Hockey coach Scotty Bowman, sportscaster Brian Williams and former prime minister Paul Martin are among 66 notables being inducted to or promoted within the Order of Canada.
Former Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, retired chief of defence staff Rick Hillier and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard, who commanded the recent NATO military mission in Libya, are also among those receiving honours.
Storyteller Stuart McLean, host of the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Others being honoured include: Kevin Lynch, former clerk of the Privy Council; billionaire Seymour Schulich, an investor and philanthropist; lawyer and businesswoman France Chretien Desmarais, the daughter of former prime minister Jean Chretien; newspaper columnist Alain Dubuc and Open Text Corp. chairman Tom Jenkins.
Bowman joins such hockey greats as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr in the Order of Canada.
Considered one of the greatest hockey coaches of all-time, Bowman won a record nine Stanley Cups behind the benches of the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
Bowman holds the record for the coach with most wins in league history. He was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 1991.
Williams, perhaps best known for his coverage of the Olympic Games, has worked as a sportscaster for CBC and CTV.
Martin was the Liberal prime minister from 2003 to 2006 after serving as Chretien's finance minister. He was named to the Order's highest rank, Companion, “for his distinguished contributions to Canadian politics and for his active involvement in promoting opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians.”
Fowler was kidnapped with colleague Louis Guay and held hostage by an al-Qaida faction for almost five months in the Sahara Desert. He and Guay were released in March 2009. Prime Minister Stephen Harper insisted no ransom had been paid for their release.
Hillier, the straight-talking Newfoundlander who rose to the job of Canada's top soldier, was named to the second-highest rank, Officer of the Order. He did more than perhaps any other military leader to rally Canadians around their men and women in uniform during the early years of the war in Afghanistan. He was also instrumental in wrangling new money and equipment for his troops.
The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
Chosen by an independent panel based on nominations from the public, the order has three levels of membership — companion, officer and member.
The awards will be presented by the Governor General at a ceremony at a later date.