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12 Manitobans to receive the Order of Manitoba

Twelve Manitobans will be honoured in a July ceremony when they are inducted into the Order of Manitoba.

The Order of Manitoba was established in 1999 to honour Manitobans who have demonstrated excellence and achievement, thereby enriching the social, cultural or economic well-being of the province and its residents.

“The 12 exceptional Manitobans being inducted into the Order of Manitoba this year epitomize the abundance of talent and spirit of giving that makes Manitoba so special,” said Lt.-Gov. Filmon. “In areas as diverse as the arts, business, philanthropy, education and sports, the honourees are all inspirational leaders and role models whose impact has been felt at the local, national and international levels. It is my honour and privilege to bestow this honour upon them.”

This year’s honourees are:

Mr. Mohamed El Tassi

The owner of Sargent Blue Jeans, Mohamed El Tassi is a champion for vulnerable people, having supported multiple charitable and not-for-profit organizations that support people with intellectual disabilities and those experiencing homelessness. He has personally provided significant financial contributions to support both new immigrants and vulnerable and marginalized Manitobans. 

Mr. Andre Lewis

The artistic director and CEO of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), Andre Lewis is an accomplished soloist who has performed and taught an array of diverse repertoire throughout North America, Asia and Russia. He has served as artistic director for more than 25 years, nurturing a strong creative vision focused on outstanding performance. Under his leadership, the RWB has become one of the premiere dance companies in the world. 

Mr. Andrew Paterson

The president and CEO of Paterson GlobalFoods Inc. (PGF), Andrew Paterson has demonstrated a significant commitment to Manitoba. In addition to the economic impact of PGF headquarters in Manitoba, he served for nine years as chair of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, funded the Red River College culinary program and the Urban Circle Training Centre supporting Indigenous students. He served 14 years as honorary colonel of the Fort Garry Horse, assisting military personnel and their families.

Mrs. Shirley Richardson

Shirley Richardson is a community supporter whose love of nature and craft has inspired many projects in Manitoba. Prior to moving to Canada, she joined the British Air Force at 17 and served for over three years, driving transport vehicles during air raids in the Second World War. In addition to funding the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s butterfly exhibit, she has donated more than $2 million to Canada’s Diversity Gardens, subsidizing the admission cost for children, seniors and families. 

Ms. Desiree Scott

A prominent member of Canada’s national soccer team, Desiree Scott is an Olympic gold medallist (2020) and a two-time Olympic bronze medallist (2012 and 2016). A University of Manitoba alumna, she first represented Canada in 2006, qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. She is an ambassador for the Homeless World Cup and an athlete ambassador for KidSport, hosting an annual soccer camp for girls on behalf of the organization.

Mr. Darcy Ataman

Music producer, founder and CEO of Make Music Matter (MMM), Darcy Ataman enriches the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict and post-conflict zones. A Winnipegger, he founded MMM and created a new form of music therapy named the Healing in Harmony Music Therapy Program. This program has been implemented in eight countries and has positively impacted more than 8,500 participants directly. He co-founded a record label and publishing company that supports musicians in the most impoverished areas.

Mr. James Eldridge

James Eldridge has exemplified excellence in public service through his 48-year career with the Manitoba government. During that time, he was a non-partisan advisor to eight premiers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was heavily involved in attempts to reform the Constitution, leading first to the Meech Lake Accord and then to the Charlottetown Accord. He was also one of the drafters of equalization provisions of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Mr. Doug Harvey

A business leader and philanthropist, Doug Harvey is dedicated to Manitoba. Founder and CEO of the DLH Group, he has served on, and contributed to, numerous organizations that better the lives of Manitobans. He was recently named the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Manitoba for his financial support of numerous organizations including FortWhyte Alive, the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

Mr. Leo Ledohowski

The owner and executive chair of Canad Inns, Leo Ledohowski is a respected Ukrainian-Canadian business and community leader. In addition to ensuring that Canad Inns remains Manitoba owned and focused, he has supported many initiatives including Partners in the Park, Health Sciences Centre Foundation, KidSport, Special Olympics Manitoba, United Way and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He was integral to the global recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

Ms. Megumi Masaki

A celebrated pianist, educator and curator, Megumi Masaki has contributed to music excellence for decades. As a Japanese-Canadian artist, her work examines the connection with multiracial identity, aligning with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She was artistic director of the annual Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition supporting Canadian composers. Living in Brandon, she has an impeccable international reputation.

Mr. Alix Jean-Paul

A Haitian immigrant, Alix Joseph Jean-Paul has dedicated himself to education, community building and anti-racism. This community mindedness was inspired by a fruitful 25-year career teaching in Winnipeg, where he earned a bachelor of education and two master’s degrees. Recognizing the challenges faced by many immigrants and refugees, he developed and delivered workshops for both parents and school officials to better navigate the system, for new Canadians.

Ms. Marcy Markusa

For more than 25 years, Marcy Markusa has been a familiar broadcasting voice in Manitoba, most notably as host of CBC Manitoba’s Information Radio. This morning show attained the number one rating on several occasions as the most-listened-to radio program in Manitoba. An award winner and trailblazer, she was the first female host of a number one rated morning show in Winnipeg and has led discussions on various topics important to Manitobans.

© 2022

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