire de Québec was declared an historic monument by the Québec government. It was founded in 1663, by Mgr François de Laval.

May 11, 1969

Annie Pootoogook, Man on the Radio, 2006.

Visual Arts 

Birth of Annie Pootoogook

Annie Pootoogook was born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, into a family of accomplished Inuit artists. An internationally exhibited winner of the Sobey Art Award, she was best known for her drawings in pen and coloured pencils.

June 04, 1969

Arts 

Baxter's Environment Exhibition Opens

The Vancouver-based N.E. Thing Company's Environment exhibition, a conceptual art project formed by lain Baxter and his wife Elaine, opened at the National Gallery of Canada.

October 07, 1969

National Arts Centre

Arts 

National Arts Centre Orchestra Debuts

The National Arts Centre Orchestra gave its first concert under the direction of Canadian conductor Mario Bernardi, at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

January 01, 1970

Arts 

Atwood Published Procedures for Underground and The Journals of Susanna Moodie

Margaret Atwood published two books of poetry: Procedures for Underground and The Journals of Susanna Moodie.

January 29, 1970

Maligne Lake, Jasper Park

Arts 

Death of Lawren Harris

Artist Lawren Harris died in Vancouver. He was a founding member of the Group of Seven and the Canadian Group of Painters.

February 23, 1970

Arts 

First Juno Awards

The first Juno Awards were presented.

May 22, 1970

Film and TV 

CRTC Introduces Content Rules

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the introduction of 50% Canadian program content requirements for radio and television, effective in September 1970 for the CBC and September 1971 for the private sector.

August 17, 1970

Arts 

Erickson Wins Award

The top architectural award at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan, was given to the Canadian pavilion, designed by Arthur Erickson.

November 24, 1970

Simoneau, Léopold

Arts 

Léopold Simoneau's Final Performance

Léopold Simoneau, often called the outstanding Mozart tenor of his generation, made his final public appearance, with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra in Handel's Messiah.

January 01, 1971

Arts 

Atwood Published Power Politics

Margaret Atwood published Power Politics, where words were employed as a refuge for women against male force.

August 15, 1971

Arts 

First Banff Festival

The first Banff Festival of the Arts was held.

January 01, 1972

Arts 

Atwood Publishes Survival

Margaret Atwood published her interpretation of Canadian literature, Survival.

January 01, 1972

Arts 

Atwood Published Surfacing

Margaret Atwood's Surfacing was published, a novel in which the conflict between technology and nature is cast in political terms.

June 03, 1972

Arts 

Riot at Rolling Stones Concert

During a performance by the Rolling Stones at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, a riot broke out and 31 police officers were injured.

August 20, 1972

Arts 

Death of Abraham Klein

One of Canada's greatest poets and a leading figure in Jewish-Canadian culture Abraham Moses Klein died at Montréal.

September 04, 1972

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal

Arts 

Art Gallery Robbed

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was robbed of $2-million worth of paintings and other art objects, including a Rembrandt worth $1 million.

October 01, 1972

Film and TV 

First Episode of The Beachcombers

CBC’s The Beachcombers, Canada’s longest-running television series, aired its first of nearly 400 episodes. Filmed and set on the coast of British Columbia, and syndicated around the world, the comedy-drama starred Bruno Gerussi, Pat John and Robert Clothier.

June 19, 1973

Karen Kain in <I>Giselle</I>

Arts 

Kain and Augustyn Win Duet

Canada's prima ballerina Karen Kain and her partner Frank Augustyn won the award for best pas de deux at the Moscow International Ballet Competition.

January 01, 1974

Arts 

Atwood Published You Are Happy

Margaret Atwood published You Are Happy, which includes a reworking of The Odyssey from Circe's perspective.

January 11, 1974

Franca, Celia

Arts 

Celia Franca Retires

Celia Franca retired as Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada.

April 05, 1974

Sand Dunes at Cucq

Arts 

Death of A.Y. Jackson

Painter A.Y. Jackson died at Kleinburg, Ont.

June 29, 1974

Arts 

Mikhail Baryshnikov Defects

Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto.

July 01, 1974

Arts 

Simard Wins Prize

Singer René Simard, at only 13, represented Canada at the International Festival of Song in Tokyo, winning first prize for performance and the Frank Sinatra trophy. He would go on to have a prolific career as a singer, actor and producer.

August 14, 1974

Persephone Theatre

Arts 

Persephone Theatre Founded

Saskatoon's Persephone Theatre was founded by sisters Janet and Susan Wright and Brian Richmond.

October 26, 1974

Arts 

Henry Moore Centre Opens

The Henry Moore Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario opened.

March 01, 1975

 Oscar Peterson, musician

Arts 

Canadians Win Grammy Awards

Canadians Anne Murray and Oscar Peterson won Grammy Awards in the country and jazz categories.

January 01, 1976

Arts 

Atwood Publishes Lady Oracle

Margaret Atwood's third novel, Lady Oracle, a parody of fairy tales and Gothic romances, won the 1977 City of Toronto Book Award and a Canadian Booksellers Association Award.

March 29, 1976

Arts  Film and TV 

Crawley Films Wins Oscar

Yuichiro Miuru The Man Who Skied Down Everest won the Academy Award for best feature-length documentary. The Crawley Films production became the first Canadian feature film to win an Oscar.

May 17, 1976

Arts 

MSO's Carnegie Hall Debut

The Montréal Symphony Orchestra made its US debut at Carnegie Hall in New York, under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

May 18, 1976

Arts 

The Komagata Maru Incident Opens

Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident, a play about the government's refusal to allow Sikh immigrants to land on Canadian soil in 1914, opened at Vancouver's Playhouse Theatre.

October 19, 1976

Arts 

Death of Roderick Haig-Brown

Roderick Haig-Brown, who was one of the most popular writers about the outdoors on the continent, died at Campbell River, BC.

January 01, 1977

Arts 

Atwood Published Dancing Girls

Margaret Atwood's short-story collection Dancing Girls won the Periodical Distributors of Canada Short Fiction Award.

January 24, 1977

Big A

Arts 

Death of Jack Bush

Jack Bush, Canada's internationally acclaimed abstract painter, died in Toronto.

March 04, 1977

Arts 

Laporte Book Launched

Pierre Vallières launched his book about the October Crisis and the murder of Laporte, entitled The Assassination of Pierre Laporte.

March 14, 1977

Goose in Flight (Painting)

Arts 

Death of Benjamin Chee Chee

Benjamin Chee Chee took his own life at Ottawa just as his elegant art was beginning to gain international recognition.

April 02, 1977

Orpheum Theatre

Arts 

Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre Reopens

Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre opened, after a complete restoration, as the permanent home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

November 03, 1977

Manitoba Party

Arts 

Death of William Kurelek

William Kurelek, who like a modern Jeremiah painted a coming apocalypse - divine justice on a materialistic society - died at Toronto.

January 01, 1978

Arts 

Atwood Published Two-Headed Poems and Up in the Tree

Margaret Atwood published Two-Headed Poems, which explored the duplicity of language, and Up in the Tree, a children's book.

February 01, 1978

Somers, Harry

Arts 

Premiere Performance of Those Silent, Awe-Filled Spaces

The National Arts Centre Orchestra gave the premiere performance of Those Silent, Awe-Filled Spaces by Canadian composer Harry Somers, under the direction of Mario Bernardi at the National Arts Centre.

September 09, 1978

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Jack L. Warner

Film producer and studio boss Jack L. Warner died in Hollywood, USA. One of 12 children, Warner was born in London, ON. He started a film distribution business in Ohio with his brothers Albert, Sam and Harry Warner and later opened a studio lot, Warner Bros Studios, in Burbank, California.

