Helen Burt, O.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Helen Burt is a pioneer of nanoscale drug delivery systems. A professor of pharmaceutics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), she has spearheaded the development of lifesaving innovations, including drug-eluting coronary stents and improved chemotherapeutics for bladder cancer. Lauded for her visionary administrative leadership, she has coupled academia and industry as the associate vice-president of Research & Innovation at UBC, and as co-founder of adMare BioInnovations. Extending her community engagement and mentorship internationally, she established an undergraduate drug delivery course and curriculum at the National University of Rwanda.
Slava Corn, O.C.
Slava Corn is a foundational figure in gymnastics. Active and influential as a coach, judge and administrator for over 50 years, she has increased technical expertise in the discipline, supported athletes’ education and training, and modernized competition formats. Through her pioneering terms as the first woman to serve as both president of Gymnastics Canada and vice-president of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, she has advanced the sport nationally and globally. A strong promoter of ethical conduct and gender equity, she has advocated for both in the wider sporting world.
Geoffrey Fong, O.C.
Geoffrey Fong has made significant strides in reducing the global tobacco epidemic. A professor at the University of Waterloo and senior investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, he founded the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC), a global initiative that is informing tobacco control policies throughout the world. His innovative surveys, notably on the impact of policies related to graphic warning labels, standardized packaging and smokefree public places, have led to significant change and cemented Canada’s reputation as a leader in public health research.
Alain-G. Gagnon, O.C.
Alain-G. Gagnon is a pioneer in the study of multinational federalism and intercommunity relations. Professor at Université du Québec à Montréal, he developed an innovative comparative approach, making him one of the most recognized international experts in this field. A prolific author and the founder of two major research infrastructures, he has examined issues that are crucial to understanding the evolution of plurinational states, including taking into account claims by minority nations and minorities, as well as issues related to national identities, in Quebec, Canada and abroad.
Marcia Vaune Jocelyn Kran, O.C.
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Marcia V. J. Kran has been advancing democratic governance and access to justice worldwide for more than three decades. Sought after for her integrity and extensive experience, she has forged effective partnerships with countries developing democratic practices, and her advocacy has empowered people to understand and exercise their fundamental human rights. Currently an expert member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, she has also contributed her expertise to the UN Development Programme and the UN Human Rights Office.
Vaikuntam Iyer Lakshmanan, O.C.
V. I. Lakshmanan has been merging his expertise in hydrometallurgy with his passion for the environment for decades. An internationally renowned scientist and entrepreneur, he has developed numerous sustainable process technologies that have enabled the Canadian mining industry to reduce pollution emissions. A devoted community leader and philanthropist, he co-founded the Canada India Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the Sringeri spiritual institution in Toronto. Through such initiatives, he advocates for the enhancement of bilateral relations between his adopted and native countries.
John E. Peller, O.C.
The grandson of a Hungarian immigrant, John Peller embodies the values that define Canadian citizenship. As the president and CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd., he oversaw the significant growth of the family business, which is now thriving in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. By producing premium-quality wines that are renowned internationally, he has transformed the way the Canadian wine industry is perceived by consumers around the world. Nationally, he upholds his family’s philosophy of giving back to the community through philanthropy, volunteering and improving the quality of life for all Canadians.
Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, O.C., O.M.
Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg models exceptional humanity with her culturally sensitive, relationship-building approach to medicine. She has undertaken translational research in rare genetic disorders commonly found in some unique populations within Indigenous, Hutterite and Mennonite communities. As a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba and a clinician scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, she emphasizes and models the importance of health professionals developing the trust and support of the communities in which they practice.
Guy Rouleau, O.C., O.Q.
Guy Rouleau is a pre-eminent leader in the neuroscience community. His groundbreaking work on identifying disease-causing genes has had a transformative impact on the study and treatment of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Professor and director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (“the Neuro”) at McGill University, he was instrumental in establishing the Neuro as the first academic institution to adopt open science principles. In addition, he has contributed his expertise as a board member of numerous foundations and initiatives within the field.
Ian Tamblyn, O.C.
