Wheel of Women

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Thirty Calgary women are featured in the Wheel of Women installation at Crossroads. These women were chosen for their contributions to Calgary in various fields, making it the city it is today.

Dr. Leona Flegal Paterson

1912-2004

Revered music and speech teacher Dr. Leona Flegal Paterson was the head of the Speech Arts Department at the Mount Royal Conservatory for 33 years and the director of the Conservatory from 1974 to 1977.

 

Mary Dover (née Cross)

1905-1994

Mary, one of the first female officers in Canada, led many programs during her service to inspire and support women in the military. After the war, she served two terms as an alderwoman and volunteered for the Canadian Legion, Red Cross, and Women's Canadian Club.

 

Marion Moodie

1867-1958

Marion was the first woman to graduate as a trained nurse from an Alberta hospital, earning a silver medal for her academic success.

 

Louise Munroe King

1862-1951

In 1879 Louise and George King became the first couple to marry in Calgary in spite of their religious differences (Louise was Catholic, George was Anglican). George, with Louise's support, became the second Mayor of Calgary.

 

Vera Russell, Olive Stanton and Margaret Sadler Gilkes

As the first full-time women police officers hired by Calgary police services, these three women opened doors and inspired generations of female officers across Calgary, Alberta and beyond.

 

Barbara Leighton

1909-1986

Through her love of and dedication to the arts, Barbara established the Leighton Art Centre in Alberta and inspired many to pursue their artistic dreams. She received the Alberta Achievement Award for her contribution to the art community. The Leighton Art Centre continues to be a valuable learning resource.

 

Adelaide Glenn

Metis herself, Adelaide and her husband lived among Calgary's first European settlers. While raising six children, she tended livestock, offered room and board to travellers and provided vital, emotional support to the women who arrived at the settlement. Her services as a midwife earned her the nickname "Grandmother of Midnapore".

 

Emily Spencer Kerby

1860-1938

Emily Kerby was a co-founder of the Calgary YWCA, as well as a social activist, writer and educator. She taught at Mount Royal College (though unpaid), initiated cultural and social events and organized a club to educate women about current events.

 

Daisy Crowchild

1899-1983

To help give First Nations children equal opportunities to education, Daisy Crowchild tirelessly lobbied government officials to affect change in our education system.

 

Winnifred Eaton Reeve

1875-1954

A novelist and Hollywood screenwriter, Eaton was a pioneer of the Canadian West who focused on the culture, climate and character of Alberta and Albertans in the interwar era.

 

Virnetta Anderson

1920-2006

Virnetta was the first Black Albertan to be elected to a public post. She was a community-builder, serving many organizations, including Meals on Wheels, Calgary Family Services and the United Way. She was also a Calgary city councillor from 1974-1977.

 

Annie Glen Broder

1857-1937

A music teacher and critic for the Calgary Herald for over 20 years, Annie convinced the associated board of the Royal College and the Royal Academy of Music to send examiners to Calgary. Thus raising the overall standards of music in the city.

 

Margaret Louise Riley

1904-1957

A librarian and author, Margaret Louise Riley inspired many Calgarians with her vivid stories of life in the Canadian west.

 

Sarah Stuttaford

Unknown-1926

Sarah Stuttaford won the respect of senior officers of the NWMP as the women's jail matron at Fort Calgary. She dedicated many years to dealing kindly and wisely with the women in her care.

 

Hannah (Annie) Gale

1876-1970

Elected to Calgary City Council in 1917, Annie Gale was the first female alderman in the British Empire.

 

Marion Nicoll

1909-1985

Marion Nicoll forged a creative path as an abstract painter, teacher and mentor for generations of artists. Nicoll was the first female instructor at the Provincial Institute of Art and Technology (now Alberta College of Art and Design).

 

Mary Isabella Macleod (née Drever)

1852-1933

Mary Isabella (Drever) McLeod became famous in western Canada for her steady nerve shown during the Red River Rebellion when she evaded Metis guards to deliver a dispatch to Colonel Wolseley. She later married Colonel McLeod and was one of only several women to sign Treat No. 7 at Blackfoot crossing in 1877.

 

Maude Riley

1882-1962

Maude was an activist for women’s and children’s rights. She helped found the Calgary Child Welfare Society, which later became the Alberta Council on child and family welfare.

 

Betty Mitchell

1896-1976

An educator and pioneer of Canadian drama, Betty was an advocate for the theatre. "If the theater is to endure, to endear itself to all people, it must reach their hearts."

 

Mildred Ware

1871-1905

Mildred Lewis married John Ware, and ex-slave, and together they were pioneer ranchers in Southern Alberta. Mildred did the bookkeeping for the family's ranch and taught her five children to read and write.

 

Alice Jamieson

1860-1949

Alice was active in several women's organizations, including the Suffrage Movement and the Calgary Council of Women and was a founding member of the YWCA. She became the first woman in Canada and the British Empire to be appointed to a court as Judge Magistrate.

 

Mary Belle Barclay

1901-2000

A former teacher and an ardent conservationist, Mary established Canada’s first hostel in Bragg Creek with her sister. She later co-founded the Canadian Youth Hostel Association, which went on to become Hostelling International Canada.

 

Georgina Helen Thomson

1892-1963

Georgina worked for the Calgary Public Library for 34 years and was a member of the University Women's Club, Calgary Women's literary club, Historical Society of Alberta, and Mount Royal College Educational Club.

 

Norma Piper Pocaterra

1898-1983

An opera singer and music teacher at Mount Royal College, Norma started her own music studio in 1955. Over the next 25 years, she became one of Calgary's most beloved music teachers.

 

Esther Honens

1903-1992

Philanthropist

Esther Honens was a music lover, amateur pianist and proud Calgarian. In 1991, her endowment of $5 million established the Esther Honen's International Piano Competition Foundation. The inaugural Honens competition took place in 1992.

 

Eva Reid

1906-1989

Journalist and editor, Eva Reid helped revive the local Calgary branch of the Canadian Women's Press Club. She was named Dean of Newspaper Women in Alberta in 1970 and Woman of the Year by the YWCA in 1981.

 

Doris Anderson

1921-2007

Doris was a Canadian author, journalist and women's rights activist. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and worked tirelessly for the inclusion of women's rights in the Canadian constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

Annie Davison

1839-1910

Founder, Calgary Public Library

At 70 years old, Annie Davidson helped found and build Calgary's first public library. Annie and the Calgary Women's Literary Club were the first champions of the public library cause in Calgary. She gathered support for Alberta's first public library and obtained a financial donation for it from the Carnegie Foundation.

 

Sue Higgins

1935-2014

A celebrated politician and community leader, Sue Higgins devoted her life to public service and "countin’ every penny on behalf of Calgarians.”

 

Ethel Mckillop

1871-1955

Ethel Mckillop and her husband founded the Calgary Gospel Mission and Calgary Old Folks Home. She organized associated charities, which centralized distribution for Calgary relief organizations. These groups would later become Calgary Family Services.