LINDSAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 7, 2016) - Department of Canadian Heritage

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, today announced $250,000 in funding for the Victoria County Historical Society (VCHS) for its project marking the 100th anniversary of the first women's suffrage in Canada. Minister Monsef made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

This support will help the VCHS present the interactive exhibition Their Votes Counted, a tribute to the women who contributed to this historic victory. The project will also allow Canadians to learn the story of the women who participated, directly or indirectly, in the women's suffrage movement in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of women's first right to vote in Canada.
  • Several organizations, including the VCHS, have received funding from the Government of Canada for projects marking this historic anniversary (see Backgrounder).
  • The VCHS exhibition Their Votes Counted chronicles the history of women's suffrage in Canada, from its beginnings to the landmark events of 1916 to 1919.
  • The exhibition will be presented at several locations in Canada, including Lindsay, Ottawa and Toronto.
  • In 1918, federal legislation was passed granting all women 21 years of age and over the right to vote. The first federal election in which women voted under the universal franchise was in 1921.
  • For more information about women's suffrage in Canada, visit the website for the 100th Anniversary of Women's First Right to Vote in Canada.


"Women's right to vote in Canada is the result of the determined struggle of true pioneers driven by the desire to create a more egalitarian society. As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada is pleased to support the Victoria County Historical Society, which helps Canadians better appreciate the important contribution of these women to the democratic life of our country."

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"This year marks the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Canada. This historic victory played an important part in shaping the Canada we know and love today. Let us take time to pay tribute to the women who fought for the right to vote, and thereby helped create a more inclusive society in which all Canadians can thrive."

-The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions

"The momentous story of Canadian women gaining the right to vote often appears as a small footnote in the lives of regular women, and that is how the Victoria County Historical Society happened upon the inspiration for this exhibition project. Amidst the backdrop of the First World War, the first women to cast a ballot in a federal election were the Canadian Nursing Sisters serving overseas who were extended this right as a wartime measure in 1917. We are thrilled to be given this opportunity to share the stories of two groups of women in Canadian history: those who actively fought for the right to vote and those who were first to receive it."

-Lyndsey Friesen and Ashley Creed, Exhibition Project Managers

Associated Links

Status of Women - Women's First Right to Vote

Prime Minister of Canada - Statement

Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba - News release

Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan - Statement

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta - Special initiative

Women's History Month

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Canadian Heritage has funded several activities organized to mark the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Canada.

  • Equal Voice ($470,000) will offer a host of activities to highlight the progress achieved over the last 100 years in women's access to leadership positions. The activities include women's leadership workshops, a two-day national forum for young women from across Canada, and "Daughters of the Vote" (a women's representation project).
  • The Girls Action Foundation ($259,400) will organize a skills training program for young women and a photo exhibition about outstanding women in Canadian history.
  • The Association de la presse francophone ($190,800) printed a special insert in French and English, distributed in the publications of its members as well as the members of the Quebec Community Newspaper Association. The insert highlighted the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in 2016, with a special focus on outstanding French-Canadian women who, through their commitment, changed the status of women.
  • Teach Magazine ($150,000) will create an interactive and bilingual digital educational resource in association with school programs. Designed for teachers and students, the resource will explore the barriers and challenges faced by women who fought for the right to vote, as well as their successes. It is intended for students in grades 6 to 12 and could be used by 3 million students and more than 100,000 teachers.
  • Historica Canada ($100,690) is developing a series of education guides for classroom use that profile the events that laid the foundations for today's Canada. The guides will be distributed to 7,000 schools across Canada. The programs will provide a basis for understanding foundational events in Canadian history that are marking anniversaries in 2016, including the 100th anniversary of women's first right to vote.
  • The Mouvement des intervenants et intervenantes communautaires en radio de l'Ontario (MICRO) ($75,000) will present a series of 25 French-language radio spots explaining the role of Canadian women in the country's economic and social development, as well as in decision making, including the right to vote.
  • The Victoria County Historical Society ($250,000) is presenting an exhibition about the 100th anniversary of women's first right to vote in Canada and its impact on women's role in Canadian history. Through costumed interpreters and interactive elements, Their Votes Counted tells the story of the women who led local and national suffrage movements, and of those who found themselves in the thick of the action in the wake of these social changes. Their Votes Counted will be presented in several locations, including the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto, and in Ottawa (in partnership with the Canadian Nurses Association).
  • The offices of the lieutenant governors of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan also organized different activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in these provinces (on January 28 in Manitoba, March 14 in Saskatchewan and April 19 in Alberta). To find out more, visit the websites of these provinces' lieutenant governors (see Associated Links).

Contact Information:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage