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McGill University astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, who has gained world renown for shedding light on neutron stars, was one of three Canadians named Companions, the highest level with the Order of Canada.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

If the newest Order of Canada appointments reveal anything, it is that there is more than one way to make Canada a better place. You can be a comedian or a cardiologist, a Paralympian or an advocate for the homeless. Former federal party leaders can make a difference, and so can Inuit throat singers.

Rideau Hall's latest honorees reflect the breadth of accomplishment contained within the country's borders. Playwrights, business executives, opera singers and scientific researchers are all on the list of 100 appointments announced Friday by Governor-General David Johnston.

Three Canadians were named Companions, the highest level within the Order. They are former Supreme Court justice Morris Fish of Montreal, for his service as a jurist; McGill University astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, also of Montreal, who has gained world renown for shedding light on neutron stars; and celebrated author Michael Ondaatje of Toronto, for whom it was a promotion within the Order.

In all, two-thirds of the 100 appointees are men. Half are from Ontario.

Two former federal MPs made the list. Michael Ignatieff, one-time leader of the federal Liberal Party, is recognized for his "contributions to the advancement of knowledge as a human-rights scholar and reporter." Libby Davies, former NDP MP for Vancouver East, is honoured for her defence of social justice and "long-standing commitment to helping marginalized people."

Among those from the world of arts and culture are comedian and entertainment-industry figure David Steinberg; Ellen White, an elder and community leader from Nanaimo, B.C., who has fought to preserve the Hul'qumi'num language; and Manon Barbeau, who is recognized for her work in film production and dedication to First Nations youth.

From the business world, recipients include Bonnie Brooks, vice-chairman of Hudson's Bay Co., and Michael Sabia, chief executive officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Mr. Johnston called 2017 a milestone year for the Order, which was established by the Queen in 1967 and marks its 50th anniversary. Next year is also Canada's 150th birthday.

"So let's be inspired by the examples set by these remarkable Canadians and use this occasion to build a smarter and more caring country in which every individual can succeed to the greatest extent possible," Mr. Johnston said.

Since its creation, nearly 7,000 people have been invested into the Order, whose Latin motto is Desiderantes meliorem patriam – "They desire a better country."

The appointees are:

Companions of the Order of Canada

  • Morris Jacob Fish of Montreal
  • Victoria M. Kaspi of Montreal
  • Michael Ondaatje of Toronto (This is a promotion within the Order)

Officers of the Order of Canada

  • John William Bandler of Dundas, Ont.
  • David G. Barber of Winnipeg
  • Russell Braun of Georgetown, Ont.
  • Michel Dallaire of Montreal (This is a promotion within the Order)
  • John Haig de Beque Farris of Bowen Island, B.C.
  • Norman Foster of Fredericton
  • Anne Giardini of Vancouver
  • William Rodney Graham of Vancouver
  • Lewis Edward Kay of Toronto
  • Bryan Kolb of Lethbridge, Alta.
  • Richard Borshay Lee of Toronto
  • Peter G. Martin of Toronto
  • Craig McClure of Toronto
  • Ellen Irene Picard of Edmonton
  • Michael J. Sabia of Montreal
  • Michael Schade of Oakville, Ont. (This is an honorary appointment)
  • Hugh Segal of Toronto (This is a promotion within the Order)
  • Howard Leslie Shore of New York and Toronto
  • Donald T. Stuss of Toronto
  • Charles Haskell Tator of Toronto (This is a promotion within the Order)
  • Lorne Trottier of Beaconsfield, Que. (This is a promotion within the Order)
  • Paul Cronin Weiler of Cambridge, Mass., and Vancouver

Members of the Order of Canada

  • Michael Adams of Toronto
  • Howard Adelman of Toronto
  • Marguerite Andersen of Toronto
  • Jan Andrews of Lanark, Ont.
  • Wesley Armour of Moncton
  • H. Anthony Arrell of Toronto
  • Manon Barbeau of Montreal
  • Leonard A. Bateman of Winnipeg
  • Donna June Bennett and Brian Leslie Finley of Campbellford, Ont.
  • Paul Michael Boothe of London, Ont.
  • Pierre-Michel Bouchard of Quebec City
  • André Bourbeau of Dunham, Que.
  • Bonnie Brooks of Toronto
  • Linda Cardinal of Ottawa
  • Katherine Carleton of Peterborough, Ont.
  • Elaine Carty of Vancouver
  • Louise Champoux-Paillé of Montreal
  • Harold Everett Chapman of Saskatoon
  • Jan Christilaw of Vancouver
  • Ruth Collins-Nakai of Calgary
  • Peter Dalglish of Toronto
  • Michael David Dan of Toronto
  • Ronald J. Daniels of Baltimore, Md., and Toronto
  • Libby Davies of Vancouver
  • Rayleen V. De Luca of Toronto
  • William Arthur Downe of Toronto
  • Irene Dubé and Leslie Dubé of Saskatoon
  • Janet Ecker of Ajax, Ont.
  • Deborah Ellis of Simcoe, Ont.
  • William MacDonald Evans of Ottawa
  • James Bruce Falls of Toronto
  • John Foerster of Winnipeg
  • Chen Fong of Calgary
  • Richard French of Chelsea, Que.
  • Jacqueline Guest of Calgary
  • Gloria Margaret Gutman of Vancouver
  • George Norman Hillmer of Ottawa
  • Robin Hopper of Victoria
  • Anne-Marie Hubert of Montreal
  • Benoît Huot of Saint-Lambert, Que.
  • Michael Ignatieff of Budapest and Toronto
  • Liz Ingram of Edmonton
  • Ignat Kaneff of Mississauga
  • Rudy Koehler of Toronto
  • France Labelle of Montreal
  • Patricia Anne Lang of Thunder Bay
  • Oryssia Lennie of Edmonton
  • Janice (Kahehti:io) Longboat of Six Nations Reserve, Ont.
  • Clarence Louie of Osoyoos, B.C.
  • Robert Marleau of Ottawa
  • Marie-Lucie Morin of Ottawa
  • Pierre Morrissette of Oakville, Ont.
  • Reza Nasseri of Edmonton
  • Mathew Nuqingaq of Iqaluit
  • David Onley of Toronto
  • John Parisella of Montreal
  • Benoît Pelletier of Gatineau
  • Gerald Pond of Rothesay, N.B.
  • Alfred H. E. Popp of Ottawa
  • Ash K. Prakash of Toronto
  • Strinivasan Reddy of Winnipeg
  • Richard J. Renaud of Montreal
  • Jean-Lucien Rouleau of Montreal
  • Diane Sasson of Mount Royal, Que.
  • Isaac Schiff of Boston and Montreal
  • Annabel Slaight of Roche’s Point, Ont.
  • Julian Smith of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
  • David Steinberg of Los Angeles and Winnipeg
  • Tanya Tagaq Gillis of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
  • Réal Tanguay of Kitchener, Ont.
  • Michael Tymianski of Toronto
  • André Vanasse of Montreal
  • Ellen White of Nanaimo, B.C.

Victoria Kaspi's research focuses on pulsars, or neutron stars, the celestial objects left behind after stars die. She has been awarded the National Science and Engineering Research Council's Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science

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