50 Years of Inspiring Canadians

Whether it’s uniting people through song or sport, fighting for the less fortunate or saving whooping cranes from extinction, close to 7 000 Canadians have worn the Order of Canada insignia with pride. The sum of their visions has helped us build a better Canada. This is a handful of their stories—inspiration for what’s still to come, because there is so much more to do.

Learn more about the book: They Desire a Better Country – The Order of Canada in 50 Stories

  • Arts & Culture, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Officer of the Order of Canada – 2003

The beginning was inauspicious. At the very first press conference in 1984, the blue and yellow...

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Companion of the Order of Canada – 1991
Officer of the Order of Canada – 1984

The ancestors of Harrison McCain left County Donegal in Ireland in the 1820s, two decades before...

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Social Justice
Officer of the Order of Canada – 2011

A word to the wise: Refrain from using the word can’t around Jeffrey Skoll, because...

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Sports & Health
Member of the Order of Canada – 2009

In 1981, thirty-three-year-old John Stanton was carrying 238 pounds on a medium frame, smoking...

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Officer of the Order of Canada — 2012
Member of the Order of Canada — 1991

Lise Watier knows something about transformation.

She was born in Montreal in 1942, the...