Sir James Douglas KCB (August 15, 1803 – August 2, 1877) was born in Demerara (now part of Guyana) to John Douglas, a Scottish planter, and Martha Ann Tefler, a Creole originally from Barbados. He was a company fur-trader and a British colonial governor on Vancouver Island in northwestern North America, particularly in what is now British Columbia. Douglas worked for the North West Company, and later for the Hudson’s Bay Company becoming a high-ranking company officer. From 1851 to 1864, he was Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island. In 1858 he also became the first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, in order to assert British authority during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, which had the potential to turn the B.C. Mainland into an American state. He remained governor of both Vancouver Island and British Columbia until his retirement in 1864. He is often credited as “The Father of British Columbia”. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Louis David Riel (22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many as a Canadian folk hero today. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Phyllis Marshall was Black, Mohawk & Irish, born on November 4, 1921 in Barrie, Ontario and died on Feb 2, 1996 in Toronto, Ontario. She studied piano as a child and was known as a track athlete. Phyllis made her singing debut at 15 on the radio station CRCT, then performing with Jack Arthur. Soon after she performed on the CBC radio station with Percy Faith. Her first nightclub engagement was at Toronto’s Silver Slipper, September 1938, with the Canadian Ambassadors. Encouraged by the CBC announcer Byng Whitteker to sing blues and jazz, she performed during the 1940s with various Toronto dance bands (including an 18-month stint at Toronto’s Park Plaza Hotel 1943-44), with her own trio, and on tour 1947-1948 in the USA with the Cab Calloway Orchestra.
She starred on TV’s ‘The Big Revue’ 1952-54, ‘Cross-Canada Hit Parade’ 1956-59, and other shows. She performed with Canadian jazz notables including Oscar Peterson and Bert Niosi. She performed in England on the BBC TV in 1959 (The Phyllis Marshall Special) and again in 1964 in nightclubs. Her LP ‘That Girl’ (1964, Cap FS-614), recorded in the company of US jazz stars Buck Clayton and Buddy Tate, captures Marshall’s light, secure singing style and received a Juno Award as ‘good music product LP’. Marshall had earlier recorded for Monogram, 1949.
Her second career, as an actress, began in 1956 at Toronto’s Crest Theatre and included dramatic and musical roles in stage, radio, and TV productions such as the revue Cindy-Ella (1964), CBC radio’s ‘The Amen Corner’ (1970), and CBS-CTV’s Night Heat in the mid-1980s. She continued to sing on occasion, like at the ACTRA Awards in 1977, and for Freedom Fest (Harbourfront) in 1988. Marshall is remembered as one of Canadian television’s earliest stars, and as a pioneer among black Canadian performers. (Taken from Runnymede’s Wall of Fame)