Order of Canada adds 57 names

Singers Neil Young and Burton Cummings, and humanitarian James Orbinski have become officers of the Order of Canada, Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean has announced.

Young, Cummings become officers; Bouchard, Pecaut new appointees

Burton Cummings performs during the 2005 Juno festivities in Winnipeg. He has been elevated to officer of the Order of Canada. (Mike Deal/Winnipeg Free Press/Canadian Press)
Singers Neil Young and Burton Cummings, and humanitarian James Orbinski have become officers of the Order of Canada, Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean announced Wednesday.

The appointments also include honours for hockey great Mario Lemieux, who is elevated to officer, while former Montreal Canadiens captain Emile (Butch) Bouchard, who led the NHL team to four Stanley Cup titles, becomes a member.

Jean announced 32 new members and promoted 25 people from member to officer.

New members include Toronto's Margaret Lyons, former vice-president of CBC English Radio who is being recognized as a pioneer for women in broadcasting. Lyons helped create programs such as Morningside and As It Happens.

Toronto businessman and community activist David Pecaut, who died earlier this month, is being admitted posthumously. He is a founder of Luminato arts festival and organizer of the City Summit Alliance.

Cummings, former lead singer of the Guess Who, released his first solo disc in 20 years in 2008 and was elevated to Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to music.

NHL legend Mario Lemieux, shown at a Pittsburgh Penguins Peewee game on Feb. 15, becomes an officer of the Order of Canada. (Jacques Boissinot/Associated Press)
Young, a singer-songwriter who has been recording for more than 40 years, is hailed as "one of Canada's greatest musical talents whose unique voice and iconic songs have influenced generations of musicians."

Dr. Orbinski, former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, wrote about his work in countries such as Rwanda and Somalia in his book Imperfect Offering, and is being recognized as an advocate for those who have been silenced by war, genocide and mass starvation.

Other Canadians who became officers:

  • Novelist and short story writer Clark Blaise of Montreal.
  • Philanthropist Michael Audain of West Vancouver.
  • Former Manitoba premier Gary Filmon of Winnipeg.
  • Peter Hinton, artistic director of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
  • Former NDP leader Alexa McDonough.
  • Filmmaker Ivan Reitman, formerly of Toronto.

The new members also include:

  • Former educator and MP Jean Augustine of Toronto.
  • Aboriginal actress Tantoo Cardinal of Vancouver.
  • Author Joan F. Clark of St. John's, N.L.
  • Singer Renée Claude of Montreal.
  • Acadian musician and composer Calixte Duguay of Caraquet, N.B.
  • Architect Dan S. Hanganu of Montreal.
  • Documentary filmmaker Jean-Claude Labrecque of Montreal.
  • Pianist and composer Patricia Parr of Toronto.
  • Giller-Award winning writer David Adams Richards of Fredericton, N.B.
  • Acadian painter Roméo Savoie of Moncton.
  • Broadcaster and musician Joe Sealy of Toronto.
  • Pianist and conductor Raoul Sosa of Montreal.
  • Tapestry director Wayne Strongman, an advocate for Canadian composers, Toronto.
  • Bob White, longtime artistic director of Calgary's Alberta Theatre Projects.
  • Judy Gingell of Whitehorse, a founding director of the Northern Native Broadcasting Corp. and other aboriginal organizations in the Yukon. She later served as the territory's commissioner from 1995 to 2000.

The Order of Canada, one of our country's highest civilian honours, was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.

Recipients will be invested to the order in a formal ceremony at a later date.