Olympic medallist Hayley Wickenheiser and CBC host Bob McDonald are among 50 Canadians to be appointed to the Order of Canada.

Writer Malcolm Gladwell, novelist Nino Ricci and comedian Eugene Levy were also named to the order Thursday by Governor General David Johnston.

McDonald, host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, is being recognized for his contributions as a journalist and educator and for promoting the public's understanding of science. The veteran broadcaster called it a "humbling experience" and said he feels obliged to "honour the recognition with good work."

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Malcolm Gladwell, who grew up in rural Ontario, is being honoured for his charitable work, journalism and book writing. ((Brooke Williams/Associated Press))

Wickenheiser has won three Olympic gold medals and one silver. Gladwell and Levy will become members of the order, while McDonald and Wickenheiser will become officers.

Ronald G. Worton, chief executive of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, is being promoted from member to officer for his "sustained commitment" to developing health research innovations.

Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is the country's highest civilian honour. It is awarded to people of extraordinary achievement who have made a difference in Canada or the world.

This is the second set of appointments made by Gov. Gen. Johnston since succeeding former Gov. Gen. Michaƫlle Jean in October 2010.