Julie Payette

Title : Astronaut/Engineer/Singer

Birthplace : Montreal, QC

Born : 1963

Payette was Canada’s second woman in space when she flew on the Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999. During that time, she orbited Earth 153 time.. over 10 days.. while aboard the shuttle and the International Space Station. She made history as the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.

She is an engineer and an experienced pilot. She can speak in six languages.. holds 14 honorary degrees, is an accomplished athlete and sings soprano in a number of choirs, including The Montreal Symphonic Orchestra Chamber Choir. She believes her nature as a versatile person was the chief reason she was selected in 1992 from more than 5000 applicants for the Canadian Space Agency astronaut training program.

Looks like Julie Payatte will be heading to the space station aboard the shuttle Endeavor in April 2009 as announced by Jim Prentice, the minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency.  I hear she is helping with some  program as well.

Chantal Petitclerc

What a unique surname eh..? Born in 1969, younger than yours truly .. in Quebec .. and is an accomplished athlete.  After an accident at 13 yrs old .. Chantal was left with paralegia.  But that didn’t stop her from being a internationally renowned athlete in wheelchair racing.  Such courage is definitely admirable.

In 1989 because of her determination and perseverance she won her first Canadian championship and holds the Canadian record in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m events.  Even I who is not challenged in anyway .. couldn’t do as much as Chantal Petitclerc.  She has also been honoured with the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canadal in 2005 and also nominated and won Woman of the Year in 2005.  She is definitely and truly an inspiration to me, if Chantal Petitclerc can do stuff beyond what we normal ppl can do ..  so can I.  I wished for families to know the importance of getting insurance quotes for the unexpected incidences like what Chantal had gone thru’.

Phil Collins

How can one not be inspired by Phil Collins right..??  afterall.. he is one of the best live singer i’ve ever gone to see.  Not even Jim Brickman can beat his charisma.  But that would be another story for another day.  Still don’t get it..?? hehe!! that’s because you haven’t seen Phil Collins performed live yet.

Born in 1951 in London, Phil Collins is a muscian, singer and song writer.  Phil Collins began his career as a drummer and most of his songs .. are about lost love.  I wonder sometimes.. if he has a broken heart every other year.  Phil Collins is also in some movies as well.. and especially movies from Disney.. makeover voices.  If you’ve seen Phil Collins in tuxedo you will probably be like me.. and swoon.

Joni Legon

Joni Legon is a dancer and was born in Chicaga in 1916.  I can’t find a picture of her.. but she definitely is a woman.. i am inspired by.  Joni loves to dance and sing and at the age of 13 .. she auditioned for Count Basie’s show.  Joni was the first black entertainer to be signed to a movie contract and the only black solor female performer.  Now that was definitely no easy feat.  She was also an acrobatic tap performer and danced in movies with Bill Bojangles.. the Nicolas Brothers .. and Fat Waller .. and of course i grew up watching them.. because my mom was an avid movie and dancing fan.

Joni inspired me.. because she performed at a time when the black and white performers.. didn’t mix together.. and the black performers weren’t as priviledged as the white counterparts.  Remember the black and white shows.. that were so popular in the 70s .. now Joni performed even before them.

Not only did she meet with so many challenges.. and opened the way for other black female perfomers, Joni went on to open her own dance studion in the 50s.  She moved to Canada in 1969 and in Canada.. she served as a motivating agent, and became a role model for kids here ever since.

Jim Brickman

Valentine was the very first piece of music that I heard by Jim Brickman and was mesmerized.  For those who don’t know who Jim Brickman is .. well he plays the piano and sings.  I fell totally in love with his music.. and as soon as he came to Singapore for a concert.. although small.. i had to go see him.  Together with some friends.. and my ex-boss.. we went.  The indoor lighting of the indoor auditorium did not do Jim Brickman a lot of justice.   He looked a lot like a small boy.. because of his small size.  I had anticipated a bigger man.. but the picture we saw on the cd covers were quite deceiving.  But he was a great entertainer.. and tried very hard to bring the audience into the show.

Born in 1961, he is an accomplished pianist/composer and born in the States who performed with legends like Donny Osmond and Olivia Newton John.  Raised in Cleveland Ohio, he started his career with Sesame Street after getting hired by Jim Henson – the rest is history.

Joni Mitchell

We do have lots of very talented people here in Canada.  Joni Mitchell was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta.  She was born in 1943 adn spent most of her younger years in Saskatchewan.  A very talented child she was with art and definitely a great pianist.  Even when she contracted polio at the age of 9.. it did not deter her .. from playing the piano.

With her left hand weakened on a permanent basis, Joni Mitchell bought a baritone ukelele and tuend to the guitar  and by 1964 she was playing in clubs and festivals around Canada.  How can you not admire this person right..??  Married in 1965 .. saw her moved to USA and after her divorce.. she still stayed in the states and began her solo career, and signed with Reprise Reocrds.

Joni Mitchell was the first woman to be inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and that was when i first got to know Joni Mitchell.  She also became the first Canadian to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  She won my other musical and artistic award for her contribution to the music industry.

Addie Aylestock

Addie Aylestock is a minister and born in Glen Allan, Ontario.  The eldest of 8 kids.. she attended the Medical Missionary College and the Toronto Bible College and while working her way through college in domestic service in Toronto.  In 1951, Addie became the first ordained black woman in Canada and served in several British Methodist Episcopal Churches in Toronto, Halifax and Owen Sound.  Addie passed away in 1998