A special ceremony took place on December 17, organized by the Ville de Montréal and held in the council chamber at city hall. The 132 luminaries honoured by the Academy of Great Montrealers were inducted into the Ordre de Montréal, with Mayor Denis Coderre and the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, in attendance.
These men and women, who have distinguished themselves for their outstanding contribution to the city’s development and reputation, all received the title of commander – the Ordre’s highest distinction. Recipients included conductor Kent Nagano; astronaut Julie Payette; journalist and editor Lise Bissonnette; Dr. Réjean Thomas; business people Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, L. Jacques Ménard, chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns, and Hélène Desmarais, a leading figure in entrepreneurship and innovation.
During the prestigious, emotion-filled ceremony, the Academy of Great Montrealers, a 30-year-old institution started by the Chamber of Commerce, passed the torch to the Ordre de Montréal. Michel Leblanc remarked that this was a natural transition, and that the Ordre is commensurate with the remarkable contribution of these exceptional Montrealers.
These builders of our history are sources of inspiration and pride for the city. “It is important for a community, a population and a city to have role models we can look to and say, ‘Thanks to them, Montréal thinks bigger and aims higher’ ” Denis Coderre said.
Created in May 2016 as a legacy for the city’s 375th anniversary, every year the Ordre de Montréal will recognize 17 luminaries, whose talent and achievements have helped shape our city. Three ranks can be awarded: commander, officer and knights. Nominations are by public call every year in September.
Find out more about the Ordre de Montréal