Orders, decorations, and medals of the Canadian provinces

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The Orders, decorations, and medals of the Canadian provinces, in which each province of Canada has devised a system of orders and awards to honour residents for actions or deeds that benefit their local community or province, are in turn subsumed within the Canadian honours system. Each province sets their own rules and criteria on eligibility and also how each medal is awarded and presented. Most of the orders allow for the recipient to wear their orders in public, and most grant the recipients the use of post-nominal letters in their names.


British Columbia was the first to establish an honour that was distinct to the province: the Dogwood Medallion, created for the centennial of the Province and its preceding Colony of British Columbia in 1957, and reformed into the Order of the Dogwood in 1966.[1] After the establishment of the Canadian honours system in 1967, the rest of the provinces, recognizing the Crown's distinct operation within each provincial jurisdiction, moved to establish their own honours after Ottawa declined to do so on their behalf. Ontario was the first, creating the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship in 1973, and the Police and Firefighter's Bravery Medals in 1975 and 1976, respectively. Alberta followed with the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1979. Quebec was the first province to establish a true order: l'Ordre national du Quebec in 1984. The Saskatchewan Order of Merit was established in 1985. The Order of Ontario came in 1986, the Order of British Columbia in 1989 (which replaced the Order of the Dogwood), the Order of Prince Edward Island in 1997, the Order of Manitoba in 1999, and the Order of Nova Scotia, of New Brunswick, and of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. However, the federal government did not recognize these honours and decorations, fearing duplications and citing the fact that, aside from the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador,[2] the Queen had not authorized them. The provinces responded by stating that since provincial ministers did not constitutionally have the right to advise the sovereign directly, they would do so via legislation under the prerogative of the provincial Crown. The federal government finally came to recognize provincial orders after a compromise was reached between Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn and Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Sylvia Fedoruk, wherein provincial honours established by legislation or order in council would be ranked below all national honours, but above national decorations.[3]

Provincial & Territorial orders[edit]

Name Year Created Ribbon bar Post-nominal letters Number of inductees
Alberta Order of Excellence 1979 Alberta Order Excellence ribbon bar.svg A.O.E. 59[4]
Order of British Columbia 1989[a] Order British Columbia ribbon bar.svg O.B.C. 218[5]
Order of Manitoba 1999 Order Manitoba ribbon bar.svg O.M. 85[6][7]
Order of New Brunswick 2000 Order New Brunswick ribbon bar.svg O.N.B. 37[8]
Order of Newfoundland and Labrador 2001 Order Newfoundland Labrador ribbon bar.svg O.N.L. 35[9]
Order of Nova Scotia 2001 Order Nova Scotia ribbon bar.png O.N.S. 20[10]
Order of Ontario 1986 Order Ontario ribbon bar.svg O.Ont. 209
Order of Prince Edward Island 1996 Order Prince Edward Island ribbon bar.svg O.P.E.I. 32
National Order of Quebec (French: Ordre national du Québec)

Presented in three grades:

  • Grand Officer (grand officier - shown right)
  • Officer (officier)
  • Knight (chevalier)
1984 National Order Quebec ribbon bar.svg G.O.Q.
69 (G.O.Q.)[11]
195 (O.Q.)[11]
324 (C.Q.)[11]
Saskatchewan Order of Merit 1985 Saskatchewan Order Merit ribbon bar.svg S.O.M. 122[12]
Order of the Northwest Territories 2013 CAN Order of Northwest Territories ribbon.svg O.N.W.T. 20[13][14]
Order of Nunavut 2010 CAN Order of Nunavut ribbon.svg O.Nu. 17[15][16]
Order of Yukon[b] 2018 O.Y. 0[18]

In all provinces except Quebec the provincial honours are presented by the relevant Lieutenant Governor.[3] The territorial honours are presented by their respective Commissioner.

Most provincial orders only have one grade, or level, which is membership. The only province that has a multi-level order system is Quebec: the National Order of Quebec has three grades (in descending order of grade): Grand Officer (GOQ), Officer (OQ), and Knight (CQ).

The Canadian Forces has listed the following orders to be worn in the following manner: National Order of Quebec, Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Order of Ontario, Order of British Columbia, Alberta Order of Excellence, Order of Prince Edward Island, Order of Manitoba, Order of New Brunswick, Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the CF has stated that while this is the order of sequence on a ribbon bar, it is unlikely or even impossible that a member will receive a medal or an order from all Canadian provinces.[17]

Various people who have been awarded provincial orders have been presented with national decorations and orders, such as the Order of Canada. An example of this would be Gordon Lightfoot being awarded the Order of Ontario. Lightfoot is also a Companion of the Order of Canada.[19] Each province has a limit on how many can be awarded with their order per year: Ontario places no limit on the number that can be distributed (although it is usually around 25), Alberta and Saskatchewan are limited to 10 inductees each year, and the territories limit theirs to 3 per year.

  1. ^ Replaced the Order of the Dogwood (O.D.), founded in 1966.
  2. ^ An unofficial order for the Yukon Territory, the Order of Polaris, had been created prior to the Order of Yukon in 2018 but was not a territorial order. It is not listed on the medals and orders chart for members of the Canadian Forces.[17]

Provincial medals[edit]



British Columbia[edit]


Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]


  • Manitoba Excellence in Law Enforcement Award[20][21]

See also[edit]


  • McCreery, Christopher (2008). “The Beginner’s Guide to Canadian Honours” Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-748-8
  • McCreery, Christopher (2005). “The Canadian Honours System” Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-554-5


  1. ^ Royal British Columbia Museum: Media Images Archived 2012-11-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Roberts, Edward (2004). "Message from the Lieutenant Governor". In Executive Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (ed.). Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's: Queen's Printer for Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b Jackson, Michael; Canadian Monarchist News: Golden Jubilee and Provincial Crown; Winter/Spring, 2003 Archived 2007-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. "Members of the Alberta Order of Excellence". Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  5. ^ Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat of British Columbia. "Recipients of the Order of British Columbia" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  6. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. "Official Register of the Order of Manitoba". Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  7. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. "Twelve People to Receive Order of Manitoba". Archived from the original on November 24, 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  8. ^ Government of New Brunswick. "What is the Order of New Brunswick?". Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  9. ^ Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. "Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recipients". Retrieved March 3, 2008.
  10. ^ Government of Nova Scotia. "Order of Nova Scotia". Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  11. ^ a b c Government of Quebec. "Ordre national du Québec". Retrieved 5 March 2007.
  12. ^ Saskatchewan Government Relations. "Saskatchewan Order of Merit - Members". Retrieved May 15, 2006.
  13. ^ "Order of Yukon Act, SY 2018, c.2" (PDF).
  14. ^ https://www.assembly.gov.nt.ca/node/298113
  15. ^ "Order of Yukon Act, SY 2018, c.2".
  16. ^ https://www.assembly.nu.ca/order-nunavut
  17. ^ a b National Defence: Canadian Forces Honours and Awards Chart
  18. ^ "Order of Yukon Act, SY 2018, c.2" (PDF).
  19. ^ Governor General of Canada: Gordon Lightfoot receives the Order of Canada; December 13, 2003 Archived October 28, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Manitoba honours 10 police officers with Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards". News 4. 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  21. ^ "Province of Manitoba | News Releases | Manitoba Police Officers Recognized with Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards". Province of Manitoba. Retrieved 2019-09-19.

External links[edit]