Our goal is to celebrate women's successes, and inspire them to become nation builders in the legacy of the Famous 5.

about US

Prior to 1929, Canada’s constitution said that only “qualified persons”—meaning men only—could be appointed to the Senate. It was in that year that five courageous and idealistic Canadian women stepped onto the world stage to challenge these antiquated laws and conventions. By insisting that women be officially recognized as persons in the fullest legal sense of the word the “Famous Five”, as they became known, set a stirring example of leadership that altered all Commonwealth nations’ laws and, with it, the course of history.

Today, the Famous 5 Foundation works to ensure the legacy of the Famous Five is known, and celebrated. In their spirit, we also honour today’s female trailblazers and work to inspire and empower future generations of leaders.

Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung holding the “We are Persons” newspaper headline - Ottawa

Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung holding the “We are Persons” newspaper headline - Ottawa


The Famous 5 Foundation was established on October 18, 1996—the anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case—and registered as a not-for-profit charitable corporation in 1997. The Foundation’s mission is to empower women and girls to courageously lead change that contributes to a society without boundaries for women, in the spirit of the Famous Five.

In 2004, the founder and original President of the Famous 5 Foundation, Frances Wright, received a Governor General Award in Commemoration of the ‘Persons’ Case, on behalf of the many who built the Famous 5 Foundation. The award honours those who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of life for women in Canada.


Courage, Determination, Equality, Honesty, Integrity, Respect

These are the values and guiding principles behind all our projects and endeavours. Our Manifesto also serves to inspire our actions on a daily basis, as we strive to encourage and empower a new generation of nation builders.

Our Vision

To be a champion for the development and recognition of Canadian female leaders.

Our Mission

To build a society without boundaries for women by developing the leadership skills of Canadian girls in the spirit of the Famous Five.



We know today’s privileges are the results of yesterday’s efforts, and we want the whole story—
We are curiou5.
We are the new leaders and future leaders, and we’re here to shape our nation—
We are ambitiou5.
We have the spirit of discovery, and the desire to explore our great country and beyond—
We are adventurou5.
We are leaders in science, art, politics, education, healthcare; masters of our crafts—
We are ingeniou5.
We are prepared for acts of high and splendid bravery for progress and equality—
We are courageou5.

We are famou5.



Board of Directors


Jennifer Buchanan

Pritha Kalar

Heather Kinghorn

Ariana McKnire

Sheila Morrison

Trish Morrison

Aman Rai

Frances Wright




Chair of the Board
Gabriela Wilson

Past Chair
Shauna Frederick

Heather Kinghorn 

Kim Isotti




Download 2017 Annual Report 

Download 2016 Annual Report 

Download 2015 Annual Report