Following repeated postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new members were invested into the Order in scaled-back, intimate ceremonies that strictly followed current public health restrictions.

The Alberta Order of Excellence recognizes Albertans who have made an outstanding provincial, national or international impact. It is the highest honour Alberta can bestow and is an official part of the Canadian Honours System. These new additions bring the total membership of the Alberta Order of Excellence to 197.

The 2020 Alberta Order of Excellence members are:

  • JudyLynn Archer of Edmonton has helped women and children escape poverty and realize their potential through Women Building Futures by encouraging and training women in the construction industry trades.
  • Jim Boucher of Fort McKay is a visionary leader and businessman who led Fort McKay First Nation to become one of the most successful and enterprising Indigenous communities in the world.
  • Charlie Fischer of Calgary was a lifetime leader in Canada’s energy industry. His positive advocacy created wide-spread change, from corporate social and environmental responsibility to health care and post-secondary education.
  • Frances Harley of Edmonton pioneered the field of pediatric nephrology in Canada. She dedicated her remarkable career to helping vulnerable and underserved groups and inspiring others to do the same. Her courageous advocacy saves lives.
  • John Mah of Edmonton enriches lives of Albertans and people around the world as a respected lawyer, dedicated member of the Canadian Armed Forces, tireless St. John International volunteer, and advocate for the Chinese Canadian community.
  • Holger Petersen of Edmonton is a legend in the music world. As co-founder of Stony Plain Records and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and broadcaster on CKUA and CBC Radio, he introduces Alberta musicians to the world and brings world music home to Alberta.
  • Ed Stelmach of Andrew has lived a life of service, from school trustee, councillor and reeve, to MLA, cabinet minister and premier of Alberta. Always a farmer, his work now includes leading Covenant Health and the Ed Stelmach Community Foundation.

The 2021 Alberta Order of Excellence members are:

  • Joan Donald of Red Deer has enriched the social and economic health of her community by bringing governance and leadership to boardrooms of organizations that range from business, health and education to social justice, sport and culture.
  • Cyril Kay of Edmonton is among the world’s eminent biochemists, unlocking the building blocks of life. His vision to create and lead internationally respected multidisciplinary teams has revolutionized biomedical research.
  • Murray McCann of Calgary is an entrepreneur and community leader who reinvests his success into organizations that combat hunger, homelessness, fear and violence. He created programs that honour fallen soldiers and support homeless veterans.
  • Barb Olson of Calgary is an internationally recognized researcher, entrepreneur and toxicology expert. Her research with husband Merle in veterinary medicine has led to a better understanding of bacterial infections and treatment in humans and animals.
  • Merle Olson of Calgary is an internationally renowned veterinarian and researcher. His entrepreneurism with wife Barb has led to innovative biotech and pharmaceutical companies specializing in veterinary products to address animal welfare issues.
  • Greg Powell of Calgary is a pioneering emergency physician, innovator and educator. He has saved countless lives by co-founding and leading the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) and revolutionizing emergency medicine.
  • Cor Van Raay of Lethbridge strengthened both agriculture and agribusiness in Western Canada through his innovation and entrepreneurship. His generosity and community building enriched the lives of Albertans.
  • Lena Heavy Shields-Russell (Ikkináínihki) of the Blood Reserve is an Elder, author, teacher and trailblazing translator. She created Alberta’s Blackfoot curriculum, safeguarding the language and culture to pass on to future generations.

For detailed biographies and photos of the new members and information on how to submit a nomination, please visit Alberta Order of Excellence.