Archives for category: Women

Social justice:

Judy Rebick – Judy Rebick was the Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy until 2010. In the 90s, she hosted two TV shows on CBC and still continues to frequent the airwaves. She is the founding publisher of, an online news and discussion website. She is now an active speaker on women’s equality, social equity and civic engagement.

Roberta Jamieson – Roberta Jamieson was named CEO and president of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation in 2004. Under her leadership, the foundation has doubled the total amount of bursaries and scholarship funding. She has had many milestones in her career, including the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree, the first woman to be appointed an Ombudsman of Ontario and the first woman to be the chief of the Six Nations in Grand River Territory.

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Clara Hughes – A a six-time Olympian in speed skating and cycling, Clara Hughes is the only athlete to win multiple medals in both the summer and winter games. She is also the national spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Mental Health campaign, ‘Let’s Talk’.

Lorie Kane – Lorie Kane is a professional golfer and won four LPGA tournaments since her rookie year in 1996. She became a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Hayley Wickenheiser – A four-time Olympic medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser is seen as one of the best female hockey players in the world. In the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, she was named as the most valuable player. She is also an active volunteer with KidSport, Right to Play and Dreams Take Flight.

Sandra Post – Sandra Post was the first Canadian to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association, or LPGA. During her 17 years on the tour she won eight times. She retired in 1984 and returned home to start the Sandra Post Golf School. She has also been a broadcaster for CTV, ABC, Sportsnet and TSN.

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Music and dance:

Celine Dion – As one of the top contemporary vocalists of the 90s, Celine Dion continues to contribute to the music industry. She has won countless awards, including Junos, Grammys and American Music Awards.

Avril Lavigne – The small-town singer and songwriter from Napanee, Ont. has stayed true to her image. Ever the punk tomboy, Avril Lavigne has had all three of her albums reach platinum status. Beyond her musical abilities, she established The Avril Lavigne Foundation, which works in partnership with charitable organizations to design and implement programs, raise awareness and support for children with serious illnesses.

Shania Twain – Singer and songwriter Shania Twain grew up in Timmons, Ont. and persevered until she made a name for herself in the music industry. She is the second best-selling artist in Canada behind Celine Dion and has won many awards, including five Grammys and 21 Broadcast Music Inc. Songwriter awards.

Measha Brueggergosman – Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has a voice beyond her years. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, she was selected to sing the Olympic Hymn. Her talent has taken her around the world, including New York, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona. Off stage, she donates her time as an ambassador for African Medical and Research Foundation, Learning Through the Arts and the World Wildlife Fund.
Karen Kain – Karen Kain is the artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. She is recognized as one of the most gifted classical dancers of her era. Throughout her career she won many Canadian and international awards, including Companion of the Order of Canada, the first Canadian recipient of the Cartier Lifetime Achievement Award and the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

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Literature and film:

Margaret Atwood – Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 50 volumes of poetry, literature, fiction and non-fiction. She is best known for her novels, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘The Blind Assassin’, which won the Mann Booker Prize in 2000. She is also currently the vice-president of PEN International.

Sarah Polley – An actress since the age of four, and now also a director, Sarah Polley‘s diverse career has been driven by her choice of films. She has appeared in films such as ‘The Sweet Hereafter’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead’, and directed ‘Away From Her’. Within Canada she is best known for her performance on ‘Road to Avonlea’. She became interested in politics in her early teenage years, which continually inspired her to select independent films.

Deepa Mehta –Deepa Mehta, who was born in India but has become a Canadian citizen, is a voice in world cinema. She started as a scriptwriter in the 1970s for children’s films. She moved on to be a writer and editor for documentaries before stepping behind the camera herself to film documentaries in the ’70s and ’80s. Throughout the 1990s, she created films that challenged societal norms in India.

Devyani Saltzman (not pictured)- Deepa Mehta’s daughter Devyani Saltzman has also made an impact in the arts world. She is the author of ‘Shooting Water’ and has written articles for the Globe and Mail, Marie Claire and The Walrus. She is the curator of literary programming for Luminato, a festival in Toronto for arts and creativity.

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Science and health:

Roberta Bondar – Roberta Bondar was the first neurologist and Canadian female to go to space when she launched on NASA’s shuttle Discovery in 1992. After a distinguished career in research with NASA, She now is an avid photographer and a sought-after speaker.

Julie Payette – Julie Payette was a member on the Space Shuttle Discovery crew in 1999 and was the second Canadian woman in space. Her second flight into space was in 2009, aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. She has logged more than 611 hours in space. She started a fellowship as a public policy scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C in 2011. She has also accepted an appointment as the scientific authority for Quebec in Washington on behalf of Quebec’s department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.

