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Sir Ernest MacMillan

A prodigy, MacMillan had composed several songs and played the organ publicly by age 10. During his teens he audited music classes at Edinburgh University and attained both an organ diploma and an Oxford baccalaureate in music. He held a professional position as an organist in Toronto at age 15.


Choirs Ontario

Choirs Ontario (previously known as the Ontario Choral Federation). Organization established in 1971 to promote choral activities in Ontario, with an elected voluntary board, a paid executive secretary, and offices in Toronto.


Herbert A. Fricker

Herbert A. (Austin) Fricker. Choir conductor, organist, teacher, composer, b Canterbury, England, 12 Feb 1868, d Toronto 11 Nov 1943; FRCO 1888, B MUS (Durham) 1893, honorary MA (Leeds) 1917, honorary D MUS (Toronto) 1923. He had lessons with the Canterbury Cathedral organist William H.


Cliff Jones

Jones, Cliff (Clifford Ernest Barnett). Composer, lyricist, writer, b Toronto 26 Jun 1943; BA psychology (Toronto) 1965, MA psychology (Calgary) 1967, B Ed (Toronto) 1994. Jones studied piano 1948-61 at the Royal Conservatory of Music and arranging 1972-5 with Gordon Delamont.


Fred Penner

Fred (Frederick Ralph Cornelius) Penner. Singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, b Winnipeg 6 Nov 1946; BA economics and psychology (Winnipeg) 1970.


Norbert Schoenauer

Norbert Schoenauer, educator, architect, housing reformer (b at Regen, Romania 2 Jan 1923; d at Montréal 7 Aug 2001). Schoenauer devoted his career to the understanding and improvement of housing design.


Ben Steinberg

Steinberg, Ben (Benjamin). Composer, conductor, organist, teacher, b Winnipeg 22 Jan 1930; B MUS (Toronto) 1961. A soloist at 8 in the synagogue choir conducted by his father, Cantor Alexander Steinberg, he began conducting choirs himself at 12.


Robert Oades

Robert (William) Oades, trumpeter, teacher, administrator (born 7 August 1924 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England; died 25 April 2013 in Ottawa, ON).


Geneviève Salbaing

Although born in Paris, Salbaing was brought up in Casablanca, Morocco, where she received her ballet training. Later, in Paris, she studied with such famous Russian expatriates as Egorova and Kchessinska.


George Little

(Lloyd) George or Georges Little. Choir director, organist, educator, administrator, b Sydney, NS, 4 Sep 1920, d Montreal 19 Oct 1995; B MUS (Dalhousie) 1944, B MUS (Toronto) 1949, honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1991.

Memory Project

Jerry Crowe (Primary Source)

Jerry Crowe served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.


Tilly Rolston

Tilly Jean Rolston, Canadian politician (born 23 February 1887 in Vancouver, BC; died 12 October 1953 in Vancouver, BC). Rolston was best known for her service as education minister for the province of British Columbia in the Social Credit government of W.A.C. Bennett in the early 1950s. She has the distinction of being the second woman cabinet minister elected in that province, but the first with a portfolio in all of Canada. Rolston was instrumental in developing a new financing formula for the funding of BC’s public schools, and also instituted the province’s first sex education curriculum. She is noted for being the first woman in British Columbia to receive a state funeral upon her death.


Choral singing; Choirs

Choral singing; Choirs. Canada's choirs have contributed significantly to religious, educational, and concert activities within the country, and some have earned high reputations abroad.


Alphonse-Télesphore Lépine

Alphonse-Télesphore Lépine, printer, politician and union activist (born 15 May 1855 in Quebec City, QC; died 19 August 1943 in Montreal, QC). Elected in a by-election in the riding of Montreal East in 1888, he became the first working-class independent member of parliament in the House of Commons. In the House, he promoted a program inspired by the Knights of Labor’s declaration of principles. Throughout Lépine’s political career, his supporters did not hesitate to capitalize on his working-class background and were quick to describe him as a true “self-made man” who owed his success to his love of work.


Arab Canadians

Arabs, or more specifically, Syrian-Lebanese immigrants, began to arrive in Canada in small numbers in 1882. Their immigration was relatively limited until 1945, after which time it increased progressively, particularly in the 1960s and thereafter.


Richard Johnston

(Albert) Richard Johnston. Teacher, administrator, composer, editor, critic, b Chicago 7 May 1917, naturalized Canadian 1957, d Calgary 16 Aug 1997; B MUS (Northwestern) 1942, M MUS (ESM, Rochester) 1945, PH D (ESM, Rochester) 1951. His first teacher was Ruth Crazier-Curtis.



Doukhobors are a sect of Russian dissenters, many of whom now live in western Canada. They are known for a radical pacifism which brought them notoriety during the 20th century. Today, their descendants in Canada number approximately 30,000, with one third still active in their culture.