Annual Order of Canada honours actors, authors, electronic pioneer
The man who helped create the BlackBerry, the female CEOs of two provincial public broadcasters, a noted First Nations actor and a former Olympic medallist are among the Canadians being appointed to the Order of Canada.
Rideau Hall’s Canada Day announcement allows those on the list to share the news of the honour, which is usually a closely guarded secret until Gov. Gen. David Johnston makes the information public.
This year’s notable names include Douglas Fregin, the man who co- founded Research in Motion with Mike Lazaridis. Fregin designed the first circuit board the company used to run early versions of its wireless technology, and then helped choose the materials that are still found in BlackBerry devices around the world.
Lazaridis’s wife Ophelia is also being invested as a member of the Order of Canada for her philanthropic work around Waterloo, Ont., where BlackBerry is based.
Author Lawrence Hill will be recognized for his writing to tell the stories of Canada’s black community, notably through the critically acclaimed “Book of Negroes,’’ and advocacy work on behalf of women and girls in Africa.
Oscar-nominated and Gemini award- winning actor Graham Greene is a familiar face in films, television shows, and theatre productions in Canada and overseas. The First Nations actor is being honoured for “achievements as a pioneering and versatile actor,’’ which included a 1991 Academy Award best supporting actor nomination for his role in the film “Dances with Wolves.’’
Also being honoured are TVOntario CEO Lisa de Wilde for “transformative leadership’’ at the provincial public broadcaster, and Tele-Quebec counterpart Michele Fortin for her “contributions to the vitality of French-language and educational television.’’