Vimy Award Previous Winners
Previous recipients of the prestigious Vimy Award include:
2016 Dr. James A. Boutilier
Dr. James Boutilier is the Special Advisor, International Engagement, at Canada’s Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He is currently responsible for advising the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific on matters of security, defence and foreign policy, and his in-depth expertise of the Asia-Pacific region has been highly sought after for over half century. Prior to his appointment at MARPAC, Dr. Boutilier spent twenty-four years on staff at the Royal Roads Military College in Victoria as Head of the History Department and then as Dean of Arts. He is also an adjunct professor of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Victoria and the President of the Maritime Awards Society of Canada.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Boutilier attended Dalhousie University (BA History: 1960), McMaster University (MA History: 1962), and the University of London (PhD History: 1969). Dr. Boutilier served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve from 1956 to 1964 as a navigating officer and in the same capacity in the Royal Navy Reserve from 1964 to 1969. After completing his time with the RN, Dr. Boutilier taught at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, from 1969 to 1971.
Dr. Boutilier’s field of expertise is Asia-Pacific security and defence, particularly with regards to maritime issues. He is widely published on international security and defence matters, and lectures frequently at the NATO Defense College, the Canadian Forces College and the Australian Defence College. Dr. Boutilier participates in and promotes the coordination of community events and public fora that raise the general awareness of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Armed Forces and the entire Canadian Security and Defence community, both in Canada and abroad.
2015 The Honourable Hugh D. Segal
Mr. Segal is a distinguished Canadian who has exhibited the highest standards of service to Canada. Among his many prominent responsibilities, he was Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada in the 1990s; taught at the University of Toronto Law School; and lectured in Strategic Studies on a pro-bono basis for over 20 years at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He was appointed to the Canadian Senate in August 2005.
Mr. Segal retired from the Senate in June 2014 to accept an academic appointment as Master of Massey College, Toronto. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and is a Lifetime Fellow of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.
Mr. Segal was recently re-appointed Honorary Captain (N) of the Royal Canadian Navy. He has served as Chair of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, and as founding Executive Vice President of the Canadian International Council. He has also served on the Council of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Board of Directors of the CDA Institute, the Fort Henry Guard, Kingston General Hospital and the Walter Duncan and Duncan Gordon Foundation. He is now Chairman of the NATO Council of Canada.
2014 Honorary Colonel Blake Goldring
Honorary Colonel Goldring has made outstanding contributions and shown significant leadership to strengthening the integration between the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Canadian society. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada. He is founder and Chairman of the Canada Company, a charitable organisation that acts as the bridge between business and community leaders and Canada’s military.
Honorary Colonel Goldring created the Canada Company Scholarships for the children of fallen military. He has advanced the Employer Support for Reservist program (Sharing of Sacrifice) that is designed to ensure that the financial burden for hiring Reservists is shared by all Canadians, and he ensured that female members of the CAF are properly recognized for their service. He has also founded and funded the Soldier Wellness Program to support returning Afghanistan Veterans in BC and has sent children of CAF members to summer camps, including those with special needs. Throughout his career Honorary Colonel Goldring has sought to improve and strengthen the fabric of Canadian society through contributions in service and donations to a wide variety of institutions.
Honorary Colonel Goldring, by his many avenues of support for the members of the CAF and members’ families has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the defence and security of our nation, and towards the preservation of our democratic values.
2013 Brigadier-General W. Don Macnamara (Ret’d)
Following a 37-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Forces, Brigadier-General (Ret’d) Macnamara joined the faculty of the School of Business at Queen’s University. He was a Visiting Professor at the Universitat Kaiserslautern, Germany, and in 1994 directed the start-up of the Queen’s University International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England. Later, he developed and directed a Public Executive Program for the Queen’s University School of Business and became the Director of the International Business Program for the University’s Executive MBA. In retirement, beginning in 1999, he continued as an Associate Adjunct Professor and taught part-time in the Commerce and EMBA programs at Queen’s. He was the Director and Associate Director of the Public Executive Program. He was also a Faculty Associate and Senior Fellow in the University’s Centre for International Relations. He has also taught on every Canadian Forces College Command and Staff Course since 1974.
