Search for "Order of Canada"

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Reg Schwager

Reginald Cornelis Egbert Schwager, CM, jazz guitarist, composer (born 7 May 1962 in Leiden, Netherlands). Reg Schwager is one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz guitarists. Over the course of his 40-year career, he has played with such notable musicians as Peter Appleyard, Diana Krall, Mel Tormé, Chet Baker, Rob McConnell and Oliver Jones. Schwager was named Guitarist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards four years in a row (2005–08) and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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Order of Canada

The Order of Canada, the highest level of distinction in the Canadian Honours System, was established on 1 July 1967, the 100th anniversary of Confederation. Any Canadian may be appointed a Member (CM), Officer (OC) or Companion (CC) of the Order in recognition of outstanding achievements or exemplary contributions in any sector of Canadian society. Appointments to the Order of Canada are made by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order. This body, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada, meets twice per year to consider nominations made by members of the public. From 1967 to 2015, 6,530 people from all walks of life were appointed to the Order.

timeline event

Sanaaq, One of the First Inuktitut Novels, is Published

Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk was an Inuit author, teacher and historian. Her most noted achievement is her novel Sanaaq, written in Inuktitut throughout the 1950s and finally published in 1984. One of the first Inuktitut novels, it was translated into French in 2002 and into English in 2014. Nappaaluk was a champion of Inuit culture and traditions and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004.

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Katherine Govier

Katherine Mary Govier, CM, writer, editor, administrator, teacher (born 4 July 1948 in Edmonton, AB). Katherine Govier has published 10 novels and three short-story collections, as well as two acclaimed collections of travel writing. A Member of the Order of Canada, she has received the Toronto Book Award and the Marian Engel Award. She has served on the boards of the Toronto Arts Council, the Canadian Council for Civil Liberties and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. She has also taught at Sheridan College, Ryerson University and York University.

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Robin Poitras

Robin Poitras, CM, dancer, teacher, choreographer, administrator (born 1958 in Regina, SK). Robin Poitras is the co-founder and artistic and managing director of Regina-based New Dance Horizons. It is one of Canada’s most successful and groundbreaking contemporary dance organizations. It has played a crucial role in the development of contemporary dance in Saskatchewan since the mid-1980s. Poitras has received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for the Arts, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Awards and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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George Chuvalo

George Chuvalo, CM, O.Ont, boxer (born 12 September 1937 in Toronto, ON). George Chuvalo is a three-time Canadian heavyweight champion boxer. He is perhaps best known for his full 15-round bout with world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens on 29 March 1966. Ali famously called Chuvalo “the toughest guy I ever fought.” Chuvalo posted a career record of 73-18-2, with 64 wins by knockout. He has also served as a prominent anti-drug advocate after losing two sons to drug overdoses and his wife and another son to suicide. A Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, Chuvalo has been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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Dan Aykroyd

Daniel Edward Aykroyd, CM, OOnt, comedian, actor, screenwriter, musician, entrepreneur (born 1 July 1952 in Ottawa, ON). Dan Aykroyd is a comedian, writer and actor best known for his four seasons on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and for such hit comedies as The Blues Brothers (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984), both of which he cowrote. He won an Emmy Award for his writing on SNL and received an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). He has also enjoyed considerable success as an entrepreneur, particularly in wine and spirits. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario and has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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Fernand Nault

Fernand-Noël Boissonneault, OC, GCQ, dancer, choreographer, teacher, director (born 27 December 1920 in Montreal, QC; died 26 December 2006 in Montreal). As resident choreographer of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Fernand Nault created highly theatrical ballets in an accessible, contemporary style. His honours include the Prix du Québec, the Prix Denise-Pelletier and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier in the Ordre national du Québec.

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David Blackwood

David Lloyd Blackwood, CM, O Ont, printmaker, painter (born 7 November 1941 in Wesleyville [now New-Wes-Valley], NL; died 2 July 2022 in Port Hope, ON). David Blackwood was considered one of Canada's most important etchers (see printmaking). Dubbed “Newfoundland’s gothic master” by the Globe and Mail, Blackwood’s work often depicts the treacherous seafaring life of his native Newfoundland. He taught at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario, and served as honorary chair of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

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Irving Abella

Irving Martin Abella, CM, O Ont, FRSC, historian, professor, administrator (born 2 July 1940 in Toronto, ON; died 3 July 2022). Irving Abella was a professor of history at York University from 1968 to 2013. He was a pioneer in the field of Canadian labour history and also specialized in the history of Jewish people in Canada. Abella was co-author of the book None Is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933–1948, which documented antisemitism in the Canadian government’s immigration policies. Abella served as president of the Canadian Jewish Congress from 1992 to 1995 and helped establish the Centre for Jewish Studies at York University. He was a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Yves Lambert

