Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill

Our latest book, written by Crystal Sissons, will soon be available to members in hardcover, and to the public as a trade paperback, published by Second Story Press.

Elsie MacGill’s life spanned much of the 20th century, and it was a life full of firsts. While she was still a child, Canadian women won the right to vote for the first time. In the 1920s, she was the first woman to graduate in engineering from the University of Toronto and to later earn a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Elsie would live to see the first person walk on the moon, and she would become the first woman aircraft designer in the world.

Elsie’s twin passions for engineering and feminism drove her throughout her life. They inspired her to work for more than fifty years in her field and to become a tireless advocate for women’s rights. She supported women’s struggles and achievements, enshrining their rights and expanding their opportunities.

Elsie’s work during the Second World War on aircraft designs and production made her a popular cartoon character called the “Queen of the Hurricanes.” She continued her achievements into the 1970s as an activist, changing the lives of women in Canada for the better. A truly inspiring woman for the ages.

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Review of Playing It Forward, by Evelyn C. White

Below is an excerpt from the spring 2014 edition of Herizon magazine’s review of our 2013 title.

In the aftermath of the Winter 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, readers with an interest in the history of women and sport in Canada will savour Playing It Forward.

In “Marginal Belonging,” Paralympics bronze medalist Danielle Peers discusses the triumphs and trials of playing wheelchair basketball.

“(Officials) had decided to mandate the smaller ball into the women’s wheelchair game”, Peers writes. “It was sold to us as a favour, a service, a physiological inevitability. After all, women are weaker than men… Apparently, shooting without a penis was a serious detriment to strength.”

Discrimination against gays and lesbians in Russia emerged as a lightning-rod issue during the Sochi Games. An acclaimed volleyball coach who came out as a lesbian in the early 1980s, Betty Baxter details the derailment of her career following false allegations that she was sexually involved with a player. In her must-read essay, “Homophobia, Hypocrisy and Power Abuse,” she reveals that she felt betrayed by other lesbian coaches who failed to defend her because of their inappropriate relationships with athletes.

Playing It Forward celebrates the strides Canadian women have made in sport and examines the hurdles yet to be overcome.

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Femmes et sport: rebonds vers la victoire

La Gazette des femmes has just published an article featuring Playing It Forward, called Femmes et sport: rebonds vers la victoire. Read it here.

« C’est comme si chaque fois que nous, les filles, on obtient quelque chose, on l’enlevait aux gars. C’est culturel : c’est un peu par le sport que les garçons apprennent à être de vrais gars. »

“Each time we girls obtained something, it was seen to be taking something away from the boys. That’s the culture: sports were how guys learned to be guys.”

— Guylaine Demers, PhD, professeure au département d’éducation physique de l’Université Laval

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ProMOTION Plus celebrates Playing It Forward

In October, 2013, at its Vancouver conference, In Her Footsteps, ProMOTION Plus celebrated the launch of Playing It Forward. Several contributors were on hand to sign copies.

Top to bottom: 1) signed copies 2) Marion Lay, Patti Hunter, the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Sandry Kirby, Trisha Smith 3) Charmaine Crooks. Photos by Christine Graham.

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Restore Our Anthem

Have you heard about this campaign? Let’s include all of “us” in the lyrics. Visit the website www.restoreouranthem.ca to make your views known now!

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