Frank Joseph Hayden, C.C., O.Ont.
Frank Hayden is an icon in inclusive sport. Since spearheading the Special Olympics movement in the 1960s, he has strongly advocated the transformative effect of sport on the mental, physical and social well-being of people with intellectual disabilities. His trailblazing research on fitness programs for this population is still considered relevant today, and his efforts have contributed to the consistent growth in the number of participants in both the Summer and Winter Games. A beloved mentor to athletes and administrators alike, he inspires thousands of people around the world.
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Tom Jackson, C.C.
For decades, Tom Jackson has been combining his myriad talents with his extensive humanitarian work. This award-winning actor, musician and activist relentlessly and thoughtfully raises awareness to support the disadvantaged from coast to coast to coast. Through various fundraising events, notably his long-running charitable concert series, The Huron Carole, and as an ambassador for the Canadian Red Cross, he has generated millions of dollars in cash and in-kind services for the homeless, local food banks across the country, and disaster relief efforts at home and abroad.
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Yann Martel, C.C.
The stories of Yann Martel have touched the lives of millions across the globe. An award-winning author, he garnered universal acclaim with his novel Life of Pi, which is considered among the most influential works of the 21st century. Through his thought-provoking narratives, he has explored humanity’s defining questions about identity, faith, suffering and the meaning of stories. An advocate for Canadian art, a philanthropist and a volunteer, he has supported numerous national and local organizations, and remains deeply involved in his community.
Robert Daniel Steadward, C.C., A.O.E.
Robert Steadward has committed his life’s work to building a more inclusive society. A global presence in the Paralympic movement for many decades, he has held numerous influential roles, from professor, sport scientist, administrator and author, to leader, consultant and volunteer. Through his ongoing engagement with grassroots organizations, academic institutions, government and multi-stakeholder bodies, he continues to push accessible sport forward. Whether in his community of Edmonton, in his home province of Alberta or on the international stage, this revered mentor is highly sought after for his wisdom and expertise.
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Donna Strickland, C.C.
Donna Strickland is a global giant in the field of physics. A 2018 Nobel laureate and co-inventor of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), she has revolutionized the use of high-intensity laser physics through her research, which has resulted in the most intense lasers ever created. This discovery presents tremendous possibilities both for scientists and industry leaders, be it in precise cutting techniques for surgery or for cell phone technology. She is also a dedicated professor and mentor at the University of Waterloo, and shares her vast curiosity and expertise with the next generation of physicists testing the limits of this technology.
Raymond Bachand, O.C.
Montréal and Québec, Quebec
Renowned for his integrity and ability to mobilize others, Raymond Bachand has distinguished himself by his rigorous approach to education, business and politics. He has been a dedicated parliamentarian whose work as the member responsible for several departmental portfolios at the National Assembly of Quebec has been described as innovative. A skilled negotiator, he played a key role in ratifying the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, notably as Quebec’s chief negotiator. A model of service to the community, he has been involved in the governance of a number of organizations that have benefited from his creative flair.
Alice Benjamin, O.C., C.Q.
Alice Benjamin has delivered more than 10 000 babies, many born prematurely or with complications. An obstetrician at the Royal Victoria Hospital and an associate professor at McGill University, she is renowned for several Canadian firsts. She notably co-founded an antenatal day centre for women with diabetes to follow their progress from preconception to delivery. This innovative approach has minimized prolonged hospitalizations and stillbirths, and was replicated in other centres across the country. At the heart of her many innovative endeavours is her expertise in maternal-fetal medicine that she has shared with generations of Canadian trainees over the years.
John J. Clague, O.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
John Clague is Canada’s pre-eminent authority in quaternary and environmental earth sciences. A professor at Simon Fraser University, he has surveyed the last two million years of earth’s geological history and laid bare the mysteries beneath the surface. Also an expert in natural hazards, he has translated his scientific knowledge into enhanced guidelines to improve emergency preparedness and ensure public safety against such geological risks as earthquakes and coastal flooding. A beloved mentor to generations of students, he has influenced scientists around the world through his groundbreaking research.
Ian Stewart Hodkinson, O.C.
Ian Hodkinson has devoted a lifetime to preserving national treasures and heritage for future generations. The founder of and a professor in the internationally renowned Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University, he shaped the profession and raised the standards of practice in Canada. He has trained and mentored generations of graduates who are strengthening Canada’s position as a world leader in conservation science research. An esteemed mural conservator, he is highly respected for his sensitivity to culture and context, and is still sought after for his problem-solving ingenuity.
Eugenia Kumacheva, O.C.