January 01, 1979

Arts 

Atwood Published Life Before Man

Margaret Atwood published the novel Life Before Man.

November 20, 1979

Antonine Maillet, writer

Arts 

Antonine Maillet wins Prix Goncourt

For her novel Pélagie-la-Charrette, Acadian writer Antonine Maillet became the first non-French citizen to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt.

January 01, 1980

Universitéde Montréal

Arts 

Ernest Cormier Dies

Architect and engineer Ernest Cormier, whose main building of the Université de Montréal is recognized as the first modern building in Québec, died at Montréal.

January 01, 1980

Arts 

Atwood Co-Published Anna's Pet

Margaret Atwood co-published another children's book, Anna's Pet, with Joyce Barkhouse. In 1986 it was adapted for stage by Nova Scotia's Mermaid Theatre.

April 14, 1980

Arts  Film and TV 

NFB Wins Oscar

The National Film Board of Canada won an Academy Award for the animated short film Every Child.

January 01, 1981

Arts 

Atwood Published True Stories and Bodily Harm

Margaret Atwood published True Stories, a book of poetry, and Bodily Harm, a novel.

May 02, 1981

Arts 

First Pat Lowther Memorial Award

Travis Lane won the inaugural Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Divinations and Short Poems 1973-1978.

May 22, 1981

Arts 

Atwood Made a Companion of the Order of Canada

Margaret Atwood is made a Companion of the Order of Canada "for her contributions to literature as poet, novelist, essayist, and teacher."

September 23, 1981

Film and TV 

Death of Dan George

Tes-wah-no, known as Chief Dan George, died at North Vancouver. He worked as a longshoreman before he began his stage and film acting career.

January 01, 1982

Arts 

Atwood Published Second Words

Margaret Atwood's collected criticism, Second Words, was published. It contains some of the earliest feminist criticism written in Canada.

October 04, 1982

Glenn Gould, musician

Arts 

Death of Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould, one of the great pianists of the 20th century, died at age 50 at Toronto

January 01, 1983

Arts 

Atwood Published Bluebeard's Egg

Margaret Atwood's short-story collection Bluebeard's Egg won the Periodical Distributors of Canada and the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters Book of the Year Award.

January 01, 1983

Arts 

Atwood Published Murder in the Dark

Margaret Atwood published Murder in the Dark, a collection of experimental prose poems and short fictions.

February 15, 1983

Arts 

Tamarack Review Ends Publication

The Tamarack Review, which had published the early work of many distinguished Canadian writers, ceased publication after 26 years.

May 23, 1983

Arts 

Death of Tsutae Sato

Tsutae Sato died at Vancouver, aged 92. He arrived in Canada in 1917 to teach at the Japanese Citizens School. He and his wife established scholarships in Japanese studies at UBC. In 1978, Sato was awarded the Order of Canada.

May 28, 1983

Pitseolak Ashoona, Joys of Summer Inland, 47.5 x 60.5 cm, colour stonecut on laid japan paper, 1960.

Arts 

Death of Pitseolak Ashoona

Pitseolak Ashoona, Inuk graphic artist known for her lively prints showing "the things we did long ago," died at Cape Dorset, NWT (now Nunavut).

October 11, 1983

Arts 

Ferron Receives Prize

Marcelle Ferron, Automatiste member who signed the Refus Global, received the Paul-Émile Borduas prize. In addition to her paintings, she created the murals at 2 Montréal metro stations.

January 01, 1984

Arts 

Atwood President of PEN International's Anglo-Canadian Branch

Margaret Atwood became president of PEN International's Anglo-Canadian branch, on whose behalf she edited The CanLit Foodbook (1987).

January 01, 1984

Arts 

Atwood published Interlunar

Margaret Atwood published Interlunar, a book of poetry.

April 07, 1984

Arts 

Death of Bill Duthie

Bookseller Bill (Wilfred) Duthie, who opened his first store on Vancouver's Robson Street in 1957, died.

September 22, 1984

Arts 

Jon Kimura Parker Wins Leeds

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker of Burnaby, BC, won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition.

January 01, 1985

Arts 

Atwood Published The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid's Tale. The novel won the Governor General's Award, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and the Commonwealth Literary Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize (UK) and the Ritz-Paris-Hemingway Prize (Paris).

January 30, 1985

Scott, Frank

Arts 

Frank Scott Dies

Frank Scott, who was a political thinker and activist as well as an accomplished poet, died at Montréal.

March 02, 1985

Woman

Arts 

Jessie Oonark Dies

Jessie Oonark, whose brilliantly coloured images were inspired by a lifetime of cutting caribou skins and sewing them into clothing, died at Churchill, Man.

May 11, 1985

Hewitt, Angela

Arts 

Angela wins Bach

Pianist Angela Hewitt won the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition over 166 contestants, launching a stellar international career.

September 06, 1985

Canadian Encyclopedia, Print Edition

Literature and Publishing  

Launch of The Canadian Encyclopedia

Edmonton publisher Mel Hurtig launched The Canadian Encyclopedia at a gala at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre.

March 10, 1986

Arts 

Public Lending Right Program Created

Minister of Communications Marcel Masse created a Public Lending Right program under the administration of the Canada Council, to compensate writers for the use of their books in public libraries.

April 01, 1986

Erik Belton Evers Bruhn, dancer

Arts 

Death of Erik Bruhn

Ballet dancer and choreographer Erik Bruhn, renowned as one of the greatest "danseurs nobles" of his time, died at Toronto.

May 02, 1986

Expo 86

Arts 

Expo 86 Opens

Expo 86 at Vancouver, BC, was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. It ran to 13 October 1986 and had 20 million visitors.

October 13, 1986

Arts 

Vancouver's Expo 86 Closes

Vancouver's Expo 86 closed.

October 19, 1986

Munro, Alice

Arts 

Munro Wins Marian Engel Award

Alice Munro won the inaugural Marian Engel Award for her lifetime achievement.

November 05, 1986

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Claude Jutra

Filmmaker Claude Jutra committed suicide around this date.

May 06, 1987

Glenn Gould, musician

Arts 

First Glenn Gould Prize

The Canada Council announced R. Murray Schafer as the first recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize in Music and Communication.

May 10, 1987

Ondaatje, Michael

Arts 

First Trillium Book Award

Michael Ondaatje won the inaugural Trillium Book Award for his novel In the Skin of a Lion. (He won again in 1992 for The English Patient.)

January 01, 1988

Arts 

Atwood Published Cat's Eye

Cat's Eye, a novel about a visual artist probing questions of subjectivity, creation and temporality, was published. The novel broke literary ground for its exploration of the realm of childhood, with its shifts of power, its secrecies and betrayals. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

May 21, 1988

National Gallery, Corridor

Arts 

National Gallery Opens

The new National Gallery of Canada, designed by Moshe Safdie, officially opened in Ottawa.

August 08, 1988

Arts 

Death of Félix Leclerc

Singer-songwriter and poet Félix Leclerc, who was a major influence on the Québec chanson, died at Île d'Orléans, Qué.

December 02, 1988

Arts 

Koerner Donation to UBC

Walter Koerner, who with his brothers Theodor, Leon and Otto amassed a fortune in the lumber industry, donated his huge collection of ceramic art objects to UBC.

March 03, 1989

Arts 

Richards Wins Governor General's Literary Award

David Adams Richards won the Governor General's Literary Award for his novel Nights Below Station Street (1988).

June 15, 1989

Arts 

First Journey Prize

Holley Rubinsky won the inaugural Journey Prize for her collection of short stories, Rapid Transits.

