A Guide to Women in Canadian History

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Canadian Illustrated News, Aug.7, 1880
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This Month in Canadian Herstory: November
  • Lydia Gruchy
    Lydia Gruchy
    (The Sheaf, April 1920)
    November, 1936
    Lydia Gruchy became the first woman minister in the United Church of Canada when she was ordained in Moose Jaw. Born in Paris, France, Lydia grew up in Saskatchewan after her parents homesteaded there. She decided to enter the ministry after her brother Arthur, who had this goal, died in World War I. Following completion of her studies in theology at St. Andrew's College in Saskatoon and graduation in 1923, the young woman was not permitted to be ordained because of her gender. Lydia Gruchy became a devoted lay minister, and the United Church of Canada changed its laws in 1936 to allow her to become ordained.

  • Holly Cole album
    Molly Lamb Bobak
    (NFB/Library and Archives Canada/PA-188459)
    November, 1942
    Molly Lamb Bobak enlisted in the Canadian Women's Army Corps. A graduate of the Vancouver School of Art, Molly became a draughtsman in the CWAC. In May 1945 she was appointed an Official War Artist�Canada's only official female war artist in the Second World War. After the surrender she painted in England, Belgium, France and Holland.

    Watch a three-part interview with her, produced by Library and Archives Canada:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

  • November 4, 2015
    For the first time in Canadian history, the cabinet of the federal government of Canada included an equal number of women and men. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, became Prime Minister of Canada, and his new cabinet included 15 women and 15 men.

    Liberal Government Cabinet 2015

  • November 14, 1930
    Monique Emond Mercure was born in Montreal, Quebec. Despite demonstrating talent as a musician at an early age, Monique was drawn to the theatre. She became a famous actress, performing on both stage and screen. Monique Mercure's role in the 1976 film J.A. Martin, photographe earned her the Golden Palm for Best Actress from the Cannes Film Festival. Watch the complete film (101 min) online on the NFB website.

  • Holly Cole album
    Holly Cole album
    November 25, 1963
    Jazz singer Holly Cole was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After moving to Toronto she formed the Holly Cole Trio. The award-winning performer has developed an international career and produced seven gold and platinum albums. Holly Cole is particulary popular in Japan, where she received the Grand Prix Gold Disc Award (1993).
    The Holly Cole Website

  • November 26, 1997
    Thelma Chalifoux began a term in the Canadian Senate, where she served until reaching the age of 75 in April, 2004. Appointed by the Right Honourable Jean Chr�tien, Thelma Chalifoux was the first Metis woman in Canadian history to become a senator. Born in Calgary, Alberta, she has received many awards, incuding the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1995).

    Watch the Sharing Memories Interview with Senator Thelma Chalifoux, taped in 2011 (7.38 min).

More pages from This Month in Canadian Herstory:

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