Brigadier-General (Ret’d) Macnamara was President of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, of which he was a founding member, and led the establishment of the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Centre. He is a former President of the CDA Institute. He is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada and a member of CDA Institute’s Board of Directors.
2012 Honorary Colonel Frederick Philip Mannix
A leading figure in the business world, Frederick Mannix has been a passionate advocate of the Canadian Armed Forces. Dedicated to enhancing the role of our military at home and abroad, he has lent his vision to the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, and the Canadian Forces Liaison Council. He has also helped preserve our rich heritage through his unstinting support of the Museum of the Regiments. Held in high regard, he has worked within his community to assist worthwhile causes through his generosity.
2011 Major-General Jonathan Vance
Major-General Vance is a charismatic individual, and a warrior. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1982 and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1986, upon graduation from Royal Roads Military College. Throughout his career he served in both staff and command positions in Canada, Europe and, recently, in Afghanistan. As brigadier-general he was appointed Commander Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Task Force Kandahar, in 2009, and, again, in 2010. Major-General Vance has exhibited the highest standards of leadership throughout his career in the Canadian Forces and has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and security of Canada and to the preservation of our democratic values.
2010 The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson
Madame Clarkson was sworn in as Canada’s 26th Governor General in 1999. Madame Clarkson is a distinguished Canadian who has exhibited the highest standards of leadership throughout her career of service to Canada and to the Canadian Forces (CF), as Commander-in-Chief. During her tenure Madame Clarkson gave recognition to the duties carried out by members of the CF by her visits with Canada’s troops in Kosovo, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, and moved and educated Canadians on the role of the CF in our great nation with her tributes to the Unknown Soldier and Canada’s war Veterans, and their families. In 2007, she became the third Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). She was appointed as the Patron of the PPCLI Association later that year.
2009 Warrant Officer William MacDonald
Warrant Officer MacDonald joined the Royal Regina Rifles at age 16. He completed Basic Military Training in 1990, and rose to the rank of Master Corporal and served in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Operation CAVALIER in 1994, before transferring to the Regular Force.
A veteran of numerous operational tours, he has served on two tours in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Kosovo, and recently in Kandahar, where he was employed as a Reconnaissance Section Commander with First Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group (Task Force ORION), and was involved in numerous engagements with insurgents. For his heroism in Afghanistan the Governor General of Canada, in 2008, announced that Warrant Officer MacDonald would receive the Star of Military Valour with the citation that reads: “On August 3, 2006, amidst chaos and under sustained and intense enemy fire in Afghanistan, Sergeant MacDonald selflessly and repeatedly exposed himself to great peril in order to assist his wounded comrades. Despite the risk, he ensured that his men held on until reinforcements arrived and that the platoon’s focus remained on holding the ground that they had fought so hard to secure.”
Promoted to his current rank in 2006, Warrant Officer MacDonald was posted to Land Force Western Area Training Centre, where he has been employed on training duties and Acting Company Sergeant-Major for Basic Company. He has been invited to speak of his experiences in Afghanistan at numerous venues, including a RCMP Detachment Commander’s Seminar, at Reserve Force Armouries, high schools, and police seminars on leadership in combat.
Warrant Officer MacDonald’s personnel file is filled with letters of appreciation from many organizations and grateful parents. He epitomizes the 21st Century Canadian Infantryman. Reliable, knowledgeable, professional, fit and highly articulate, Warrant Officer MacDonald is what every soldier aspires to be.
2008 General Rick Hillier
Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, General (Ret’d) Hillier joined the Canadian Forces as soon as he could. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program and, in 1975, he graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Science Degree. After completing his armour officer classification training, he joined his first regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) in Petawawa, Ontario. Subsequently, he served with, and later commanded, the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany.
