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4 Concordians named to the Order of Canada

New appointees include Howard Alper, Ella Amir, Elliot R. Lifson and Elizabeth Langley
December 4, 2020
By Marta Samuel, GrDip 10

Each year, exceptional Canadians are appointed to the Order of Canada for their outstanding achievements, commitment to their community and service to the country.

Announced by Governor General Julie Payette, LLD 10, on November 27, the most recent cohort includes 114 inductees from all sectors of society.

Meet the four Concordians who earned one of Canada’s highest civilian honours this fall.

Howard Alper, BSc 63, LLD 07

Howard Alper, BSc 63, LLD 07

“For his significant contributions to organometallic chemistry and for his internationally recognized leadership in science research and policy”

Promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada, Howard Alper is an acclaimed chemist who has long been at the forefront of new discoveries related to polyesters, foams, fibers and pharmaceuticals.

Alper is a distinguished professor at the University of Ottawa and is currently leading an initiative by the Governor General to champion research excellence in Canada.

His research and teachings have been recognized with numerous honours, including a fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada and the inaugural Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering — NSERC’s highest honour. Alper received an honorary degree from Concordia in 2007.

Ella Amir, PhD 12

Ella Amir, PhD 12

“For her contributions to the field of mental health and for advocating on behalf of families and caregivers”

Appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, Ella Amir serves as the executive director of AMI-Quebec, a non-profit organization that helps families manage the effects of mental illness through support, education, guidance and advocacy. She has been a pioneer in Quebec and across Canada in developing innovative programs and support for family caregivers.

To mark 25 years of dedicated service to her field, AMI-Quebec created the Ella Amir Award for Innovations in Mental Health in 2016. The award is conferred to individuals or groups who seek innovative ways to raise awareness of mental health issues, as well as the needs of caregivers.

In 2017, Amir was named one of the 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. 

Elliot R. Lifson, BSc 64, BA 65

Elliot R. Lifson, BSc 64, BA 65

“For his leadership and mentorship in the apparel industry, for his commitment to Canada’s economic growth, and for his community involvement”

Honoured as a Member of the Order of Canada, Elliot Lifson — vice-chairman of Vêtements Peerless Clothing Inc. — is a pillar of the Canadian apparel industry and dedicated philanthropist. He is president of the Canadian Apparel Federation and professor at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.

Lifson is actively involved in his community, serving on various boards including at the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, Segal Centre for Performing Arts and Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.

Among Lifson’s many accolades are the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Senate of Canada 150th Anniversary Medal.

Elizabeth Langley

Elizabeth Langley

“For her sustained mentorship of aspiring dancers and her lifelong devotion to the art.”

Elizabeth Langley — dancer, choreographer, teacher and dramaturge — was named a Member of the Order of Canada. After joining Concordia as a teacher in 1979, Langley created and developed the dance program at the university (now the Department of Contemporary Dance), where she later became director.

Following studies and teaching in Amsterdam, Langley retired in 1997 to pursue creative projects. That same year, she received the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize from the Canadian Council for the Arts, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to dance in Canada.

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