Governor General to Invest 45 Recipients into the Order of Canada

August 23, 2017


OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will invest 1 Companion, 13 Officers and 31 Members into the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, August 25, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.

Throughout the year, we are celebrating the Order of Canada’s 50th anniversary through a host of special initiatives and partnerships. To join the celebration, visit and use the hashtag #OC50 on social media platforms.

About the Order of Canada

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

A schedule for the investiture ceremony, the list of recipients with citations, and a backgrounder on the Order of Canada are attached.


Media wishing to cover the event are asked to confirm their attendance with the
Rideau Hall Press Office, and must arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance
no later than 10:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Media information:

Melanie Primeau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-618-2691 (cell)

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.


Members of the media are asked to observe the following schedule:

Ceremony Schedule
Time Description

9:45 a.m.:

Media arrive at Rideau Hall

10:30 a.m.:

Ceremony begins
The Governor General speaks
The Governor General presents the insignia of the Order of Canada
(Companion first, then Officers, followed by Members)

11:45 a.m.:

Interviews with recipients


Companion of the Order of Canada Hometown
Michael Ondaatje, C.C.
This is a promotion within the Order.
Toronto, Ont.


Officer of the Order of Canada Hometown
Yvon Charest, O.C. Québec, Que.
Michel Dallaire, O.C., O.Q.
This is a promotion within the Order.
Montréal, Que.
John Haig de Beque Farris, O.C. Bowen Island, B.C.
Norman Foster, O.C. Fredericton, N.B.
Chad Gaffield, O.C. Ottawa, Ont.
Philippe Gros, O.C. Montréal, Que.
Piers Guy Paton Handling, O.C., O.Ont. Toronto, Ont.
Dany Laferrière, O.C., O.Q. Montréal, Que.
Rene Theophile Nuytten, O.C., O.B.C. North Vancouver, B.C.
Michael J. Sabia, O.C. Montréal, Que.
Michael Schade, O.C.
This is an honorary appointment.
Oakville, Ont. and Vienna (Austria)
The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, P.C., O.C. Ottawa, Ont.


Member of the Order of Canada Hometown
H. Anthony Arrell, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C., C.M. Ottawa, Ont. and Winnipeg, Man.
Ruth Collins-Nakai, C.M. Edmonton, Alta.
Mary Cornish, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
Rayleen V. De Luca, C.M., O.M. Winnipeg, Man.
Serge Denoncourt, C.M. Montréal, Que.
Charlotte Diamond, C.M. Richmond, B.C.
Rupert James Duchesne, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
Chen Fong, C.M. Calgary, Alta.
Stephen Gaetz, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
Susan Johnson, C.M. Ottawa, Ont.
Elaine Keillor, C.M. Ottawa, Ont.
Laurier Lacroix, C.M. Montréal, Que.
Gail Dexter Lord, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
Emily Molnar, C.M. Vancouver, B.C.
Marie-Lucie Morin, C.M. Ottawa, Ont.
Mathew Nuqingaq, C.M. Iqaluit, Nun.
The Honourable David Onley, C.M., O.Ont. Toronto, Ont.
John Parisella, C.M., O.Q. Montréal, Que.
Deborah Poff, C.M. Ottawa, Ont.
Richard J. Renaud, C.M. Montréal, Que.
Robert J. Sawyer, C.M. Mississauga, Ont.
Kathryn Shields, C.M., O.B.C. Victoria, B.C.
Jean Swanson, C.M. Vancouver, B.C.
Tanya Tagaq Gillis, C.M. Cambridge Bay, Nun.
Réal Tanguay, C.M. Kitchener, Ont.
Kathleen Patricia Taylor, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
André Vanasse, C.M. Montréal, Que.
James W. St. G. Walker, C.M. Waterloo, Ont.
Catharine Whiteside, C.M. Toronto, Ont.
Marie Wilson, C.M., O.N.W.T., M.S.C. Yellowknife, N.W.T.



