Governor General Announces the Appointment of a New Chief Herald of Canada

May 20, 2020

OTTAWA—Today, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, announced the appointment of Dr. Samy Khalid as chief herald of Canada and the appointment of Dr. Claire Boudreau as Margaree-Chéticamp herald emeritus.

Responsible for the creation of coats of arms, flags and badges for Canadian citizens, corporate bodies and units of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Heraldic Authority was created in 1988 to ensure that all Canadians have access to heraldry, and to encourage good heraldic practice consistent with an international level of heraldic excellence.

Dr. Khalid joined the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 2014, as Saguenay herald, and has been assistant director in an acting capacity since 2019. He holds a doctorate in history, specializing in identity studies. Among other positions, he was previously the manager of the Genealogical and Archival Research Unit at Indigenous Services Canada, and the editor-in-chief of Le Chaînon, a magazine dedicated to history and heritage.

Dr. Boudreau joined the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 1997 and was the first woman to hold the position of chief herald in Canada and in the Commonwealth. An expert in heraldry, she was responsible for the web version of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, which gives access to the description and images of all heraldic emblems officialized in Canada since 1988.

For more information about the Canadian Heraldic Authority, please visit


Media information:

Ashlee Smith
Press Secretary to the Governor General

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Samy Khalid, Ph.D.

A historian, herald, writer and manager, Samy Khalid has had a rich and varied career. After starting his career as a freelance translator, he worked as a political assistant in the Prime Minister’s Office before shifting to the field of history. He then became involved in provincial cultural and public affairs organizations, including serving as executive manager of the Regroupement des organismes du patrimoine franco-ontarien (Franco-Ontarian Heritage Consortium) and, later, as a policy analyst with the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (Francophone Assembly of Ontario).

In 2009, he earned a doctorate in history from the University of Ottawa, with his research focusing on the construction of Canadian identity. He then worked in the publishing industry, notably as the managing editor of a scholarly journal and, since 2012, as the editor-in-chief of Le Chaînon, a magazine dedicated to history, genealogy and heritage. Since 2014, Samy Khalid has been a herald with the Canadian Heraldic Authority. In 2019, he was on secondment to Indigenous Services Canada as the manager of Genealogical and Archival Research, before he returned to the Heraldic Authority in the role of acting assistant director. In 2020, he was named chief herald of Canada and director of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Claire Boudreau, Ph.D.

An Acadian by ancestry, Claire Boudreau undertook the first part of her studies at the University of Montréal (B.A. in history and M.A. in medieval history). The recipient of a doctorate in 1996 from the École pratique des hautes études (Sorbonne, Paris), Dr. Boudreau has published numerous articles on heraldry and armoury, both medieval and modern. She is the author of an encyclopedic dictionary of medieval blazon titled L’héritage symbolique des hérauts d’armes     (3 vol., Le léopard d’or, 2005). She joined the Canadian Heraldic Authority in 1997, and successively held the positions of Saguenay herald, Saint-Laurent herald, and deputy chief herald of Canada. Dr. Boudreau was the first woman appointed chief herald in Canada and in the Commonwealth. She was appointed Margaree-Chéticamp herald emeritus in 2020.