Twelve Manitobans will be invested into the Order of Manitoba, the province’s highest honour, at a special ceremony to be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, July 9 in Room 200 at the Legislative Building.
The Order of Manitoba was established to recognize Manitobans whose demonstrated excellence and achievement have benefited the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents.
Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon, chancellor of the order, will preside over the investiture of the 12 new members whose achievements encompass a broad range of endeavours and accomplishments. The members to be invested at the ceremony are:
- Rachel Alao, founding executive director and program director of Winnipeg’s Helping Hands Resource Centre for Immigrants Inc., for helping countless newcomers to Canada maximize their potential in a new country;
- Chad Allan, a rock music icon, for his contributions to the Canadian music industry including the pivotal role he played in the creation of two legendary Winnipeg rock bands: The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive;
- Karen Beaudin, a community resource co-ordinator and proud Manitoba Métis, for increasing support, understanding and respect for Indigenous people in the workforce and her ongoing service to the community;
- Tom Cochrane, a multi Juno Award-winning musician, for his celebrated accomplishments as a member of Red Ryder and as a solo performer, and his far-reaching humanitarian efforts;
- Dian Cohen, economist, broadcaster and author, for her economic acumen, broadcast excellence and the important role she has played in shaping community strategies and government policies;
- Wilma Derksen, artist, author and internationally respected expert on the unique needs of victims of serious crime, for her long-standing support and advocacy following the abduction and murder of her daughter, Candace, in 1984;
- Dan Johnson, the founding executive director of the Manitoba Special Olympics, for championing special-needs athletes and helping Manitoba Special Olympics become a model for Canada;
- Sheldon Kennedy, well known for his NHL career, but better known for turning the tragedy of a history of sexual abuse into awareness, hope and help for other victims around the world;
- Donald R. J. Mackey, much-honoured Métis veteran, for ensuring the sacrifices of First Nations and Métis veterans are never forgotten and encouraging inner-city youth through the establishment of the Sgt. Tommy Prince, MM, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps;
- Mitch Podolak, founding artistic director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, for his contributions to the folk music community, and establishing and promoting music festivals and artistic venues in Manitoba and throughout North America;
- Monica Khhem Kamarie Singh, a member of the Manitoba Ethnocultural Advocacy and Advisory Council, for actively supporting recent immigrants to Manitoba, especially in areas that help to improve the quality of life of women, their families and communities; and
- Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks captain, Stanley Cup victor, and gold-medal winning Olympian, for his tremendous contributions to sport and the community while serving as an exemplary model for Canadian youth.
“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. Filmon.
Appointments are made by the chancellor on the recommendations of a nine-member advisory council. Once invested, members will receive the insignia of the order and are entitled to use the initials O.M. after their names for life. Members’ names are also on permanent display on a plaque located on the second floor of the Legislative Building.
This year’s ceremony, the 16th in the order’s history, brings to 210 the total number of members named to the Order of Manitoba since its inception in 1999.
Contact: Dwight MacAulay, secretary, Order of Manitoba Advisory Council, 204-945-3939.