David Suzuki one of 56 named to Order of Canada

Environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada, one of 56 people appointed to Canada's highest civilian honour.

Suzuki, host of The Nature of Things, is a Vancouver-based scientist and winner of the United Nations Environment Medal.

He is one of two people named as Companions of the Order, the highest level of the honour. The other is senior civil servant, public affairs broadcaster and former chief executive of TV Ontario Bernard Ostry.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. There are three levels of the order: companion, officer and member.

Governor General Michaëlle Jean will award the insignia at a date yet to be announced. Canadians with accomplishments in arts and culture are to be honoured, alongside others who have made contributions to social services or public life.

A National Film Board filmmaker and a Vancouver artist have been named officers of the Order of Canada. Gudrun Parker of Montreal is the director of documentaries and short films such as A Vous and A Musician in the Family. West Coast Salish artist Susan Point uses cedar, steel glass and stone to make contemporary art that reflects native tradition.

Toronto jazz singer and performer Salome Bey has been appointed an honorary member of the Order of Canada.

Among the accomplished Canadians appointed as members were:

  • Peggy Baker, a contemporary dancer, dance teacher and choreographer and founder of Peggy Baker Dance Projects of Toronto. She was a founding member of Dancemakers and danced in New York with Lar Lubovich.
  • Walter Borden, a Halifax stage performer and film actor.
  • Louise Dennys, publisher of Toronto-based Knopf Canada.
  • Paterson Ferns, Victoria-based producer of films such as The Brylcreem Boys and The Burning Season and former chief executive of the Banff Television Foundation.
  • Sonny Greenwich, a world-renowned jazz guitarist based in Montreal.
  • Wanda Koop, a Winnipeg visual artist who Time listed as among Canada's best. Her landscapes and other works are held in numerous public and private collections.
  • Daphne Marlatt, a Vancouver-based essayist, novelist and writer 14 books of poetry, including  How Hug a Stone (1983) and Two Women in a Birth (1994).
  • George Walker, of Toronto, co-writer of CBC-TV's This is Wonderland and the playwright who penned Suburban Motel.