Michael Ondaatje, C.C.
Toronto, Ontario

Michael Ondaatje continues to be one of Canada’s most treasured and celebrated contemporary authors. A poet, novelist and editor, he has published well-regarded collections of poetry and several critically acclaimed novels, including Anil’s Ghost and The English Patient, which was later made into an award-winning film. His international stature has brought attention to Canadian literature and helped raise its profile worldwide. He serves as an exemplary role model, and his ongoing support and editorial work within the literary community have had a profound influence on aspiring Canadian authors.

This is a promotion within the Order.


Yvon Charest, O.C.
Québec, Quebec

An experienced business leader, Yvon Charest has had a distinguished career as an actuary, confidently rising through the ranks. Under his leadership, Industrial Alliance, one of Canada’s oldest and largest insurance companies, has experienced remarkable growth that has significantly boosted the country’s economy. Ever concerned about the impact of his decisions and actions on those around him, Mr. Charest is known for his high integrity. A seasoned philanthropist, he is actively involved with charitable organizations and encourages the business community to do likewise.

Michel Dallaire, O.C., O.Q.
Montréal, Quebec

A master of image and form, Michel Dallaire is an outstanding industrial designer who has helped create a new iconography for the urban environment. From the furnishings in the Grande Bibliothèque to the public spaces of the international district and Ville-Marie borough to the Bixi bike sharing system, his visionary talent is shaping the character of Montréal. He is also the creative force behind a wide range of consumer products. A passionate supporter of the arts, he is involved with several cultural organizations, including the Fondation Émile-Nelligan.

This is a promotion within the Order.

John Haig de Beque Farris, O.C.
Bowen Island, British Columbia

With a keen business acumen and a commitment to innovation, Haig Farris has helped build Canada’s high-technology sector. As president of Fractal Capital Corporation and co-founder of Ventures West Capital, he spent over four decades bringing research to the marketplace in areas as diverse as wireless data, satellite information systems and quantum computing. He has mentored many on the art of the successful start-up, and has given back to his community as a supporter of the University of British Columbia, as a founder of Vancouver’s Science World, and as the former chair of the Science Council of B.C.

Norman Foster, O.C.
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Norm Foster has enriched Canada’s theatre canon. One of our nation’s most produced playwrights, he discovered his passion for theatre after 25 years as a radio host. Since then, he has written close to 60 plays, which have touched audiences at home and abroad. His works have wide appeal for their humour and poignant depictions of the lives of everyday people. A generous mentor, he co-founded The Foster Festival in 2016 to support the development of the next generation of Canadian artists.

Chad Gaffield, O.C.
Ottawa, Ontario

Chad Gaffield’s leadership in interdisciplinary collaboration has transformed the research landscape in Canada. Professor of Canadian history at the University of Ottawa, he was a pioneer in the digital humanities movement through his application of information and communication technologies to historical scholarship. Former president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, he has had an ongoing impact on the Council’s position as a leading funding agency in Canada. He currently serves as the president-elect of the Royal Society of Canada.

Philippe Gros, O.C.
Montréal, Quebec

With creativity and ingenuity, Philippe Gros has developed genetic approaches to combatting disease. A professor of biochemistry and the vice-dean of life sciences at McGill University, he is internationally celebrated for his innovative studies of genetic mutations, a body of work that has inspired the design of treatments for a number of complex diseases. Notably, he has uncovered genes that control neural tube defects, revealed how infectious agents such as malaria and tuberculosis thrive in humans, and identified genetic pathways that can be targeted to prevent infection.

Piers Guy Paton Handling, O.C., O.Ont.
Toronto, Ontario

Piers Handling has provided ample opportunities for the film industry to grow both at home and abroad. As the director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), he led its transformation into an international institution renowned for its cultural and commercial importance. By spearheading the establishment of TIFF’s permanent presence at the Bell Lightbox, he also created a centre around which film culture in Canada could organize. Its facilities include not just cinemas, but also publicly accessible archives, libraries and classrooms that support the next generation of filmmakers.

