Order of Manitoba honours 12, including Tom Cochrane, Jonathan Toews

Twelve Manitobans — athletes, activists and authors among them— will receive Manitoba's highest honour on Thursday.

The order honours those who have benefited the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba

Wilma Derksen, left, Tom Cochrane and Jonathan Toews are among the 12 people being inducted into the Order of Manitoba. (CBC/Canadian Press/Getty Images)

Twelve Manitobans — athletes, activists and authors among them— will receive Manitoba's highest honour on Thursday.

The special ceremony, to induct the honoured dozen into the Order of Manitoba, will be held at 4 p.m. at the legislative building.

The order recognizes those who have benefited the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province. 

"The women and men to be invested into the Order of Manitoba in 2015 demonstrate the power of a single individual in encouraging positive change locally, nationally, and globally. I am delighted and humbled to preside over the induction of these 12 inspiring leaders," said Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon.

This year's ceremony brings to 210 the total number of members named to the Order of Manitoba since its inception in 1999.

The recipients are, in alphabetical order:

  • Rachel Alao, who has helped newcomers to Canada as founding executive director and program director of Winnipeg's Helping Hands Resource Centre for Immigrants Inc.
  • Chad Allan, a rock musician who played a pivotal role in creating two legendary Winnipeg rock bands, The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
  • Karen Beaudin, a community resource co-ordinator who has increased support, understanding and respect for indigenous people in the workforce.
  • Tom Cochrane, a multiple Juno Award-winning musician and humanitarian.
  • Dian Cohen, an economist, broadcaster and author.
  • Wilma L. Derksen, an artist and author who has supported and advocated for victims of serious crime since her daughter, Candace, was murdered in 1984.
  • Dan Johnson, the founding executive director of the Manitoba Special Olympics.
  • Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player who has become known for turning a history of sexual abuse into awareness and support for other victims.
  • Donald R. J. Mackey, a Métis veteran who has ensured the sacrifices of First Nations and Métis veterans are never forgotten. He also established the Sgt. Tommy Prince, MM, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps for inner-city youth.
  • Mitch Podolak, the founding artistic director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
  • Khhem Kamarie (Monica) Singh, a member of the Manitoba Ethnocultural Advocacy and Advisory Council, for actively supporting recent immigrants to Manitoba.
  • Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks and a gold-medal-winning Olympian.


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