- Corporate body
The members of Local 5328 are employees of the Parkdale Works of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco).
The members of Local 5328 are employees of the Parkdale Works of the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco).
Seth (born Gregory Gallant) is a renowned Canadian cartoonist, visual artist, and book designer. Seth has achieved prominence in the realm of independent comics for works which often express nostalgia for early to mid-twentieth century Canada.
Seth was born in Clinton, Ontario in 1962. He grew up in Southern Ontario, a region which is frequently featured in his work. Seth attended Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in Toronto from 1980-1983. During this time, he took on his pseudonym.
In April 1991, Seth launched his comic series Palookaville with Montreal-based publisher Drawn & Quarterly. His next project, the autobiographical graphic novel It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, was published to wide acclaim in 1996 (Drawn & Quarterly). Seth would go on to win two Ignatz awards for the volume, which was listed by The Comics Journal as one of the 100 best comics of the twentieth century.
Seth has since published eight more graphic novels and has contributed illustrations to a wide range of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, McSweeneys Quarterly, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. His illustrations are also in Lemony Snicket’s children’s series and Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe collections (audio recordings and books).
Additionally, Seth has undertaken significant book design projects: in 2014, Fantagraphics Books enlisted him to design the complete collection of Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. Seth has since designed additional comics reprint series featuring the works of John Stanley and Doug Wright.
Seth has received each of the major American comic awards, including the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz.
Since the early 2000s, he has lived in Guelph, Ontario.
David Lewis was a political leader, labour lawyer, and university professor.
David was born in Svisloch, Poland on June 23, 1909. He was the son of Rose (nee Lazarovitch) and Moishe Losz, a prominent labour leader in Poland and Canada.
David immigrated to Montreal with his family in 1921. He attended Baron Byng High School where he befriended Irving Layton, A.M. Klein, and his future wife, Sophie Carson.
He attended McGill University from 1927-1931. While at McGill, he helped found the Montreal branch of the Young People’s Socialist League, and founded a campus magazine, The McGilliad.
In 1932, David was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and attended Oxford University. At Oxford, he was active with the Oxford Union and developed a reputation as a leader and a talented speaker.
Following his return to Canada, he practiced law in Ottawa. In 1935, he became the national secretary for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. With the CCF, he helped draft the Winnipeg Declaration of 1956.
In 1943, he co-authored Make This Your Canada with F.R Scott.
In 1950, David resigned as national secretary and moved to Toronto to practice law in partnership with Ted Joliffe. Through his support of Tommy Douglas, David played a role in the founding of the New Democratic Party in July 1961. He was elected as Member of Parliament for York South in 1962. He lost his seat in the 1963 general election but returned to the House of Commons in the 1965. He was re-elected in 1968 and became the federal leader of the party in 1971.
David lost his seat in 1974 and resigned as leader. In his post-political life, he became a professor at the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University.
David was named as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1977. His memoirs, The Good Fight: Political Memoirs 1909-1958 (Toronto: MacMillan) were published in 1981. He died on May 23, 1981.
David is the father of Stephen Lewis, the diplomat and former leader of the Ontario NDP, Michael Lewis, Janet Solberg and Nina Libeskind.
Stephen Lewis is a politician, humanitarian, global activist, diplomat, and public speaker. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada, was named “Canadian of the Year” by Maclean’s in 2003 and has received countless awards and recognition for his humanitarian work in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Stephen was born in Ottawa on November 11, 1937. He is the son of Sophie and David Lewis, the former leader of the federal New Democratic Party. He is married to Michele Landsberg, author and columnist for the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, with whom he has three children, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Avi Lewis, and Jenny Lewis.
Stephen received post-secondary education at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Before he could finish his degree, he entered politics and was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1963 as a member of the New Democratic Party.
Between 1970 and 1978, Stephen was the Provincial Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Following his political career, he became involved in broadcasting. He received the Gordon Sinclair ACTRA Award for broadcasting in 1982 and his CBC radio documentaries were published as Art Out of Agony: The Holocaust Theme in Literature, Sculpture and Film (Toronto: CBC Enterprises, 1984).