March 24, 1990

Arts 

Alannah Myles Topped the Charts

Alannah Myles topped the Billboard singles chart with her hit "Black Velvet."

August 25, 1990

Morley Callaghan, author

Arts 

Death of Morley Callaghan

Novelist Morley Callaghan, who received the 1951 Governor General's Literary Award for The Loved and the Lost, died at Toronto.

October 31, 1990

Mordecai Richler.

Arts 

Richler Wins Commonwealth Writers' Book Award

Mordecai Richler won the Commonwealth Writers' Book Award for his novel Solomon Gursky Was Here.

November 07, 1990

Arts 

Death of Hugh MacLennan

Novelist Hugh MacLennan, five-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, died at Montréal.

December 27, 1990

Side Show Performer

Arts 

Death of Harold Town

Harold Town, artist and media personality who gained international recognition for his technically inventive "single autographic prints," died near Peterborough, Ont.

January 01, 1991

Arts 

Atwood Published Wilderness Tips

Margaret Atwood published Wilderness Tips, winner of the 1992 Trillium Award and the Book of the Year Award of the Periodical Marketers of Canada. The book contains stories with Gothic overtones mixed with narratives about confrontations with the wilderness.

January 01, 1992

Arts 

Atwood Published Good Bones

Margaret Atwood published Good Bones. The work features brief texts about female body parts and social constraints written with devastating wit.

March 29, 1992

Arts 

Adams and Baker Win Juno

BC musicians Bryan Adams and Michael Conway Baker won Juno Awards.

January 01, 1993

Arts 

Atwood Published The Robber Bride

Margaret Atwood published one of her most intricate novels, The Robber Bride. The novel won the 1993 Canadian Authors Association Novel of the Year Award, the Commonwealth Prize for Canadian and Caribbean Region, and the 1994 Trillium Award.

July 13, 1993

Stratford Festival Poster

Arts 

Stratford Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Actor Christopher Plummer helped the Stratford Festival celebrate its exact 40th anniversary day with a gala one-man show entitled A Word or Two, Before You Go.

March 04, 1994

Candy, John

Arts 

Death of John Candy

Canadian comedian and actor John Candy died in Mexico.

January 01, 1995

Arts 

Atwood published Morning in the Burned House

Margaret Atwood published Morning in the Burned House. Her first collection of new poems in a decade, the work included a sequence of elegiac poems, demonstrating a new emotional range in her work.

January 28, 1995

Woodcock, George

Arts 

Death of George Woodcock

Writer and literary critic George Woodcock died in Vancouver.

April 18, 1995

Arts 

Shields wins Pulitzer Prize

Carol Shields became the first Canadian to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for her novel The Stone Diaries.

April 26, 1995

Film and TV 

Satellite-to-home Television

The federal government introduced a bill instructing the CRTC to begin licensing satellite-to-home television services.

May 25, 1995

Arts 

Crozier Wins Pat Lowther Memorial Award

BC poet Lorna Crozier won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her poetry collection, Everything Arrives at the Light.

September 19, 1995

Arts 

Adams Launches GM Place

Rock star Bryan Adams staged the first show at Vancouver's GM Place in front of 18 000.

November 21, 1995

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Bruno Gerussi

Actor Bruno Gerussi, who starred for 19 years on the TV series The Beachcombers, died at West Vancouver.

November 23, 1995

Film and TV 

CBC Drops American TV Shows

The CBC announced that it would drop all American-produced television programs from its prime-time schedule.

December 02, 1995

Robertson Davies, undated.

Arts 

Death of Robertson Davies

The brilliant novelist Robertson Davies, author of Fifth Business and The Manticore, died at Toronto.

January 01, 1996

Arts 

Atwood Published Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature

Margaret Atwood published Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature. The critique was originally delivered as a series of Clarendon Lectures in English Literature at Oxford University in 1991.

January 01, 1996

Arts 

Atwood Published Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood published the highly acclaimed novel Alias Grace. The book was nominated for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, the Orange Prize (UK) and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (Ireland). The book won the Giller Prize. It also quickly became an international best-seller.

February 08, 1996

Arts 

Borders Bookstore Dispute

The US bookstore chain Borders announced plans to invest in a chain of large bookstores in Canada. In May, the Investment Review Division of the federal government blocked the plan under the cultural exemption of NAFTA.

March 14, 1996

Film and TV 

CRTC Demands Violence Rating

The CRTC ruled that television broadcasters must devise a system to rate the levels of violence in programs.

December 14, 1996

Arts 

Death of Gaston Miron

Poet Gaston Miron died at Montreal. The first publication of his collection L'homme rapaillé (1970) was the first of 7 editions, as he refined his craft. The official version was completed just before his death. The internationally acclaimed book was a stepping stone for Québec poetry.

December 29, 1996

Arts 

Death of Dorothy Livesay

Dorothy Livesay, author of Day and Night (1944) and Poems for People (1947), died at Victoria, BC.

January 20, 1997

Arts 

Jacques Brault wins Prix Gilles-Corbeil

One of Québec's major poets, Jacques Brault, won the Prix Gilles-Corbeil for his body of work.

February 26, 1997

Dion, Céline

Arts 

Céline Dion Wins Grammy

Céline Dion won the Album of the Year Award at the Grammy Awards, for "Falling into You".

June 07, 1997

Arts 

Bowering Wins Pat Lowther Memorial Award

Marilyn Bowering won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her poetry collection Autobiography.

June 18, 1997

Film and TV 

CRTC Rating System

The CRTC approved a new television rating system grading programs in 6 categories from those appropriate to children (C) to those for adults only (18+).

January 19, 1998

Arts 

Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Inauguration

Austin Clarke won the inaugural Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for his novel The Origins of Waves.

February 10, 1998

Atom Egoyan

Arts  Film and TV 

Egoyan Nominated

The American Academy of Motion Picture Awards nominated Atom Egoyan as best director for his film The Sweet Hereafter. The award was won by Canadian-born James Cameron for Titanic.

February 25, 1998

McLachlan, Sarah

Arts 

McLachlan Wins Grammy

Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan won the Grammy Award for best female pop vocal for her song "Building a Mystery."

April 15, 1998

Mordecai Richler.

Arts 

Richler wins Stephen Leacock Medal

Mordecai Richler won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his novel Barney's Version.

June 27, 1998

Reason Over Passion

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Joyce Wieland

Artist and filmmaker Joyce Wieland, who was passionately concerned with the aesthetic perspective of the woman artist, died at Toronto.

November 22, 1998

Arts 

Death of Jack Shadbolt

Painter Jack Shadbolt, who sought to create an art expressive of BC's nature and culture, died at Burnaby, BC.

March 16, 1999

Gélinas, Gratien

Arts 

Gratien Gélinas Dies

Gratien Gélinas, whose many activities as actor, director and playwright laid the base for contemporary Québec theatre, died at Montréal.

December 02, 1999

Arts 

Death of Matt Cohen

Author Matt Cohen died in Toronto of lung cancer, age 56, a few months after he won the Governor General's Award for his novel Elizabeth and After.

December 20, 1999

Arts 

Death of Hank Snow

Nova Scotia-born country singer and songwriter Hank Snow died in Madison, Tennessee. During his lifetime he recorded more than 80 albums and 2,000 songs.

January 01, 2000

Arts 

Atwood Published The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin was published to great popular and critical acclaim. This novel won the Booker Prize and was shortlisted for both the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize. Set in the first half of the 20th century, The Blind Assassin is a multi-layered narrative collage.

January 06, 2000

Film and TV 

CBC Rejects CRTC Order

The CRTC ordered the CBC to stop airing foreign films in prime time and to cut sports programs by 20% while devoting more time to cultural programming. The CBC refused.