Dany Laferrière, O.C., O.Q.
Montréal, Quebec

Dany Laferrière is one of the leading figures in French-Canadian literature. He made a name for himself with his first novel, and his works have been translated into some 15 languages. Proud of his Haitian roots, he explores such universal themes as integration and multiculturalism. A keen observer of daily life, he also wrote the screenplay adaptations for three of his novels, which were made into films. The recipient of numerous national and international awards and honours, he is the first Canadian elected to the prestigious Académie française.

Rene Theophile Nuytten, O.C., O.B.C.
North Vancouver, British Columbia

Phil Nuytten, a proud Métis and adopted member of the Kwakiutl First Nations, has made extraordinary contributions to deep-sea exploration. He began his career as a commercial diver, but was driven to develop his own equipment through an almost intuitive ability to understand the forces at work beneath the ocean’s surface. His innovations, which have been widely adopted by industry and by major naval powers, include a self-contained atmospheric diving apparatus called the Newtsuit, the DeepWorker submersible and the Remora mobile rescue system. He is also a key partner of NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations, where his creations are used extensively for astronaut training.

Michael J. Sabia, O.C.
Montréal, Quebec

Michael Sabia’s contributions to the Canadian business sector are legendary. He helped rejuvenate Canada’s fiscal infrastructure as the country’s general director of tax policy before lending his business acumen to a number of iconic Canadian enterprises. Thanks to his leadership, the Canadian National Railway and Bell Canada Enterprises were given new life as exemplars of business excellence. He also led the successful recovery and unprecedented vitality of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec after a period of financial crisis.

Michael Schade, O.C.
Oakville, Ontario and Vienna, Austria

Tenor Michael Schade’s operatic talent is immense. With a diverse repertoire ranging from Baroque to Mozart and Wagner, he has become world-renowned for his work with many highly respected conductors. His prolific studio recordings have earned him praise from the industry and audiences alike. Devoted to mentoring young artists, he is engaged in many youth initiatives including the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival and the Stratford Vocal Academy. He is also the artistic director of both the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and the Melk Abbey International Baroque Festival.

This is an honorary appointment.

Anthony von Mandl, O.C., O.B.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia

With vision and relentless passion, Anthony von Mandl has transformed the wine industry in Canada as the proprietor of Mission Hill Family Estate. Over the last 35 years, he has established the estate as one of the world’s top 10 wineries, producing world-class and award-winning wines in the Okanagan Valley. His commitment to growing quality vineyards and grapes, and to reinvesting in innovative research and development, has benefited the Canadian industry as a whole. As a philanthropist, he has contributed generously to initiatives in arts and culture and in medical research.

The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, P.C., O.C.
Ottawa, Ontario

Wayne Wouters is the epitome of integrity and dedication as a public servant. He started his career in the Saskatchewan public service and subsequently served for over 35 years at the federal level. He consistently demonstrated effective and steady leadership in a range of senior positions, including those of deputy minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and secretary of the Treasury Board. He is highly regarded for his collaborative and inclusive approach and for introducing initiatives to modernize the public service as clerk of the Privy Council and secretary to the Cabinet.


H. Anthony Arrell, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Tony Arrell has built a successful investment firm with clients from around the globe. A generous business leader and committed philanthropist, he shares his professional acumen for the betterment of his community and his province. He provides counsel and leadership to numerous cultural and health institutions, notably the Canadian Opera Company, Cystic Fibrosis Canada and St. Michael’s Hospital. His family’s foundation generously supports the University of Guelph with funding for scholarships and food research.

The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C., C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba

Sharon Carstairs is a catalyst for change. She served as the first woman to lead an official opposition in a Canadian legislative assembly. Later, as a senator, she was among the first to initiate public discussion about palliative care. Her advocacy of this issue includes the first national strategy on end-of-life care and a compassionate care benefit program. Also committed to improving the lives of women and children, she was instrumental in creating the Prairieaction Foundation, which is dedicated to the elimination of family violence.

