The Governor General named two Manitobans to the Order of Canada Monday, one a leading cancer specialist, the other a long-time volunteer in Winnipeg’s arts community.
Dr. Harvey Chochinov was made an officer of the Order of Canada and Jean Giguere was made a member.
Chochinov said the real significance of the award is that it recognizes the importance of palliative care.
"It is deeply humbling and I’m honoured," said Chochinov, whom the Governor General’s announcement describes as an international lead in the field of palliative care.
"Anything that draws attention to the area of palliative care is important. As much as we have made inroads, there is still a vast amount of work to be done."
He is a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba, the director of palliative research at Cancer Care Manitoba and holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care. In a career that spans nearly 25 years, his focus had been steadfast, trained on the psycho-social dimensions of palliative medicine, such as sense of dignity, purpose and meaning at the end of life.
"His pioneering and innovative work on dignity therapy is an approach being used by health care providers worldwide," the Governor General’s website said.
In 2008 he was named recipient of the National Cancer Institute and Canadian Cancer Society O. Harold Warwick Prize. In 2009, the University of Manitoba awarded Chochinov their highest research honour, the Dr. John M. Bowman Rh Institute Foundation Award.
Jean Giguere was named for her voluntary service in promoting the arts and Canadian culture. She has been an active volunteer in Winnipeg for more than 30 years, serving with such groups as the United Way and the Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association. But it is her work in the arts community that earlier this year earned her the 2014 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Volunteerism in the Performing Arts.
Giguere has been active with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Culture Days, Canada’s annual national cultural celebration, Business for the Arts and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, to name just a few.
Originally from Montreal, Giguere has described herself as a "born-again Winnipegger."
Earlier this year, when she was awarded the Hnatyshyn Award, she spoke about the importance of volunteering.
"I think everybody should be weaving in and out of these (volunteer) opportunities. It takes you out of yourself and into what’s really important."
Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.
The Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
You can see the Governor General’s full statement on the latest appointments here.