Order of Canada

Canadian national order

The Order of Canada (French: Ordre du Canada) is a Canadian state order and the second-highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, after the Order of Merit. To coincide with the centennial of Canadian Confederation, the three-tiered order was established in 1967 as a fellowship that recognizes the outstanding merit or distinguished service of Canadians who make a major difference to Canada through lifelong contributions in every field of endeavour, as well as the efforts by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions. Membership is accorded to those who exemplify the order's Latin motto, desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "they desire a better country", a phrase taken from Hebrews 11:16. The three tiers of the order are Companion, Officer, and Member; specific individuals may be given extraordinary membership and deserving non-Canadians may receive honorary appointment into each grade. King Charles III, the reigning Canadian monarch, is the sovereign of the order and the Governor General administers the order on his behalf as Chancellor and Principal Companion. Appointees to the order are recommended by an advisory board and formally inducted by the governor general or the sovereign. As of January 2023, 8,216 people have been appointed to the Order of Canada, including scientists, musicians, politicians, artists, athletes, business people, film stars, benefactors, and others. Some have resigned or have been removed from the order, while other appointments have been controversial. Appointees are presented with insignia and receive the right to armorial bearings.
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