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Two NRIs named Canada’s highest civilian award


OTTAWA, Jan 01, 2009
Sarwan Singh Gill

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, announced today two NRIs (one from Edmonton and other from Mississauga, Ontario) among 60 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees include 4 Companions (C.C.), 14 Officers (O.C.), and 42 Members (C.M.). These appointments were made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Order of Canada.

Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Officer of the Order of Canada (OC)

  • Arvind Koshal, Edmonton, AB, Health Care, was one of 14 people named as Officer of the Order of Canada. He was appointed for his contributions to the field of cardiac surgery in Canada, notably in performing several innovative techniques, and for his leadership in developing one of the leading cardiac care programs in the country.

Members of the Order

  • Lata Pada, Arts/Stage, C.M., Mississauga, Ontario, was one of 42 people named as Member of the Order of Canada. She was appointed for her contributions to the development of South Asian dance as a choreographer, teacher, dancer and artistic director, as well as for her commitment and support of the Indian community in Canada.

Two Canadian singing stars, Celine Dion and tenor Ben Heppner, were elevated to Companions of the Order, the highest of the three rankings.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. It is our country’s highest civilian honour for lifetime achievement. Three different levels of membership—Companion, Officer and Member—honour people whose accomplishments vary in degree and scope.

Appointments are made on the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Order of Canada, an independent council chaired by the chief justice of Canada.

The governor general is the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order. Members of the Advisory Council on the Order of Canada reflect the diversity and excellence in Canadian society. Certain members are appointed by virtue of their office; others are appointed for a fixed term to achieve a balanced representation of the various regions of the country.

Any group or individual is welcome to nominate deserving individuals as candidates for appointment.

Any Canadian may be nominated for the Order of Canada. The only exceptions are federal and provincial politicians and judges, who may not be appointed while holding office.

People who are not Canadian may be considered for honorary appointments.





Lata Pada, Arts/Stage, C.M., Mississauga, Ontario,


Dr. Arvind Koshal named Canada’s highest civilian award