top of page


Over the past fifty years the Order of Canada has appeared on screen on stage and in cartoon form as well.

Many of these cartoons provide an amusing window into how the Order has been viewed at different times and in different situations. Since 1967, as the Order of Canada has gained a place in the public mind, it has appeared with increasing frequency in editorial cartoons. Praise, derision and comment have been offered by the witty pen of a number of Canada's greatest editorial cartoonists over the last fifty years. 

Long before the establishment of the Order of Canada political cartoonists put pen to paper to offer commentary on honours. Two of the most frequent subjects were two of Canada's Prime Ministers, Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister from 1896-1911) and R.B. Bennett (Prime Minister from 1930-1935). Laurier was derided for accepting a knighthood during Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1896, while Bennett was similarly treated when he reintroduced British-Imperial honours to Canada from 1932-35.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier; Canada Prime Minsiter cartoon; Canada honours
Sir Wilfrid Laurier  at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1897. Laurier was knighted as part of the celebrations. 
R.B. Bennett; Canada prime minister cartoon; Nickle Resolution; Canada titles; Canada knighthoods
R.B. Bennett being derided for the reintroduction of British-Imperial Honours in Canada. Winnipeg Free Press, 16 March 1934. 

Distribution of the Order of Canada -- who gets what and why -- has been the most frequent subject of cartoon commentary. 

Order of Canada; Order of Canada cartoon
ORder of Canada; Order of Canada cartoon
 Gary Clement of the National Post take on the distribution of appointments to the Order. 
GRAEME MACKAY, Hamilton Spectator
Patrick Corrigan of the Toronto Star's take on the Honours List in 2006,

The Hamilton Spectator's Graeme MacKay has been prolific in his depictions of the Order of Canada. Below are two of MacKay's most memorable Order of Canada related cartoons. The first satirized the appointment of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada, while the second poked fun at Conrad Black for his attempts to remain an Officer of the Order of Canada. 

Order of canada; order of canada cartoon
The appointment of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada in 2008 resulted in a flurry of media commentary. 
Order of canada; order of canada cartoon
The impending removal of Conrad Black from the Order of Canada in 2011 saw MacKay depicting Black as a constant on Canadian Idol. 

The appointment of former Alberta Premier as an Officer of the Order of Canada, in May 2012 saw Malcolm Mayes of the Edmonton Journal pen this tribute to Ralph Klein, who was suffering from dementia. Klein would be appointed to the Order for his "lasting contributions to the province of Alberta and to public life in Canada. He served three consecutive terms as mayor of Calgary, during which time the city hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and created a legacy of sports facilities and municipal infrastructure. He later rose to become Alberta's 12th premier, leading his province with a common touch and broad appeal through an era of economic advancement, innovation and prosperity that ultimately resulted in the elimination of the province's deficit."

Order of Canada; Order of Canada cartoon
The Edmonton Journal's Malcolm Mayes' tribute to Ralph Klein.
bottom of page