Eugenia Kumacheva is one of Canada’s most distinguished chemists. A former Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials and current University of Toronto professor, she has helped Canada become a leader in the field of polymers science through her seminal discoveries. Her innovative design of new materials has wide applications, including 3D printing, medicine and cancer research. An advocate for women in science, she was the first Canadian laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science prize and the first woman to be awarded the Canada Institute of Chemistry Medal.
André Ménard, O.C.
A self-confessed music lover, André Ménard has energized Quebec culture. Co-founder and former vice-president of L’Équipe Spectra, he oversaw the workings of the Spectrum and the Métropolis while playing a leading role in creating the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. As the festival’s artistic director for 40 years, he supported the emergence of Canadian artists and helped shape the city into a cultural epicentre. The visionary behind the Quartier des spectacles, he has brought his expertise and enthusiasm to numerous administrative boards.
Former National Chief Ovide William Mercredi, O.C., O.M.
Ovide Mercredi has devoted his life to advancing Indigenous rights. A lawyer, politician and two-term national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, he steered the organization through foundational constitutional discussions, using his legal acumen to promote and advance the rights and freedoms of First Nations peoples. He subsequently served as chief of the Misipawistik Cree Nation, as spokesperson for Treaties 1–11, and as president of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party. Beyond his far-reaching community involvement and support for education, he is lauded as a mentor, writer and speaker.
Karen Messing, O.C.
Karen Messing is a groundbreaking researcher who integrated gender considerations into the field of ergonomics. Professor emerita at Université du Québec à Montréal, she produced evidence showing how the work environment affects physical and mental health by creating studies devoid of the gender biases she found in previous research. An advocate for workplace equality and a mentor to other scholars, she influenced governments, employers and trade unions in many countries to strive for improved labour conditions for both women and men.
Donald Kenneth Newman, O.C.
With a vigorous, in-depth approach to print and broadcast journalism, Donald Newman has voiced Canada’s stories for over 50 years. Following his distinguished career as a CBC reporter, senior editor and host, he has applied his expertise in public affairs and communications as a sought-after consultant. In addition to serving on numerous boards, he helped found the Canadian Committee on World Press Freedom, of which he is a staunch proponent. Ever the national chronicler, he is a dynamic member of Canada’s History Society, through which he encourages Canadians to discover their country’s narratives.
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Debra Pepler, O.C.
Through her community-based research, Debra Pepler has profoundly changed the way we perceive bullying. Distinguished research professor at York University, she has developed methodologies that shed new light on children’s relationships and interactions, some of which were previously unknown, thus providing novel insight on the processes of aggression and victimization. She has demonstrated the vital importance of healthy social-emotional development, and revealed the pressing need to support the relationships and mental health of young Canadians through school-based programs, social service agencies, public policies and legislation.
The Reverend Dr. James V. Scott, O.C.
James Scott is a champion of our democratic society. A retired United Church of Canada minister, he has been a peacebuilder whose work has transformed communities and established life-changing precedents in our judicial system. As the former church general council officer for residential schools, he earned universal praise as a chief negotiator in establishing the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, and as a seminal leader in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. He is also revered as an architect of restorative justice in Canadian law courts.
James V. Zidek, O.C.
Vancouver, British Columbia
James Zidek, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia, has advanced both the theory and practice of statistical science as a discipline through his extraordinary innovation. His trendsetting application of Bayesian approaches to environmental concerns—from air pollution to natural resource management—has helped transform environmental statistics, and contributed to setting standards to protect human health and welfare. A former president of the Statistical Society of Canada, he is equally recognized for his efforts to expand the field within academia and government.
Ella Yoelli Amir, C.M.
Ella Yoelli Amir has been a long-standing champion in the field of mental health. As executive director of AMI-Quebec for three decades, she developed innovative regional and national programs to educate the public and to advocate for change in the treatment of mental illness. Partnering with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, she has influenced national policy by highlighting the important role caregivers and families play in the recovery process. Through her efforts, she has helped shift public opinion toward making mental health a priority in Canada.
Cristina Amon, C.M.
Cristina Amon has pushed the field of engineering forward in Canada. The esteemed mechanical engineer is equally renowned for her contributions to education and innovation. She was the first woman to serve as dean of the University of Toronto’s engineering school, where she enhanced the faculty’s diversity and promoted interdisciplinary research. Now dean emerita, she is credited with transforming it into the premier school of its kind in Canada and a leading one globally. She remains an outstanding role model, mentor and champion for women in her field and beyond.
Christian Barthomeuf, C.M.
