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Viola Desmond didn't set out to be a civil rights leader. But in 1946 when she was removed from a theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia for sitting in a section reserved for whites, she fought back in court.
The beauty salon owner lost the case but strengthened the fight to end racial segregation in Canada. She went on to become a civil rights icon. In Nova Scotia, Heritage Day on February 16, 2015, has been dedicated to the legacy of Viola Desmond.
Choosing Canada’s Great Women is not easy. Listen to Charlotte Gray, one of the judges on our panel, as she describes the pleasures and pitfalls of ranking the great women of history.
“Bunny” Bernice Jordan Whims remembers when the jazz was hot.
This two-piece wedding dress was worn by Helène Hogue in 1896 when she married Calixte Landry; very few artifacts have a woman’s name connected to the record or any detailed provenance.
Founder of a dynasty