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

  • Public Service, Science & Education
Companion of the Order of Canada – 1997, Officer of the Order of Canada – 1988

When David Johnston became the twenty-eighth Governor General of Canada in 2010, he let it be...

  • Public Service, Social Justice
Companion of the Order of Canada – 1994

Mother Goose tells us that “Friday’s child is loving and giving / Saturday’s child works hard...

  • Public Service, Social Justice
Companion of the Order of Canada – 2006
Officer of the Order of Canada – 2000

In 1942, when Joseph Gosnell was seven years old, he was called down to the shores of the Nass...

  • Public Service
Companion of the Order of Canada – 1986

“The little fellow from Gambo,” as Joseph Roberts Smallwood called himself, was indeed little—...

  • Public Service, Social Justice
Companion of the Order of Canada – 2007

Louise Arbour has spent her life challenging authority and stepping on toes, and time has not...

  • Public Service, Social Justice
Officer of the Order of Canada — 2016
Member of the Order of Canada – 1994

Roberta Jamieson—a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory—was the first...