In the words of folk music icon Ian Tamblyn, “There’s something ’bout this country that’s a part of me and you.” For more than five decades, this gifted singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and playwright has celebrated the beauty of our nation’s landscape and the spirit of its people, helping us to better understand the country and each other. An expedition guide and generous mentor with Adventure Canada and Students on Ice, he travels extensively to the world’s northernmost places and inspires many to find their voice through song.
Yanick Villedieu, O.C., C.Q.
Yanick Villedieu is a well-known media figure in Quebec. A renowned science journalist, he hosted the radio program Les années lumière on ICI Radio-Canada Première for over 30 years. While exploring a wide variety of topics, he used his natural ability to distil complex issues into simple terms in order to demystify science and make it accessible to generations of Canadians. An engaged author, he has also published a number of books on medicine, Quebec’s health care system and the societal challenges brought on by health issues.
Lori West, O.C.
Lori West is committed to improving organ donation rates and transplant patient care across Canada and worldwide. Over the last three decades, this pediatric cardiologist and clinicianscientist has improved the care of infants with serious cardiac disease: her groundbreaking discoveries in transplant immunobiology have significantly decreased wait times for donor hearts. In addition, she advocates for patients in need of transplantation through her numerous leadership positions on regional, national and international boards, notably as the founding director of the renowned Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program.
Ronald Duncan Barr, C.M.
Ronald Barr is a leader in the field of pediatric oncology. A professor at McMaster University, he has focused his research on the role of nutrition in childhood cancer, which subsequently improved treatment outcomes in North America and in developing countries. He has made seminal contributions to adolescent and young adult oncology, notably through his evaluations of the health-related quality of life of young patients undergoing treatment. In addition to his research, he has held key roles on many national and international pediatric oncology committees.
Guy Berthiaume, C.M.
Librarian and archivist of Canada emeritus Guy Berthiaume has contributed to the preservation of our collective heritage and has helped make it more accessible to all Canadians. He is credited with reinvigorating Library and Archives Canada by enhancing its alignment with the cultural sector, as well as by creating the National Heritage Digitization Strategy. As the former CEO of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, he played an integral part in making the organization a hub in Montréal’s cultural sphere.
Allan Borodin, C.M.
Allan Borodin is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science. An expert in computational complexity and algorithm analysis, he developed precise models and efficient problem formulations for algorithmic techniques that have become a framework for research on a global scale. A professor at the University of Toronto, he designed innovative courses that were instrumental in the department’s growth, and authored several groundbreaking textbooks that have become catalysts for understanding the field of computer science.
George Brookman, C.M.
Through his business endeavours and various local initiatives, George Brookman has earned himself the sobriquet “Mr. Calgary.” A true community builder, he is renowned for his commitment to such large-scale events as the Calgary Stampede and the Field of Crosses, as well as the annual Breakfast on the Bridge, which benefits the local Military Family Resource Centre. As a long-standing volunteer and fundraiser, he has made substantial contributions to education, health care, civic life and governance, and has vigorously promoted public art in western Canada.
Mary Ruth Brooks, C.M.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Mary Brooks is one of Canada’s leading scholars in marine transportation. Professor emerita at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, she is renowned for her foundational work on commercial shipping, port performance and supply chain management. A sought-after consultant, she has shared her expertise with a wide range of organizations, bridging academia, government and industry. As founder and former long-term chair of the Port Performance Research Network, she spearheaded the development of innovative concepts and policies that are now widely used in the Americas, Europe and Australia.
Robert Anthony Clark, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Thanks to chef Robert Clark’s ongoing efforts, the country’s sustainable fishing industry is faring better. In collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium and nearly 600 partners, he established Ocean Wise®, a unique Canadian ocean conservation program that promotes sustainable and responsible seafood food systems. Former executive chef at C Restaurant and now chief brand advocate for Organic Ocean Seafood, he has distinguished himself in his field for over 20 years by favouring the use of local ingredients in his kitchens and promoting it within his community.
Joseph Michael Connors, C.M.
Victoria, British Columbia
Joseph Connors has made significant advancements to lymphoma care in Canada. While at BC Cancer, he led a research team world-renowned in its expertise in the disease’s pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management. Through his leadership at the cancer agency as well as his extensive contributions to national and international lymphoma working groups and trials, he has helped establish evidence-based treatment guidelines that have significantly improved patient care globally. A foundational figure in the field, he is respected by cancer specialists around the world for his leadership and mentorship.
