Canada's History marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage

WINNIPEG, Jan. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada's History Society marks the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage with special editions of Canada's History and Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids.

For Canada's History, a special panel – including former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and bestselling author Charlotte Gray – selected "20 Great Women" from Canada's political, business, artistic, and activist history.

"In a perfect world, the women on our list would be household names. But for too long, history textbooks have focused on great men, to the exclusion of all others," Editor-in-Chief Mark Collin Reid said. "Hopefully, this special feature will launch a broader conversation on outstanding women in Canadian history."

Panelist Charlotte Gray called the experience of selecting Canada's Great Women, "a fabulous challenge… you have to think: What makes these women truly great?"

The Great Women nominees include:

  • Abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd Cary, who helped black slaves find freedom in nineteenth-century Canada;
  • Kenojuak Ashevak, an Inuit artist who pioneered an artistic vocabulary that inspired a generation;
  • Thérèse Casgrain, a tireless Quebec activist and the first woman in Canada to lead a political party;
  • Nellie McClung, the iconic suffragist who helped women in Manitoba win the right to vote provincially in January 1916. Saskatchewan and Alberta followed suit later that year.

Canada's History invites everyone to go online at to explore the lives of these incredible women. We also invite Canadians to vote for their favourite Great Woman, or nominate others deserving of recognition. All participants will have their names entered in a draw for an original painting by Barbara Paterson, sculptor of the "Famous Five" monument on Parliament Hill.

Kayak, the Society's children's magazine for kids 7–12, also celebrates this important centenary. The special issue explores how women got the vote, and features stories, quizzes and a comic book rendering of the story of suffragist leader Nellie McClung. Children get their own "Great Women" portrait gallery, as well as a fun introduction to how elections work.

About Women and the Vote
Women in Manitoba made a breakthrough on January 28, 1916, when they became the first in Canada to win the vote. Saskatchewan and Alberta soon followed. The federal government opened voting to women in 1918 and by 1922 women could vote in most jurisdictions. The exceptions were Newfoundland (1925), Quebec (1940) and Northwest Territories (1951). (Unfortunately, the right to vote was withheld from indigenous women, as well as those of Asian and African descent, for years longer.)

Women's political rights led to gradual changes in areas such as property law, reproductive rights, protection from domestic abuse, wage parity, and equality in the workplace – changes which continue to take place today.

Canada's Great Women show us that anything is possible – inspiring new generations of Canadians to build on their achievements.

About Canada's History Society
Canada's History Society is a national charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to presenting the Governor General's History Awards and publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, as well as Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces educational and online programs to encourage more discovery, celebration, and understanding about our rich history and culture. More details can be found at

SOURCE Canada's History

Image with caption: "Canada's Great Women (CNW Group/Canada's History)". Image available at:

For further information: To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact: Melony Ward, Mobile: (416) 388-2964,


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