Creative Canadians. Brave Canadians. Athletes, soldiers, scholars and community activists. These are the people the Governor General visits across the country and welcomes to Rideau Hall and La Citadelle every year to honour for their contribution to our society.
The Order of Canada i s the country's highest honour for lifetime achievement. It was established in 1967 and since then more than 4,000 Canadians have been invested for their contribution in making Canada a better country. In addition to the Order of Canada, our honours system includes Meritorious Service Decorations for members of the military and civilians, Order of Military Merit and Order of Merit of the Police Forces. Every year, the Governor General honours Canada's "unsung heros" with Decorations for Bravery and the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.
The Governor General's Academic Medal, first awarded in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, recognizes students and teachers for outstanding scholastic achievements. The award for excellence in the teaching of history celebrates the innovative ways teachers across the country bring our past alive for their students.
The Office of the Governor General has always been at the centre of celebrating creative excellence in Canada. The Governor General's Literary Awards were established by John Buchan, the novelist, historian and publisher, who became Lord Tweedsmuir after his appointment to Governor General. It was in 1937 when Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir awarded the first Governor General's Literary Awards to honour the best books of 1936. In 1992 The Governor General's Performing Arts Awards were created by Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn and in 1999, Governor General Roméo LeBlanc created the Governor General's Visual and Media Arts Awards.