Michel Cusson, C.M.
Whether on stage or on screen, Michel Cusson has left his mark on Canada’s music scene. He first distinguished himself as the founder and guitarist for the internationally renowned jazz fusion group UZEB, which helped to shape the evolution of jazz in Canada. While never fully putting aside his guitar, he then brought his talents as a composer to the film and television industries and to the performing arts world, garnering awards for his innovative soundtracks. Skilfully juxtaposing sounds and images, he imbued countless films, television series and performances with emotion, including Omertà and Cavalia.
Gail Cyr, C.M.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Gail Cyr is a powerful voice for Indigenous communities in Canada’s North. A long-time public servant in the government of the Northwest Territories, she is recognized for her involvement with the Native Court Worker Association, and as a special advisor on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. She is also esteemed as the former executive director of the Native Women’s Association. Her commitment to bringing Indigenous representation into Canada’s political and social discourse continues in her work with the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission.
Serge Demers, C.M.
Serge Demers is at the forefront of marine science development in Canada. Biological oceanographer and professor at Université du Québec à Rimouski, he travelled the globe to collect the samples that formed the basis for his outstanding scientific output. An extraordinary administrator, he co-created the Institut des sciences de la mer, which he skilfully helmed for over 15 years. By forging numerous international partnerships, he helped to establish the Bas-Saint-Laurent as a major hub for research and innovation in this field.
Sandra Djwa, C.M.
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Sandra Djwa is a champion of Canadian literature. A distinguished academic, writer and professor emerita at Simon Fraser University, she is renowned for her thoughtful biographies of some of our country’s most acclaimed poets and public figures, including F. R. Scott, Roy Daniells and P. K. Page. As co-founder of the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures / L’Association des littératures canadienne et québécoise, she helped consolidate Canadian literature as a discipline. Her contributions as a beloved teacher and mentor have influenced generations of students and young writers.
L. David Dubé, C.M.
David Dubé has inherited the business acumen and selflessness espoused by his parents. After purchasing the family business, he led the significant growth of a conglomerate comprising more than 30 successful companies. A reputable philanthropist, he has supported a wide array of causes, notably through the foundation that he established with his wife. As honorary lieutenant colonel of the North Saskatchewan Regiment, he always strived to organize events that support, celebrate and honour Canadian Armed Forces members and their families.
William John Fox, C.M.
William Fox has significantly influenced Canadian journalism, politics, business and education. Former Toronto Star bureau chief in Washington, D.C. and in Ottawa, he served as press secretary and director of communications for former prime minister Brian Mulroney. He also served as a senior communications executive with Canadian National, Bombardier and Bell Canada Enterprises. A fellow of the Riddell Graduate Program at Carleton University and senior fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto, he has mentored hundreds of students, and has left an indelible mark on media practice and public policy.
The Honourable Joan Fraser, C.M.
Joan Fraser is an eminent journalist and public commentator. The first woman appointed editor-in-chief of The Gazette, she is lauded for her contributions to Canadian politics and for her high journalistic standards, notably during the coverage of the 1995 Quebec independence referendum. Now retired, she served a 20-year tenure in the Senate, where she chaired several standing committees and was deputy leader of the Senate Liberals. Regarded as a bridge-builder between Quebec’s “two solitudes,” she has tirelessly advocated for language minority rights and for gender equality in politics.
Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl, C.M.
Baruch Frydman-Kohl is a devoted advocate for justice and peace. Rabbi emeritus of the Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto, he is a leader in interfaith dialogue throughout Canada. Known for his accepting and inclusive teachings, he uses thoughtful and skilled mediation techniques to bring Canadians together, transcending differences and focusing on shared values. A revered mentor to the next generation of rabbis, he has also authored numerous scholarly publications in the areas of Jewish philosophy and mysticism.
Janice Fukakusa, C.M.
Janice Fukakusa’s impact on Canadian banking extends far beyond numbers. Capping her 31-year career with the Royal Bank of Canada as its chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, she remains a celebrated role model for women in finance, and an advocate for diversity and inclusion. In addition to lending her expertise to governmental and corporate bodies, she demonstrates a deep commitment to business, health care and education initiatives, notably as chancellor of Ryerson University. A champion of the Asian-Canadian community, she also actively leads and supports efforts to combat anti-Asian racism in our country.