January 22, 2000

Arts 

Death of Anne Hébert

Award-winning author and poet Anne Hébert died in Montréal, QC. Her prolific and ever-evolving output — which includes Les enfants du sabbat (1975) and L'enfant chargé de songes (1992) — was recognized by three Governor General's Awards, one for her poetry, two for her prose.

February 07, 2000

Arts 

Death of Doug Henning

Canadian-born magician Doug Henning died in Niagara Falls, Ont, of liver cancer. He was working on plans for a transcendental meditation theme park in Niagara Falls.

February 08, 2000

Film and TV 

BC Film Revenues Hit Peak

The BC government announced that the province's film and television industry earned more than $1 billion in 1999, ranking the province third in North America after Los Angeles and New York.

April 28, 2000

Northrop Frye, writer

Arts 

Northrop Frye Literary Festival Opens

The first Northrop Frye Literary Festival opened at the esteemed literary critic's hometown of Moncton, NB. Forty authors gave readings.

June 18, 2000

Timothy Findley, writer

Arts 

Findley wins CBA Libris Lifetime Achievement Award

Timothy Findley won the Canadian Booksellers' Association Libris Lifetime Achievement Award.

November 15, 2000

Arts 

Heppner Appointed to Order of Canada

Tenor Ben Heppner, of Murrayville, BC, was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.

April 04, 2001

Mavis Gallant

Arts 

First Matt Cohen Award

Mavis Gallant won the inaugural Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life, for a lifetime of distinguished work.

May 14, 2001

Arts 

MacLeod Wins International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Alistair MacLeod was named winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel No Great Mischief, set in Cape Breton.

February 22, 2002

Alanis Obomsawin, 2002.

Film and TV 

Alanis Obomsawin Invested with the Order of Canada

Renowned documentary filmmaker and activist Alanis Obomsawin was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Obomsawin, a member of the Abenaki Nation, is one of Canada’s most accomplished documentary filmmakers, with over 30 films. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and the protection of Aboriginal culture.

February 24, 2002

Krall, Diana

Arts 

Canadian National Jazz Awards Inaugurated

Diana Krall won musician of the year, international musician of the year and record of the year, the latter for her album The Look of Love, at the first ever Canadian National Jazz Awards.

March 11, 2002

Arts 

Art Bank 30th Anniversary

The Canada Council Art Bank purchased 71 works by Aboriginal artists to celebrate its 30th anniversary and the 45th anniversary of the Canada Council.

March 12, 2002

Pavane

Arts 

Jean Paul Riopelle Dies

Painter Jean Paul Riopelle, whose affinities were with the Lyrical Abstraction group, died at Île-aux-Grues, Qué.

October 22, 2002

Arts 

Martel Wins Booker Prize

Yann Martel won the Man Booker Prize for his novel Life of Pi. The two other Canadian nominees were Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry and Unless by Carol Shields.

January 01, 2003

Arts 

Atwood Published Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood returned to the science-fiction genre with her novel Oryx and Crake. Like The Handmaid's Tale, the book portrays a dystopian future, with humanity brought to the verge of extinction by contemporary social trends and technologies.

May 08, 2003

Arts 

Clarke Wins Commonwealth Writers' Prize

Austin Clarke won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book for his novel The Polished Hoe.

July 16, 2003

Arts 

Death of Carol Shields

Novelist Carol Shields, whose celebrated The Stone Diaries won the Governor General's Literary Award and the Pulitzer Prize, died at Victoria, BC.

August 19, 2003

Arts 

Life of Pi Released in French

The French translation of Man Booker Prize winner Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi was released.

July 12, 2004

Oliphant, Betty

Arts 

Death of Betty Oliphant

Grande dame of Canadian dance and internationally famed educator Betty Oliphant died at St. Catharines, Ont.

January 01, 2005

Arts 

Atwood Published The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad was published. In it, Atwood invites readers to reconsider the story of Homer's Odyssey as she adopts the perspective and voice of Penelope, backed by a chorus of maidens.

January 01, 2005

Film and TV 

Deepa Mehta’s Water

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta released the final film of her elements trilogy with 2005’s Water. The story of socially marginalized widows who are ostracized in conservative parts of India went through a series of delays as violent protesters threatened Mehta's life and destroyed film sets in the holy city of Varanasi, where "widow houses" can still be found.

February 27, 2005

Arts  Film and TV 

Landreth Wins Oscar

Chris Landreth's film, Ryan, based on the life of Canadian animator Ryan Larkin, won an Oscar for best animated short.

May 29, 2005

National Gallery of Canada

Arts 

NGC Celebrates 125th Anniversary

The National Gallery of Canada celebrated its 125th anniversary by opening the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence.

October 28, 2005

Hutt, William

Arts 

William Hutt Retires

Actor William Hutt gave his last performance, as Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest, at the Stratford Festival.

January 04, 2006

Layton, Irving

Arts 

Death of Irving Layton

Irving Layton, whose poetry achieved his own purpose of being "vital, intense, subtle and dramatic," died at Montréal.

March 01, 2006

Arts 

Gay Wins Vicky Metcalf Award

Marie-Louise Gay won the Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work in children's literature.

May 01, 2006

Arts 

Brossard Wins Molson Prize

Writer Nicole Brossard won the $50,000 Canada Council Molson Prize for her contribution to the cultural and intellectual heritage of Canada.

June 11, 2006

Arts 

CBA Libris Children's Author of the Year Award Inauguration

Kenneth Oppel won the inaugural Canadian Booksellers' Association Libris Children's Author of the Year Award for his book Skybreaker.

June 20, 2006

Sears, Djanet

Arts 

Harlem Duet debuts at Stratford

Djanet Sears' Harlem Duet debuted at the Stratford Festival. It was the first play produced by an African-Canadian and performed by an all-Black cast in the festival's history.

July 15, 2006

Arts 

Death of Kenneth Lochhead

Artist Kenneth Lochhead died. As director of the Regina College School of Art through the 1950s and 1960s, he introduced exciting new ideas about abstract painting through artists' workshops at Emma Lake.

September 26, 2006

Arts 

Broue Enters Guinness Records

The play Broue (Brew) won the Guinness Record for the longest running stage play with the same actors from its inception.

December 18, 2006

Arts 

Death of James Mavor Moore

Writer, producer, actor and teacher James Mavor Moore died at Victoria, BC.

June 09, 2008

Lemieux, Mario

Film and TV 

CTV Purchases The Hockey Theme

In a fierce competition with CBC, CTV successfully bid nearly $3 million for exclusive rights in perpetuity to Canada's hockey anthem—the theme song to Hockey Night in Canada. It was written in the late 1960s by Dolores Claman.

January 01, 2009

Arts 

Atwood Published The Year of the Flood

The Year of the Flood was published. The novel is set in the same time and place as Oryx and Crake. The plots of the two novels converge.

January 18, 2010

Arts 

Death of Kate McGarrigle

Kate McGarrigle, popular singer-songwriter with sister Anna, died at her home in Montréal.

September 28, 2010

 James Cameron

Film and TV 

Cameron Tours Alberta Oilsands

Canadian-born film director James Cameron toured the industrial development near Fort McMurray, speaking with First Nations representatives and oil industry officials and ultimately concluding that the issue of environmental stewardship in the area is complex and far-reaching.

January 01, 2013

Arts 

Atwood Published MaddAddam

Completing a trilogy that includes Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood published MaddAddam.

February 24, 2013

Film and TV 

Québec films nominated for Oscars

Feature length film Rebel by Kim Nguyen and short Henry by Yan England garnered Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Short Film, respectively.

