Order of Canada appointees announced

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean has announced 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada, including Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes and astronaut Julie Payette.

Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean announced 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada on Wednesday, including Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes, astronaut Julie Payette and Olympic organizer John Furlong.

The three are among 53 members, 18 officers and three companions. The recipients will be given their insignia at a ceremony whose date has yet to be announced.

Willard S. Boyle, the Canadian scientist who won a Nobel Prize last December for his work in optics, was promoted to the highest honour — Companion of the Order of Canada.

Ehnes, a Brandon, Man.-raised violinist now in demand on the international concert circuit, earned a Grammy Award and a Juno Award in 2008 for best classical album for his recording of the Barber, Korngold and Walton concertos with the Vancouver Symphony. He becomes a member.

Payette, who in 1999 was the first Canadian to visit the International Space Station, is being promoted to officer. She's being recognized "for her accomplishments as an engineer and astronaut, and for her recognition as a source of inspiration and an international ambassador for engineering in Canada," the Governor General's office said.

"For his contributions to the planning and realization of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which galvanized Canadians from coast to coast to coast and showcased Canada to the world," Furlong will also be appointed an officer. Furlong used to be the CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee; he is now the chairman of the Own the Podium advisory board, which supports amateur athletes in a quest to boost their medal winnings.

Michael J. Fox, the former star of the hit television show Family Ties and the Back to the Future movie trilogy, will be appointed an officer, a promotion within the order. He is being recognized "for his contributions as an advocate for those with Parkinson's disease, and as an actor in film and on television," the Governor General's office said.

The remaining appointees reflect a wide range of fields and industries across Canada and even abroad, including:

  • Author and journalist Gwynne Dyer, who was born in Newfoundland.
  • Earl Muldon of Hazelton, B.C., "for his contributions as a master carver, helping to revive traditional northwest coast art."
  • Helene Dorion of Montreal for her contributions to Quebec poetry.
  • Patrick Jarvis of Calgary "for his contributions to the development of the Paralympic movement in Canada and abroad."
  • Rosalind Prober of Winnipeg "for her contributions as a volunteer and social advocate working to advance the rights of children." 
  • Simone Roach of Antigonish, N.S., who established the first code of ethics for nurses in Canada.
  • Abraham (Braam) de Klerk, of Inuvik, N.W.T., a physician who advocates for the needs of remote populations.
  • Gordon Porter of Woodstock, N.B., for promoting the rights of Canadians with disabilities, particularly children.
  • R.H. Thomson of Toronto, an actor, writer and director, known for roles in Road to Avonlea and The Englishman's Boy.