Coldstream's Imant Raminsh receives Order of Canada at Rideau Hall

Raminsh receives Order

A Coldstream man has been invested into the Order of Canada.

Imant Raminsh had been named to the honour in December 2018 and was to receive the award in Ottawa in 2020, but the ceremony was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raminsh received his award from Governor General Mary Simon on Friday, at Rideau Hall.

He was among 23 recipients of highest civilian honour.

Raminsh is one of Canada’s most important composers, Simon said during the investiture.

"A conductor, violinist, mentor and creator of works in a broad range of styles, he has had an impact at both the national and international levels. Committed to sharing music and encouraging public involvement in the art form, he is credited with nurturing musical communities outside of Canada’s major centres."

Raminsh is the founding conductor of the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, AURA Chamber Choir, NOVA Children’s Choir and the Prince George Symphony.

"The Order of Canada is how our country honours people who make extraordinary contributions to the nation," said Simon.

"The past few years have been difficult. The pandemic has prevented us from gathering like this, to honour a lifetime of achievement, to celebrate those that take to heart the motto of the Order of Canada: They desire a better country.

"Your induction into the Order of Canada isn’t the last step, but just one more on your ongoing journey. Congratulations to all of you."

Raminsh, a native of Latvia, immigrated to Canada in 1948.

His compositions have been performed on six continents in such world-renowned halls as Carnegie Hall (New York), Tchaikovsky Hall (Moscow), the Orpheum (Vancouver), Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame (Paris) and Santa Maria del’Fiore (Florence).

He has also pursued studies in geology and biology, and worked for many summers as a naturalist/interpreter in BC provincial parks, and has also served as a municipal councillor.

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