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THE SCOOP | Order of Canada Appointees Announced, Including Big Names From The Arts

By Michael Vincent on December 29, 2023

Order of Canada 2023
(L-R) George Stroumboulopoulos (Photo: Danilo Ursini/ CC BY 2.0); Ardyth Brott (Photo courtesy Brott Music); Linda Manzer (Video image capture)

This week, Governor General Mary Simon announced 78 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The honorees include a diverse group of industry leaders, authors, luthiers, artists, and journalists.

The appointments feature three “companions” of the Order, the highest level of recognition, alongside 15 officers—one being an honorary officer—and 59 members.

Ardyth Brott, C.M. stands out as the Executive Director of the Brott Music Festival. As the widow of the late conductor Boris Brott, she has been pivotal in establishing the festival, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and BrottOpera. The Brott Music Festival is noted as Ontario’s premier and Canada’s largest orchestral music festival, now celebrating its 36th year. Ardyth has also achieved literary success with her best-selling book, “Jeremy’s Decisions.”

Deantha Edmunds, C.M., a native of Corner Brook, developed her musical talents from a young age, drawing inspiration from her father’s choir experiences in Hopedale, Labrador. She has been recognized for her roles as a composer, mentor, and performer, with notable audiences including King Charles and Pope Francis. 

Patricia Fraser, C.M., has been the Artistic Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre for almost three decades. She has played a crucial role in developing a supportive network for dance education in Canada.

Tim Jones, C.M., the former CEO of Artscape in Toronto, has significantly impacted Canada’s arts scene, contributing to the creation of cultural venues and affordable housing for artists. Currently leading Base31 in Prince Edward County, Jones continues to fuse arts, entertainment, and community development.

Lois McDonall, C.M. is a renowned soprano celebrated for her exceptional vocal range and emotive performances. She debuted at the Canadian Opera Company between 1967-9, playing roles in “Il segreto di Susanna” and “Madame Butterfly,” and later performed challenging roles like Tosca and Elsa in Germany. By 1970, she became a resident artist at the Sadler’s Wells Opera (now English National Opera), taking on a variety of roles, including the title roles in “Semele” and “Anna Karenina.” McDonall spent 14 years at the English National Opera and appeared at other major opera houses, returning to Canada in 1984 to continue her illustrious career, including performances in “Fedora” and “Andrea Chénier.”

Linda Manzer, C.M., a renowned luthier from Almonte, Ontario, began her celebrated fifty-year career under the influence of Joni Mitchell. She apprenticed with Jean-Claude L’arrivée and Jimmy D’Aquisto, leading to innovations like the Pikasso guitar. Her recent Sunflower Guitar initiative has raised significant funds for Ukraine.

George Stroumboulopoulos, C.M., affectionately known as “Strombo,” is celebrated for his two-decade-long influence in music media. His career includes a variety of roles, from VJ on MuchMusic to hosting on CBC, Rogers, and Apple Music. He has been pivotal in showcasing emerging artists and remains a prominent figure in Canadian households.

Other distinguished recipients include filmmaker Peter Pearson, visual artist Yisa Akinbolaji, and musician and multiculturalism advocate Alfredo Caxaj.

For the complete list of honorees, see [HERE].

Michael Vincent
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