Arts, Culture, and Creators

November 21 to 27 is Canada History Week, which encourages Canadians to reflect upon and engage with Canada’s past. This year’s theme is Arts, Culture, and Creators.

Are you aware of a subject related to Arts, culture and creators in Canada, or a person, place or event that may have national historical significance? Learn more about the nomination process to apply for a designation.


Ernest Cormier National Historic Person (1885-1980)
Photo in sepia of man wearing glasses
Ernest Cormier, date unknown
© Ernest Cormier Fonds/Canadian Centre for Architecture

Ernest Cormier was designated a national historic person in 2017.

Both an engineer and one of the most renowned Canadian architects of the 20th century, he was selected by the federal government to represent Canada for the design of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Theophile Panadis National Historic Person (1889-1966)
Black and white photo of a man seated and holding something in his hands
Theophile Panadis, date unknown
© Dartmouth College/Musée des Abénakis

Theophile Panadis was designated a national historic person in 2011.

Known as “the Storyteller,” Théophile Panadis dedicated his life to safeguarding, sharing, and perpetuating Abenaki traditional knowledge and ways.

Commemorative plaque: Odanak, Quebec

Abenaki Basket-Making Industry National Historic Event (1870-1920)
A basket made by hands
Basket, 1865-1915, 19th century or 20th century, Ash splint?, sweetgrass, dye
© McCord Museum of Canadian History/M12633

Abenaki Basket-Making Industry was designated a national historic event in 2011.

The exquisite baskets made by Abenaki men and women are based on traditional art passed down through the generations.

Commemorative plaque: 10120 Kolipaio Street, Wôlinak, Quebec

Florence Wyle National Historic Person (1881-1968)
Black and white photo of a woman and a sculpture
Florence Wyle, 1930
© Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Library and Archives Canada/PA-103160

Florence Wyle was designated as a national historic person in 2011.

Trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition and influenced by modern trends, she was important in the development of sculpture in Canada, producing many fine works that ranged from portraits to First World War memorials.

Commemorative plaque: 276 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario

Portia May White National Historic Person (1911-1968)
Portrait of a woman
Portia May White, 1946
© Library and Archives Canada/Yousuf Karsh/PA-192783

Portia May White was designated a national historic person in 1995.

The first African-Canadian woman to win international acclaim, contralto Portia White had a remarkable career on the concert stage.

Commemorative plaque: 454 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia

Peter Pitseolak National Historic Person (1902-1973)
Black and white photo of a man waring fur clothes in a winter background
Peter Pitseolak with his 122 camera
© Aggeok Pitseolak, [1946-1947]/Canadian Museum of History/2000-181

Peter Pitseolak was designated as a national historic person in 1981.

Aware that Inuit culture was undergoing momentous change, Peter Pitseolak took care to record both the old customs and beliefs of his people and their adjustment to a new life. His carvings, prints and photography have been highly acclaimed both for their historical importance and their artistic quality.

Commemorative plaque: Cape Dorset, Nunavut

Want to see more heritage designations?

Search through over 3,600 designations listed in the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations (DFHD)

The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations offers a complete list of federal designations stemming from various programs managed by Parks Canada. It includes information on designated persons, places, and events of national historic significance under the National Program of Historical Commemoration, as well as railway stations, lighthouses, and federal buildings that are of national historic value or interest.