Robert Godin, C.M.
Successful entrepreneur and music lover Robert Godin has created some of the world’s most famous guitar brands. A global leader in the guitar manufacturing industry, Godin Guitars has offered musicians innovative designs and premium-quality instruments, each with a signature sound, for more than four decades. He has made generous donations to school programs in Quebec and the United States that help children discover music as a vector for academic and social development, and is frequently invited to share his expertise with international audiences.
Jean-Paul Grappe, C.M., C.Q.
Jean-Paul Grappe has worked in the gastronomy field for over 60 years. As a chef, restaurateur and instructor at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, and as a cookbook author, he has had a significant impact on the evolution of Quebec’s agri-food sector, and has brought together artisans and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about showcasing local cuisine and regional culinary traditions, including those of Indigenous peoples in northern Quebec. A mentor in the industry, he has trained the master chefs of today and tomorrow.
David Grimes, C.M.
David Grimes is one of the world’s pre-eminent meteorologists. Long-serving assistant deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, he is the first Canadian to be appointed president of the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization. During his two terms in this role, he implemented far-reaching initiatives, and forged new regimes for global climate and weather services used by Canada and others to enhance forecasting capabilities of the world’s poorest developing countries. His transformative leadership and policies will have major benefits for generations to come.
Stanley Hamilton, C.M., O.B.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Stanley Hamilton has enriched the education, finance and arts sectors in British Columbia. Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, he has mentored thousands of students and helped expand the school’s brand internationally with campuses around the globe. He also led the development of a more efficient tax system as the former chair of the Vancouver Property Tax Policy Review Commission. As the director of Ballet B.C. and founder of the Arts Club’s Silver Commissions Project, he remains a generous supporter of Vancouver’s vibrant arts community.
Peter Harrison, C.M.
Peter Harrison exudes a profound understanding of Canada’s responsibilities as an Arctic nation. As an academic, senior public servant and policy advisor, he has contributed to the stewardship of the polar region. Notably, he has helped shepherd regulatory measures, policies and programs supporting Canadian commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to the Canadian High Arctic Research Station and the International Polar Year. Professor emeritus at Queen’s University, he remains an active collaborator and advisor at the vanguard of Arctic policy initiatives.
Carol Pearl Herbert, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Carol Herbert is an eminent physician, administrator and educator. Professor emerita at Western University, she is renowned for her commitment to advancing clinical medicine, and for her dedication in the areas of family medicine, primary care research, violence against women and Indigenous health issues. She has been an active leader and member of multiple organizations, notably serving as president of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. As one of the first women in Canada to become a dean of medicine, she is a mentor to other women in the field and in academia.
Peter Daniel Alexander Jacobs, C.M.
A distinguished professor at Université de Montréal, Peter Jacobs is regarded as a pioneer in the field of landscape architecture. With a career spanning 45 years, he established effective strategies to advance sustainable principles in the design of large-scale development. An advocate for environmental responsibility, he is renowned for his critical research on issues affecting natural and architectural conservation. A published author and former chair of multiple government initiatives, he spearheaded the growth and recognition of landscape architect as a profession in Canada.
Gilbert Lacasse, C.M.
Gilbert Lacasse has left an indelible mark on the print media and book industry. He ran the publishing company Novalis, which experienced unprecedented national and international growth under his leadership. An astute administrator, he oversaw the restructuring and modernization of two major newspapers, notably ensuring the survival of Le Droit, which was a critical issue for the Francophone community in the National Capital Region. For decades, he has lent his expertise to several community organizations and charitable movements.
Michele M. Leering, C.M.
Michele Leering has dedicated her career to helping people who are vulnerable and marginalized. As executive director and lawyer with Belleville’s Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, she has promoted legal literacy, action research, and innovative health justice and community partnerships to increase access to justice. Her work has influenced poverty law service innovation throughout Ontario. A national and international proponent of community-based justice, legal empowerment and holistic approaches, she also advocates for including reflective practice as a core professional competency for lawyers and an access to justice consciousness.
