Order of Canada

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3 Order of Canada grades.JPG
Strap buckle
Companion Officer Member
Order of Canada (CC) ribbon bar.png
Order of Canada (OC) ribbon bar.png
Order of Canada (CM) ribbon bar.png

The Order of Canada ( English ) or Ordre du Canada ( French ) is Canada's highest distinction for civilians. It is awarded under the Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam ("those who desire a better fatherland").

The order was established on July 1, 1967, the day of the 100th anniversary of the Dominion Canada, to recognize Canadians who have changed Canada forever. It is Canada's highest award for a lifetime achievement. The Canadian monarch , Queen Elizabeth II , is the sovereign, the Governor General of Canada , currently Julie Payette , is Chancellor and Principal Companion of the order. The governor general's spouse is also always a companion of the order.

Order levels

The award is divided into three levels:

  1. Companions of the Order of Canada / Compagnons de l'Ordre du Canada (CC) have provided the highest level of performance towards Canada and humanity on a national or international level. Up to 15 “Companions” are appointed each year, with a limit of 165 companions still alive.
  2. Officers of the Order of Canada / Officiers de l'Ordre du Canada (OC) have demonstrated outstanding levels of talent and performance for Canada. Up to 64 “officers” are appointed each year.
  3. Members of the Order of Canada / Membres de l'Ordre du Canada (CM) have made exceptional contributions to Canada or Canadians at a local or regional level. 136 “Members” are appointed annually.

The Governor General of Canada appoints the new members based on suggestions from the population following the recommendations of a high-caliber advisory board. The governor general is accepted as a companion in the order when he takes office, if he has not already been. All living Canadians are eligible, except for active politicians and judges. The awards are presented every six months on January 1st and July 1st ( Canada Day ). Members can be upgraded to officers and officers to companions, which usually takes place after five or more years.

Residents of other states can be awarded the honorary medal in all three levels, with them the motto then refers to contributions to the improvement of the world as a whole. Such awards are not included in the maximum number mentioned above, but only five foreigners per year may be accepted into the order.


As of December 25, 2014, the number of living Canadian medals appointed was 143 companions, 1,131 officers, and 2101 members. The total number, including the deceased Canadian medal holders, was 462 Companions, 2224 Officers and 3932 Members.

The respective abbreviation of the three levels officially bears a punctuation, in everyday use it is usually used without the points. The medal bearers are entitled to use this abbreviation as a trailing part of their name ( post-nominal ).

See also

Web links

Commons : Order of Canada  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Order of Canada - Website of the Governor General of Canada (search function for all awards)