Yves Lambert, CM, singer, musician (born 15 September 1956 in Joliette, QC). Yves Lambert rose to fame in Quebec as a founding member of La Bottine souriante. The folk music group had three platinum albums and four gold albums in Canada and won multiple Juno Awards and Félix Awards. Lambert has been credited with popularizing traditional Québécois folk music while also reinventing it. His musical style blends folk music with traditional Quebec, Acadian, Celtic and country music styles. He has been described as a pillar of Quebec’s living heritage. Lambert was named Traditional Singer of the Year at the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards and has twice won the Conseil québécois de la musique (Québec Music Council) Opus Award. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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Michael Snow

Michael James Aleck Snow, CC, RCA, artist, filmmaker, musician (born 10 December 1929 in Toronto, ON; died 5 January 2023). Michael Snow was one of Canada’s most acclaimed visual artists and avant garde filmmakers. His work was concerned with redefining the relationships between various media, the acts and interpretations of perception, and the complex interplay of sound, language and meaning. A Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, he was the first recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. He also won a Molson Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, among many other honours.

timeline event

Conrad Black Pardoned by US President Donald Trump

President Trump signed a full pardon for Conrad Black, an author and former media mogul who was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007. He served just over three years in a Florida prison. In a statement, Black dismissed his conviction as “nonsense,” writing, “there was never a word of truth to any of it.” Black was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1990 and removed from the Order in 2014.

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Ed Bickert

Edward Isaac Bickert, CM, jazz guitarist (born 29 November 1932 in Hochfeld, MB; died 28 February 2019 in Toronto, ON). Ed Bickert was Canada’s best-known jazz guitarist. He developed a unique, understated style of considerable harmonic sophistication. Rooted in bebop, his intuitive, pianistic approach was characterized by lyrical and rhythmic ease, a deceptively complex simplicity and a generally muted tone. He is noted for his work with Ron Collier, Rob McConnell, Don Thompson and Moe Koffman. Bickert achieved international prominence through his work in the mid-1970s with American saxophonist Paul Desmond. A Member of the Order of Canada, Bickert won a Juno Award and multiple National Jazz Awards. He also played on dozens of Juno- and Grammy-nominated and award-winning recordings.

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Bill Davis

William Grenville Davis, PC, CC, OOnt, lawyer, politician, premier of Ontario 1971–85 (born 30 July 1929 in at Brampton, ON; died 8 August 2021 in Brampton). Known as “Brampton Billy” and as Ontario’s “education premier,” Bill Davis served as minister of education from 1962 to 1971 and as premier from 1971 to 1985. His government established Ontario’s system of community colleges; founded several universities and colleges, including the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE); and created public education broadcaster TVOntario. Davis also created the first environment ministry in Canada and played a key role in the patriation of Canada’s constitution.

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Mr. Dressup

Mr. Dressup was one of Canada’s most beloved and longest-running children’s television series. The program ran for 29 years (1967–96) and more than 4,000 episodes. It starred Ernie Coombs as the jovial Mr. Dressup and was a precursor to the popular American series, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup was influential in tailoring children’s programming towards developing the child’s emotional and logical intelligence. The series won three Gemini Awards and earned Coombs an appointment to the Order of Canada. A 2017 crowd-sourced online vote unofficially declared Mr. Dressup Canada’s most memorable television program. In 2019, Mr. Dressup was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.  

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Caroline Ouellette

Caroline Ouellette, OC, hockey player, softball player (born 25 May 1979 in Montreal, QC). Caroline Ouellette is one of only five athletes to win a gold medal at four consecutive Olympic Winter Games (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). She also won six gold medals and six silver medals with Team Canada at the IIHF Women’s World Championship and four Clarkson Cup titles as the champion of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Ouellette was a formidable power forward early in her career and became an excellent playmaker. Upon retiring from women’s hockey in 2018, she ranked second all-time among Canadian women’s hockey players in assists (155) and third in points (242). She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2019.

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Walter Learning

Walter John Learning, CM, ONB, director, actor, playwright (born 16 November 1938 in Quidi Vidi, NL; died 5 January 2020 in Fredericton, NB). The father of anglophone theatre in New Brunswick, Walter Learning founded Fredericton’s Theatre New Brunswick in 1969. He served as its artistic director until 1978 while co-writing plays with Alden Nowlan. Learning was also the theatre officer at the Canada Council for the Arts (1978–82), the artistic director of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company (1982–87) and the artistic director of the Charlottetown Summer Festival (1987–92). He received the Order of New Brunswick and was a Member of the Order of Canada.