In September 1999, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Adrienne Clarkson governor general. Her appointment marked several "firsts" in the selection of Canada's governor general: she was the first without a military or political background, and the first non-white Canadian to be appointed to the vice-regal position.
Ryan Thomas Gosling, actor, musician, producer, director (born 12 November 1980 in London, ON). Ryan Gosling started out as a child actor before giving a breakthrough performance in the Sundance-winning indie drama The Believer in 2001. Capable of playing characters that are utterly creepy yet somehow magnetic and attractive, he has amassed a gallery of intense performances that matches the early work of Robert De Niro and Gary Oldman. An A-list Hollywood star, he has proven equally adept at comedy (Lars and the Real Girl, Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Nice Guys, The Big Short) and drama ¬(The Notebook, Half Nelson, Blue Valentine, The Ides of March). He has received two Oscar nominations and won a Golden Globe in 2017 for his lead role in the award-winning musical La La Land.
Richard Vincent Mercer, OC, satirist, comedian, screenwriter, actor, humanitarin (born 17 Oct 1969 in St. John’s, NL). Rick Mercer has parlayed his acerbic wit and voracious interest in politics into a career as one Canada’s foremost political and social commentators. Described by Maclean's magazine as “one of Canada’s most bankable television commodities,” he has combined his “mutually parasitic” relationship with politicians, his ability to connect with ordinary Canadians and a mischievous, court jester perspective to become the satirical conscience of Canadian politics and culture. An Officer of the Order of Canada, he has also excelled as a humanitarian through his involvement with numerous charitable organizations. He has received ten honorary degrees, 18 Gemini Awards, ten Canadian Screen Awards, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, among many other honours.
Edward Samuel (Ted) Rogers Jr., OC, founder and CEO of Rogers Communications, businessman, philanthropist (born 27 May 1933 in Toronto, ON; died 2 December 2008 in Toronto, ON). Rogers was a pioneer in the Canadian communications industry who established Rogers Communications. At the time of his death in 2008, Rogers was the fourth-richest Canadian, with a net worth of over $7 billion, while the company was worth $18 billion and employed roughly 29,000 people. Rogers Communications owned Canada’s largest wireless telecommunications company and cable TV company; 52 radio stations; numerous TV stations (including CityTV, OMNI, Sportsnet and The Shopping Channel); more than 70 consumer and trade magazines (including Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Flare); and the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome).
Peter Mansbridge, OC, television news anchor, journalist, columnist (born 6 July 1948 in London, England). A widely respected journalist, Peter Mansbridge was the face of CBC News for nearly 30 years. As the chief correspondent and lead anchor of The National from 1988 to 2017, he won 12 Gemini Awards for broadcast excellence, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for best overall broadcast journalist in 1990 and 1998. His other honours include two Canadian Screen Awards, numerous honorary degrees and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. He has also been inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Margaret Alexis Fitzsimmons Smith, actor (born 8 June 1921 in Penticton, BC; died 9 June 1993 in Los Angeles, California). Alexis Smith was a movie star during Hollywood’s golden age, sharing the screen with some of the era’s most celebrated performers, such as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Cary Grant. She took a hiatus from Hollywood for a decade before winning a Tony Award in 1971 for her performance in Stephen Sondheim’s hit Broadway musical, Follies. Smith appeared in such television series as The Love Boat, Dallas and Cheers, and such films as The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944), Rhapsody in Blue (1945), the Canadian tax shelter thriller The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), and Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993).
Wabanakwut Kinew, hip hop artist, broadcaster, university administrator, author, politician (born 31 December 1981 in Kenora, ON). An Ojibwa activist and public intellectual, Wab Kinew began his career as a musician and rapper with the hip hop group Dead Indians. He gained national attention through his radio and television journalism for the CBC, including 8th Fire, a television series on Indigenous issues. Kinew’s 2015 memoir, The Reason You Walk, was a national bestseller and finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize. Kinew was elected to the Manitoba legislature in 2016, despite controversial tweets and rap lyrics that dogged his campaign. Similarly, his bid to become leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party in September 2017 has been marked by revelations of stayed domestic assault charges from 2003.
Dan George, OC, Tsleil-Waututh actor, poet, public speaker (born 24 July 1899 on the Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in BC; died 23 September 1981 in North Vancouver, BC). By his film roles and personal appearances, Dan George helped improve the popular image of Indigenous people, often represented in stereotypical ways.
Tatiana Gabrielle Maslany, actor (born 22 September 1985 in Regina, Saskatchewan). Versatile film and television actor Tatiana Maslany is perhaps best known for her multiple performances as various clones in the hit sci-fi series Orphan Black (2013–17). In 2016, she became the first Canadian actor to win a Primetime Emmy Award for a Canadian television series. She has also won five Canadian Screen Awards, two Gemini Awards, two ACTRA Awards and numerous other honours.
Paul Hébert, OC, CQ, actor, director, artistic director (born 28 May 1924 in Thetford Mines, Québec; died 20 April 2017 in Québec City). A titan of Québec theatre, film and TV, Paul Hébert received several performance awards over the course of his career. The first francophone Canadian trained at the Old Vic Theatre in London, England, Hébert was closely associated with the Théâtre du Trident in Québec City during the 1970s, as the theatre’s co-founder, actor, director and artistic director. He also appeared in films by several renowned Québec directors such as Gilles Carle and Robert Lepage.
Wendy Jane Crewson, actor (born 9 May 1956 in Hamilton, ON). One of Canadian television’s best-known and most honoured actors, Wendy Crewson has won multiple Gemini Awards for her work in Canadian TV series and TV movies. She has also enjoyed a prolific film career and has acted opposite such Hollywood stars as Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rachel McAdams, Ellen Page and Arnold Schwarzenegger. An outspoken advocate for Canadian film and television, she has been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and received the Gemini Humanitarian Award, ACTRA’s Award of Excellence, and the Earle Grey Award for lifetime achievement in Canadian television.
Moishe Znaimer, OOnt, media executive, promoter, actor (born 1942 in Kulab, Tajikistan). One of Canada’s most ambitious, influential and polarizing media moguls, Moses Znaimer is an innovative pioneer of independent broadcasting in Canada. He is responsible for such Canadian specialty channels as City-TV, MuchMusic, MusiquePlus, MusiMAX, MuchMoreMusic, Bravo, SexTV and VisionTV. He is also president of MZ Media, which operates the Toronto classical music station 96.3FM, and the founder and CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited, a lifestyle and media brand that advocates for the rights of aging Canadians. Znaimer has also been an outspoken supporter of assisted suicide in Canada.
Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom (David Joseph Manners), actor, singer, writer (born 30 April 1902 in Halifax, NS; died 23 December 1998 in Santa Barbara, California). David Manners was a popular Hollywood leading man of the 1930s. His dapper good looks, soft but expressive voice and sophisticated bearing helped make him a top box-office draw. He starred opposite such legendary figures as Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Claudette Colbert and Carole Lombard, but is perhaps best remembered for his roles in the classic horror movies Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Black Cat (1934). Manners was also a successful novelist and had a long career on Broadway.