A Guide to Women in Canadian History

Home ·  About ·  Meet the Author ·  Contact · People ·  Gallery ·  Celebrate ·  History ·   Resources ·  News ·  Search

Author on climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro, copyright M. Forster

.About the site
.Site Reviews
.Meet the Author
.Heroines Books
.Picture Book
Canadian Professional Speaker:
Author Events for Merna Forster

Bev Thompson and Merna Forster CTV interview Ottawa
CTV journalist Bev Thompson (left) interviewing Merna Forster

Merna Forster is a professional speaker, historian and author of the popular books 100 Canadian Heroines and 100 More Canadian Heroines. She won the 2016 Pierre Berton Award. A recipient of the Canada 125 Medal and the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution Historic Preservation Medal, she received a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award for her accomplishments as a Canadian historian, especially her advocacy in raising awareness of Canada's unsung heroines. Merna Forster's Biography

Merna Forster is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at special events. A limited number of engagements are available for presentations, conferences, readings, book signings, school classes, radio and television appearances, etc. If you are interested in booking Merna Forster for your next event, please contact us.

Upcoming Events

Speaker at Women's History Month Celebration at Canadian Museum of History
Merna Forster will be one of the speakers for an evening of storytelling organized by HISTORICA, and hosted by historian Charlotte Gray.Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance with Eventbrite.
Canadian Museum of History
100 Laurier St., Gatineau, Quebec
October 3, 2018

Trailblazing Women in Canada

Examples of Recent Events/Media Interviews

Keynote Speaker for Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)
Merna Forster was the keynote speaker at the Annual General Meeting of CFUW Victoria.
Victoria Golf Club
Victoria, British Columbia
May 16, 2017

Presentation for Grads of Saanich Newcomers
Merna Forster was the guest speaker for a luncheon meeting of the Grads of Saanich Newcomers.
Cedar Hill Golf Club
Victoria, British Columbia
April 6, 2017

Radio Interviews
Merna was a guest on CBC Radio One in Victoria, then CBC Radio West from Kelowna.
December 9, 2016

Television Interview
At the CTV studio in Ottawa, Merna Forster did a taped interview with Mercedes Stephenson for CTV News (national broadcast in the evening).
December 8, 2016

Merna Forster CTV interview Ottawa

Television Interview
Merna Forster was in Ottawa for a live television interview with Bev Thompson on CTV News Channel, re the announcement that Viola Desmnd was selected to appear on the new $10 bill.
December 8, 2016

Merna Forster CTV interview Ottawa

Speaker at DNA Seminar - Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results
Merna Forster, an avid genealogists, was one of the speakers at the Victoria Genealogical Society Annual Seminar 2016. Merna's session was Hidden History Through DNA Testing: African American Cousins.
Saanich, British Columbia
October 29, 2016
Seminar 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

DNA Seminar

14th National Conference of Teaching and Communicating the History of Canada
Merna Forster was part of a plenary session on "Women's Rights in Canada: The Past, Present and Future."
Conference of The Association for Canadian Studies in collaboration with The Manitoba History and Social Sciences Teachers' Association: 1916 to 2016 - A World of Changes: The Right to Vote, The Right to Fight, The Right to Care
Winnipeg, Manitoba
October 22, 2016

Luncheon Speaker at Persons Day Celebration
Merna Forster was the guest speaker for CFUW (Canadian Federation of University Women) Nanaimo, at a luncheon meeting celebrating Persons Day.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
October 15, 2016

Conference on Women & Leadership: Radical Conversations on Gender Justice, Art & Reconciliation
Merna Forster was a member of the opening panel discussion: "Reflecting on Gender Justice."
Conference sponsored by Friends of St. Ann's Academy, in collaboration with Leadership Studies, University of Victoria, and Royal B.C.Museum.
Victoria, British Columbia
October 13, 2016

Women and Leadership Poster

Television Interview
Merna Forster did a televised interview with Brad Giffen on CTV News Channel, re Canadian women on bank notes.
October 10, 2016

Laurentian University Appearances
To celebrate Women's History Month in Canada, Merna Forster was a guest at Laurentian University. She participated in a fourth-year history seminar in the afternoon. In the evening, she gave a public presentation and joined a panel discussion with Dominic Giroux, President of Laurentian University, and Linda M. Ambrose.
Sudbury, Ontario
Laurentian University
October 3, 2016

Laurentian University Merna Forster

Interview on CBC Radio Show, Sudbury
Merna Forster was interviewed by Jason Turnbull, host of the radio show Up North, for CBC Sudbury. An article was posted on CBCNews: Merna Forster, author who helped convince the Bank of Canada to feature women on bank notes, visits Sudbury.
October 3, 2016

