Dan George, OC, Tsleil-Waututh actor, poet, public speaker (born 24 July 1899 on the Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in BC; died 23 September 1981 in North Vancouver, BC). By his film roles and personal appearances, Dan George helped improve the popular image of Indigenous people, often represented in stereotypical ways.
Margaret Alexis Fitzsimmons Smith, actor (born 8 June 1921 in Penticton, BC; died 9 June 1993 at Los Angeles, CA). Alexis Smith was a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age, sharing the screen with some of the era’s most celebrated performers, such as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Cary Grant. She took a hiatus from Hollywood for a decade before winning a Tony Award in 1971 for her performance in Stephen Sondheim’s hit Broadway musical, Follies. Smith appeared in such television series as The Love Boat, Dallas and Cheers, and such films as The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944), Rhapsody in Blue (1945), the Canadian tax shelter thriller The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), and Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993).
Wabanakwut Kinew, hip hop artist, broadcaster, university administrator, author, politician (born 31 December 1981 in Kenora, ON). An Ojibwa activist and public intellectual, Wab Kinew began his career as a musician and rapper with the hip hop group Dead Indians. He gained national attention through his radio and television journalism for the CBC, including 8th Fire, a television series on Indigenous issues. Kinew’s 2015 memoir, The Reason You Walk, was a national bestseller and finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize. In 2016, Kinew was elected to the Manitoba legislature, despite controversial tweets and rap lyrics that dogged his campaign. In 2017, he announced his intention to seek the leadership of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.
Tatiana Gabrielle Maslany, actor (born 22 September 1985 in Regina, Saskatchewan). Versatile film and television actor Tatiana Maslany is perhaps best known for her multiple performances as various clones in the hit sci-fi series Orphan Black (2013–17). In 2016, she became the first Canadian actor to win a Primetime Emmy Award for a Canadian television series. She has also won five Canadian Screen Awards, two Gemini Awards, two ACTRA Awards and numerous other honours.
Paul Hébert, OC, CQ, actor, director, artistic director (born 28 May 1924 in Thetford Mines, Québec; died 20 April 2017 in Québec City). A titan of Québec theatre, film and TV, Paul Hébert received several performance awards over the course of his career. The first francophone Canadian trained at the Old Vic Theatre in London, England, Hébert was closely associated with the Théâtre du Trident in Québec City during the 1970s, as the theatre’s co-founder, actor, director and artistic director. He also appeared in films by several renowned Québec directors such as Gilles Carle and Robert Lepage.
Wendy Jane Crewson, actor (born 9 May 1956 in Hamilton, ON). One of Canadian television’s best-known and most honoured actors, Wendy Crewson has won multiple Gemini Awards for her work in Canadian TV series and TV movies. She has also enjoyed a prolific film career and has acted opposite such Hollywood stars as Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rachel McAdams, Ellen Page and Arnold Schwarzenegger. An outspoken advocate for Canadian film and television, she has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and received the Gemini Humanitarian Award, ACTRA’s Award of Excellence, and the Earle Grey Award for lifetime achievement in Canadian television.
Moishe Znaimer, OOnt, media executive, promoter, actor (born 1942 in Kulab, Tajikistan). One of Canada’s most ambitious, influential and polarizing media moguls, Moses Znaimer is an innovative pioneer of independent broadcasting in Canada. He is responsible for such Canadian specialty channels as City-TV, MuchMusic, MusiquePlus, MusiMAX, MuchMoreMusic, Bravo, SexTV and VisionTV. He is also president of MZ Media, which operates the Toronto classical music station 96.3FM, and the founder and CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited, a lifestyle and media brand that advocates for the rights of aging Canadians. Znaimer has also been an outspoken supporter of assisted suicide in Canada.
Ryan Thomas Gosling, actor, musician, producer, director (born 12 November 1980 in London, ON). Ryan Gosling started out as a child actor before giving a breakthrough performance in the Sundance-winning indie drama The Believer in 2001. Capable of playing characters that are utterly creepy yet somehow magnetic and attractive, he has amassed a gallery of intense performances that matches the early work of Robert De Niro and Gary Oldman. An A-list Hollywood star, he has proven equally adept at comedy (Lars and the Real Girl, Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Nice Guys, The Big Short) and drama ¬(The Notebook, Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, The Ides of March). He has received two Oscar nominations and won a Golden Globe in 2017 for his lead role in the award-winning musical La La Land.
Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom (David Joseph Manners), actor, singer, writer (born 30 April 1902 in Halifax, NS; died 23 December 1998 in Santa Barbara, California). David Manners was a popular Hollywood leading man of the 1930s. His dapper good looks, soft but expressive voice and sophisticated bearing helped make him a top box-office draw. He starred opposite such legendary figures as Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert and Carole Lombard, but is perhaps best remembered for his roles in the classic horror movies Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Black Cat (1934). Manners was also a successful novelist and had a long career on Broadway.
Isadore Borsuk (a.k.a. Bobby Breen), actor, singer (born 4 November 1928 in Montréal, QC; died 19 September 2016 in Pompano Beach, Florida). Boy soprano Bobby Breen was one of Hollywood’s most popular child stars of the 1930s. His cherubic appearance, angelic voice and innocent personality earned him a reputation as “the boy Shirley Temple.” After his Hollywood career ended at age 12, he spent his adult years performing in nightclubs, playing piano and running a talent agency. His cult status was secured when his picture was included on the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
Rachel Anne McAdams, actor (born 17 November 1978 in London,ON). Perhaps best known as a leading lady in such Hollywood romances as The Notebook (2004), The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) and The Vow (2012), Rachel McAdams has developed a reputation for what the New York Times calls “her winsome manner, her serious acting chops and a no-diva approach to her work.” After graduating with a BFA from York University in 2001, McAdams made a meteoric rise to stardom, going from a Gemini Award-winning role in the Canadian TV series Slings & Arrows (2003) to her breakthrough Hollywood performance in the hit high school comedy Mean Girls (2004). She was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2014, and received Screen Actors Guild and Oscar nominations for her supporting performance in the Oscar-winning Spotlight (2015).
Jillian Noel Hennessy, actor, singer, musician (born 25 November 1968 in Edmonton, AB). Equal parts brassy and brainy, Jill Hennessy is a sultry, whip-smart actor who is best known for her roles in the American television series Law & Order and Crossing Jordan. She has also appeared in films and released two albums as a singer-songwriter. She was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2007.
Cassie Dawn Campbell-Pascall (née Campbell), CM, hockey player (born 22 November 1973 in Richmond Hill, ON). Three-time Olympian Cassie Campbell-Pascall won gold medals in women’s hockey at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. She is the only hockey player (man or woman) to captain Canada to two Olympic gold medals. She also won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. Campbell-Pascall won gold with Canada at six Women’s World Hockey Championships (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004) and silver at the 2005 championships. In 157 games for Team Canada, Campbell had 32 goals and 68 assists for 100 points.