Sixteen people will be appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest form of recognition, Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, chancellor of the order, has announced. The recipients include Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, as Indigenous leaders, artists and business leaders.
This year, 257 British Columbians were nominated. Since its inception, 475 British Columbians have been appointed to the Order of B.C. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and in numbers generally proportionate to a region’s population, according to the province.
“Their extraordinary leadership has been a source of strength for communities across the province. In difficult times, they have connected us through art, culture, public service and more,” Austin said. “As we move with optimism toward the future, their achievements will be a foundation of success for future generations. It is with great honour I share congratulations to these remarkable individuals.”
This year’s recipients are:
Chief Joe Alphonse of Tsilhqot’in Nation
Joe Average, MGC, of Vancouver
Brenda Baptiste of Osoyoos
Frances Belzberg, OC, of Vancouver
Dr. Debra Braithwaite of Victoria
Ajay Dilawri of Vancouver
Debra Doucette (Hewson) of the District of North Vancouver
Dr. Bonnie J. Fraser Henry of Victoria
Carol A. Lee of Vancouver
James McEwen, OC, of Vancouver
Andrew Petter, CM, QC, of Victoria
Dolph Schluter of Vancouver
Dr. Poul Sorensen of Vancouver
Arran and Ratana Stephens of Vancouver
Marvin Storrow, QC, of Vancouver
“Each one of this year’s Order of British Columbia recipients has made tremendous contributions to their communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “I want to extend my congratulations and honour them for their leadership and dedication as community leaders. Trailblazers in medicine, that carried us through an incredibly difficult pandemic with expertise, grace and of course, kindness. Inspiring philanthropists, determined protectors of the environment and powerful Indigenous leaders. We are all truly grateful for your leadership.”
The province said it has worked to increase awareness of its highest honour to ensure that outstanding people from all walks of life and from all parts of the province have an opportunity to be honoured. It has received more than 6,200 public nominations for the Order of B.C. over the past 32 years.
Recipients of the Order of B.C. are selected by an independent advisory council. The 2021 advisory council consisted of:
Robert J. Bauman (chair), chief justice of B.C.;
Raj Chouhan, speaker of the legislative assembly;
Philip Steenkamp, PhD, president and vice-chancellor, Royal Roads University;
Silas Brownsey, deputy minister, intergovernmental relations secretariat;
Brian Frenkel, president, Union of British Columbia Municipalities;
Shirley Chan, OBC 2020; and
Ruth Williams, OBC 2020.
The Order of B.C. investiture ceremony for 2020 and 2021 recipients and invited guests is tentatively scheduled to be held at Government House in Victoria in December.