Merna Forster in Sudbury (CBC Radio)

Interview on National Radio Show
Merna Forster was a guest on the national radio show Cross Country Checkup (CBC Radio), which has half a million listeners.
Topic: "Which great Canadian women deserve to be on our currency?"
April 10, 2016

Television Interview
Merna Forster was interviewed by Heather Hiscox on the CBC News Network.
March 9, 2016

Celebrating Canadian Heroines
Merna Forster was the guest speaker at the spring dinner of the Victoria Evening Newcomers Club.
Victoria, British Columbia
March 1, 2016

Television Interview
Merna Forster was interviewed by Rosemary Barton on the CBC television show Power and Politics.
January 15, 2016

Conference presentation re Franklin Expedition Mystery
Merna Forster, in her capacity as Executive Director of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Project, gave a presentation on The Franklin Mystery, at the annual confernce of the National Council for the Social Studies.
New Orleans, Louisiana
November 14, 2015

Canadian Heroines Presentation
Merna Forster was the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the CFUW (Canadian Federation of University Women), Saanich Peninsula Chapter.
Sidney, British Columbia
October 27, 2015

More info re recent author events and interviews.

Presentations/Media Experience

  • Public speaking for audiences of up to 500 people; giving TV and radio interviews/ being a guest on talk-shows.

  • Presentations at national and international conferences, including the Canadian College of Family Physicians (Banff and Quebec City), Association for Canadian Studies Conference on Teaching and Learning Canadian History (Edmonton), the American Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (Anchorage, Alaska and San Diego, California), National Council for Social Studies (Houston, Texas and Seattle, Washington),the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Quebec City); speaking at regional conferences such as Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française (Quebec City), Atlantic Canada Studies Conference (St. Mary’s University, Halifax), Nova Scotia Social Studies Teachers Association Provincial Conference, British Columbia Social Studies Teachers Association Annual Conference.

  • A wide variety of presentations and workshops, including hundreds of environmental education programs in national parks while employed as a park naturalist and interpreter. Merna Forster has also given talks for Capilano University (Vancouver), public libraries, genealogical societies, school classes, book clubs, Zonta Club (Victoria), Hallmark Society (Victoria), Association of Canadian Clubs (Ottawa, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Lindsay, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria), Regional Historica Fair (Southern Vancouver Island), Girl Guides of Canada, Abbeyfield House, Canadian Federation of University Women (Ottawa Chapter), Victoria Writers’ Society, Fresh Minds Symposium (University of Victoria), Newcomers Clubs, ETUG (Educational Technology Users Group), Southern Vancouver Island Liberal Women’s Association, senior government officials such as assistant deputy ministers, and a Women’s History Month Celebration at Prime Minister’s Residence (2011).

  • Ms. Forster has been interviewed about women in Canadian history on television (for example Power and Politics on CBC television, CTV News Channel, CBC News Network, CTV National News, Global BC, Breakfast TV-Vancouver, CHEK News) and radio (from "Holder Tonight" in Montreal, to Radio Canada International, Cross Country Checkup, CBC Radio's "Ontario Today", CBC's "Blue Sky" in Regina, CBC's "Wild Rose Country" in Calgary, to CFAX and CBC in Victoria). She’s been interviewed by print journalists regarding her views on the commemoration of women in Canadian history, and quoted in La Presse, Toronto Star, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, CBCNews, and The Huffington Post Canada.

    Jody Vance and Merna Forster
    Breakfast Television host Jody Vance (left) with Merna Forster


  • Canadian Heroines - inspirational stories of famous and forgotten women

  • Canadian Women on Bank Notes: why not?

  • Black Canadian Heroines

  • Aboriginal Canadian Heroines

  • Celebrating Women's History Month (October) in Canada:remembering great Canadian women

  • International Women's Day (March 8): trailblazers in Canadian history

  • Book Promotion & Marketing Tips for Writers

  • Other topics on request

  • Merna Forster
    Merna Forster at Chateau Laurier, giving presentation for Ottawa Women's Canadian Club
    Copyright M. Forster
    "Thank you so much for enlightening us on our wonderful Canadian Heroines. We were all inspired!!!! Your mission to acknowledge these women and to present them to Canadians is a very lofty one. We congratulate you and hope their long overdue recognition will inspire Canadian women young and old to work towards equality in all ways. It was indeed a pleasure to have you at our meeting and your presentation was fabulous!!!!!!!!"
    Suzanne Sjostrand
    Membership Chair
    Zonta Club of Victoria

