People would say, "Girls don't play hockey. Girls don't skate." I would say, "Watch this."
Wickenheiser first started playing ice hockey on a backyard rink built by her father. In 1990 she moved with her family to Calgary and then represented Alberta at the 1991 Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Participating in a tournament for teenage girls aged 17 and younger, she was not only the youngest player on her team but also the smallest (at 5-feet [1.5-metres] tall). She scored three goals in the tournament, including the game-winning goal in the championship final as Team Alberta won the gold medal. Wickenheiser was named the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP).
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser of Canada was around 10 years old when she first had the idea of being both a professional hockey player and a doctor. Wickenheiser, now 41, grew up in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, a town of fewer than 2,000 people and less than 2 square miles in size. A young girl in the area had been severely injured after getting hit by a grocery delivery van.
“I remember going to the hospital with all the kids in the neighborhood and just being really inspired and intrigued by the doctors and nurses that were taking care of her,” Wickenheiser said. “That’s how it all started. At that age, I had two goals: to play for the Edmonton Oilers and to go to Harvard Medical School.”
After retiring in 2017 as Team Canada’s career scoring leader, Wickenheiser enrolled in medical school at the University of Calgary, then took on the role as an assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018. She was in the midst of her clinical rotation in emergency rooms around Toronto two weeks ago, when medical students and trainees were pulled from their assignments as the number of coronavirus cases in the country reached a critical point.
Wickenheiser has related her medical colleagues’ traits to her athletic peers as a way of supporting their efforts during the current crisis. “I was talking to a friend who has been an emergency physician for 20 years, and she was describing how she had to shut down communications with friends because she was getting text messages from people saying how they were so sorry for her and grieving that she had to do her job, and she didn’t feel that way at all,” Wickenheiser said. "I said, ‘This is your med Olympics. This is like the Olympics for you. Yes, you’re at risk, but you’re also really damn good at your job and smart, and you’re going to do everything you can to protect yourself and your staff.’ ”
- Chicago Tribune
I think to live your life, you have to live it and, if you see something that offends you morally or any other way, you have to follow that and take it up.
A native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Shirley Douglas worked with directors including Stanley Kubrick ("Lolita") and David Cronenberg ("Dead Ringers"), and she won a Gemini Award for her performance in the 1999 TV film “Shadow Lake.”
She tirelessly supported a variety of causes throughout her life, including the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers and the fight to save Canada's public health care, pioneered by her politician father.
In 1965, Douglas married Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, with whom she had two children before they divorced — twins Rachel, a production manager, and Kiefer, who became a film and TV star in his own right. Douglas had another son, Thomas, from a previous marriage.
Born on April 2, 1934, Douglas showed an early interest in the arts as well as politics as she journeyed on the campaign trail with her father, who became premier of Saskatchewan, a national leader in the New Democratic Party and a socialist icon.
She attended the Banff School of Fine Arts and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England, where she acted in theater and TV and participated in anti-nuclear marches.
In the ’60s and ’70s, while living in California, Douglas campaigned against the Vietnam War and protested for various causes. She helped to establish a fundraising group called Friends of the Black Panthers. Her support for the group brought controversy — she was refused a U.S. work permit and charged in 1969 with conspiracy to possess unregistered explosives. The courts eventually dismissed the case and exonerated her. She also was a co-founder of the first chapter in Canada of the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament.
Douglas, though, was foremost a champion for Canada's medicare system. She would speak of the importance of a universal health care system at virtually any opportunity and lobbied government officials.
- The Associated Press
Life is so impermanent that it's not about somebody else or things around me, it's about knowing you are completely alone in this world and being content inside.
Katherine Dawn Lang grew up in Consort, Alberta, a Canadian prairie town, the youngest of four. Her mother was a teacher and her father ran the local drugstore. When she was 12, her father left for another woman and, apart from a chance encounter when she was an adult, lang never saw him again (he died last year and neither lang, nor her siblings, went to his funeral). She bristles when I mention her father, but she appears to have made peace with him.