Cathy Levy, C.M.
Cathy Levy is lauded for furthering excellence in the art of dance. Her leadership of the Canada Dance Festival and Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre created platforms from which emerging artists and choreographers could shine. For nearly two decades as executive producer of dance at the National Arts Centre, she has expanded its repertoire, attracting companies from around the world and showcasing this country’s home-grown talent. She continues to encourage young artists by creating learning opportunities and podcasts with the world’s best visiting performers.
Judy Matthews, C.M.
Judy Matthews beautifies public space. For decades, this expert urban planner has focused her energy and leadership on transforming civic space into unique and inviting places for people to gather, connect and build community. Her most recent groundbreaking project, The Bentway, has garnered her acclaim. Together with her husband, she has generously contributed to initiatives and organizations that have enriched the lives of many Torontonians. Through her board and philanthropic work, this visionary city-builder is also a mentor to the next generation of urban planners and cultural supporters.
Harvey Andrew McCue (Waubageshig), C.M.
Harvey Andrew McCue is a leading advocate for Indigenous health and education. An Anishinaabe from the Georgina Island First Nation, he addresses issues of physical and emotional well-being among at-risk youth. He is the principal and co-director of the First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention curriculum, a free, online program that promotes resilience through culture. He helped establish Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, an innovative educational organization in Nova Scotia that has inspired other First Nations in Canada to follow suit. He is also the co-founder of Trent University’s trailblazing Indigenous studies program.
Lynn McIntyre, C.M.
Lynn McIntyre has redefined the understanding of health equity and food insecurity in Canadian public health. A distinguished professor at the University of Calgary and a former dean of the Faculty of Health Professions at Dalhousie University, she has re-examined the way in which population health data are compiled by linking socio-economic, gender and ethno-racial determinants to food scarcity. Recognized as a leading practitioner, researcher and administrator, she is a sought-after mentor and has influenced policymaking at the provincial and federal levels in Canada.
Sarah Fellowes Milroy, C.M.
Sarah Milroy has been a major influence on the growth of Canada’s art sector for three decades. Chief curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, she promotes Canadian art on the global stage and has co-curated major international exhibitions. As co-founder of the Canadian Art Foundation, and former editor and publisher of Canadian Art magazine, she has profiled both emerging and established artists, and has written insightful articles and critiques geared towards both the general public and members of the arts community.
Glenn Peter O’Farrell, C.M.
Glenn O’Farrell has promoted the French language and culture around the world through his vision for education and his leadership in communications. Former president and CEO of Groupe Média TFO, he bolstered its educational mandate by increasing its production capacities and distribution of quality content, making it a global symbol of the Francophonie. His flair and sensitivity have led him to understand the needs and realities of various regions, thus helping to shape the identity of official language minority communities from coast to coast.
Robin Poitras, C.M.
Robin Poitras is the embodiment of creative passion. An esteemed dance artist whose interdisciplinary work has been presented around the world, she bridges the interface between contemporary dance and interactive performance to explore physical space, movement and symbolic meaning. As the artistic director of New Dance Horizons, she develops large-scale community projects that inspire audience participation. A beloved mentor to a new generation of dance artists in Canada, she has made significant contributions to the cultural landscape of her province.
Robert Small, C.M.
Artist Robert Small brings Black heritage to life in Canada. Since 1995, he has created the annual Black History Month Legacy Poster, which celebrates the wide-ranging contributions and achievements of prominent Black people throughout history. He further strives to educate and advocate for culturally relevant teaching and for community spaces that fully reflect society. Through his dedication to showcasing positive imagery of Black people, and his commitment to anti-racism and to Black and youth empowerment, he is helping to build a more inclusive and diverse country.
Kenneth L. Wilson, C.M.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
For more than 40 years, senior physician Kenneth Wilson has made sustainable contributions to the field of plastic reconstructive surgery. The former chief of plastic surgery at Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre and the founding member of the Group for the Advancement of Microsurgery Canada, he inspired and guided future generations of surgeons through his expert mentorship and teaching. Founding member and president of the Operation Smile Canada Foundation, he has volunteered on more than 40 international missions, tirelessly performing pro-bono surgeries for children with cleft palates.