Chronologies


1940s
1948Louis Saint-Laurent (Liberal) replaces Mackenzie King as Prime Minister
1950s
Experiences and aftermath of WWII for Japanese Canadians in internment camps, for Jews, European immigrants and refugees
1949-51Work and report of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, the Massey Commission
1950-52Korean War; UN forces assist South Korea in stopping the advance; establishment of the Demilitarized Zone, DMZ
1950-57Margaret Laurence living in Africa: in Somalia (1950-52) and Ghana (1952-57)
1951Amendment of Indian Act, permits the Potlatch and the Sun Dance
1951Founding of the National Ballet of Canada by Celia Franca
1951Founding of Le Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in Montréal by Jean-Louis Roux and Jean Gascon
1952Founding of CBC television
1952Vincent Massey as first Canadian-born Governor General
1952Lester Pearson as first Canadian President of the UN General Assembly
1953Invasion of South Korea by North Korean forces
1953Founding of the National Library
1953Founding of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival
1953Opening of the Frederic Wood Theatre at the University of British Columbia
1953Founding by Joy Coghill and Myra Benson of the Holiday Theatre in Vancouver, devoted to plays for children
1954Establishment of the Crest Theatre and Canadian Players
1954Distance Early Warning (DEW) line across Canadian North
1955Founding of the Canadian Branch of Actors' Equity
1955Presidency of Irene Clarke at Clarke, Irwin Company, Ltd. (1930-84), one of Canada's chief publishing houses
1956Founding of The Tamarack Review
1956Founding of the Canadian Music Journal
1956Founding of the Canadian Theatre Centre with Mavor Moore as chairman
1956Revolution in Hungary
1956Suez Crisis
1957Founding of The Canada Council
1957Launch of McClelland & Stewart's New Canadian Library series
1957Lester Pearson wins Nobel Peace Prize
1957Elvis Presley bursts onto the rock 'n' roll scene
1957John Diefenbaker (Conservative) becomes Prime Minister, ending Liberal rule
1957Soviet Union launches Sputnik I
1958Founding by Tom Hendry and John Hirsch of the Manitoba Theatre Centre
1958Founding of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto
1959Establishment of the journal: Canadian Literature
1959Founding of Toronto Workshop Productions by George Luscombe
1959Saint Lawrence Seaway opens
1959Creation of Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, by Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook
1960s
1960Jean Lesage as Premier of Quebec and the beginning of the Quiet Revolution
1960-63Dorothy Livesay teaching in Zambia
1960Opening of National Theatre School in Montréal
1961Berlin Wall goes up
1962Discovery by Francis Crick and James Watson of the molecular structure of nuclear acids and its significance for information transfer in living material (DNA)
1962Opening of the Trans-Canada Highway
1962-68Opening of new theatres: Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake (1962) Arts Club, Vancouver (1964); Neptune, Halifax (1963); Vancouver Playhouse (1963); Charlottetown Festival (1964); Beaverbrook Festival, Edmonton (1964); Citadel, Edmonton (1965); Globe, Regina (1966); Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto (1969); Theatre Calgary (1969)
1962Cuban Missile Crisis, escalation of the Cold War
1963Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
1963Assassination of US President John F. Kennedy
1964-66Audrey Thomas in Ghana
1964The Beatles burst onto the North American scene
1965Adoption of the Maple Leaf flag in Canada
1965Co-founding of literary avant-garde magazine La Barre du jour by Nicole Brossard in Montréal; became La Nouvelle Barre du jour (1977-90)
1966Adoption of Medicare in Canada (universal access to medical services)
1967Canadian centennial celebrations: Expo 67, Montréal
1967Start of Talonbooks, specializing in drama, in Vancouver
1967Establishment of Tundra Books in Montréal by May Cutler, to create children's books as works of art
1968Election of Pierre Elliott Trudeau as Prime Minister
1968Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces; march of Soviet Army through Prague
1968Assassinations of Senator Robert Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
1969Neil Armstrong lands on the moon
1969Anti-Vietnam War protests and large-scale emigration of US draft dodgers to Canada
1969Formation of Theatre New Brunswick formed by Walter Learning, Fredericton
1969Opening of National Arts Centre, Ottawa
1970s
1970Invocation of the War Measures Act by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, following kidnapping of British Trade Minister James Cross and kidnapping and murder of Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte
1970First Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada
1970-72Establishment of new theatres: in Toronto, Factory Theatre Lab (1970), Tarragon (1971), Toronto Free Theatre (1972)
1972President Richard Nixon goes to China and meets with Chairman Mao Tse-tung
1972Formation of Playwrights' Co-op in Toronto, under direction of writer/editor Daryl Sharp, to publish and distribute new Canadian plays in typescript at rate of two per week
1972Founding of Alberta Theatre Projects by Douglas Riske and Lucille Wagner, in Canmore Opera House, Heritage Park, Canmore, specializing in plays on Canadian history
