Canadian sports icons including Stacey Allaster, Donovan Bailey and Angela James are among the 85 new appointees to the Order of Canada this year.
This year’s list of appointees also includes Canada’s first Indigenous MP, Nunavut’s first MP and several contributors to the arts, including Emmy-nominated actress Sandra Oh.
Considered one of Canada’s highest civil honours, the Order of Canada is intended to recognize individuals who make “extraordinary contributions to the nation,” according to the Canadian Governor General’s website.
Allaster was appointed as a companion, the highest of three levels of honor, which also include officer and member level. There can be no more than 165 companions alive at any one time.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, and raised in Welland, Ontario, Allaster was an executive with the Women’s Tennis Association from 2006 to 2015, first as president before being promoted to president and CEO in 2009.
During her tenure, she was instrumental in securing equal prize money for women at six WTA tournaments and all four Grand Slams. She also played a key role in streamlining the WTA calendar and winning a landmark international media deal. In 2020, she was named as the first female tournament director of the US Open.
Allaster said she is grateful for her time playing tennis in Canada and getting her first opportunity to work in the sport with Tennis Canada. “It is very difficult to put into words how lucky I am and now to be recognized by my country for everything it is giving me is very rewarding,” she said.
Allaster also said “it’s a dream come true” to see Canada develop some of the best tennis talent in the world throughout her career, including Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez.
Former Olympic champion and world sprinter Donovan Bailey will be invested as an officer of the order. The former world record holder won Olympic gold in 1996 in the men’s 100m dash and the men’s 4x100m relay.
“It’s amazing,” Bailey said of the order’s appointment. “I am very blessed, I am extremely honored to have shared incredible moments with Canadians.”
Bailey said that being invested with the Order of Canada is an official recognition of what he has been hearing from fans for the last few decades.
“Earning the officer of the Order of Canada is a great honor, but I’m telling you, I’ve been validated for 27 years, I’ve been validated every day by the amazing fans,” he said.
Angela James is a pioneer in women’s hockey, first as a player and now as the general manager and co-owner of the Toronto Six women’s professional hockey team.
The winner of four world championships, including her first in 1990, where she scored 11 goals in five games and was a tournament star, said being committed to order sums up all her achievements on and off the ice.
“I think it encompasses everything that I’ve done in my life, and to think that my life is important to Canadians is very special,” he said.
A star on the Canadian team before women’s hockey became an Olympic sport, James was one of the first two women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010 and said she hopes to continue to see women’s hockey grow.
“As long as we come together and work together as one, I think nothing will stop the women’s game,” she said.
Among those appointed to the order are several indigenous leaders, including Canada’s first indigenous woman elected as a member of Parliament.
Ethel Blondin-Andrew was first elected MP from the Northwest Territories in 1988, and would go on to become minister of state for northern development in former Prime Minister Paul Martin’s cabinet.
She has remained an advocate for indigenous women in politics and recently participated in a United Nations panel in Geneva to discuss the issue.
Joining Blondin-Andrew on the order is former Nunavut MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell.
Karetak-Lindell was first elected as an MP from Nunavut in 1997 and became the territory’s first MP after recognition in 1999.
“I have tried very hard to be the voice for people who may not have had a chance,” Karetak-Lindell said.
After stepping away from federal politics in 2008, she would later become president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council in 2016, for a two-year term.
Although she said she is honored to receive the Order of Canada, she said “the biggest reward will always be that maybe I made someone look more hopefully into the future.”
Blondin-Andrew will be inducted as an officer of the order, while Karetak-Lindell will be inducted as a member.
Other indigenous leaders among those appointed include Elders David and Imelda Perley of New Brunswick for their contributions to education around the Wabanaki culture.
Elders Reg and Rosemary Crowshoe of Alberta are also being recognized for their preservation of Blackfoot culture.
Contributors to the arts
Several of Canada’s top contributors to the arts have also been appointed to the order, including actress Sandra Oh, who will be invested as an officer.
The Emmy Award-nominated actress is best known for the hit television series that includes killing eve Y Grey’s Anatomy. He has also lent his talents to the big screen in movies like turning red Y under the tuscan sun.
Donald Mowat is also being recognized for his contributions to the big screen, having been the head of makeup and design on such films as The fighter, 8 miles, Hitman, night owl, prisoners, Nocturnal animals, Stronger, Bounty hunter 2049.
Mowat was recently nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for Denis Villeneuve. Dune.
On the music front, the founder of independent record label Attic Records, Alexander Mair, will be named to the order.
Attic represented various Canadian artists and groups, including Anvil, Irish Rovers, Triumph and Teenage Head.
The Order of Canada
Governor General Mary Simon has appointed the following individuals, whose appointment was recommended by the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada:
Companions of the Order of Canada
- Stacy Allaster.
- Frank Hayden (This is a promotion within the order).
- Peter Russell (This is a promotion within the order).
- Donald Savoie (This is a promotion within the order).
Officers of the Order of Canada
- Noemi Azrieli.
- Donovan Bailey.
- The Honorable Ethel Blondin-Andrew.
- Robert Davidson (This is a promotion within the order).
- Paul Dubord.
- Donald Enarson (deceased).
- Francois Girard.
- Ian Hodkinson.
- Angela James.
- David Lynch.
- Sandra Oh.
- Alberto Perez-Gomez.
- David Waltner-Toews.
Members of the Order of Canada
- Frances Abele.
- Ajay Agrawal.
- Louis Philip Albert.
- R. Jamie Anderson.
- Susanna Aubri.
- Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine.
- Grange Avery.
- Michel Beaulac.
- Andre Blanchett.
- Marilyn Bodogh.
- Jacques Burgault.
- Bernard Brault.
- Marilyn Brooks.
- Mario Buller.
- James Brynes.
- Genevieve Cadieux.
- James Cassell.
- Euclid Chiasson.
- William Clark.
- Zane Cohen.
- Ethel Cote.
- Elder Reg Crowshoe.
- Old Rosemary Crowshoe.
- Sheldon Curry.
- Reginald Davidson.
- Dorothy Dobby.
- Elijah Fati.
- Madeleine Féquiere.
- Staff Sgt. Gary Goulet, (Retired).
- Michael Harris.
- Paul Heinbecker.
- Deborah Hope.
- Sister Margaret Hughes.
- Moira Hutchison.
- Gerard Jean.
- Adam Kahane.
- Nancy Karetak-Lindell.
- Eva-Marie Kroller.
- Gary Levy.
- Alexander Mair.
- mate boy.
- Milton McClaren.
- Roderick McKay.
- Ben Minck.
- Donald Mowatt.
- Robert Munro.
- Sister Bernadette Mary O’Reilly.
- Donna Ouchterlony.
- Fred Pellerin.
- Elder David Perley.
- Elder Imelda Perley.
- G.Ross Peters.
- Sandra Pitblado.
- Guy Pratte.
- Parminder Raina.
- Joel Reitman.
- David Rush.
- The Honorable Anne Russell.
- Susanne Sauvage.
- Martin Schechter.
- Jacques Shore.
- Ronald Trembley.
- Guylaine Tremblay.
- Michelle Valberg.
- Germaine Warkentin.
- James West.
- Michael West.
- Margie Wolfe.
- Lorraine M. Wright.
- Robert Wyatt.
- Jan Zwicky.