In 1966, a project to create a national honour for Canadians was begun. The first recipients of the Order of Canada were announced a year later, and in the nearly forty years since, the Order has become a symbol familiar to, and respected by, people from across the country.
The spirit that motivates the Order of Canada – celebration, inclusion, and democracy – was born of the memories of Canada's earlier experience with honours. From initial distrust and misunderstanding to the awakening of a national identity, the development of the Order reflects the relationship Canadians have with their country, their government, their culture, and their heroes. The Order itself is a product of national identity, politics, and history, reflected by the significance of its recipients' accomplishments. Indeed, the Order's history is as fascinating as the more than 4000 Canadians who have received it.
This first book-length history of the Order of Canada – and first major work on Canadian honours – by Christopher McCreery is a celebration of the Order and a close examination of its unique design and various early incarnations. McCreery provides both a history of the Order's beginnings and a more general overview of trends in Canadian honours. Extensively illustrated with never-before-published photographs, The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History, and Developments pays tribute to the individuals who felt the need for a system of recognition for Canadians.