Louis B. Mayer, born Eliezer Mayer, studio executive (born at Minsk, Russia ca 1885; died at Los Angeles, Ca 29 Oct 1957). Louis B. Mayer's working-class family immigrated to New York when he was a small child, and in 1890 moved to Saint John, NB, where his father became a junk dealer.
Paul L'Anglais, producer (b at Québec 22 Oct 1907; d at Montréal 23 May 1982). A lawyer by training, he entered the world of radio in 1932 as a producer and director and worked there until 1957. He excelled in radio drama, radio plays and variety shows and had some 300 programs to his credit.
Donald McKellar, CM, actor, screenwriter, director (born 17 August 1963 in Toronto, ON). One of Canada’s most acclaimed and prolific stars, the multi-talented Don McKellar has enjoyed success as an actor, writer and director in film, television and theatre, often assuming multiple roles in a production. Equal parts laconic and loopy, he is best known for playing quirky, unconventional leading men and collaborating on unique, visionary independent films. He was a key player in the Toronto New Wave, collaborating with Bruce McDonald and Atom Egoyan on such films as Roadkill (1989), Highway 61 (1991), The Adjuster (1991) and Exotica (1994). He received the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival for his directorial debut, Last Night (1998), and won a Tony Award for co-writing the hit musical The Drowsy Chaperone. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and has won multiple Genie and Canadian Screen Awards.
Robert Stewart, director, writer, photographer, conservationist (born 28 December 1979 in Toronto, ON; died 31 January 2017 near Islamorada, Florida). Rob Stewart was an ecologically-minded non-fiction filmmaker, conservationist and activist who was fascinated since childhood by underwater life and photography. His environmental documentaries Sharkwater (2006) and Revolution (2012) set box office records in Canada and won numerous awards worldwide. Stewart was reported missing on 31 January 2017 while diving in the Florida Keys and was found dead after a three day search. The Canadian Screen Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series was renamed in his honour.
William Grant Glassco, director, producer (b at Québec City 30 Aug 1935; d at Toronto 13 Sept 2004). As artistic director of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto (1971-1982) and Centre Stage (1985-1991), Bill Glassco was a major force in the development and promotion of Canadian theatre and drama.
Nell (née Helen Barham) Shipman, screenwriter, actor, director, producer, author (born in Victoria, British Columbia on 25 Oct 1892; died in Cabazon, California on 23 Jan 1970). Nell Shipman's first starring role in a major film was in the silent movie God's Country and the Woman (1916), which was an overnight success. Starring roles in 10 other films, mostly for Vitagraph, were followed by a seven-year contract offer from Samuel Goldwyn in 1917.
Léa Pool, CM, filmmaker, director, documentarian, screenwriter, producer (born 8 September 1950 in Soglio, Switzerland). Through her introspective films, Pool offers an approach to female characters that is stripped of all stereotypes. Exploring themes of love, exile and uprootedness, she attempts to draw viewers into a reflection on their own condition, through their own individuality. Often compared with the films of Marguerite Duras, Pool’s films focus on intimate emotions and attract a multigenerational audience. The recipient of many awards in Canada and abroad, Léa Pool is the first female director to win Best Film at the Gala du cinéma québécois.
Victor Sarin, cinematographer, director, producer, writer (born at Srinagar, India 1941). Vic Sarin was born in Kashmir and spent his teenage years in Australia where his father was a diplomat. After a short stint as a news cameraman in Australia, he came to Canada in 1963. He landed a job with the CBC and shot a number of its prestigious dramas during the 1980s.
Loretta Todd, documentary filmmaker, installation artist, essayist (b at Edmonton circa 1963). A central figure in what might be considered the second wave of aboriginal directors, Todd brings insight, discipline, resistance to sentimentality and a sense of adventurousness to her non-fiction films.