Christian Barthomeuf has pushed the boundaries of Quebec viticulture and apple production. Founder of one of Quebec’s first commercial vineyards, he currently runs Clos Saragnat, a domaine renowned for its inventiveness. Drawing on his vast experience in icewine production, he made the most of Canadian winters by inventing ice cider, a flagship product of Quebec’s terroir and known worldwide. An indispensable contributor to these sectors, he has inspired and advised many apple growers and entrepreneurs, while promoting sustainable agricultural practices and biodiversity protection.
B. Lynn Beattie, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Lynn Beattie’s trailblazing career has left an indelible mark on the field of geriatric medicine. Professor emerita at the University of British Columbia, she is the founder of its Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Clinic for Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders. In addition to her instrumental role in establishing geriatrics as its own medical specialty, she has advanced scientific understanding of aging and dementia. Her collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to research and clinical practice has helped increase the quality of life for countless Canadians.
Yves Beauchamp, C.M., C.Q.
Yves Beauchamp has distinguished himself as an exceptional administrator at the intersection of engineering and post-secondary education. A professor of industrial engineering and, later, director general of the École de technologie supérieure, he transformed the institution into a key training ground for practising engineers. He was actively involved in developing Montréal’s Quartier de l’innovation, leading to the revitalization of the Griffintown neighbourhood and to numerous partnerships between academic centres and businesses. In addition to his subsequent leadership at Université de Montréal and McGill University, he has lent his expertise to numerous administrative boards, including the Canadian Academy of Engineering and Inno-centre.
Izak Benbasat, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Izak Benbasat is a premier figure in management information systems (MIS). His pioneering research exploring the capabilities of human-computer interfaces has had tangible impact on the development of management and consumer decision support systems. He has provided outstanding service to the field, publishing prolifically in its leading journals, to which he has also contributed in an editorial capacity. Beyond his research contributions, he is renowned for his extensive and dedicated mentorship of generations of MIS scholars.
Daniel R. Bereskin, C.M., K.C.
Daniel Bereskin is a leader in intellectual property law. Founding partner of one of the most highly ranked intellectual property law firms in the country, he is credited with shaping Canadian trademark law and advancing the competitive edge of Canadian companies worldwide. A prolific author, he has garnered international recognition for his influential writing and is the recipient of some of the most prestigious honours in the field. For his outstanding contributions, he was the first Canadian inductee into the Intellectual Asset Management IP Hall of Fame.
Judy Birdsell, C.M.
A steadfast champion for patients, Judy Birdsell has enhanced the quality of life for many across Canada. Over the last three decades, this former registered nurse and passionate advocate has helped improve and advance community systems and policy through her various leadership roles in provincial and national health care, research and non-profit organizations. As co-founder of IMAGINE Citizens, a collaborative network of Albertans focused on patient-centred care, she empowers people to be well-informed and involved in their respective health journeys.
Paul Born, C.M.
Paul Born is a long-standing advocate for social change and the elimination of poverty. As co-founder and president of the Tamarack Institute, he is also the director of Vibrant Communities Canada, a nationwide initiative involving cities committed to reducing poverty through community engagement and collaboration. A teacher and author, he is considered a leader for his ability to work with residents and community organizers to develop sustainable plans that benefit communities over the long term.
Marilyn Brooks-Coles, C.M., O.Ont.
Marilyn Brooks is one of Canada’s leading fashion icons. A beloved designer and a fearless entrepreneur for more than four decades, she has transformed fashion retailing in Canada with her imaginative boutiques, renowned for their creativity, edgy designs and fun shopping experiences. Her vertical business model was a game-changer in the industry and emulated by fashion designers across the country and around the world. A true visionary leader, she was a driving force of support for the Canadian fashion industry, and an inspirational mentor to and champion of young Canadian talent.
Alain Chartrand, C.M., C.Q.
Thanks to Alain Chartrand’s flair and tenacity, hundreds of Francophone songwriters, performers and musicians have made their mark in Canada and abroad. By creating the Coup de cœur francophone music festival, he has demonstrated a tireless commitment to promoting and sharing French-language music. Focused on daring and creativity, this initiative has helped to break the linguistic isolation of remote communities. A prominent administrator, he has contributed to the international success and sustainability of many artistic productions.
Diane Elaine Clement, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Diane Clement has made an indelible impression on the national sport landscape. An athlete, coach, official and the first woman to serve as president of Athletics Canada, she has been the doyenne of Canadian track and field for over 60 years. She is lauded for her energy and volunteer spirit as the co-founder of both the Vancouver Sun Run and the Kajaks Track & Field Club, iconic regional initiatives beloved by athletes young and old, recreational to elite. The equally talented chef also spreads her message of healthy living through her bestselling cookbooks.