In October 1984, Stephen was appointed as Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He chaired the committee which drafted the five-year UN Programme on African Economic Recovery and the first International Conference on Climate Change in 1988. In September 1986, the UN Secretary General appointed Stephen as his Special Advisor on Africa.
In July 1988, Lewis resigned from his ambassadorship. He continued to act in a personal capacity as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Africa.
In May 1992, Stephen was appointed as Special Advisor on Race Relations to the Premier of Ontario. In 1993, Stephen joined the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in Beijing in September 1995.
Between 1994 and 1996, Stephen was coordinator of a two-year study commissioned by the UN on the impact of armed conflict on children, led by Graça Machel.
On October 25, 1995, Stephen was appointed Deputy Executive Director (External Relations) of the United Nations Children’s Fund. He resigned January 6, 1999.
In 1998, Stephen was selected by the Organization of African Unity to participate on the International Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events. Between 1999 and 2001, Stephen acted as Consultant to UNAIDS, UNIFEM, and the Economic Commission for Africa.
Between 2001 to 2006, Stephen was appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Stephen is board co-chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, a charity he co-founded in 2003 that supports community-based organizations working on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2007 to 2021, he was co-director of the advocacy organization AIDS-Free World which he co-founded with Paula Donovan.
Stephen is the author of Race Against Time (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2005), a publication of lectures delivered during his Massey Lecture Tour.
On July 1, 2006, Stephen was named McMaster University’s first Social Sciences Scholar-in-Residence.
Stephen holds 40 honorary degrees from Canadian and American universities. His first honorary doctorate was given at McMaster University in 1979.
Judith Robinson was born in Toronto, Ont. on Victoria Street on April 6, 1897. She was the daughter of Jessie and John Robinson Robinson (nicknamed “Black Jack Robinson”), who was the editor of the Toronto Telegram until his death in 1929. She attended Toronto Model School until age 12, when she contracted a childhood illness which stopped her schooling. Self-taught in journalism and literature, she also developed an interest in architecture.
Known as ‘Brad’ to her friends, Robinson became a reporter at the Toronto Globe in 1929. Under Globe President George McCullagh, she wrote a Page One feature column daily beginning in 1936. She resigned in 1940 over a political disagreement with the Globe’s coverage of World War II. With her brother John and Oakley Dalgleish, she clandestinely printed advertisements under the name “Canada Calling,” criticizing Mackenzie King government’s slow response to the war effort. In May 1941, she and Dalgleish founded NEWS, a national weekly newspaper whose editorial office was her home at 63 Wellesley St. NEWS closed in 1946. During the war she was also was active in the Women’s Emergency Committee which petitioned the Canadian government to close the Christie Street Veteran’s Hospital in Toronto. Those efforts helped result in the opening of Sunnybrook Military Hospital in 1946. Beginning in 1953, she wrote a daily column for the Toronto Telegram until her death on December 17, 1961.
Robinson authored four non-fiction books: Tom Cullen of Baltimore (1949), As We Came By (1951), Ensign on a Hill: The Story of the Church Home and Hospital and its School of Nursing 1854-1954 (1954), and This Is On the House (1957). She co-wrote a mystery novel with her brother John which was not published. She edited John Farthing’s political treatise, Freedom Wears a Crown, and helped publish the medical memoir Days of Living: The Journal of Martin Roher, for which she wrote the introduction.
Born on Rondeau Point, in New Scotland, Ontario, he was the son of John and Janey (McIntyre) McKishnie and the brother of the Canadian poet, Jean Blewett.
His first novel, Gaff Linkum, set in Kent County, Ontario, was published in 1907. In 1910, McKishnie relocated to Toronto and became the dramatic editor of the Toronto Sunday World. He was the director of the short story writing program at Shaw school in Toronto. His short stories regularly appeared in Maclean’s Magazine. Many of his stories featured a Black constable named Lennox Ballister. The first Lennox Ballister story was printed in Maclean’s in July 1918.
McKishnie’s books can be described as historical fiction, romance, nature stories, humor, adventure, and juvenile stories. He was the author of the following books:
• Gaff Linkum. A Tale of Talbotville. Toronto: Briggs. 1907. 255 p.
• Love of the Wild. Toronto: McLeod & Allen, 1910. 327 p.
• Willow, the Wisp. Toronto: Allen, 1918. 308 p.
• A Son of Courage. Toronto: Allen, 1920, 284 p.
• Big John Wallace. A Romance of the Early Canadian Pioneers. Toronto: Massey-Harris Press, 1922. 47 p.
• Openway. Toronto: Musson, 1922. 233 p.
• Mates of the Tangle. Toronto: Musson, 1924. 247 p.
• Brains, Limited. Toronto: Allen, 1925. 287 p.
• Dwellers of the Marsh Realm. Chicago: Donohue, 1937. 79 p.
Donna Marie “Daisy” DeBolt, an accomplished singer-songwriter, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on July 19, 1945 to a musical family. DeBolt’s maternal grandfather, Percy Highfield (1882-1946), studied music in England and played violin for a symphony orchestra. After immigrating to Canada in 1910, he taught music in Foxwarren, Manitoba, and in residential schools in Kenora, Ontario. DeBolt’s mother, (Helen) Marjorie (Highfield) DeBolt (1916-1998), was a musician and music teacher, and played violin with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Her father, Donald DeBolt (d.1979), played banjo, chromatic harmonica, and the blues harp.
As a teenager, DeBolt studied jazz guitar with Lenny Breau (1941-1984). In 1965, she moved to Toronto, Ontario to pursue a music career as a folk musician. She met Allen Fraser in 1968 and the two formed the musical duo Fraser & DeBolt. They released two albums: Fraser & DeBolt With Ian Guenther, in 1971, and Fraser & DeBolt With Pleasure, in 1973. DeBolt and Fraser parted ways in the mid-1970s. DeBolt continued to write and perform as a solo artist and to collaborate with other musicians and poets. Her solo works include Soulstalking (1992), Live Each Day with Soul (2002), and Lovers and Fantasies (2004), an album featuring two songs by author Michael Ondaatje.
In addition to being a folk singer, DeBolt was well versed in blues, jazz and reggae, and played mandolin, accordion and guitar. Over the course of her career, DeBolt toured and played at festivals across Canada, performed in several theatre productions, composed for Ballet Ys, and wrote film scores for the National Film Board. She had a son, Jake DeBolt, with poet Robert Dickson (1944-2007). DeBolt died on October 4, 2011 in Toronto.
William Alexander Stephens was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 9 April 1809. While still a child, he emigrated with his family to New York and then, in 1816, to Upper Canada (now Ontario), first to Toronto and Markham, then to Esquesing Township (now part of Halton Region) where his parents, Thomas and Eleanor (Newburn) Stephens, established a farm. Stephens was one of twelve children.
In 1839 Stephens was summoned to Hamilton for jury duty. While there, he commented on the view from the top of the mountain (escarpment) and was encouraged to compose a poem about it. Stephens took up the challenge and composed “Hamilton,” a lengthy poem in a style reminiscent of the 18th century, including long passages based on Biblical stories and references to Greek myths; it also contains descriptions of early Hamilton, particularly in the first half of Book IV.
The poem, along with others by Stephens, was published in 1840 in Toronto by Rogers and Thompson as Hamilton and other poems. The book was one of the first volumes of poetry by an Ontarian ever published and helped earn Stephens the title “the pioneer poet of Ontario,” as assigned by T. J. Rexaledan in an 1891 article in Saturday Night. An expanded edition of Hamilton and other poems was published in 1871. (Both editions are available in the Archives’ book collection).
Stephens married Marian (Mary) Crispin in Toronto Township (present day Mississauga) on 13 October 1845. They lived initially in Norval and then later in Ballinafad (both in Esquesing). They moved to Owen Sound in 1850 where Stephens had been appointed customs officer, and would live there for the rest of their lives. In the 1871 census, Stephens is 62 years of age, his wife Mary is 45, and their children are listed as James C. (24), Newburn (22), Eliza A. (20), Henry R. (18), William S. (16), Haldane H. (14), Mary E. (12), and Edward W. (7).
Several of Stephens’ siblings also lived in Owen Sound, including brothers Thomas C. Stephens, Robert E. Stephens, A. M. Stephens, and Henry N. Stephens, and sisters Mary Doyle, Eliza Miller, Ellen Layton, and Rachel Layton.
Over the years, Stephens held a variety of other positions in Owen Sound in addition to customs officer, including notary public, lumber merchant, newspaper editor, insurance agent, and mayor (1869). He was a member of the Disciples church and frequently spoke at church worship services.
Stephens was a prolific writer of essays and poems, with pieces appearing in a broad range of journals and newspapers, including the Gleaner (Niagara), the Canadian Casket and Canadian Gleaner (both of Hamilton), the Advocate, Palladium, Examiner, and Leader (all of Toronto), the Albion (New York), the Saturday Courier (Philadelphia), the Review (Streetsville), the Baptist Magazine (Montreal), and more.
He also authored separately published booklets and essays—A poetical geography and rhyming rules for spelling (Toronto, 1848), Papal infallibility … as seen in the light of revelation (Owen Sound, 1871), and The centennial: an international poem (Toronto, 1878).
Stephens died in Owen Sound in 1891.
Lawrence Krader was an American anthropologist and ethnologist. Born in New York City to parents who had emigrated from Russia and Austria, Krader attended CCNY studying a range of subjects, before graduating in 1941. He joined the merchant navy during the Second World War, and then returned to school at Columbia University (1945-47) and a PhD from Harvard in 1954.
Krader taught at a number of institutions including, the University of Syracuse, the American University in Washington DC, the University of Waterloo, and the Free University of Berlin. In addition to his teaching appointments and other commitments, Krader was named the Secretary-General of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences from 1964-78.
The last decade of his life, he spent writing manuscripts on a range of topics. He died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in November 1998, leaving much of his work unpublished.
Luca Codignola-Bo, born in Genoa, Italy, in 1947, took his Master's degree in History at the University of Toronto in 1974. New France historian William J. Eccles was his thesis director. He then taught early Canadian and American history at the universities of Bologna (1975-7), Pisa (1976-90), and Genova (1990-2016). At Genova he was also member of the University's Senate (2012-5). In 2008-12 he was Head of the Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe (ISEM) of Italy's National Research Council (CNR). Dr Codignola-Bo has been active in a number of international associations and institutions, such as the International Council for Canadian Studies (President 1985-7), the Italian Association for Canadian Studies (President 1988-90), the Italian Committee for North American History (President 1989-91), the Association internationale des études acadiennes (President 2004-6), the Association internationale des études québécoises (member of the Conseil d'Administration 2005-10), the European Science Foundation, Standing Committee for the Humanities (Italy's representative 2005-8). He was awarded the Northern Telecom Five Continents Award in Canadian Studies (1988), the Special Government of Canada Award (2001), and a Doctorate honoris causa (D.Litt.) by Saint Mary's University (2003). He was also elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2016). Over the years Dr Codignola-Bo has taught in several Canadian and American universities such as York (1990-4), Laval (1997, 2000), McGill (1998), Brown (2001), Toronto (2002), and Saint Mary's (2007, 2013-4). He has also been research associate at the Université de Montréal (1977, 1988, 1990, 1992), the University of Ottawa (1977, 1985), the University of London (1980, 1982-3, 2002, 2004), the John Carter Brown Library (1989, 2001), and the Library Company of Philadelphia (2003). At the time of the donation of his personal papers to McMaster University, Dr Codignola-Bo was Adjunct Professor (History) at Saint Mary's University (2005-17), Senior Fellow of the Cushwa Center for the History of US Catholicism of the University of Notre Dame (2016-8), and Professeur associé (Histoire) at the Université de Montréal (2016-9). He is best known for his work on the the Roman Catholic church in the North Atlantic area in the early modern era, and has also written on the history of early European expansion in the Atlantic region. Since 2016 Dr Codignola-Bo lives in Milan with his wife, Gabriella Ferruggia, a former professor of American literature. They have one daughter, Federica.
Farzana Doctor is a Canadian writer, activist, and psychotherapist. Her writing has been described as contemporary literary fiction, with a hint of magic realism. Her books explore themes of loss, diasporic identity and the immigrant experience, LGBT rights, and others.
Her second novel, Six Metres of Pavement won the Dayne Ogilvie Grant and the Lambda Literary Award in 2012, as well as being shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award.
Doctor continues to have a private practice and lives with her partner in Toronto.
Thomas Cunningham (Tom) Wilson (b. 1959) is a Canadian rock musician and songwriter based in Hamilton. He is also an author and visual artist. At the age of 53, he learned that he was adopted and that his ancestry is Mohawk.
As a musician, Wilson has a solo career and was also a founding member of The Florida Razors (1981-1987), Junkhouse (1989-1997), Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (1996 onward), and Lee Harvey Osmond (2009 onward). Collectively, they have recorded at least 18 albums.
He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home, published by Doubleday Canada in 2017.
The first exhibition of his visual art was held at the Art Gallery of Burlington in 2018-2019.
Ruth has long been fascinated with the lives of women of the mythology of Ancient Greece and goddesses of the Greek Pantheon as they are presented in Greek mythology and she has written extensively about them in poetry. There are three epics and one stand-alone volume. All her books are published by Colombo & Company.
Stuart McLean was a Canadian radio broadcaster and author, best known as the host of the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Café where he began in 1994. He was born in Montreal in 1948. He attended Lower Canada College in Montreal, and graduated from Sir George Williams University with a B.A. degree in 1971. McLean began his broadcasting career making radio documentaries for CBC Radio's Sunday Morning from 1978-1982. In 1979 he won an ACTRA award for Best Radio Documentary for his contribution to the program's coverage of the Jonestown massacre. From 1982-1994, McLean appeared on Monday mornings with Peter Gzowski on Morningside. McLean was a co-writer of a feature film titled, Looking for Miracles (Sullivan Films for Disney Studios, 1989). In 1994 he created the show The Vinyl Café. McLean retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004 from Ryerson University in Toronto where he was director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism. Stuart McLean died in 2017.
McLean published in fiction and non-fiction. His first book, The Morningside World of Stuart McLean was published in 1989. He also wrote Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, and edited the collection When We Were Young. Welcome Home was chosen by the Canadian Authors’ Association as the best non-fiction book of 1993. He published a series of Vinyl Café books, the first of which is Stories from Vinyl Café in 1995. Since 1998 McLean has toured with the Vinyl Café to theatres across Canada and the United States. His awards include a B’Nai Brith Award for Human Rights in Broadcast Journalism. He is a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. In 2011 McLean was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has been awarded Honourary Doctorates from several universities, including one from McMaster in 2014. McLean passed away on the 15th of February, 2017, at the age of 68.
Robert and Susan Evans lived in London, England. They had two sons, Victor and Cecil and a daughter, Winifred. Not long before the start of the First World War they moved to a farm in Gaston, Oregon, and later to Portland. They maintained contact with a number of people in England, including Robert’s sister Emily, Susan’s sister Mary, and a family friend William Waterson.
Victor and Cecil Evans were brothers who fought in the First World War. Cecil (2557483) served as a gunner and Victor (2557484) was a driver.
Victor Roland Evans, 27 July 1896, and Cecil John Robert Evans, 7 April 1898, were born in London, England, to Susan and Robert Evans and later moved to Portland, Oregon. The brothers travelled together from Portland to Victoria, BC and enlisted on 1 March 1918.
Both brothers were sent to France and served with the Canadian Field Artillery.
Henri de Maillé, marquis de Carman, was a French nobleman who flourished in the late 17th century. In 1674 he married Marie Anne du Puy de Murinées; their only child, Donatien, was the maternal grandfather and namesake of Donatien Alphonse François — better known by his title, the Marquis de Sade.