Mary Jo Haddad – Mary Jo Haddad is the president and CEO of SickKids Hospital in Toronto. She has held this position since 2004 after serving as interim president and CEO. She has held numerous executive positions at SickKids, including executive vice-president, chief operating officer, and chief nurse executive. She holds board member positions with MaRS Innovation, Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario and Provincial Council for Maternal Child Health.

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Media and journalism:

Lisa LaFlamme – In 2011, Lisa LaFlamme took over from Lloyd Robertson as CTV’s chief news anchor and senior editor. Prior to this move, she was an active reporter in the field, including reporting from Afghanistan.

Jeanne Beker – Jeanne Beker has worked on numerous radio and television stations during her time in the media world. She had the opportunity to host FASHIONTELEVISION in 1985, which became CityTV’s most widely watched show with viewers across Canada and in 130 other countries. A digital version of the show was launched in 2001 with Jeanne Beker as the host and segment producer. She has also launched clothing lines, was the editor-in-chief of FQ Magazine and SIR Magazine. She serves as a judge on CTV’s ‘Canada’s Next Top Model.’

Bonnie Fuller – Bonnie Fuller is the current president and editor-in-chief of Hollywood Life, a Los Angeles-based entertainment website. She is active in the media industry by participating on panels and as a contributor to the Huffington Post. She has also held top spots at Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan and American Media Inc. At Star magazine she increased circulation to more than 1.5 million and increased newsstand sales of Shape Magazine.

Mary Walsh – As one of the founding creators of CBC’s ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes,’ Mary Walsh honed her own brand of humour at an early age. She was awarded with the Order of Canada for lifetime achievement in the entertainment industry in 2001. For her work with ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes,’ she has received Canadian Comedy awards, Gemini awards and honours from the Writers Guild of Canada. She has appeared in more than 20 movies, television mini-series and programs.

Sandie Rinaldo – Sandie Rinaldo has been a news anchor at CTV for more than 25 years. She also works in the field for the investigative news program, ‘W5.’ She has earned national recognition for her news coverage, including numerous nominations and awards.

Jacquie McNish – Jacquie McNish is a senior writer for the Globe and Mail. She is also a regular host on BNN, Canada’s business news network. As a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, she co-teaches a seminar on shareholder rights and the media. Her writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal and she is the author of two best-selling books.

Sally Armstrong (not pictured)- As a journalist, Sally Armstrong has covered stories about women and girls in conflict zones, such as Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda. She is an Amnesty International award winner, member of the Order of Canada, and was appointed to the International Women’s Commission at the United Nations. She has won many distinguishable awards, including Women of Distinction from the YMCA, Red Cross Humanitarian award, Lifetime Achievement award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Diane Francis (not pictured)- Diane Francis is the editor-at-large for the National Post. She is known across Canada for her newspaper columns, contributions to the Huffington Post and as an author of nine books.

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Arlene Dickinson – Arlene Dickinson is a renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneur. She joined Venture Communications in 1988 and took over as CEO in 1998. She is also co-star of CBC’s ‘Dragon’s Den’.

Sherry Cooper – Sherry Cooper is the vice-president and chief economist at BMO Financial Group. She received the Lawrence Klein Award for U.S. forecasting accuracy in 2010 for predicting the economic period of 2006-2009. She is often quoted in media on economic matters.

Barbara G. Stymiest – Barbara Stymiest has held numerous high-profile positions, including the first woman in North America at the top of the Toronto Stock Exchange. She was also the chief operating officer at the Royal Bank until 2010. She was named one of Fortune’s 50 most powerful women in business three times. Since 2007, she has been a director at Research in Motion and is seen as a candidate to become chair of RIM’s board if there were a change in leaders.

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Irene Rosenfeld – Irene Rosenfeld has been the CEO of Kraft Foods since 2006 and the chairman since 2007. She has changed the face of the company by strengthening its presence in developing markets. In 2011, the company decided to create two independent public companies – North American Grocery business and Global Snacks business. Rosenfeld is leading the latter as chairman and CEO.

Carol Stephenson – Carol Stephenson has been the dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario since 2003. She has more than 30 years of experience in marketing, strategic planning, and financial management. Her work experience, both past and present, includes Intact Financial Services Corporation, Manitoba Telecom Services, GM Canada, Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board and the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

Belinda Stronach – Belinda Stronach is the president and CEO of The Stronach Group, a consortium that owns, operates and manages a number of businesses. She is the former president and CEO of Magna International Inc., which is one of the largest global suppliers of automotive systems and components. She also has an extensive history in politics, including being instrumental in facilitating the joining of the Alliance Party of Canada and Progressive Conservative Party. She was elected the Conservative MP for Newmarket-Aurora in 2004, then crossed the floor to the Liberal Party and was re-elected from 2006-2008.