After winning a singing competition as a child, lang knew this was where her future lay and all but gave up on school. She spent the 80s singing country, although by the time lang came out in 1992 (not only as gay but also as vegetarian, fronting an animal rights campaign), the affair with Nashville was over. She switched to torch songs, moved to LA to be near a married woman she had fallen for and channelled that unrequited love into Ingenue. There and then, lang exploded.
Lang had been touring Ingenue for a long 18 months and was getting tired and disillusioned. "I was starting to wake up to the 'nothing is free' perspective," she says. "I felt like there were all these expectations on me - from my manager, from the gay community, from myself." Her next album, All You Can Eat, was she says, "like the food at a buffet - total carbohydrates and no nutritional value. It sold, like, 38 copies and it was perfect because it did what I wanted it to do, which was snap me out of it."
She took herself off, started learning about Buddhism, met her partner, Jamie, a fellow student and settled down in her modest wood cabin in LA with their dogs.
- Emine Saner, The Guardian
I want to help people understand what mental illness is, what the stigma attached to it is. I want people to believe that they can erase stigma, that they can be the generation that grows up and whose kids won’t know of the time when people were ashamed if they were depressed.
In 2006, when Clara Hughes stepped onto the Olympic podium in Torino, Italy, she became the first and only athlete ever to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games. Four years later, she was proud to carry the Canadian flag at the head of the Canadian team as they participated in the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. But there’s another story behind her celebrated career as an athlete, behind her signature billboard smile.
While most professional athletes devote their entire lives to training, Clara spent her teenage years using drugs and drinking to escape the stifling home life her alcoholic father had created in Elmwood, Winnipeg. She was headed nowhere fast when, at sixteen, she watched transfixed in her living room as gold medal speed skater Gaétan Boucher effortlessly raced in the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Dreaming of one day competing herself, Clara channeled her anger, frustration, and raw ambition into the endurance sports of speed skating and cycling. By 2010, she had become a six-time Olympic medalist.
But after more than a decade in the gruelling world of professional sports that stripped away her confidence and bruised her body, Clara began to realize that her physical extremes, her emotional setbacks, and her partying habits were masking a severe depression. After winning bronze in the last speed skating race of her career, she decided to retire from that sport, determined to repair herself. She has emerged as one of our most committed humanitarians, advocating for a variety of social causes both in Canada and around the world. In 2010, she became national spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk campaign in support of mental health awareness, using her Olympic standing to share the positive message of the power of forgiveness.
Told with honesty and passion, Open Heart, Open Mind is Clara’s personal journey through physical and mental pain to a life where love and understanding can thrive. This revelatory and inspiring story will touch the hearts of all Canadians.
~ Simon & Schuster
My parents taught us to look at each day as a new beginning. That tomorrow is a new day - I hold this belief close - it has served me well.
Award-winning Kainaiwa (Blood) artist Joane Cardinal-Schubert was also a successful and influential curator, lecturer, poet and director of video and Indigenous theatre. Her artworks and writing often addressed contemporary political issues such as Indigenous sovereignty, cultural appropriation and environmental concerns. She supported other Indigenous artists as a curator and activist, while also questioning methods of displaying historical and contemporary Indigenous artworks.
In the last year of her life, Cardinal-Schubert travelled across Alberta on behalf of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to meet with other First Nations artists and identify artworks from various phases in their careers that were not represented in the Foundation’s collection. Her support of Indigenous artists was a common thread that ran throughout her career. For several years, she was a lobbyist for the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA).
~ The Canadian Encyclopedia
I'm often asked what I use in my Iwata airbrush, and I have to say that after trying a number of different products, Liquitex Acrylic Ink is my preference. It's a nice consistency with a large selection of colours, plus I can mix them myself. And it's easy to clean out of my airbrush, too, which is extremely important as it isn't an inexpensive piece of equipment and I'd like to take care of it so I can use the for the rest of my life. I recently ordered a couple of opaque inks which I really like...they do need a lot of shaking as they do tend to settle between uses but they are so nice. They are permanent and non-fading. My favourites, though, tend to be the muted tones, especially muted violet and muted turquoise because I like the tones against my vibrantly coloured backgrounds. The inks are also fabulous to use to create drips and dots on the backgrounds.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +