Actor Ryan Reynolds and Vancouver Coastal Health board chair Dr. Penny Ballem are among the 14 British Columbians who have been appointed to the Order of B.C. this year. The Order of B.C. is the highest form of recognition for individuals from the province, with a total of 503 British Columbians having been appointed since its establishment in 1989.
The Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin expressed her admiration for the honorees, stating that their service and achievements have left an indelible mark on their communities and will benefit future generations. The list of recipients also includes Susan Giles and Evanna Brennan, both long-time outreach nurses in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, music talent scout Sam Feldman, and conservationist George Riefel.
Ryan Reynolds, known for his lead roles in films such as Deadpool, Free Guy, and Green Lantern, has not only made a name for himself in Hollywood but has also ventured into various business endeavors. He is the owner of a soccer team, a cellphone company, and a distillery. Reynolds has also shown his commitment to public health by answering the call from former B.C. Premier John Horgan to help stop young people from attending parties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Penny Ballem, who was appointed to the Order of B.C., has had an illustrious career in public service. She served as the deputy health minister in B.C. from 2001 to 2006 and later became the city manager for the City of Vancouver in 2008. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Ballem played a crucial role in delivering vital information to British Columbians and led the provincial immunization rollout team. Her partner, Marion Lay, was also appointed to the Order of B.C. in 2012.
Premier David Eby congratulated the new order members, describing them as “superheroes” for their unique and profound contributions to the province. A ceremony honoring the 2023 Order of B.C. recipients will be held in Victoria this fall.
The full list of recipients for this year’s Order of B.C. includes Dr. Penny J. Ballem of Vancouver, Evanna Brennan of Vancouver, Dr. Jane Buxton of Vancouver, Pieter R. Cullis of Vancouver, Samuel L. Feldman of Vancouver, Gordon J. Fyfe of Saanich, Susan Giles of Vancouver, Byng Giraud of Winlaw, Chief Councillor Harold Leighton of Prince Rupert, Susan E. Paish of North Vancouver, George C. Reifel of Vancouver, Ryan Reynolds of New York, Daljit Thind of Vancouver, and Patricia Woroch of Surrey.
The appointment to the Order of B.C. is a prestigious recognition that highlights the exceptional contributions made by individuals in various fields. It serves as a testament to their dedication and impact on their communities and the province as a whole.
Ryan Reynolds’ success as an actor and his entrepreneurial ventures demonstrate his versatility and ambition. Beyond his on-screen performances, he has shown a commitment to making a positive difference in society. His response to the call from former Premier John Horgan to discourage young people from attending parties during the pandemic exemplifies his sense of responsibility and concern for public health.
Dr. Penny Ballem’s appointment to the Order of B.C. is well-deserved recognition for her significant contributions to public service. Her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and her role in the provincial immunization rollout highlight her expertise and dedication to the well-being of British Columbians. Her partner’s previous appointment to the Order further exemplifies their shared commitment to serving the community.
The Order of B.C. recipients are rightfully acknowledged as superheroes by Premier David Eby, as their contributions have had a profound impact on the province. Their achievements and legacies will continue to shape the future of British Columbia, benefiting generations to come.
The upcoming ceremony in Victoria will provide an opportunity to celebrate and honor the 2023 Order of B.C. recipients. It will serve as a reminder of the remarkable individuals who have dedicated their lives to making a positive difference in the province.
In conclusion, the appointment to the Order of B.C. is a prestigious recognition that celebrates the exceptional achievements and contributions of individuals from the province. Ryan Reynolds and Dr. Penny Ballem, along with the other honorees, have left an indelible mark on their communities and have demonstrated their commitment to making a positive impact. The upcoming ceremony will provide a platform to honor and celebrate these remarkable individuals and their lasting legacies.