Ruth Collins-Nakai, C.M.
Edmonton, Alberta

Ruth Collins-Nakai is a cardiologist and physician leader. While at the University of Alberta, she created its Congenital Heart Program and played a key role in establishing satellite cardiology clinics across the Prairies. A staunch advocate of public health, she highlighted the need for more research into early childhood development and led efforts to introduce airline smoking restrictions. Former president of the Canadian Medical Association, she also influenced research and clinical practices worldwide as the first Canadian to head two of the leading bodies in her field: the American College of Cardiology and the Inter-American Society of Cardiology.

Mary Cornish, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Mary Cornish has devoted her career to advancing equality rights. A human rights lawyer, she was a central figure in the Jane Doe case, which exposed discriminatory police practises in Toronto, and was a leading voice in the fight to create Ontario’s Pay Equity Act. She has devoted countless hours to the most important pay equity legal challenges of our time, and has successfully obtained fair pay for hundreds of thousands of women workers. As the chair of a comprehensive review of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, she was also called upon to craft the recent modernization of the province’s human rights system.

Rayleen V. De Luca, C.M., O.M.
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Rayleen De Luca is known throughout Canada for her research on and activism against child sexual abuse. As a clinical child psychologist and professor at the University of Manitoba, she has conducted breakthrough research on the damaging effects of child violence, which has led to innovative treatment methods. She has worked tirelessly with communities around the country to eradicate child abuse and is a vocal advocate for increased dialogue on this difficult subject. She has also shaped the next generation of practitioners as the director of clinical training at the university.

Serge Denoncourt, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec

Serge Denoncourt’s theatrical work is exceptional. Director, writer, producer, artistic director and co-founder of the Théâtre de l’Opsis, he is as comfortable with the great classics as he is with works from Quebec, with operas as with variety shows. His contribution to the vitality of the performing arts is well known in Canada and elsewhere. He directed a musical comedy on a volunteer basis with Roma youth in Serbia that was presented around the world; his artistic mentorship gave a sense of purpose and a voice to this group of young people.

Charlotte Diamond, C.M.
Richmond, British Columbia

Over the past 30 years, Charlotte Diamond has made an enduring contribution to Canadian children’s music. A singer, songwriter and entertainer, she has engaged children with her gentle melodies and catchy tunes that get them singing, dancing and learning in English, French and Spanish. Her understanding of how music and lyrics are foundational to literacy has also helped teachers, as she has produced learning guides that focus on brain development and language patterns in young learners. An ambassador for UNICEF, she continues to perform for audiences of all ages.

Rupert James Duchesne, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Rupert Duchesne is an exemplar of business and community leadership. A former executive of Air Canada, he pioneered the development of its frequent flyer program from a division within the company to an independent global enterprise. Under his innovative stewardship, Aimia has become a worldwide leader in loyalty management, redefining the way businesses build relationships with customers. In addition, he is a devoted patron of the arts and supporter of health care, noted for his work as vice-president of the Art Gallery of Ontario and chair of the Brain Canada Foundation.

Chen Fong, C.M.
Calgary, Alberta

Chen Fong has worked to enrich western Canada’s landscape of medical innovation. Professor emeritus and former head of radiology at the University of Calgary, he is also a private philanthropist who generously supports medical research and the development of new medical technologies. Committed to encouraging the growth of this sector, he funded and nurtured numerous start-up medical device companies in Canada. Beyond supporting medical development in industry and academia at home, he also organizes charitable donations of equipment to hospitals in developing countries.

Stephen Gaetz, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Stephen Gaetz is transforming how we support the homeless in our communities. A professor at York University and director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Homeless Hub, he has built connections between academics, policy makers and non-profit organizations to ensure that evidence-based research has a greater impact on homelessness policies and planning. His research includes the first extensive Canadian report card on homelessness, the creation of a common language for addressing this complex problem, and a Housing First framework for youth. He is also president of the national charity Raising the Roof, and is a founding member of A Way Home, a coalition to end youth homelessness.