Heather Reisman – Heather Reisman is the founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music Inc., a big-box retailer of books and music. She is a former governor of McGill University and the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has also been on many boards, including Magna International, Suncor and Rodgers Communications and is currently active with Onex Corporation, Right to Play and Mount Sinai Hospital.

Bonnie Brooks – As CEO of The Hudson’s Bay CompanyBonnie Brooks took a step into the limelight in 2008. Many say she has completely changed the look of one of Canada’s oldest companies, with her 35 years of retail experience.

Maureen Sabia – Maureen Sabia is president of her consulting firm, Mauren Sabia International Inc. She has been the non-executive chairman of the Board of Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. since 2007.

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Provincial and civic politics:

Alison Redford – Alberta’s 14th premier, Alison Redford has been active in the political landscape many years. She worked closely with former prime minister Joe Clark and later worked in the Prime Minister’s Office. Her international work experience includes human rights litigation in Africa, International Election Commissioner for Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections, and as an advisor to the Privy Council for Canada’s future involvement in Afghanistan.

Hazel McCallion – Hazel McCallion has been the mayor of Mississauga since 1978. At 84, she is the longest-serving mayor in Canada and has kept her city debt-free during her time in office. She received the Order of Canada and was named the runner-up as World Mayor in 2005.

Dianne Watts – Dianne Watts has been the mayor of Surrey, B.C. since 2005. She has won three consecutive terms and in the most recent election, she won 81 per cent of the votes. She was the first female mayor of Surrey and placed fourth in World Mayor 2010.

Christy Clark – Christy Clark was elected to the British Columbia legislature in 1996, and in 2001 was appointed Minister of Education and deputy premier. In 2010 she sought and won leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party, after then-premier Gordon Campbell announced his retirement from politics. She has worked as a newspaper columnist and radio personality, hosting ‘The Christy Clark Show’ on CKNW radio. Clark won Capbell’s Vancouver riding of Vancouver-Point Grey and was sworn in as premier on May 30, 2011.

Kathy Dunderdale – Kathy Dunderdale was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly in the province’s 2003 general election. She served as Minister of Natural Resources, and in December 2010 announced that she would seek the leadership role in the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. She was sworn in as party leader in April 2011, and in October 2011 led her party to a landslide victory. With her re-election and her party’s big win, Dunderdale became the first elected female premier in the history Newfoundland and Labrador.

Eva Aariak – Prior to her election to the Nunavut legislature, Eva Aariak served as Nunavut’s Languages Commissioner, the body which monitors the Government of Nunavut’s use of the Inuit language, French and English. In 2008 she was elected to represent Iqaluit East, and was subsequently selected as the territory’s premier under its consensus government system. She is the fifth woman to serve as a premier in Canada, and the first female premier of Nunavut.

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Federal politics:

Honourable Sheila Copps – Sheila Copps has been a prominent figure in Canadian politics for more than 35 years. She was the first woman to hold the position of deputy prime minister. She also served for 10 years in the federal cabinet, both as minister of the environment and minister of Canadian heritage. She announced her retirementfrom politics after narrowly losing the Liberal president race to Michael Crawley in 2012.

Nycole Turmel – Little was known about interim federal NDP Leader Nycole Turmel until the late Jack Layton announced he would be taking time off in July, 2011. He recommended the Hull-Aylmer MP be given the position of interim of the New Democratic Party. Before joining politics in 2011, she held numerous union positions, including national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. She was the first woman to hold that job.

Peggy Nash – Peggy Nash serves as the New Democratic Party member of parliament for Parkdale-High Park in Toronto. She has experience as an executive for a large private sector union and is a leader on economic affairs. She has been the opposition finance critic since the 2011 federal election. She is currently a candidate for the NDP leadership race.

Right Honourable Kim Campbell – After Kim Campbell‘s time as the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, she stayed active as a global business and political speaker. Campbell has served as the secretary general of Club Madrid, where former heads of government promote democratization with leaders of transitional governments. She has also served on the Council of Women World Leaders, the Foundation of Effective Governance and the World Movement for Democracy.

Olivia Chow – Olivia Chow has been the MP for Trinity-Spadina in Toronto since 2006. Her political career started with Toronto’s City Council when, in 1991, she became the first Asian woman to be elected. She has advocated for many high-profile initiatives, such as universal, non-profit national child care program and immigration reform.


Elizabeth May – As the current leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May is a prominent environmentalist. In the 2011 election, she became the first Green Party candidate to be elected into the House of Commons.

part three