Cynthia Downe was born in 1924 in the Calgary home in which she still lives. Her parents met in Calgary after coming from England at the end of World War I. They found a common interest in history and books, and gave their daughter her first book at the age of four. It was "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling which began her own library.
When she was nine years old she had read Emily of New Moon and wrote to L. M. Montgomery sending a poem of her own. She received a wonderful reply which she has treasured all her life, along with the Emily and Anne books her parents provided. Pat of Silver Bush, Marigold, Kilmeny, Jane, and others also joined the collection over the years.
Cynthia was educated in Calgary schools and at the University of Calgary, obtaining a Bachelor of Education degree, as well as an L.R.S.M. degree in piano.
She became a teacher and later a music consultant, having gained a Master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Oregon followed by a year of study in Germany.
As a music consultant in Calgary she visited elementary schools assisting classroom teachers with music programs. She wrote a curriculum guide for teachers in Alberta and in recognition of this work received an Excellence Award from the Provincial Government.
Cynthia also served as president of the Fine Arts Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association, and later as president of the National Carl Orff Society of Canada. She was invited to meet Carl Orff in Austria and attend the celebration of his 80th birthday.
Since her retirement years began she has remained in her home with assistance from friends. Like Anne, she is fortunate to have found kindred spirits all her life.