Susan Johnson, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Susan Johnson is a leading expert on couple and family interventions. As a therapist, a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, and the director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute, she pioneered Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). This is an evidence-based approach to therapy that helps to strengthen the emotional bond between partners by drawing on the affection and love that exists in couples. She has trained academic, clinical and private practice-based therapists worldwide, and has published books intended for the general public, ensuring this approach to healing relationships is broadly accessible.

Elaine Keillor, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

A renowned pianist and musicologist, Elaine Keillor has enriched our understanding of Canada’s musical culture. Professor emerita at Carleton University, she has focused her research on historical and contemporary Canadian music. Notably, her book Music in Canada has set the standard for study in this field. She has also worked to preserve the music and culture of Canada’s Indigenous peoples by introducing the study of their music in universities and by partnering with them to create musical showcases.

Laurier Lacroix, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec

An eminent art historian, Laurier Lacroix passionately promotes and teaches others about the historical and contemporary art of Quebec. One of the pre-eminent scholars of 19th-century Quebec art, he has worked to bring to light the work of previously little-known artists. Having taught at Concordia University and the Université du Québec à Montréal, this accomplished educator is one of Quebec’s best, shaping future generations of art historians and museologists.

Gail Dexter Lord, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Gail Lord is a creative and visionary museum planner. Co-founder and co-president of Lord Cultural Resources, she has spent more than three decades developing the field of museum planning. She has worked with new and existing cultural institutions, such as the Tate Modern, the Louvre-Lens, the Smithsonian and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to design floor plans, create new exhibitions and undertake strategic planning. She has co-authored museum best practices that are used the world over, and has championed the role of the cultural sector in economic and social development.

Emily Molnar, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

Emily Molnar is an extraordinary dancer and a visionary artistic director. She launched her career with the National Ballet of Canada and progressed to dancing with companies across North America, Europe and Asia. She became renowned as a cutting-edge choreographer and solo artist. Now artistic director of Ballet BC, she has reinvented the company by focusing on contemporary ballet, re-engaging audiences, and earning an international reputation for creativity and innovation. She is highly regarded for her dedicated work in advancing dance in Canada.

Marie-Lucie Morin, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

An exceptional public servant, Marie-Lucie Morin works tirelessly to develop and enhance Canadian interests. Having served as an ambassador, deputy minister of both Foreign Affairs and International Trade, national security advisor, and executive director at the World Bank, she has fostered relations with Canada’s international partners, managed security and human rights files, and promoted investment and employment. Cited by her peers as a model of balance, values and ethics, she is highly sought after for her advice and ideas. As a mentor, she is held in the highest regard by the next generation and is notably involved with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Mathew Nuqingaq, C.M.
Iqaluit, Nunavut

Mathew Nuqingaq is devoted to celebrating the traditions of his ancestors and to fostering the arts in Canada’s North. A gifted jewellery maker, he has designed pieces that bridge contemporary style with classic Inuit imagery, and which have been sold and exhibited in Canada and abroad. In Iqaluit, he established a studio that has become a creative hub for artists as well as a centre for collaboration and mentorship. In addition, he is an accomplished drum dancer who performs regularly at celebrations across the country and around the world.

The Honourable David Onley, C.M., O.Ont.
Toronto, Ontario

David Onley is one of Canada’s leading advocates for disability rights. A well-known anchor at City television for more than 20 years, he was Canada’s first newscaster with a visible disability. Throughout his career, he has advanced the public’s understanding of people with disabilities, particularly during his tenure as Ontario’s lieutenant governor, where he made inclusion and accessibility the overarching themes of his mandate. He continues to work toward greater accessibility in his province as a special advisor to the Government of Ontario.

John Parisella, C.M., O.Q.
Montréal, Quebec

John Parisella is a profoundly engaged and thoughtful citizen. He guided and advised many Quebec politicians with grace and impartiality during some of the most critical points in our country’s history that would have a lasting impact on its future. As Quebec’s delegate general in the United States, he skilfully fulfilled his diplomatic role. Able to distill complex issues into simple terms, he became a leading expert in current events analysis. His dedication to education is apparent in his role as a teacher and as executive director of Campus Montréal, where he devotes his time to a major fundraising campaign to benefit Montréal’s educational institutions.