April 16, 2013

Arts 

Death of Rita MacNeil

Cape Breton's "first lady of song," Rita MacNeil, died at age 68 following complications from surgery.

May 30, 2013

Arts 

Opening of Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Toronto artist Shary Boyle's exhibition, Music for Silence, opens at the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, in Italy.

July 13, 2013

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith was found dead from a drug overdose in his Vancouver, BC, hotel room. The actor and singer born in Calgary, AB, achieved fame for his role in the musical TV series Glee. He was 31 years old.

July 16, 2013

To Prince Edward Island

Arts 

Death of Alex Colville

Renowned artist Alex Colville died at Wolfville, NS, at 92. Colville's work balanced the everyday and the extraordinary. He had been a prominent figure on the Canadian art scene since the Second World War, during which he served as a war artist. He was perhaps best-known for his meticulous depictions of common scenes in everyday life.

July 17, 2013

Arts 

Death of Peter Appleyard

Jazz great Peter Appleyard died from natural causes at the age of 84. The English-born vibraphonist, percussionist and composer came to Canada in 1951. He was the host of CBC Radio's "Patti and Peter" (1961-62) and moved to television with "Peter Appleyard Presents" (1977-80), but was perhaps best-known as the vibraphonist for Benny Goodman during the 1970s.

July 19, 2013

Arts 

Famed "Maple Leaf Forever" Tree Felled by Storm

Said to have inspired Alexander Muir's poem, and later song, "The Maple Leaf Forever," a roughly 150-year-old silver maple in Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood was felled during a thunderstorm. When a leaf from the tree lodged on George Leslie's coat sleeve, despite efforts to brush it off, Muir was moved to write the once unofficial Canadian national anthem, in 1867.

May 24, 2014

Xavier Dolan, 2009.

Film and TV 

Xavier Dolan Wins the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival

Xavier Dolan’s Mommy tied with Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language for the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

August 22, 2014

Film and TV 

Magnotta Documentary Pulled from Festival

The documentary film, Sex, Fame and Murder: The Luka Magnotta Story, about Luka Magnotta was pulled from Montréal’s World Film Festival before Magnotta’s murder trial was set to begin. The decision was made so as not to interfere with the trial.

December 21, 2014

Michelle Tisseyre

Film and TV 

Death of Michelle Tisseyre

Mary Jane Michelle Tisseyre (née Ahern), television host, journalist and translator died in Montréal, QC. After 30 years as a journalist and television host, she embraced a new career as a translator at Les Éditions Pierre Tisseyre. In 1975, she received the Governor General’s Literary Award for the translation of Winter by Morley Callaghan. She was also an Officer of the Order of Canada.

January 17, 2015

Film and TV 

Death of Don Harron

Actor Donald Harron died in Toronto at the age of 90. Known for his roles as Charlie Farquharson and Valerie Rosedale, Harron also wrote bestselling books and hosted CBC Radio's Morningside and CTV's Don Harron Show.

March 30, 2015

Film and TV 

Death of Don McQueen

News and documentary producer Don McQueen, who brought his journalistic skill, vision and leadership to programs such as CBC's The National News and CTV's Canada AM, died at age 80. Don McQueen was born in London, England, and moved to Canada in 1964. From 1970 until his death, he was married to broadcast executive Trina McQueen.

April 01, 2015

Arts 

Canadiana Auction Sets Record

The largest private collection of Canadian art and artifacts amassed by collector Peter Winkworth until his death in 2005 set a new precedent in Canadian art sales at Christie's auctioneers in London. Nearly tripling its top estimate, the auction drew aggressive bidding from private collectors and institutions alike (with strong representation from Canada), all vying to own a piece of the nation's colonial history.

April 22, 2015

Arts  Film and TV 

Death of Lois Lilienstein (of Sharon, Lois & Bram)

Lois Lilienstein, a member of the popular children's musical trio Sharon, Lois & Bram, died in Toronto at age 78. Over the course of a successful 37-year career, the group entertained Canadian families with such memorable songs as "Skinnamarink" and "Peanut Butter." Their TV series, The Elephant Show, aired for nearly a decade.

June 21, 2015

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Dave Godfrey

Writer and publisher Dave Godfrey died in Victoria, BC, at the age of 76. Perhaps best remembered as one of the driving forces behind the pioneering nationalism of Canadian publishing in 1960s and 70s, the Winnipeg native energetically dedicated himself to various enterprises over the course of his life, co-founding the House of Anansi Press, winning a Governor General's Literary Award, starting a software company and later becoming a vintner.

July 01, 2015

Literature and Publishing  

Lawrence Hill Appointed to Order of Canada

Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes (2007), was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He was cited "for his contributions as an author and activist who tells the stories of Canada's Black community and of women and girls in Africa."

July 10, 2015

Music  Theatre 

Death of Jon Vickers

Canadian tenor Jon Vickers, who has been described as one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, died in Ontario at the age of 88. Born in Prince Albert, SK, Vickers performed for audiences worldwide over a career that spanned more than three decades. He is known for the power and intensity of his performances, as well as for his strong convictions, which led him to refuse certain roles on moral grounds.

July 25, 2015

Phillips, Robin

Theatre 

Death of Robin Phillips

Theatre director Robin Phillips, whose artistic vision and dedication had a profound impact on theatre in Canada, died in Lakeside, ON (near Stratford) at age 73. Phillips immigrated to Canada from the UK to head the Stratford Festival from 1975 to 1980 a tenure that has been described as revitalizing the institution and continued to earn acclaim as one of the country's finest stage directors.

September 08, 2015

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Basil Johnston

Anishinaabe author, storyteller and educator Basil Johnston died in Wiarton, Ontario, at age 86. A survivor of the residential school system, Johnston published his first book in his 40s and went on to publish over 20 more — many of them devoted to the history, stories and language of the Anishinaabe people. Five of his books were written in the Anishinaabemowin language. Johnston, who was a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, had a profound impact on a younger generation of First Nations writers, including Tomson Highway, Drew Hayden Taylor and Joseph Boyden.

September 28, 2015

Music  Theatre 

Death of Michael Burgess

Regina-born tenor Michael Burgess died in Toronto at age 70. Famed for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the successful Canadian production of Les Misérables, Burgess was also beloved by Canadian audiences for his performance of O Canada at major-league sporting events.

October 23, 2015

Music 

Death of Leon Bibb

Singer and civil rights activist Leon Bibb died in Vancouver, British Columbia at age 93. Born and raised in racially-segregated Kentucky, Bibb moved to New York City at the age of 19, where he began his career on Broadway. He later became active in the civil rights movement and turned to folk music. After performing in Vancouver in 1969, Bibb moved there and would live in Vancouver for the rest of his life. During his long career, he contributed richly to cultural life in BC and the rest of Canada.

November 10, 2015

Literature and Publishing  

André Alexis Wins Giller Prize

André Alexis's novel Fifteen Dogs won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada's largest award for literary fiction.

November 22, 2015

Film and TV 

Death of Gil Cardinal

Métis filmmaker Gil Cardinal died in Edmonton, AB, at age 65. Cardinal wrote and directed documentaries, miniseries and television episodes, including acclaimed productions for the National Film Board and the CBC. He has been recognized as one of the first Indigenous filmmakers in Canada to break into the mainstream and receive international exposure.

November 25, 2015

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Judith Fitzgerald

Poet Judith Fitzgerald died in Port Loring, Ontario, at age 63. Fitzgerald survived a harrowing childhood of poverty, abuse and neglect to become one of her generation's most respected and inventive poets, publishing more than 20 books to wide acclaim from critics and peers. She also worked as a writer-in-residence at several universities and as a columnist for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. Leonard Cohen called her work “stunningly original; distinguished by wit, beauty, and a powerful sense of language.”

