Singer k.d. lang, 7 others to receive Alberta Order of Excellence

Singer k.d. lang, 7 others to receive Alberta Order of Excellence

Iconic singer-songwriter k.d. lang and seven other prominent Albertans will receive the province's highest honour Thursday afternoon in Edmonton.

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell will invest the newest members of the Alberta Order of Excellence in a ceremony at Government House.

Born in Edmonton and raised in the central Alberta village of Consort, the 56-year-old lang is one of Canada's most versatile and gifted singer-songwriters. She has won Juno and Grammy awards and is a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights, music education, animal protection and other causes.

"While the path from Consort to Hollywood is the definition of 'unbeaten,' it's clear that k.d.'s rural upbringing was an integral element in shaping the singer who has been wowing audiences for the last 30 years," the Order of Excellence says in its biography of lang.

"Through her contributions both on and off the stage, she has impacted Alberta's cultural landscape."

Since it was created in 1979, 165 Albertans have been invested, not including this year's new members, the government said in a news release Wednesday.

In a news release, the other Albertans being invested into the order for 2018 are described this way:

  • Reg Basken, Sherwood Park: A labour leader known for his collaborative negotiating style, particularly in the energy sector, Basken is known for championing medicare and for supporting the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation.
  • Rosella Bjornson, Sherwood Park: Canada's first female airline jet pilot, Bjornson paved the way for women in aviation and was pivotal in changing regulations to allow pregnant pilots the right to fly.
  • Wayne Chiu, Calgary: Chiu is a successful businessman and philanthropist with a passion for social entrepreneurship. He is an advocate for affordable housing, and has supported many community organizations through the creation of the Trico Charitable Foundation.
  • David Manz, Calgary: Manz is a world-renowned expert and educator in the fields of irrigation engineering and climate change. He invented the Manz BioSand Water Filter, an affordable technology that provides safe water for millions of people around the world.
  • Solomon Rolingher, Edmonton: A lawyer and community leader, Rolingher is recognized for his work with the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony and the River Valley Alliance. He has made significant contributions to Alberta's education and health-care sectors.
  • Allan Wachowich, Edmonton: Wachowich has made significant contributions as a lawyer, justice and active citizen. With his work in the legal profession, and the greater community, his focus has been fairness and providing equal opportunities for all members of society.
  • Ralph Young, Edmonton: Young is a community builder who has a reputation for integrity, insight and inspiring others. He works to support and enhance the community in which he lives, with a focus on education and the preservation of Canadian history.