Innovators in the Order of Canada
One of the driving forces of our national prosperity and quality of life is the innovative spirit of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Thus, it is no surprise that the Order of Canada is replete with innovators—individuals who have demonstrated their desire for a better country by solving problems in ways that add value to our society.
The Chancellery is pleased to share short excerpts from interviews with two exemplars of innovation: William Breukelman, O.C., and Lise Watier, O.C. These conversations took place at Rideau Hall, just a few minutes after each had received their insignia from the Governor General.
William Breukelman has combined business acumen with scientific innovation to create leading-edge technology companies. As the former principal and chair of IMAX Corporation, he helped shepherd the company from a pilot project to a brand that has revolutionized the cinematic experience. He also co-founded Sciex Limited, a breakthrough imaging company that produces instrumentation with broad applications, including environmental testing and clinical diagnosis. He continues to support the growth of promising start-ups through Business Arts Inc., his technology development firm.
Forty years after launching her business, Lise Watier has become one of the most influential businesswomen and a model of determination and generosity. Despite fierce international competition, she emerged as one of the biggest names in cosmetics in Canada. Moreover, her products, designed and developed in Canada, are known worldwide. She has also distinguished herself as a citizen engaged in her community. Both personally and through her foundation, she lends her support to organizations helping women and children in need to break free from poverty.