December 29, 2015

Where I Used To Live

Visual Arts 

Death of Allen Sapp

Cree artist Allen Sapp, one of Canada's foremost Aboriginal painters, died in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, at age 87.

December 31, 2015

Music 

Death of Dal Richards

Beloved swing bandmaster Dal Richards died in Vancouver, BC, at age 97. The clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger and conductor was a fixture in the Vancouver-area music scene from the 1930s until the 2010s. Having famously performed New Year's Eve shows 79 years in a row until 2014, Richards died at 11:41 p.m. on New Year's Eve 2015.

January 03, 2016

Bley, Paul

Music 

Death of Paul Bley

Avant-garde jazz pianist Paul Bley died in Stuart, Florida. In 1949, Bley got his professional start at age 17 in his hometown of Montréal, replacing Oscar Peterson in the latter's trio when Peterson went on tour. After attending the Juilliard School in New York City, Bley embarked on a prolific career as a recording artist and performer, influencing the development of free jazz over the next half-century. In 2008, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

January 12, 2016

Theatre 

Death of William Needles

Actor William Needles, who spent 47 seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, died in Alliston, Ontario, at age 97. Needles was born in Yonkers, New York and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, where his family moved when he was a child. He served in the Second World War and subsequently returned to Canada, resuming an acting career that would last another six decades. A Member of the Order of Canada, Needles is also remembered as a generous mentor by former students to whom he taught drama at University of California, Irvine.

January 13, 2016

Theatre 

Death of Brian Bedford

Actor Brian Bedford, known to generations of theatregoers for his roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and on Broadway, died in Santa Barbara, California at age 80. Bedford was born in Yorkshire, England, to a family beset by poverty and illness. A scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, provided a springboard into a successful acting career, eventually leading to roles in New York, NY, where he moved before settling in Stratford, Ontario.

January 14, 2016

Music 

Death of René Angélil

René Angélil, Céline Dion's husband and manager, died in Las Vegas, Nevada after a long battle with cancer. He was 73. Angélil's career in the music business began in the early 1960s as a member of the band Les Baronets, who achieved some success in Québec with their French covers of Beatles songs. Angélil later moved into talent management. In 1981, he discovered Céline Dion, then aged 12, and resolved to make her a star. Over time, the two developed a romantic relationship, and they married in 1994. Angélil won a number of awards over the course of his career and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2012.

February 21, 2016

Don Owen, filmmaker

Film and TV 

Death of Don Owen

Filmmaker Don Owen died in Toronto, Ontario. Owen is widely recognized for having created two of the most significant narrative films in Canadian history: Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964) and The Ernie Game (1967). An award-winning director, producer, editor and writer, Owen was also an acclaimed documentarian.

February 24, 2016

Colin Low

Film and TV 

Death of Colin Low

Documentary filmmaker Colin Low, whose pioneering work at the National Film Board broke new ground in Canadian film, died in Montréal, Québec. A native of Cardston, Alberta, Low was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996, and in 1997, he was awarded Québec's Prix Albert-Tessier for his life's work and his contribution to Canadian cinema.

March 06, 2016

Literature and Publishing  

Death of D.G. Jones

Poet and translator Douglas Gordon (D.G.) Jones died in North Hatley, Québec, at age 87. A native of Bancroft, Ontario, Jones published influential volumes of poetry, translations and literary criticism from the 1950s into the 21st century, and spent many years teaching at the Université de Sherbrooke. A winner of two Governor General’s Awards and an Officer of the Order of Canada, he is credited with having greatly advanced the art of translation between French and English in Canada.

March 09, 2016

Film and TV 

The Book of Negroes Wins 10 Canadian Screen Awards

The CBC miniseries adaptation of Lawrence Hill's novel The Book of Negroes won 10 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best TV Movie or Limited Series, Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Limited Series, Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Limited Series, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Limited Series, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Series, as well as Best Original Music Score for a Program, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Fiction Program or Series.

March 20, 2016

Léa Pool

Film and TV 

Léa Pool Wins Big at the Gala du cinéma québécois

Québec director Léa Pool's film La passion d'Augustine won six awards at the Gala du cinéma québécois (formerly the Jutra Awards), including Best Film, Best Director, Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Pool was the first woman to win Best Film since the awards were founded in 1999.

March 20, 2016

Film and TV  Music 

François Dompierre Wins Prix Hommage at the Gala du cinéma québécois

Musician, composer and conductor François Dompierre was honoured with the Prix Hommage at the Gala du cinéma québécois (formerly the Jutra Awards) for his distinguished career composing music for Québec films.

March 25, 2016

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Ellen Seligman

Ellen Seligman, one of Canada's best literary editors and publisher of McClelland & Stewart, died in Toronto. Born and raised in New York City, Seligman moved to Canada in 1976. Over the next four decades, she played a crucial role shaping canonical works by Canadian writers, including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Leonard Cohen. Among the books she edited, 23 won the Governor General's Literary Award, 6 won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and 4 won the Man Booker Prize.

March 30, 2016

Music 

Death of Howard Cable

Composer Howard Cable died in Toronto, Ontario, at age 95. Over a prolific career that spanned more than seven decades, Cable made a profound impact on music in Canada. In addition to his work in radio, television and musical theatre, he composed, arranged and conducted music for a wide variety of organizations and bands.

April 03, 2016

The Weeknd Live in Concert in London, Ontario

Music 

The Weeknd Wins Five Juno Awards

R&B artist The Weeknd won five Junos at the 45th annual edition of Canada’s premier music awards show in Calgary, Alberta: Songwriter of the Year, R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.

April 03, 2016

Burton Cummings  and Red Robinson, 2006.

Music 

Burton Cummings Inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Rock ‘n’ Roll artist Burton Cummings was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the 45th edition of the Juno Awards, Canada’s premier music awards show, in Calgary, Alberta. Cummings is best known as the lead singer and keyboardist of Canada’s first rock superstars, The Guess Who.

April 03, 2016

Film and TV  Music 

Death of Don Francks

Jazz singer, actor and environmentalist Don Francks died in Toronto, Ontario, at age 84. Over the course of a long and prolific career, the Burnaby, British Columbia native performed on Broadway, released albums and accumulated more than 150 credits in film and TV. He was also a committed environmental activist, spending time on board Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship in 1979 to help with the organization's whale conservation efforts.

April 07, 2016

Theatre 

Death of Marcel Dubé

Québec playwright Marcel Dubé, who also wrote for TV and radio, died in Montréal. In addition to his literary career, Dubé held several distinguished positions related to the promotion of the French language, serving as the first secretary of the Conseil de la langue française from 1977 to 1979.

April 23, 2016

Film and TV  Theatre 

Death of Madeleine Sherwood

Montréal-born actor Madeleine Sherwood died in Saint-Hippolyte, Québec, at age 93. Sherwood had a long career in the United States, performing in Broadway shows, plays by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, and the 1960s TV series The Flying Nun. A civil rights activist, she was blacklisted for a time in the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, and was arrested for participating in a Freedom Walk in Alabama in 1963. She returned to Canada later in life.

May 22, 2016

Xavier Dolan, 2009.

Film and TV 

Xavier Dolan Wins Grand Prix at Cannes

Montréal-born filmmaker Xavier Dolan received the Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Prix and its Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for his sixth feature film, Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World, 2016). It was the first Canadian film to do so since Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter (1997). Juste la fin du monde was considered a controversial winner of the Grand Prix, the festival’s second-place award, since it received largely negative reviews from critics.

