Born in London, England, in 1918, Betty Oliphant founded and directed Canada's National Ballet School for more than a quarter century and was also Ballet Mistress and Associate Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada. A major and sometimes controversial figure in the development of dance in Canada, she is a Companion of the Order of Canada and the recipient of many other honours. Her autobiography, Miss O: My Life in Dance, is published by Turnstone Press. She died in 2004.