October 7, 2011
OTTAWA – The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. These 32nd annual awards recognize outstanding individuals who have helped to advance equality for women in Canada. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada will present the Awards during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Persons Day, October 18, 2011.
"As we celebrate six outstanding women, we also celebrate the ‘Famous Five’ of nearly a century ago – a group of Albertan women who challenged the status quo and advanced the status of women in Canada,” said Minister Ambrose. "Like the ‘Famous Five,’ this year’s Persons Awards recipients have demonstrated their courage and dedication, working in a range of sectors to create lasting and positive change for other women, their families and their communities."
This year marks the 82nd anniversary of the Persons Case. In 1929, five Albertan women – Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby, who became known as the Famous Five – fought and won the right for women to be recognized as persons before the law.
The following six individuals are the 2011 recipients of the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case:
Madeline Boscoe, R.N., D.U., of North Vancouver, British Columbia, has dedicated more than 30 years to improving women’s health in Canada.
Nancy Hartling, of Riverview, New Brunswick, is a passionate advocate for women, focusing on domestic violence and poverty.
Lucie Joyal, of Boucherville, Quebec, has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to eliminate violence against women and children.
Sharon Donna McIvor, of Merritt, British Columbia, has devoted close to three decades of her life to advancing equality for Aboriginal women.
Youth Award recipient Amber JoAnn Fletcher of Regina, Saskatchewan, is an advocate for equality issues and social justice.
An official call for nominations for the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case is made every spring. Nomination forms and brochures outlining selection criteria are available on Status of Women Canada's web site and may be submitted at any time.
In honour of Persons Day, October is Women's History Month in Canada. Proclaimed in 1992 by the Government of Canada, Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the important contributions of women and girls to our society – and to the quality of our lives today. Women's History Month 2011 recognizes women's invaluable contributions to the military in Canada over the years with this year’s theme: Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy.
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For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and
Minister for Status of Women
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada