Here are some women you can look up to and not just because they’re taller than you. In 1929, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Nellie McClung fought for the recognition of women as persons under the British North America Act (in Canada). Though the “Persons’ Case” was their most significant achievement, these five women dedicated their lives to improving their communities in innumerable ways, serving to instill a spirit of strength and leadership that could be drawn upon for years to come.
On October 18, 1999, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Persons’ Case, unveiled the first monument to commemorate the achievements of Canada’s Famous 5 in Calgary, Alberta. (A year later, a similar monument was erected on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario [Canada’s capital], marking national recognition of the nation builders many had forgotten.)
Artist Barbara Paterson was commissioned by the Famous 5 Foundation to create the Famous 5 monument which now stands in Olympic Plaza in Calgary.
The sculptures are slightly larger than life and are positioned in a circular space that invites the public to walk in and around them. Their names are signed on the ground in a bronze ribbon than runs in a circle through the monument.