1973Watergate hearings (wire-tapping scandal that brought down the Nixon administration)
1973Founding of Kids Can Press in Toronto by small group of women, to produce Canadian books for Canadian children
1974Establishment of Studio D for women's productions at the National Film Board
1974Symons Report, To Know Ourselves
1974Re-establishment of Press Gang Publishing (originally established 1970) by a feminist printing collective in Vancouver, as a women-only, anti-capitalist collective; bankruptcy declared 2002
1975Establishment of Annick Press in Toronto by Anne Millyard and Rick Wilks to produce books that address the world of the child; of Les Éditions de la Pleine Lune by a feminist collective in Montréal, dedicated to the production of Québecois writers (Directrice littéraire: Marie-Madeleine Raoult)
1976Founding of NeWest Press in Edmonton; of Les Éditions du Remue-ménage by a collective in Montréal to mark International Women's Year (1975)
1977Berger Commission Report, Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland
1977Formation of Guild of Canadian Playwrights in Calgary, to improve working conditions for playwrights
1978Establishment of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
1978Establishment of Groundwood Books in Toronto by Patsy Aldana, dedicated to producing children's books in Canada, the US, and Latin America
1979Formation of Playwrights Canada, Inc., a non-profit arts service organization
1980s
Announcement of chosen architects for National Gallery (Moshe Safdie) and Canadian Museum of Civilization (Douglas Cardinal)
1980Incorporation of Ragweed Press, in Charlottetown, by Harry Baglole and Libby Oughton, to reflect Atlantic Canada's life and culture
1982Passage of the Constitution Act, repatriating the constitution and signed by all provincial Premiers except René Lévesque, and of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
1982Amalgamation of Playwrights Canada and Guild of Canadian Playwrights to form Playwrights Union of Canada
1983Establishment of the Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE), at the University of Toronto, to advance interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary feminist research
1984Assassination of Indian President Indira Gandhi
1985Air India crash
1987Negotiation of Meech Lake Accord by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the provincial premiers. The proposed amendments to the Constitution would recognize Quebec as a distinct society, increase provincial powers, and require provincial approval of the amending formula within three years
1988Opening of the National Gallery, Sussex Drive, Ottawa
1989Opening of the Museum of Civilization, Gatineau
1990s
1990Oka Crisis (armed stand-off between Mohawk Nation of Kanesatake protesting plans for a golf course on sacred burial ground and Quebec Police and, eventually, the Canadian Army)
1990-91Gulf War (to liberate Kuwait, which had been invaded by Iraq; decisive UN coalition victory)
1990Elijah Harper, Native Manitoba MLA, refuses to sign Meech Lake Accord because of non-involvement of Aboriginal peoples in the process; Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells refuses to present Accord to Newfoundland Legislative Assembly for approval, thus effectively killing the Meech Lake Accord
1993Signing of North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada, US and Mexico create the world's largest free trade area)
1996BC Supreme Court decision that Canada Customs agents had acted contrary to the Charter in seizing material bound for Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium, Vancouver
1997Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
1999Adrienne Clarkson becomes Governor General
1999Launch of Aboriginal Television Network
1999Establishment of Nunavut, "Our Land" (including most of the Arctic Archipelago, all the islands in Hudson Bay, James Bay, Ungava Bay, bordered by the North West Territories to the west, Manitoba to the south, with aquatic borders in Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec; capital: Iqaluit)
2000s
2001Terrorist attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon
2001Signing of Nisga'a Treaty in BC (guaranteeing open democratic, and accountable Nisga'a self-government and management of lands and resources)
2001Incorporation of Playwrights Canada Press as Canada's oldest and largest exclusive publisher of drama titles
2002Beginning of war in Afghanistan
2002Renaming of Playwrights Union of Canada as Playwrights Guild of Canada
2003US invasion of Iraq and deposition of dictator Saddam Hussein
2003-06Capture of Saddam Hussein by US forces, subsequent trial for crimes against humanity (by the Iraq Special Tribunal) and execution
2004-05Sponsorship scandal and appointment of Justice John Gomery to investigate misuse of federal funds to promote federalism in Quebec
2006Swearing in of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government
2007Establishment of the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights as a response to actions taken by the Canadian government (including changes to the mandate of Status of Women in Canada and budget reductions affecting services for women)