Deborah Poff, C.M.
Ottawa, Ontario

Deborah Poff has worked to build bridges between Indigenous people and the university system. As vice-president academic at the University of Northern British Columbia, she spearheaded initiatives to support the Indigenous community’s pursuit of higher education and advised the Nisga’a when they established their own post-secondary institution. Later, as the president of Brandon University, she championed the creation of First Nations language degrees and led campaigns that revitalized many aspects of the university. An ethicist by training, she is also highly regarded for her work in business and research ethics, and is the co-founder and long-time editor of the two leading international journals in this field.

Richard J. Renaud, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec

Richard Renaud is driven by a desire to give back to his community. An experienced businessman in the field of private equity and a leading business executive, he has offered his management expertise and support to extremely successful fundraising campaigns, including Centraide Montréal. He established the Roasters Foundation to provide financial assistance to numerous charitable initiatives in the fields of health care, education and the arts. He is a major donor, known for his extraordinary ability to inspire generosity in others.

Robert J. Sawyer, C.M.
Mississauga, Ontario

Robert J. Sawyer is renowned internationally for his science fiction writing. His works ground futurism in hard scientific fact, while showcasing Canadian achievements and culture. Winner of the top three genre awards for Hominids, The Terminal Experiment and Mindscan, he is an inspirational mentor to numerous aspiring writers. A powerful and engaging speaker, he is well respected by scientists and his input as a futurist has been sought out repeatedly for conferences held by such organizations as NASA and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.

Kathryn Shields, C.M., O.B.C.
Victoria, British Columbia

Kathryn Shields is a legend in Canadian women’s basketball. A gifted international athlete, she gained further renown for her accomplishments as a coach of our national team. Concurrently, as head of the women’s varsity team at the University of Victoria, she achieved unrivalled results and won numerous national championships. Athletes cite her influence in increasing their confidence, skill and focus both on and off the court. She is also committed to advancing women in coaching; her outspoken advocacy has led to greater female leadership in the sport.

Jean Swanson, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia

For 40 years Jean Swanson has fought to end poverty and homelessness. At the Downtown Eastside Residents Association in the 1970s, she worked to create a space for the people of this neighbourhood to take an active role in improving their community. She has sought to dispel myths that link poverty to personal deficiencies, and played leading roles provincially and nationally in several organizations. But her overriding focus is the Downtown Eastside, where she continues to work on housing and income issues as a volunteer for the Carnegie Community Centre.

Tanya Tagaq Gillis, C.M.
Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Tanya Tagaq Gillis is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed Inuk throat singer who has reinvented this traditional singing discipline. Her music fuses contemporary Inuit themes and sounds with urban beats, pushing the boundaries of diverse musical genres. A vocal proponent of Indigenous rights, she uses her art to highlight issues affecting Inuit communities and to promote the seal hunt as a critical component of Inuit culture. She continues to empower an entire generation of Indigenous youth throughout the Canadian Arctic and beyond.

Réal Tanguay, C.M.
Kitchener, Ontario

Ray Tanguay’s exemplary leadership has long been a pillar of Canada’s automotive sector. Former president and chair of Toyota Canada, he helped to significantly expand Canada’s auto manufacturing industry. Job creation, innovation and stability were the hallmarks of his tenure, and he helped chart the way forward for Toyota as a multinational corporation. One of the most trusted voices in his field, he is called upon to advise both provincial and federal governments, and is a founding member of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council.