May 24, 2016

Gord Downie

Music 

Gord Downie’s Cancer Diagnosis Made Public

The Tragically Hip posted news on the band’s official website that lead singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer several months earlier. The band nevertheless announced a summer 2016 tour, stating “This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.” Tickets to see one of the last concerts performed by one of Canada’s most iconic and beloved bands — and frontmen — sold out in minutes. The CBC broadcast the band’s final concert in its hometown of Kingston, Ontario, on 20 August 2016, to 11.7 million viewers and listeners. (See also A Place to Happen.)

June 02, 2016

Gavel

Film and TV 

Longest Jury Trial in Canadian History

Ronald Weinberg, the founder of Cinar, a once-successful children’s television production company based in Montréal, was found guilty of defrauding the company of $120 million along with associates Lino Matteo and John Xanthoudakis. The trial ran for over two years and was reported to be the longest jury trial in Canadian history. Eleven of the original panel of 14 jurors served for the entire duration of the proceedings.

June 04, 2016

Music 

Death of Bobby Curtola

Singer-songwriter Bobby Curtola, who emerged as a teen idol and dominated the Canadian pop chart in the 1960s, died in Edmonton, Alberta, at age 73. Originally from Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay), Curtola was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997 for his contributions to the Canadian recording industry as well as his many charitable works.

June 21, 2016

Music 

Death of Pierre Lalonde

Beloved Québec crooner and television personality Pierre Lalonde died in Montréal at age 75. Lalonde began his singing career at age four and started releasing music in the early 1960s. Having mastered English during his studies in the United States as a teen, he achieved success in Canada and across the border, where he performed under the name Peter Martin. In 2011, he was awarded the Québec National Assembly’s Medal of Honour.

June 26, 2016

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Austin Clarke

Novelist, short-story writer and journalist Austin Clarke died in Toronto at age 81. Clarke grew up in Barbados and moved to Canada in 1955 to study at the University of Toronto. While his varied career ranged beyond literature to positions such as cultural attaché of Barbados in Washington (1973) and general manager of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (1975), he is best known for his fiction, which includes the Giller Prize-winning novel The Polished Hoe (2002). Called “the grandfather of Black Canadian literature” by Lawrence Hill, Clarke — a vocal social critic and civil-rights advocate — was among the first Black writers in Canada to gain international recognition and win major literary prizes.

August 03, 2016

Mel Hurtig

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Mel Hurtig

Publisher and nationalist Mel Hurtig, who first published The Canadian Encyclopedia (1985 and 1988), died in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Edmonton native also co-founded the Council of Canadians and wrote a number of books on Canadian society and politics.

August 20, 2016

The Tragically Hip

Music 

The Tragically Hip’s Final Concert

Beloved Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip played their final show to a hometown crowd at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario. It was the last stop on the band’s Man Machine Poem tour, announced in the wake of frontman Gord Downie’s diagnosis of terminal brain cancer in December 2015. More than 11 million people — nearly a third of the Canada’s population — tuned in to the live CBC broadcast on television, radio and online. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the audience members present at the “national celebration,” in which the band played from its 30-year catalogue for nearly three hours. (See also A Place to Happen.)

September 19, 2016

Annie Pootoogook, Fine Liner Eyebrow, 2001-2002.

Visual Arts 

Death of Annie Pootoogook

The body of artist Annie Pootoogook, 47, was found in the Rideau River in Ottawa, Ontario. An internationally exhibited winner of the Sobey Art Award, Pootoogook came from a family of accomplished Inuit artists. She moved from Cape Dorset, Nunavut, to Ottawa in 2007, after achieving international recognition.

Days after her death, Ottawa police officer Chris Hrnchiar wrote remarks widely condemned as racist in the comments section of an article on Pootoogook’s death in the Ottawa Citizen. The incident resulted in an internal investigation and, ultimately, a three-month demotion for Hrnchiar, who pleaded guilty to two charges under the Police Services Act.

Ottawa police were still investigating suspicious elements of the case several months after Pootoogook’s death.

November 07, 2016

Leonard Cohen performs in Florence

Literature and Publishing   Music 

Death of Leonard Cohen

Poet, novelist, singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen died in Los Angeles, California, at age 82. Born in Westmount, Québec, Cohen was one of the most iconic Canadian artists of the 20th century. A sage, mystic, bohemian and romantic, he built an acclaimed body of literary work and a revered career in pop music.

November 14, 2016

Wright, Janet

Film and TV 

Death of Janet Wright

Actor and director Janet Wright died in Vancouver, British Columbia, at age 71. Born in England and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Wright built a successful career in theatre, film and TV, with notable roles at The Stratford Festival, in feature films such as McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Perfect Storm, and in TV series such as CTV’s Corner Gas.

November 23, 2016

Lawren Harris

Visual Arts 

Lawren Harris Painting Sells for Record Amount

Mountain Forms by Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris set a record for the most expensive piece of Canadian art ever sold at an auction, fetching $11.21 million at a sale in Toronto, Ontario.

January 01, 2017

Music 

Death of Stuart Hamilton

Stuart Hamilton, opera coach and CBC Radio host, died of prostate cancer at the age of 87.

January 01, 2017

Film and TV 

Death of Bill Marshall

Bill Marshall, co-founder of the Festival of Festivals (now the Toronto International Film Festival) and its director for the first three years, died at the age of 77.

January 07, 2017

Visual Arts 

Death of Laurel Woodcock

Conceptual artist and academic Laurel Woodcock died at the age of 56.

January 10, 2017

Film and TV 

Death of Tony Rosato

Tony Rosato, a comedian and actor best known for roles on Saturday Night Live and SCTV, died of a heart attack at the age of 62.

January 20, 2017

Theatre 

Death of Joy Coghill

Actor and playwright Joy Coghill, the first woman to serve as artistic director of the Vancouver Playhouse, died at the age of 90.

January 21, 2017

Montreal Convention Centre

Architecture 

Death of Victor Prus

Polish-born architect Victor Prus died in Montréal, Québec, at age 99. Prus immigrated to Canada in 1952, having served with the Polish forces and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He went on to have an award-winning career in this country, designing such notable structures as Montréal’s Palais des congrès (Convention Centre), three of the city’s metro stations and the Centaur Theatre.

January 28, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Bharati Mukherjee

Author Bharati Mukherjee died in New York City at age 76. Born in Calcutta, India, Mukherjee attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop when she was 22. There she met Clark Blaise, whom she married in 1963. The two writers moved to Montréal three years later and became members of the burgeoning literary scene in Canada, alongside friends such as Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. Mukherjee’s novels and short stories explored the experience of immigrants and young women. Her 1981 essay “An Invisible Woman” is a scathing indictment of unacknowledged racism in Canada, specifically as experienced by South Asian Canadians.

January 31, 2017

Film and TV 

Death of Rob Stewart

Filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart, known for his fight to save sharks from extinction, died at the age of 37 while filming a sequel to his 2006 documentary Sharkwater.

February 06, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Norah McClintock

Norah McClintock, award-winning author of young adult literature, died of ovarian cancer at the age of 64.

February 07, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Richard B. Wright

Author Richard B. Wright, whose novel Clara Callan won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a Governor General’s Literary Award, died at the age of 79 following an earlier stroke.

February 11, 2017

Film and TV 

Death of Howard Leeds

Howard Leeds, producer and writer for television such shows as The Brady Bunch and Diff’rent Strokes, died at the age of 97.

February 15, 2017

McLean, Stuart

Radio 

Death of Stuart McLean

Montréal-born Stuart McLean, the journalist and author best known as the creator of CBC Radio’s The Vinyl Café, died at age 68 after a battle with cancer.

