Jazz icons Jackie Richardson and Reg Schwager named to Order of Canada

Canadian jazz icons Jackie Richardson and Reg Schwager are among the 135 new appointments to the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours. It recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Jackie Richardson was named an honorary member of the Order of Canada “for her contributions as a Canadian jazz legend, and as a leader and mentor to young performers in her community.”

Richardson’s career in music, film and theatre spans more than five decades. Known as Canada’s reigning queen of jazz, blues and gospel, she has toured across Canada and the world performing with renowned artists such as Ray Charles, Anne Murray, Dr. John and Celine Dion. She has won a Gemini Award and a Dora Award for her acting, and has received a Maple Blues Award for lifetime achievement.

Reg Schwager was named a member of the Order of Canada “for his indelible contributions to the Canadian jazz scene as a leading guitarist and composer.”

Schwager has been a fixture of Toronto’s jazz scene for more than 40 years. He has toured extensively across Canada and worldwide with George Shearing, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Rob McConnell, Emilie-Claire Barlow and many others. He appears on over 80 albums with such artists as Junior Mance, Gary Burton and Mel Tormé. He has written and arranged hundreds of jazz compositions and has released several recordings as a bandleader. He has been recognized four times as the National Jazz Awards’ guitarist of the year.

More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada since it was created in 1967.  Appointments are made by the governor general on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

See the full list of 2021 appointments here.


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