Kathleen Patricia Taylor, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

Canadian institutions and companies have benefited from Kathleen Taylor’s groundbreaking leadership. Former president and CEO of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, she was instrumental in leading the Canadian-based company during a period of rapid global expansion. Now chair of the board of RBC, she is the first woman to hold this position at a major Canadian bank. Known for possessing a strong business sense and a propensity for relationship-building, she has become a sought-after member of corporate and non-profit boards, including those of the SickKids Foundation and Air Canada, as well as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

André Vanasse, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec

Since 1963, André Vanasse has devoted his career to promoting Quebec literature. Through his work with the journal Lettres québécoises, as well as his teaching and publishing, he has introduced the public to emerging artists who have gone on to become influential figures in Quebec and Canadian literature. In addition to his long career at the Université du Québec à Montréal, he founded XYZ Publishing, the English-language division of Éditions XYZ. Through it, he publishes numerous novels by and biographies about well-known Canadians, bringing the history and literature of French-speaking Canada to Anglophone readers.

James W. St. G. Walker, C.M.
Waterloo, Ontario

James Walker is a leading scholar of Canadian racial relations and Black history. A professor at the University of Waterloo, he has reclaimed forgotten Black stories, highlighting how the struggle for equality has shaped our country. He is best known for his book The Black Loyalists, and his influential publications have inspired popular books and films including The Book of Negroes. Committed to social justice, he has established several community initiatives, including a long-standing program that supports the success of Black and Aboriginal students at Dalhousie University.

Catharine Whiteside, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario

An accomplished scientist and physician, Catharine Whiteside is known as an outstanding leader in health care. Director of a strategic diabetes research network and professor at the University of Toronto, she uncovered cellular mechanisms underlying diabetic kidney disease, which unlocked new approaches to prevention and treatment. On a national level, she has served in a variety of roles, including president of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. An exemplary mentor, she became the first woman to serve as dean of the Faculty of Medicine at her institution, and played a key role in advancing graduate education in her field.

Marie Wilson, C.M., O.N.W.T., M.S.C.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Marie Wilson has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Northwest Territories. An award-winning journalist and later director of CBC North, she was influential in developing televised news programming created by and for Aboriginal people, notably by offering services in Inuktitut and other Indigenous languages. A senior executive of federal and territorial Crown corporations, she was appointed one of three commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009, where her ability to distill complex issues into readily understandable terms helped to put survivors at ease.


Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.

Motto and Levels

The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Her Majesty The Queen is the Sovereign of the Order, and the governor general is the chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order.

  • Companion – Post-nominal: C.C.
    recognizes national pre-eminence or international service or achievement;
  • Officer – Post-nominal: O.C.
    recognizes national service or achievement; and
  • Member – Post-nominal: C.M.
    recognizes outstanding contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity.

Insignia Description

The insignia of the Order is a stylized snowflake of six points, with a red annulus at its centre which bears a stylized maple leaf circumscribed with the motto of the Order, DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country), surmounted by the Royal Crown. It is struck in fine silver and is composed of three individual pieces: the snowflake, annulus and maple leaf. The colour is added by hand through a unique application of opaque and translucent viscous enamel.

The design of the insignia of the Order of Canada dates from 1967, and is credited to Bruce Beatty, C.M., S.O.M., C.D. The technical drawings used by the Royal Canadian Mint in this new generation of the insignia were developed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority at the Chancellery of Honours, part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. The insignia is manufactured by the Mint at its Ottawa facility.


All Canadians are eligible for the Order of Canada, with the exception of federal and provincial politicians and judges while in office. The Order’s constitution permits non-Canadians to be considered for honorary appointments. Members of the Royal Family, governors general and their spouses are appointed in the extraordinary category. There are no posthumous appointments.

Officers and Members may be elevated within the Order in recognition of further achievement, based on continued exceptional or extraordinary service to Canada. Usually, promotions are considered five years after the first appointment.


Any person or group is welcome to nominate a deserving individual as a candidate for appointment to the Order of Canada. Appointments are made on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada, an independent council chaired by the chief justice of Canada. Members of the Advisory Council on the Order of Canada reflect the diversity and excellence in Canadian society. Certain members are appointed by virtue of their office; others are appointed for a fixed term to achieve a balanced representation of the various regions of the country.

For more information about the Order of Canada or to nominate someone,