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No. 119
The Famous Five on Parliament Hill: a Second Unveiling

By Bob Ferris, Acting Chief of Public Programs

A monument to Canada's Famous Five was unveiled in Calgary on October 18, 1999 to mark the 70th anniversary of the 'Persons' case. A replica will be unveiled in Ottawa in October, 2000, the first sculpture of Canadian women to grace Parliament Hill.

Maquette of the Famous Five monument

Maquette of the Famous Five monument situated on Parliament Hill. Photo courtesy of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Parliamentary Precinct Directorate and the Digital Simulation Laboratory.

The larger than life bronzes, sculpted by Barbara Paterson of Edmonton, honour Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung. The work depicts them as they might have appeared on hearing the news of the Privy Council's ruling. Standing behind an empty chair, Emily Murphy, with a triumphant gesture beckons to visitors, men and women equally, to have a place at this celebration of a new day for women in Canada.

The National Archives will be taking part in events related to the unveiling in Ottawa.

Detail of the maquette of the statue of the Famous Five

Detail of the maquette of the statue of the Famous Five, which depicts their reaction on hearing of the judgement of the Privy Council in Great Britain declaring women 'persons', and eligible to sit in the Senate. Courtesy of the Famous 5 Foundation, Calgary, Alberta. Photo by Mark Mennie.

Follow these links to learn more about Women in Canada

The Famous 5 Foundation []

Women's History Month - Intro []

ARCHIVED - Celebrating Women's Achievements

The Irene Parlby Fonds from the General Inventory of the National Archives

Are Women Persons? The “Persons” Case