York faculty member Hedi Bouraoui appointed as Member of the Order of Canada

Longtime York University faculty member and esteemed poet, novelist and essayist Hedi Bouraoui has been recognized as a Member of the Order of Canada. Bouraoui is among the 105 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced on June 28 by Governor General of Canada Julie Payette.

The new member list includes three Companions (C.C.), 20 Officers (O.C.) and 82 Members (C.M.). There were nine individuals with connections to York University appointed to the Order of Canada. Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Hedi Bouraoui
Hedi Bouraoui

Bouraoui is currently the writer-in-residence in York University’s Department of French Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS). His first role with York University was the coordinator of French in the former Division of Literatures and Language Training. There, he there developed the Créaculture program, which was widely adopted in North America.

Bouraoui also served two terms (10 years) as master of Stong College, where he created the college identity of “transculturalism.” He then moved on to chair the French Department for five years. In 2002, he founded the Canada-Maghreb Centre (since renamed to be the Canada-Mediterranean Centre) at York, which focuses on Maghrebian and Franco-Ontarian literatures. It is the only centre of its kind in Canada.

He is the recipient of numerous national and international honours. One of the most prestigious of these honours was when the French Government awarded him the title of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques in 1996. He was then promoted to Officier des Palmes Académiques in 2004.

In 1997, he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1999, he received the Prix du Nouvel Ontario of the Nuit de l’Étang, Sudbury, for his contributions to Francophone arts and culture in Ontario. In 2003, he received an honorary degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury. In 2005, an international conference on his work was organized at York University, and the Proceedings, Perspectives Critiques sur l’oeuvre d’Hédi Bouraoui (edited by York Professor Elizabeth Sabiston and McMaster Professor Suzanne Crosta) was published in 2007.

He continues to do both library and field research for his books on the Mediterranean islands, south, north, east, and west Mediterranean – Kerkenna, Djerba, Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica, Crete, Majorca, Malta. His research of Maghrebian and Franco-Ontarian literatures and cultures, as well as French and Francophone, is also ongoing.

The following individuals appointed the order of Canada have affiliations with York University:

Cindy Blackstock, O.C. (LLD [Hon.] ’17 – Osgoode), for her leadership as a champion of Indigenous children and for her efforts to build a culture of reconciliation.

Roberta Bondar, C.C., O.Ont. (DSc [Hon.] ’92 – Glendon), for her contributions to society’s awareness of environmental sustainability as an educator, patron and internationally recognized photographer, and for her pioneering work in space medicine research.

Barry Callaghan, C.M. is professor emeritus of English at York University. He was recognized for his contributions, as a publisher and writer, to the promotion of Canadian literature in Canada and abroad. Callaghan, who taught English at York for some 30 years, is a novelist, poet and man of letters and his work has been much anthologized.

Wendy Craig, O.C., O.Ont. (MA ’89, PhD ’93), is a Bryden Award recipient and a graduate of York University. Craig was recognized for her seminal research on bullying and its impact on youth, and for her groundbreaking work in linking basic research, public policy and community action to address the issue.

Agnes Di Leonardi, C.M. (BBA ’82), for her leadership in the automotive industry and her commitment to mentoring and supporting Canadian women leaders through her work with the International Women’s Forum of Canada.

Sheila Fraser, O.C. (LLD [Hon.] ’10 – Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies), for her dedication to enhancing the accountability of governmental institutions and to promoting Indigenous rights across Canada.

Ted (Edward) H. Garrard, C.M. (BA’80, MA ’81) is a graduate of York University. Garrard was recognized for his committed leadership in the charitable sector as an innovator who has developed giving strategies in the fields of health care and education.

Beverley McLachlin, P.C., C.C. (LLD [Hon.] ’99 – Osgoode), for her prodigious impact on Canada’s legal landscape, notably as the longest-serving chief justice of Canada, as well as the first woman in the role.