Margaret “Margie” MacInnis


In 2017, the Katharine McLennan Award for exemplary volunteer and community contributions was awarded to Margaret MacInnis. The award recognizes Margie’s contribution to Cape Breton Island areas of music, dance and community engagement.

Margie grew up in the small community of Hillsdale, on the outskirts of Judique, Inverness County. Youngest of 9 children, she attended Judique Creignish Consolidated School and after graduating, attended the Cape Breton Business College, in Sydney, obtaining her secretarial diploma. Through her teen years, Margie worked at her father’s store, “MacLellan’s Canteen”, and it was here she met her future husband, Jimmy. Margie and Jimmy both had long and productive careers with Stora Forest Industries in Port Hawkesbury.

Margie’s example of volunteerism is impressive. She is a regular volunteer with Inverary Manor in Inverness; visiting with residents, running errands and taking residents to appointments. Margie is also known for her talents as a seamstress; she has helped make costumes for plays and musicals, and also makes beautiful purses and bags out of recycled material, Notably, in 1988, Margie and her late husband Jimmy began running weekly family square dances at West Mabou Hall, in part, to satisfy the need for the younger people of the area to be able to attend square dances. These dances were, and still are, the only family squares dances that run year-round. Margie’s “dance duties” include booking talent, handling finances, working the door, and enjoying the occasional set or two with her many dance partners. Volunteers, like Margie, ensure our culture not only survives but thrives.


For 2017 the featured artist was Suzanne Chrysler MacDonald. Suzanne was born in Montreal and grew up in rural Quebec where she developed an early interest in the land and its changing colours. In 1965, Suzanne moved to Mabou with her husband Alexander MacDonald – and in the mid-1980s decided to attend Nova Scotia College of Art and Design studying under the late John Cook and Allan Wylie. Suzanne has operated out of her Mabou Village Gallery since 1971.