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Overview of 40-plus year history
The Alberta Order of Excellence Act was accorded Royal Assent in the Alberta legislature on November 16, 1979, with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta named as Chancellor of the Order. Section 2 of the Act states:
“There is hereby established a society of honour to be known as the Alberta Order of Excellence consisting of those persons who are Members of the Order. The object of the Order is to accord recognition to those persons who have rendered service of the greatest distinction and of singular excellence for or on behalf of the residents of Alberta.”
Members of the Alberta Order of Excellence come from all occupations and lifestyles. Their contributions and achievements range from medicine, science, engineering, law, and business to politics, education, community service, agriculture and the arts. All members have had an outstanding impact within the province, country or worldwide.
The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Chancellor of the Order of Excellence, presents new members with a medallion, personalized illuminated scroll and an official portrait at a special investiture ceremony at Government House in Edmonton.
The Alberta Order of Excellence Act prescribes a silver, gilt and enamel medallion attached to a ribbon, distinctive to the province, to be worn around the neck.
- newly invested members are also presented with a miniature of the insignia design
- members of the Order are entitled to use the post-nominals AOE
The official seal of the Order is used with the insignia design on ceremonial documents.
The 4 translucent arms of the medallion are enamelled in blue and are convex, with gold detail underneath the enamel representing prairie wheat.
The roses and rose leaves contained in the angles of the cross are part burnished gold and portray the floral emblem of Alberta.
On the reverse is the maple leaf emblem of Canada, supported by a wreath of wheat.
The provincial coat of arms is highlighted in the front central circle, which is surrounded by an enamel ring containing the title 'The Alberta Order of Excellence.'
Alberta's coat of arms is made up of the Alberta shield, resting on a base of grass and wild roses, with a crest above and supporters on either side:
- the shield features St. George's Cross on a background of white, along with blue sky, mountains, green hills, prairie and a wheat field.
- the crest consists of a Royal Crown resting on a beaver, which is sitting on top of a helmet with a red and silver wreath.
- a pronghorn antelope and lion support the shield on either side.
The motto of Alberta's coat of arms is Fortis et Liber (Strong and Free).
Each member of the Alberta Order of Excellence receives an illuminated scroll signed by the chancellor and the chair of the Alberta Order of Excellence, commemorating his or her investiture into the Order.
- a similar scroll is added to the Book of Records, the official account of members of the Alberta Order of Excellence
The scrolls feature Alberta’s coat-of-arms and other provincial symbols including a bighorn sheep, a great horned owl, an Alberta rose and a lodgepole pine.
Each scroll is personalized with other insignia chosen by the member.
The illuminated scrolls are handmade by artist Wendy Morris of Sherwood Park. Wendy was born in Edmonton and began her artistic career there. She has received extensive instruction in various mediums, but chooses to divide her time between calligraphy and painting in oils. Wendy’s work hangs throughout Canada and the United States.
Portraits and short biographies of members of the Alberta Order of Excellence are displayed in 2 portrait galleries, located in the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton and the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. The galleries also include an interactive kiosk with AOE Member’s biographies and video montage.
The galleries are open to the public. Admission is free.
Past investiture ceremonies
The Alberta Order of Excellence is about more than simply doing one’s job well. It’s about recognizing Albertans who have made a difference, who have served Albertans with excellence and distinction, and whose contributions will stand above the rest and withstand the test of time.
View investiture ceremonies from 2014 and onward.