Appointment To The Order of Canada - Investure


Induction ceremonies are generally conducted by the Governor General at Rideau Hall in Ottawa or, on rare occasions, by the Queen herself; Elizabeth II performed her first Order of Canada investiture at Rideau Hall in August, 1973. The 2002 ceremony was held at Halifax's Pier 21 to mark the 50th anniversary of Canadian Governors General, but the most common reason for the insignia not being presented at Rideau Hall is the recipient's inability to travel to Ottawa. An early example of this occurred in 1980 when activist athlete Terry Fox was dying of terminal cancer. A more recent example occurred in 2003 with singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot: in 2002, shortly before a concert, Lightfoot suffered a serious abdominal hemorrhage that resulted in his being in a coma for a time and months in hospital recovering. On the news of his near-death condition, Lightfoot was promoted to the rank of Companion. Since his condition left him unable to travel, Adrienne Clarkson flew to Toronto and presented him with the insignia in a private ceremony performed in his hospital room. Similarly, in 2000 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, at the age of 100, was invested as an Honorary Companion at Clarence House in London. Rather than place the insignia on the Queen Mother, who was recovering from a hip replacement, Clarkson handed Her Majesty her badge. Her Majesty made a point of wearing it around her neck at a special lunch following the private ceremony. Inductions can also be delegated to another individual, such as a Lieutenant Governor, as was the case when Mervyn Wilkinson was inducted into the order by Iona Campagnolo, the then Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in 2002. Investures can also be delayed, such as in the case of Wayne Gretzky, who was appointed to the grade of Officer in 1984 for his outstanding contributions to the game of hockey. However, as the ceremonies always conflicted with his hockey schedule, it was not until over 13 years, and two governors general, later that Gretzky could personally be invested into the order. The longest delay between appointment and investiture was the 23 year delay of W. Bruce Hutchison. Hutchison was appointed in July 1967, but did not attend the investiture ceremony until April 1990

Prior to Clarkson becoming Governor General of Canada, Order of Canada inductions were rarely performed outside of Rideau Hall or the Governor General's secondary residence La Citadelle. Under her tenure Clarkson held entire investment ceremonies in cities like St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Vancouver, British Columbia. She was also noted for delegating the duty to other individuals on certain occasions when it would have been difficult for her or the recipient to travel.

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