hide You are viewing an archived web page collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:51:39 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
table anchor table anchor table anchor
The Famous Five: Heroes for Today
       Home   |   Info   |   Contact Us   |   Partners   |   Sitemap
Context, Achievement, Legacy and Timeline spacer


Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource.ca and The Famous Five Foundation




Unveiling of the plaque commemorating the work of the Famous 5 in the 'Persons' Case, 1938.On June 11, 1938, the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs placed a tablet in the Senate Lobby commemorating the Famous 5's political victory. Nellie McClung was on hand to witness the unveiling of the plaque by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. On February 21, 1939, portraits of each of the Famous 5 were unveiled in the Alberta Legislature.

Portrait of Irene Parlby by Alice Tyler, displayed in the Alberta Legislature For many years, the Famous 5 and their shared political achievement were all but forgotten. In 1979, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women released a medallion commemorating the 50 anniversary of the Persons' Case victory. Dora de Pedery-Hunt, who designed the medallion, had this to say about her design: "The subject of this medal is celebration! Celebration of Canadian women becoming "persons", of joy and delight that at least one great step was taken. The five women represent but do not portray the "Five" who helped us to achieve it. Instead of banners, I used the International Women's Year logo; the bird-line forms add life and movement to the medal, also their beaks point to the future. I never believe in looking back anyway!"

Governor Generals Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case medallionThat same year, the Government of Canada established the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons’ Case. Each year, around the date of the Persons' Case Victory on 18 October, the Governor General presents five adults and one youth who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of life of women in Canada with this award. Among the first women to receive this honour was the Honourable Thérèse Casgrain, Senator of Canada.

More recently, the Famous 5 Foundation has undertaken initiatives to honour its namesakes. On Persons' Day, October 18, 1999, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson unveiled a bronze monument of the Famous 5 commissioned by the Foundation at Olympic Plaza in Calgary. On the same date in 2000, a similar monument was dedicated on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. These larger than life monuments created by artist Barbara Paterson portray the women as they might have appeared when they learned the news that women were declared 'persons'. The Foundation commissioned Ms. Paterson to cast a smaller-scale bronze maquette, which has toured across Canada as part of an exhibit about the Famous 5.

On October 13, 2004, another portrayal of the Famous 5 will be printed on the back of Canada's $50 bill. An image of former Senator and human rights activist Thérèse Casgrain will also be included. The Famous 5 Foundation has worked in cooperation with the Bank of Canada to produce this paper currency.

Group Picture
Group Picture  
Group Picture    Copyright © 2004 Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on women and the vote in Canada, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved