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Phillip Chipman and Kevin B. Wamsley

In the post-war period of 1940s Montreal, in part characterized by the Quebec nationalism of Premier Maurice Duplessis, the businessman Adrien Gagnon challenged the monopoly on bodybuilding, physical training, and physical culture enjoyed by fitness entrepreneurs Ben and Joe Weider. Gagnon mobilized sentiment against the dominance of English businessmen in Montreal, through his magazine Santé et Développement Physique. This article examines how Gagnon wielded aspects of French Canadian nationalism, and the respective influences of language and religion as cultural and moral enterprises, in the sale of his publications and products as he attempted to dislodge the market share and influence of the Weiders in the business of health and exercise.

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MacIntosh Ross and Kevin B. Wamsley

On July 27, 1859, “Canada” Kate Clark met two Americans, Nellie Stem and Mary Dwyer, for a pair of prize fights in Fort Erie, Canada West. Beginning their adventure in Buffalo, New York, they rowed their way across the Niagara River to the fighting grounds in the British colony. Like pugilists before them, they stripped to the waist to limit potential grappling in battle. Both the journey and pre-fight fight preparations were tried and true components of mid-nineteenth century prize fighting. Although the press, and later historians, overwhelmingly associated such performances with male combatants, women were indeed active in Canadian pugilistic circles, settling scores, testing their mettle, and displaying their fistic abilities both pre- and post-Confederation. In this article, we begin to untangle the various threads of female pugilism, situating these athletes and performers within the broader literature on both boxing and women's sport in Canada. By examining media reports of female boxers—both in sparring and prize fighting—we hope to provide a historiographic foundation for further discussions of early female pugilism, highlighting the various ways these women upheld and challenged the notion of the “new woman” in Canada.

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Ornella Nzindukiyimana and Kevin B. Wamsley

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Robert S. Kossuth and Kevin B. Wamsley

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Michael K. Heine and Kevin B. Wamsley

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Maureen M. Smith, Ian Ritchie, Kevin B. Wamsley and Theresa Walton