Dionne Brand named to the Order of Canada
Dionne Brand has been named one of 99 new appointees to the Order of Canada. The awards, which are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, recognize outstanding merit and exceptional contributions to Canada and the world.
"It is an honour to receive [the Order of Canada] with thanks to unknown and unheralded Black Canadians who made/make my art and existence possible," Brand wrote in a statement to the Globe and Mail. In her work as both a writer and a political activist, Brand has consistently drawn upon her experience as a black woman and immigrant in Canada to address the country's relationship with race and immigration.
Brand won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and the Trillium Book Award for her 1997 collection Land to Light On. Her collection thirsty won the 2003 Pat Lowther Award, given annually to the best book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and in 2009 she served as the Poet Laureate of Toronto. Her novel What We All Long For, about four twenty-somethings living on the margins in Toronto, won the City of Toronto Book Award in 2006. Her most recent novel is 2014's Love Enough.
Actor Mike Myers, whose recent bestseller Canada celebrated his home country, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Other honourees this year include author and actor Susan Coyne, former McClelland and Stewart publisher Douglas Gibson, art critic and author Meeka Walsh, and author Lise Gaboury-Diallo.