Order of Canada
The Order was created on July 1, 1967, on the country's 100th anniversary, to recognize Canadians who have made a difference to Canada. It is Canada's highest honour for lifetime achievement. Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada is Sovereign of the Order and the serving Governor General is its Chancellor and Principal Companion. Since 1967, more than 4,000 people have been appointed to the Order of Canada.
There are three levels of the award:
- Companions of the Order of Canada have demonstrated the highest degree of merit to Canada and humanity, on the national or international scene. Up to 15 Companions (C.C.) are appointed each year, with a limit of 165 Companions at any given time.
- Officers of the Order of Canada have demonstrated an outstanding level of talent and service to Canadians. Up to 64 Officers (O.C.) are appointed each year.
- Members of the Order of Canada have made an exceptional contribution to Canada or Canadians at a local or regional level. As many as 136 Members (C.M.) may be appointed annually.
The Governor General of Canada makes the appointments based on recommendations from the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council, which is chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada, includes the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Chairperson of the Canada Council for the Arts, the President of the Royal Society of Canada, and the Chairperson of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. As well, two members of the Order are part of the Council for a maximum three-year term.
The current members of the Advisory Council are:
- The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada (Chair)
- The Honourable Thomas R. Berger, O.C.
- Mrs. Ruth Miriam Goldbloom, O.C.
- Mr. Richard Francis Haskayne, O.C.
- Mr. Alex Himelfarb, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
- Mr. Tom Jackson, O.C.
- Miss Karen Kain, C.C., Chair, the Canada Council for the Arts
- Mrs. Judith A. LaRocque, C.V.O., Deputy Minister, Canadian Heritage
- Mr. Peter MacKinnon, Chairman of the Board, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
- The Honourable Antonine Maillet, P.C., C.C., O.Q.
- Mr. Gilles Paquet, C.M., President, the Royal Society of Canada
All living Canadians are eligible for any of the three awards, with the exception of politicians and judges in office. Awards are announced twice annually, on January 1 and July 1 (Canada Day). Members may be promoted to Officers, and Officers may be promoted to Companions; this is generally done five years or more after the initial appointment.
Induction ceremonies are generally conducted by the Governor General at Rideau Hall and, on rare occasions when she is in the country, by the Queen herself.
Citizens of other countries are eligible for honorary appointments at all three levels. The maximum number of honorary appointments per year is five.
Members can be removed from the Order if the Advisory Council feels their actions have brought it into disrepute. As of 2004, the only person to be stripped of the honour is Alan Eagleson, who was removed from the order after being jailed for fraud in 1998. David Ahenakew has also faced calls for his removal due to anti-Semitic comments he made in 2002.
Past appointments include:
- Pitseolak Ashoona, Inuit artist
- Jean Beliveau, professional ice hockey player
- Pierre Berton, journalist, author, popularizer of Canadian history
- Charles Best, prominent scientist
- Raffi Cavoukian, children's entertainer
- Leonard Cohen, writer, poet and musician
- Stompin' Tom Connors, writer, musician, Canadian icon
- Ernie Coombs, a.k.a. "Mr. Dressup" – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation TV personality
- Ernest Cormier, architect and engineer
- Roméo Dallaire, general, senator, humanitarian, and author
- Robertson Davies, novelist, playwright, critic, journalist and professor
- Céline Dion, singer
- Catherine Doherty, social activist
- Tommy Douglas, politician
- David Foster, composer, pianist, producer, Grammy Award recipient
- Terry Fox, athlete and cancer fund-raising activist
- Marc Garneau, first Canadian in space
- Wayne Gretzky, professional ice hockey player
- Ian Hacking, philosopher
- Monty Hall, TV personality
- Bill Hunter, ice hockey owner, general manager and coach
- k.d. lang, singer and songwriter
- Geddy Lee, musician
- Alex Lifeson, musician
- Gordon Lightfoot, folk singer, songwriter
- Frederick Lowy, bioethicist and medical educator
- Hugh Allan "Buddy" MacMaster, musician
- Jean Marchand, former cabinet minister, speaker of the Senate
- Kate and Anna McGarrigle, musicians
- Loreena McKennitt, musician
- Joni Mitchell, musician, painter
- Jan Narveson, educator
- Neil Peart, musician, author
- Oscar Peterson, musician, former Chancellor of York University
- Judah Hirsch Quastel, biochemist
- Mordecai Richler, author
- John Ralston Saul, author
- Jeffrey Simpson, journalist
- Miyuki Tanobe, painter
- Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister
There have been only five awards given to non-Canadians. They are:
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former UN Secretary-General (originally from Egypt)
- HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (arguably not a "non-Canadian")
- Václav Havel, President of the Czech Republic
- Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa (actually an honourary Canadian citizen)
- His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
More members can be found in Category:Members of the Order of Canada.
Provincial and territorial Orders
- Alberta Order of Excellence
- Order of British Columbia
- Order of Manitoba
- Order of New Brunswick
- Order of Nova Scotia
- Order of Ontario
- Order of Prince Edward Island
- National Order of Quebec
- Saskatchewan Order of Merit
- Yukon Territory Order of Polaris