John Stoughton Dennis was a surveyor, soldier, and public servant. Born in Kingston, Dennis had a long surveying career in Ontario and Manitoba, as well as serving as a militia officer, and public servant. He was appointed Canada’s first surveyor general in 1871. In addition, he was an active entrepreneur. The documents in this collection are related to a timber felling venture on the Magnetawan River near Parry Sound, Ontario.
Peter Calamai spent almost five decades as a newspaper reporter and editor working for major Canadian newspapers. He obtained a B.Sc. in physics from McMaster University in 1965, and while a student, he was editor-in-chief of the undergraduate student newspaper The Silhouette during which it was named the best student newspaper in Canada. Calamai remains involved in McMaster’s alumni community.
Best known for his award-winning 1987 adult literacy series, Calamai has worked on a number of high-profile stories in Washington, Europe, Africa, and Ottawa; he has worked as national and foreign correspondents for Southam News (1969-1990), editorial pages editor at The Ottawa Citizen (1990-1996), and national science reporter at the Toronto Star (1998-2008). Calamai has also worked as a freelance reporter, photographer, consultant, speech writer, and instructor.
An advocate for science, literacy, and journalistic professionalism, Calamai has been nationally recognized for his involvement in public issues and exceptional news reporting and writing through his Order of Canada (2014) and Diamond Jubilee Medal, among numerous other awards. Remaining dedicated to the promotion of accurate science reporting, he is a founding member of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association and the Science Media Centre of Canada.
Calamai passed away at the age of 75, in January 2019.
Mattha (“Madzy”) Cornelia Brender à Brandis (née van Vollenhoven) (1910-1984), known as “Madzy”, was a writer who was born in Scheveningen, Holland in 1910. She was the third of four children. She studied law in Leiden, but before completing her degree, she married Wim (“Bill”) Brender à Brandis. They had three children: Marianne Brandis, Gerard Brender à Brandis, and Joost (“Jock”) Brender à Brandis. They lived briefly in New York City, but they moved back to Holland just as World War II began. Wim was ultimately sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in 1942, and during this time, Madzy cared for their children in Nazi occupied Netherlands. The family immigrated to northern B.C. in 1947 and lived on a farm for nine years. In 1958, Madzy and Bill moved to Antigonish, Nova Scotia and worked at St. Francis Xavier University, and in 1959 they moved to Burlington, Ontario.
Madzy wrote in both Dutch and English, and much of her writing was autobiographical and details her experience as an immigrant. She wrote columns for four different newspapers in Holland and Canada; sixty-eight columns and other short works remain, though she wrote more that have not survived. She wrote a memoir about life on their farm in B.C. titled Land for our Son, published under the name Maxine Brandis, and which she translated into Dutch. She also wrote short stories and a great deal of unpublished material for family members, such as diaries, memoirs, letters, etc. Madzy contracted rheumatoid arthritis while still living in WWII Holland, and by 1972, unable to use her hands to write, she was using a tape recorder for correspondence, research, and for recording family memories.
Born in the Netherlands in 1938, Marianne Brandis (full last name: “Brender à Brandis”) immigrated with her family in 1947 to Terrace, BC and currently lives in Stratford, Ontario. She was educated at UBC, St. Francis Xavier University, and McMaster University from which she graduated with a BA in 1960 and MA in 1964.
Brandis worked for a time as a copywriter for CKOC in Hamilton and CBC in Toronto in the 1960s. She also taught creative writing and English literature at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (Ryerson University) from 1967 until she resigned in 1989 at the age of 50 after which she pursued writing full-time. She continues to teach creative writing and memoir writing workshops.
Brandis’ writings contain diverse topics and include historical fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, and biography genres. In her historical works, she deals with significant events and the private and daily lives of individuals. Perhaps best known are Brandis’ historical books for younger readers which were published in the 1980s and 1990s, and out of these, The Tinderbox (1982), The Quarter-Pie Window (1985), The Sign of the Scales (1990), Fire Ship (1992), and Rebellion (1996) received various awards and commendations. Brandis’ most recent projects have been creative non-fiction and other life-writing works. Brandis has collaborated extensively with her brother Gerard Brender à Brandis, the wood engraver and bookwright, and whose fonds is also at McMaster.