  • "One of Canada's greatest champions of women's history and the advancement of their historical record into the hearts and minds of Canadians."
    Work of Arts Express
    University of Alberta

  • "L'historienne Merna Forster a reçu un prix "pour avoir convaincu un premier ministre de mettre enfin un personnage historique féminin sur les billets de banque," écrit Ariane Krol."
    ("Historian Merna Forster received a prize "for having convinced a prime minister to at last put a female historical figure on the bank notes," writes Ariane Krol.)
    Excerpt from editorial "Nouveaux billets de 10$ : une femme en cache une autre"
    Ariane Krol, journalist
    La Presse

    La Presse et Merna Forster

  • "Merna, we were delighted to have you as our guest speaker to celebrate Persons Day in Nanaimo last weekend. Your presentation was excellent, we all learned about some Canadian women who deserve more recognition, and about the huge impact of the petition you initiated to return women to the Canadian banknote. Thanks so much for coming, and bringing your books - which of course, sold out! Congratulations on the Pierre Berton award - so well deserved."
    Susan Murphy
    President, CFUW Nanaimo

  • "Merna's delightful presentation was uplifting and the entire audience was enthralled with her lovely recollections into the amazing lives of these women."
    Barbara Evans
    Canadian Federation of University Women, Ottawa

  • "Merna gave a fascinating and inspiring talk to our audience at Capilano University in honour of Women’s History Month in Canada. Her dynamic and stimulating presentation really raised awareness of the incredible roles that women have played—and continue to play—in our history. Students and faculty came away engaged and encouraged! Thank you, Merna!"
    Dr. Efrat El-Hanany
    Art History Department and Women's Studies Department
    Capilano University, North Vancouver, BC

  • "We are also here because of Merna Forster who, as you may know, started the public campaign to feature a woman on a Canadian banknote. Under Merna's leadership, more than 70,000 people added their voices to this campaign and, after years of perserverance, those efforts have paid off! This spirit of activism is the force that allows us to make progress even on the most difficult and intractable issues - issues like racism, sexism and inequality.”
    The Honourable Patty Hajdu
    Minister of Status of Women
    Remarks at announcement that Viola Desmond will be honoured on face of $10 bill.

  • "The thing is, the real work of feminism is going on, every day, boringly, out of the public eye, by people who know what they’re doing but don’t have backup dancers ... I think about women like Merna Forster, who’s been fighting a lonely battle to have Canada acknowledge that maybe one woman in the history of this country deserves to be on our money (and you would know how many Canadian women do deserve that honour, if you read her excellent book 100 Canadian Heroines)."
    Elizabeth Renzetti
    Journalist, The Globe and Mail
    Excerpt from The daily battles of feminism don’t come with backup dancers (The Globe and Mail, 3 Oct 2014)

  • "Merna Forster was the keynote speaker at our 2017 AGM. She spoke of women we had not heard of, and she inspired all of us to look for the hidden heroines in our own family histories. Her presentation was very interesting and entertaining! Thank you for promoting the importance of HERstory!"
    Tracey Otto, President
    Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), Victoria

  • "Wonderful presentation ... On behalf of the BC Black History Awareness Society I just wanted to thank you again for your excellent presentation about Black Canadian Heroines ... all who were in attendance very much enjoyed your talk." Ron Nicholson
    Vice President, BCBHAS

  • "We all enjoyed you very much, hope to meet you again."
    Ina McDonald
    Women's Canadian Club of Edmonton

  • "I saw you on Breakfast at the New RO and was captivated! Thank you for such a wonderful book. I believe every Canadian woman (and Man!) should own one!"
    Mona Hopkins
    Pembroke, Ontario

  • "I heard your inspiring interview today on CBC and am so glad that you have contacted the Girl Guides of Canada about the book. It has been difficult over the years to find good information on Canadian Women to present to the girls. You have rescued us from talking about Laura Secord once again this year. It is not that Laura Secord was not a great example of an heroic Canadian woman, it is just that we prefer to show the girls that there are many, many great Canadian women. Thank you, thank you."
    Sandy Eathorne
    Toronto, Ontario

  • "It was a pleasure to have you on the program to talk about your book 100 Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces, and to share some of the stories of the women of Canadian history. "
    Peter Anthony Holder
    Host, HOLDER TONIGHT (Montreal)

Previous Events

Home | About | Meet the Author | Contact | Site Map | Heroines | Biographies | Group Histories | Pictures | Cartoons | Posters | Stamps | Statues | Currency | Historic Sites | Women's History Month | Time Travel | This Month in History | Books | Shop | Classroom | Films&Videos | Related Links | Upcoming | Latest News

Copyright © 2004-2017 Merna M. Forster. All rights reserved.