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Caledon Walk of Fame welcomes Isabel Bassett as newest inductee

Posted on Saturday October 28, 2017

Caledon resident Isabel Bassett was today inducted into Caledon’s Walk of Fame. The former journalist, broadcaster, provincial politician, author and advocate for women’s issues joined a distinguished list of former honourees that includes sports entrepreneur Conn Smythe, art collectors Robert and Signe McMichael, writers Farley Mowat and Robertson Davies and film director Norman Jewison. 

To mark the occasion, a special ceremony was held at the Trans-Canada Trail Pavilion Park where, in the presence of Ms. Bassett, dignitaries, family and friends a new stone was laid on the Walk of Fame. 

The inscription reads: 

Journalist, Broadcaster, Documentary Producer, MPP, Cabinet Minister, Chair and CEO of TVOntario, Member of the Order of Ontario, The Order of Canada and Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, Isabel Bassett’s work in broadcasting and commitment to women’s issues have left an indelible mark in her community. 

About Isabel Bassett 

Born August 23, 1939 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she received a Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a Master of Arts from York University, and graduated from Teacher College.  She taught English and French at Humberside Collegiate prior to entering Canadian public life as a journalist for the Toronto Telegram. 

She later joined CTV, where she became a prominent reporter and documentary producer. She became a Canadian pioneer in the broadcasting world, and has received numerous awards for her documentary work, including the National Media Award from the Canadian Mental Health Association for her documentary on depression, 'Beyond the Blues'. 

In 1995 Ms. Bassett was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the Toronto riding of St. Paul's. She was then appointed as the Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation in 1997. 

After the 1999 next general election, Ms. Bassett was appointed as head of TV Ontario. Her mandate was to refocus the network on educational programming.  During her tenure Bassett ensured that the network's most popular non-educational programs, such as 'Saturday Night at the Movies' and 'Studio 2" could continue to air. She remained chair and CEO of TVOntario until September 29, 2005. 

Bassett has also written a number of books on the political, social and historical achievements of Canadian women.  She is author of The Bassett Report – about Canadian women, career strategies and successes – and The Parlor Rebellion, a book about turn-of-the-century Canadian women and their struggle for equal rights. 

In 2011, Ms. Bassett was the award recipient of the Equal Voice Award. This is an organization that promotes the election of more women in all levels of government. Former recipients of this award include, Honourable Kim Campbell, Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Honouarble Flora MacDonald and Mayor Hazel McCallion. 

She currently writes freelance articles, speaks, lobbies and campaigns on behalf of women's issues. 

Ms. Bassett devotes her time mostly to the following organizations: Dalhousie Advisory Council, Honourary Co-Chair - Huntsville Hospital Foundation Capital Campaign, Member - International Women's Federation, Member York University Library Advisory Council YWCA Toronto, Campaign Cabinet for the new downtown Toronto Elm Street Centre for Affordable Housing for Women Board Member - Moving Beyond Prejudice, (Paul Saltzman's anti-discrimination education initiative), Director of Toronto Women in Film and Television. She is also a past president of the Canadian Club of Toronto. 

About the Walk of Fame 

The Caledon Walk of Fame was initiated in 1999 for the purpose of honouring past and present Caledon residents who have made a significant contribution to the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally. The Caledon Walk of Fame is situated in the Trans Canada Trail Pavilion Park on the west side of Airport Road in Caledon East. A stone is placed in honour of each recipient during a formal Walk of Fame ceremony, held annually when there is a qualifying nominee. For more information, including a list of previous honourees, visit caledon.ca/walk

 

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