March 02, 2017

Franco-Ontarian Flag

Music 

“Notre Place” Named Official Anthem of Franco-Ontarians

Following a campaign led by the Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario and Ottawa’s Montfort Hospital, the Government of Ontario adopted a motion making Paul Demers’ song “Notre Place” the official anthem of the Franco-Ontarian community.

March 04, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Bonnie Burnard

Short story writer and novelist Bonnie Burnard died in London, Ontario, at age 72. The four books she published in her lifetime earned her critical acclaim and literary prizes, including the Giller Prize in 1999 for her novel A Good House.

March 07, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Gina Calleja

Children’s book author and illustrator Gina Calleja died from lymphoma complications at the age of 88.

March 10, 2017

Richard Wagamese

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Richard Wagamese

Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) novelist and journalist Richard Wagamese died in Kamloops, British Columbia, at the age of 61. A member of the Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, Wagamese was taken from his family as a young child, during the Sixties Scoop, and only reunited with them as an adult. The experience informed his exploration of his Anishinaabe roots in his writing. He published more than a dozen works in his lifetime, in addition to penning a popular Indigenous affairs column and working in broadcasting.

March 20, 2017

Film and TV  Radio 

Death of Betty Kennedy

Ottawa-born journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy, known for CBC’s Front Page Challenge and her Toronto radio program The Betty Kennedy Show, died at the age of 91. She was an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Senate, and was also inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame.

March 23, 2017

Film and TV 

Death of Denis McGrath

Denis McGrath, a writer and advocate for Canadian-made TV, died of cancer at the age of 48. He won a Canadian Screenwriting Award and a Writers Block Award.

March 26, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Marie Jakober

Award-winning Alberta author Marie Jakober, the first Canadian woman to win the Michael Saara Award, died at the age of 75.

March 27, 2017

Visual Arts 

Death of Beau Dick

Master carver, Indigenous activist and Kwakwaka’wakw hereditary chief Beau Dick died at the age of 61 due to complications from a stroke.

March 28, 2017

Janine Sutto

Film and TV  Radio  Theatre 

Death of Janine Sutto

Prolific Québecoise actor Janine Sutto died in Montréal, Québec, at age 95. An autodidact, she brilliantly personified countless roles in all genres of theatre, radio and television. Sutto pursued her career for more than seven decades and acted in more than 150 productions, including Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles- sœurs and Marcel Dubé’s Florence.

April 20, 2017

Theatre 

Death of Paul Hébert

Actor and director Paul Hébert died at the age of 92. Hébert was co-founder and director of the renown Théâtre du Trident in Quebec City. He also appeared in films by several renowned Québec directors such as Gilles Carle and Robert Lepage.

June 03, 2017

Music 

Death of Jacques Beaudry

Internationally renowned conductor Jacques Beaudry, of Sorel, Québec, died at age 92. He made his debut on the CBC in 1955 and went on to conduct major symphonies and operas in North America, Europe and the USSR.

June 05, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Marilyn Hall

Marilyn Hall, Emmy Award-winning writer and producer and wife of game-show host and singer Monty Hall, died at the age of 90.

June 19, 2017

Order of Canada

Music 

Gord Downie Appointed to the Order of Canada

Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In addition to his iconic career with the Hip, his citation recognizes his devotion to “promoting dialogue, raising awareness of the history of residential schools and moving the country along the path to reconciliation.” His bandmates were to be inducted at a later date.

June 26, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Janet Lunn

Janet Lunn, author of The Hollow Tree, which won a Governor General’s Literary Award, died of heart failure in Ottawa at the age of 88. She was a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

July 01, 2017

Peter Mansbridge

Film and TV 

Peter Mansbridge Retires as Chief Correspondent of CBC News

After nearly 50 years with CBC and 29 years as host of its flagship news program, The National, Peter Mansbridge retired as the network’s chief news correspondent. On his last day on the job, he hosted CBC’s coverage of Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. His final edition of The National aired the night before.

July 21, 2017

Music 

Death of Kenny Shields

Kenny Shields, lead singer of the hard-rock band Streetheart, died in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at age 69. Streetheart formed in Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1976, and soon relocated to Winnipeg, becoming a fixture of the city’s music scene. The band performed and recorded until the mid-1980s, enjoying significant popularity in Canada and winning a Juno Award. Shields later went on to perform under his own name was inducted, with Streetheart, into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

July 27, 2017

Music 

Death of Gilles Tremblay

Composer and teacher Gilles Tremblay died in Montréal, Québec. Born in Arvida (now part of the city of Saguenay), Tremblay had an accomplished career that earned him, among other honours, the Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée for the electroacoustic music he wrote for Expo 67’s Québec Pavilion. He was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec in 1991 and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.

August 11, 2017

Music 

Death of Daisy Peterson Sweeney

Teacher, pianist and organist Daisy Peterson Sweeney died in Montréal, Québec, at age 97. An accomplished musician in her own right, Daisy Peterson Sweeney is perhaps best known as the older sister, and early teacher, of celebrated jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. She also taught other notable Montréal jazz pianists, including Oliver Jones and Joe Sealey. Sweeney is equally remembered as a leader in Montréal’s Black community.

October 17, 2017

Gord Downie

Literature and Publishing  

Death of Gord Downie

Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman whose music and lyrics captivated fans across the country during a career that spanned more than 30 years, died at age 53. In May 2016, the band announced that Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. They set out on their final tour that summer and played their final show in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario — an event broadcast by CBC to millions of viewers and listeners. Downie remained prolific in the last two years of his life, writing a book on Chanie Wenjack, advocating for truth and reconciliation (see Truth and Reconciliation Commission) with Indigenous peoples, and continuing to record music.

November 15, 2017

Viola Desmond

Film and TV  Music 

2017 Canada's Walk of Fame inductees

The 2017 inductees of Canada's Walk of Fame are Donovan Bailey, Stompin' Tom Connors, Viola Desmond, Anna Paquin, Ted Rogers and David Suzuki.

November 20, 2017

Literature and Publishing  

Michael Redhill wins the Giller Prize for his book Bellevue Square

Michael Redhill, an author born in the United States and raised in Toronto, wins the Giller Prize for his book Bellevue Square. A $100,000 prize comes with the honour.

December 15, 2017

Film and TV 

Allegations of sexual assault and rape against Paul Haggis

Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis was accused of rape by publicist Haleigh Breest. The lawsuit prompted other allegations of rape and sexual assault on 5 January 2018 by three women who wished to remain anonymous. Haggis denied the accusations.

January 03, 2018

Theatre 

Allegations of sexual assault against Albert Schultz

Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller filed civil suits against theatre director Albert Schultz and Soulpepper Theatre, alleging that Schultz had sexually harassed and assaulted them and that Soulpepper was complicit in the assaults. Schultz resigned the next day and released a statement saying he would “vigorously defend himself” against the allegations.

January 07, 2018

Literature and Publishing  

The Handmaid’s Tale TV adaptation wins awards at the Golden Globes

The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale won two awards at the Golden Globes: best television series (drama) and best performance by an actress in a television series (drama). Elisabeth Moss, who won the best actress award, dedicated her prize to Atwood by paraphrasing a line from the book: ‘’Margaret Atwood, this is for you… We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the story in print, and we are writing the story ourselves.’’

February 24, 2019

The Oscars

Film and TV 

Two Canadian Filmmakers win Oscars

Canadian animator Domee Shi, who became the first woman to direct a Pixar short film, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Bao, a whimsical tale about a dumpling that comes to life. Sound engineer Paul Massey won an Oscar for Best Sound Mixing for Bohemian Rhapsody, about the rock group Queen.