Montréal, Canada, 18-05-2016 -
The Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, announced today the creation of the Order of Montréal in the presence of elected officials representing the city council and urban agglomeration council, as well as Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. This legacy, which was devised for Montréal's 375th anniversary, seeks to honour men and women who contribute in a remarkable way to the development and reputation of the city.
Starting in 2017, on May 17 of each year or the day of the founding of Montréal, 17 citizens of exception will be awarded the Order of Montréal medal in one of the following categories: Commander, Officer and Knight. This medal is now part of the city's official symbols, in the same way as the coat of arms adopted in 1833, and the flag in 1938. Marked by nobility and prestige, the Order adopts the same motto: Concordia Salus, or well-being through harmony, highlighting the values dear to Montrealers: Living together, diversity and openness to the world.
"The creation of the Order of Montréal is an important milestone in our city's history. It positions us among leaders and shows our civic pride in a tangible way. What a meaningful legacy for our city's 375th anniversary! As the Mayor of Montréal, I will have the privilege of honouring each year 17 remarkable citizens, who have made difference in the fields of culture, economy, community life, sciences and entrepreneurship in Montréal. I will take on this responsibility with honour and pride," said Denis Coderre.
The Order of Montréal takes over from the Académie des Grands Montréalais, which was created in 1988 by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, which itself had taken over an initiative by the Canadian National introduced ten years earlier. From 1978 to 2014, approximately 100 Montrealers were recognized for their involvement in the city's cultural, economic and social environments. Out of respect for this outstanding legacy, these personalities will be admitted officially as members of the Order of Montréal in December 2016 at a special ceremony to mark the launching of Montréal's 375th anniversary celebrations.
"The Board of Trade acknowledges Mayor Coderre's decision to create this new award honouring talented people whose contributions add to the development and prestige of Montréal. You will be pleased to know that all of the Great Montrealers who have been honoured over the years by the Académie des Grands Montréalais will be officially admitted as members of the Order of Montréal at a special ceremony to be held in December 2016. I encourage the business community to submit the candidacy of a person who deserves such an honour, next fall," said Michel Leblanc.Prestigious council
The members of the Order of Montréal council, who were chosen for their credibility, will examine each application file rigorously to ensure the institution's prestige. This council will be made up of 15 personalities and will be presided over by one man and one woman. The Honourable Louise Arbour, and explorer and lecturer Bernard Voyer, will preside over the first council, together. The composition of the council will be made public by next fall.
The council will make recommendations for admission to the Order (including the honourary categories) to the executive committee, which will name the recipients. They will be recognized for one of the following merits:
-Their decisive contribution to the development of Montréal.
-Their notable contribution to the national or international reputation of Montréal.
-Their exemplary commitment to the community.
-Their exceptional professional achievements.
Call for proposals
The first public call for proposals will be held in September and October 2016. One cannot submit his or her own candidacy for the Order of Montréal. Proposals must be submitted by a third party and supported by two persons. Candidates, persons who submit a candidacy, or those supporting a candidacy, must meet the following criteria:
-Have been born within the territory of the Montréal urban agglomeration.
-Reside of have resided within this same territory for at least five years.
-Carry out or have carried out professional activities within this same territory for at least five years.
Creation of the medal
Like most honourary orders, the Order of Montréal is presented as an elegant family of insignias, whose material and size vary according to the honourary category. The medal was designed by Jacques Desbiens, industrial designer and winner of the first prize following the call for creation of the Order's medal, which was launched in 2015 by the city's Bureau du design. This Bureau called upon a committee of experts to examine the 36 proposals.