John Rea among eight McGillians appointed to Order of Canada

McGill faculty, graduates and honorary doctorate recipients earn one of Canada's most prestigious honours

On December 27, Julie Payette (BEng’86), Governor General of Canada, announced 103 new appointments to the Order of Canada. Recipients included eight members of the McGill community, including John Rea, a professor at the Schulich School of Music.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the nation’s highest honours. Presented by the governor general, the Order “honours people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities.”

The newest appointments comprise two Companions, 15 Officers and 86 Members, including two Honorary Members. Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Musical triple threat

Rea was made a Member of the Order of Canada “for his musical creations and technical experimentations as a composer and musicologist.”

Rea, a Toronto native, is a musical triple threat, as a composer, teacher and concert producer. An award-winning composer, Rea has been frequently commissioned and has written works in several genres, including chamber music, music-theatre, electroacoustic music; and compositions for large ensemble such as orchestra, ballet, choral and opera. Rea is a two-time winner of the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Rea was also the focus of the Homage Series by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec for the 2015-2016 season.

Rea has lectured and published articles on twentieth century music and, since 1973, has taught composition, music theory and music history at McGill where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Music (1986-1991), today the Schulich School of Music. Rea was also a founding member of the Montreal new music society, Les Événements du Neuf (1978-1989).

Musical potential of ordinary people

Isabelle Peretz, adjunct professor of neurology and neurosurgery, was made a Member of the Order of Canada “for her contributions that have uncovered the neuropsychological means by which the brain processes music and the resulting implications.”

Peretz is the Founder and Co-Director of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS) jointly affiliated to McGill and the Université de Montréal. Her research focuses on the musical potential of ordinary people, it’s neural correlates, its heritability and its specificity relative to language. She is renowned for her work on congenital and acquired musical disorders (amusia) and on the biological foundations of music processing in general.

Grads and Hon Docs also honoured

Four McGill graduates were also appointed Members of the Order of Canada.

Businessman and patron of the arts Jean André Élie (BCL’65) of Montreal, was made a Member “for his ongoing contributions to governance in the arts and for his philanthropy in support of numerous causes.”

President and chief executive officer of TELUS Darren Entwistle (MBA’88, LLD’13) of Vancouver, was honoured “for his leadership in fostering corporate social responsibility in the telecommunications industry.”

Mary R. L’Abbé (MSc’83, PhD’88) of Toronto, a professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto, was recognized “for her contributions to the health of Canadians as a champion of nutrition.”

Montreal’s Gilbert Laporte (BSc’71), Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management at HEC Montréal, was made a Member “for his contributions to the advancement of decision science and the development of new methods in operational research.”

Finally, a pair of McGill Honorary Doctorate recipients were also honoured by the governor general.

Robert Lacroix, LLD’03, was promoted to Officer of the Order or Canada “for his contributions to economics and public policy-making as a professor and rector emeritus.” Lacroix is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Economics and former rector (1998-2005) of the Université de Montréal.

Daniel Lamarre, LLD’12, was appointed Officer of the Order or Canada “for his contributions to the communications and entertainment industry, and for his ongoing philanthropic engagement.” Lamarre is a former journalist and president and chief executive officer of the Cirque du Soleil.

Read the official announcement