Status of Women Canada
News Releases

May 1, 1998


OTTAWA -- Status of Women Canada is now accepting nominations for the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, Canada's foremost tribute to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution toward promoting the equality of women in Canada.

Announcing the opening of nominations today, the Honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women) encouraged individuals, women's organizations, community and business groups, and other interested parties to submit Awards nominations. "By saluting efforts to secure equal rights and opportunities for the women of Canada, the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case inspire others to continue the progress toward women's further advancement."

Initiated in 1979 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Persons Case, the Awards commemorate the lengthy political and legal effort by Canadian women, which culminated in the decision rendered by the British Privy Council on October 18, 1929, declaring women in Canada to be persons and thus eligible for appointment to the Senate.

"The rights and freedoms women in Canada enjoy today are the result of the determination and tireless effort of individuals who made equality of access and opportunity a personal crusade," Dr. Fry said. "These awards honour women who have continued that crusade. As such, the Awards connect women's achievements of the past with their aspirations for the future."

There have been 102 recipients of the Awards to date, including Thérèse Casgrain, leader of the effort for women's right to vote in Quebec; Dorothy Livesay, one of Canada's foremost women poets and winner of the Governor General's Medal for Poetry in 1944 and 1947; Marguerite Bergeron-Tremblay, a longstanding women's activist in the Lac St-Jean region of Quebec; and Marthe Asselin Vaillancourt, who has challenged violence against women throughout her life; and Marie Hamilton, champion of the advancement of Black women.

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 1998 Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case is June 15, 1998. Five awards are presented annually by the Governor General at a ceremony in Ottawa in October. Nomination forms and information about the Awards criteria are available by contacting Status of Women Canada, 360 Albert Street, Suite 700, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1C3, telephone (613) 995-7835, fax (613) 943-2386, TDD (613) 996-1322, E-mail: Details of the criteria are also available from our Web site: Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

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For more information, please contact:

Anne Schroder
Status of Women Canada
(613) 943-1729

Artur Wilczynski
Office of the Secretary of State
(819) 997-9900

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Last updated: may 21 1998