Phillip Crawley, C.M., C.B.E.
Phillip Crawley strives to provide Canadians with first-rate journalism, whether delivered to our doorstep or online. As publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail for the last 20 years, he has cemented its reputation and relevance during an era of digital disruption and industry-wide economic challenges. Keen to serve the broader media community, he has further shared his expertise with such organizations as The Canadian Press and the World Association of Newspapers. An active philanthropist, he continues to support many causes, from health care and sport to music and youth.
Aubrey Dan, C.M.
Aubrey Dan is a multidisciplinary master of business and philanthropy. Using his expertise gained as founder and principal of the Dancap Family Investment Office, he has generously guided significant improvements in health care services and higher education. One of his most notable initiatives, the Judy Dan Research and Treatment Centre, is now one of the largest hyperbaric medical centres in Canada, providing ever-more critical and comprehensive treatment. Future generations of students will benefit from his contributions to drama, music, management and organizational programs at Queen’s and Western universities.
Mary Eberle Deacon, C.M.
Mary Deacon’s vision and leadership have fundamentally helped shift the way Canadians understand their mental health and wellness. Her role as chair of Bell Let’s Talk has provided her with a platform to design the country’s largest corporate commitment and awareness campaign dedicated to a cause that is dear to her heart. She has striven to move mental health out of the shadows by popularizing and normalizing dialogue on the subject. Her efforts are connecting communities across Canada and inspiring conversations about this critical issue worldwide.
The Reverend Dr. Cheri DiNovo, C.M.
Cheri DiNovo’s advocacy for social justice has transformed human rights legislation in our country. A former provincial politician, she passed the most pro-2SLGBTQI+ bills in Ontario’s history, resulting in laws protecting transgender rights and banning conversion therapy. Having performed the first legalized same-sex marriage ceremony in Canada, she is celebrated in her community as the minister of Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church. Her legacy as a defender of transgender rights will have an enduring impact for generations to come.
Eric D. Friesen, C.M.
Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario
With his legendary voice and on-air charisma, Eric Friesen has supported and celebrated Canadian artists for decades. As a former executive of CBC Radio and long-time radio broadcaster, he renewed his listeners’ appreciation for and understanding of classical music as the host of numerous classical and cultural radio programs, such as Studio Sparks and In Performance, which featured Canadian musicians, songwriters and composers. The talented writer, sought-after speaker and interviewer remains active in the arts community and serves a wide variety of cultural organizations.
Hana Gartner, C.M.
As a journalist and leader in the broadcasting industry, Hana Gartner has demonstrated a long-standing dedication to social justice, human rights and the pursuit of truth. Throughout her career with the CBC, she blazed a path for women in the field. Her remarkable storytelling instinct and investigative reporting for the television series The Fifth Estate garnered several accolades. In addition to having served as a mentor to many, she advanced the profession as a whole by illustrating that the art of journalism lies in a careful blend of rigour and fairness.
Ken Greenberg, C.M.
Ken Greenberg is an internationally renowned pioneer of architecture and urban design. As a designer, teacher, writer and environmental advocate, he has endeavoured to create sustainable projects that support grassroots, community and cultural initiatives. He has played a key role in a wide array of assignments in both large and small urban settings, making groundbreaking proposals with regards to growth management, community planning and the rejuvenation of waterfronts, not only in Canada, but across North America and throughout Europe.
The Honourable Janis Guðrún Johnson, C.M.
Janis Johnson has represented the people of Manitoba for over a quarter of a century. Long-standing senator and advocate of women’s rights, she was the first woman to serve as national director of the former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. She has been a leader in her community for decades, notably through her involvement in the Manitoba and Canadian Special Olympics boards of directors. She is also the founding chair of the Gimli Film Festival, the largest film festival in rural Canada.
Peter Kendall, C.M.
Peter Kendall has devoted his career to preserving Canada’s land, water and wildlife. In addition to his role as executive director of the Schad Foundation, he is the co-founder of Earth Rangers, a non-profit organization that educates young audiences in every province and territory on the importance of protecting the environment and its rich biodiversity. Inspiring a generation of conservationists, he empowers hundreds of thousands of children to adopt sustainable behaviours and take action at home, at school and in their communities.
Suzanne Labarge, C.M.
Suzanne Labarge is an esteemed business woman, volunteer and philanthropist who has devoted her career to improving the lives of Canadians. As the former vice-chair of the Royal Bank of Canada, she helped shape the direction of the Canadian and global financial sectors through the implementation of regulatory policies and risk management practices. She is also known for her leadership, advocacy and philanthropy in the burgeoning field of optimal aging in Canada, and founded the McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal to research successful aging paradigms.
Maria Labrecque-Duchesneau, C.M., C.Q.
Maria Labrecque-Duchesneau has been a beacon in the lives of many Quebec farmers. She founded the organization Au cœur des familles agricoles and developed the Travailleur de rang program, a model of psychosocial intervention to ensure the well-being of farmers and their families. Always mindful of the need to combat discrimination, she established Fierté agricole, the first group to break the isolation of 2SLGBTQI+ people in rural communities. Her dedication and community involvement also led to the creation of a respite home and a 24/7 phone line, the first of its kind in the world.
Sandra Pitblado, C.M.
Sandra Pitblado is a dedicated philanthropist, volunteer, leader and mentor in Canada’s performing arts sector. Her impact on key cultural institutions lends credibility to the emerging organizations she also supports. As president of Creative Trust, she established an important legacy within Toronto’s independent arts scene by helping smaller companies achieve financial sustainability. Among the beneficiaries of her generous donations—both personal and through her family foundation—are the National Ballet of Canada, the Stratford Festival, Crow’s Theatre and the University of Manitoba.
Bruny Surin, C.M., C.Q.
Bruny Surin is a source of pride who inspires young and old alike to dream. A world-class sprinter, he has mounted the most prestigious podiums, notably capturing Olympic gold in Atlanta as part of the famed 4 x 100 m relay team. Now the head of his own company and foundation, he encourages Quebecers to adopt an active lifestyle through several initiatives, including Les Premières Foulées Bruny Surin. In addition to promoting sports-education balance for youth as a philanthropist, he mentors the next generation of athletes.
Beverly Thomson, C.M.
Beverly Thomson’s contributions to the broadcasting industry are far-reaching. As a journalist, correspondent and co-host of CTV’s former daily show, Canada AM, she has covered a wide range of news stories and events, which earned her the respect of the journalistic community and the public alike. She is a dedicated and passionate volunteer whose ability to connect with her audience away from the cameras has had an impact on many charitable causes nationwide. An outspoken cancer survivor, she has been a staunch advocate for numerous cancer fundraising groups, including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Darren Throop, C.M.
Halifax, Nova Scotia and Toronto, Ontario
From independent music retailer to global powerhouse, Darren Throop is recognized as a visionary in the entertainment industry. Over the course of his long tenure as CEO of Canada’s Entertainment One (eOne), he strategically positioned the company as one of the world’s largest and most innovative creators and distributors of independent film, television, music and family brands, including preschool-phenom Peppa Pig. From eOne’s headquarters in Toronto, he is deeply committed to enhancing Canada’s rich and diverse cultural landscape and to showcasing home-grown talent around the globe.
Jennifer Tory, C.M.
Jennifer Tory exemplifies the power of hard work. Through four decades with the Royal Bank of Canada, she rose to one of the top financial executive positions in the country. A tireless champion for diversity and inclusiveness in the industry and the community, she serves as a mentor to many. She lends her leadership skills to myriad organizations, including the United Way, WE (formerly Free the Children), and the boards of the Sunnybrook Foundation and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Jean-Marie Toulouse, C.M., O.Q.
Jean-Marie Toulouse is a pioneer of business studies. Professor emeritus and former director of HEC Montréal, he was the driving force behind its transformation into a world-class university business school. By establishing a research department, developing a joint doctoral program and modernizing teaching practices, he enabled the school to earn three international accreditations, a first in North America. A groundbreaking researcher, he has published works that have transformed entrepreneurship in Canada and demystified many aspects of Quebec’s 20th-century economic history.
Gordon W. Walker, C.M., K.C.
A passionate advocate for environmental protection, Gordon Walker played a leading role in protecting the transboundary waters between Canada and the United States. He left an indelible mark during his time as a city councillor and as head of a number of Ontario government ministries, as well as on the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission. He was also instrumental in the adoption of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River transboundary water management plan, which was unanimously supported by several governments, countless agencies and environmental stakeholders.
Roger Wong, C.M.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Roger Wong is one of Canada’s leading experts in geriatric medicine. This clinical professor and vice-dean at the University of British Columbia has made valuable contributions to advancing health policy and medical education in Canada and abroad. An early proponent of specialized Acute Care for Elders units in Canada, he is credited with their implementation in Vancouver and with helping the concept spread across the country. He remains dedicated to raising awareness of dementia and to applying culturally sensitive practices in health care.