General (Ret’d) Hillier has commanded troops from the platoon to multi-national formation level within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States. He has worked as a staff officer in several headquarters, first at the Army level in Montréal and later at the strategic level in Ottawa. In 1998 General (Ret’d) Hillier was appointed as the first Canadian Deputy Commanding General of III Corps, US Army in Fort Hood, Texas. In 2000 he took command of NATO’s Stabilization Force’s (SFOR) Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In May 2003 General (Ret’d) Hillier was appointed as Commander of the Army. In October 2003, he was selected as the Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
General Hillier was promoted to the rank of general and appointed Chief of the Defence Staff in February 2005. He retired in July 2008. General Hillier and his wife, Joyce, have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson.
2007 General Raymond R. Henault
General Henault was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1949. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1968, and in his early years served as a pilot and flight instructor, as an air traffic controller, an aviation staff officer in a brigade headquarters, and as a project director. From 1987 to 1989 he was the Commanding Officer of 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at the Canadian base in Lahr, Germany. Later, as Base Commander in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, General Henault headed Canada’s premier flying training centre. In 1996 he was posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, beginning a series of jobs in military planning and operations. In 1998 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and appointed Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff. In June, 2001, General Henault was promoted to his present rank and appointed Chief of the Defence Staff, a position he held until February 2005.
General Henault was elected Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in November 2004 and assumed that position at NATO Headquarters in Brussels in June 2005. As Chairman of the Military Committee he is the senior military officer in the Alliance.
Fluent in both English and French, General Henault is a graduate of the École supérieure de guerre aérienne (ESGA) in Paris and Canada’s National Defence College. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree. General Henault holds the rank of Commander of the Canadian Order of Military Merit (CMM), Commander in The Most Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Commander of the French Légion d’honneur, the United States Legion of Merit in the degree of Commander, and the Czech Cross of Merit (1st Degree).
2006 Brigadier-General David Fraser
Currently the Commander of the Multi-National Brigade in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Brigadier-General Fraser is a distinguished Canadian who has exhibited the highest standards of leadership throughout his career of service to the Canadian Forces and to Canada. He was commissioned as an infantry officer with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) upon graduation from Carleton University in 1980.
In 1994/95 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his actions during the Bosnian Civil War. In 1996 Brigadier-General Fraser assumed command of 2nd Battalion PPCLI and took the Battalion to Bosnia as the first Canadian Battle Group with the NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR). On 29 June 2005, Brigadier-General Fraser assumed command of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and was promoted to his current rank shortly thereafter. Brigadier-General Fraser officially assumed command of the Multi-National Brigade (Regional Command South), based in Kandahar, on 28 February 2006, and will hold the position until November.
2005 Mr. G. Hamilton Southam
Mr. Southam is a distinguished Canadian who has exhibited the highest standards of leadership throughout his career of service to Canada. Born in Ottawa, Mr. Southam received his BA from the University of Toronto in 1939. A veteran of the Second World War, Mr. Southam served in the Royal Artillery, and then the Royal Canadian Artillery in the UK, Italy, and NW Europe. He was Mentioned in Despatches.
Following the War, Mr. Southam was a reporter with The Times of London, and Editorial Writer with The Ottawa Citizen, before joining the Department of External Affairs in 1948. During his diplomatic career he served as Third Secretary in Stockholm, Chargé d’Affaires in Warsaw, Ambassador to Poland, and as Head, Information Division, Department of External Affairs in 1962. Since then, Mr. Southam has been the Coordinator and Director General of the National Arts Centre, Chairman of the Canadian Mediterranean Institute, and Chancellor of the University of King’s College.
Mr. Southam’s contributions to military affairs as founding member of the military museum task force, leading to the present War Museum, his personal founding of the Battle of Normandy Foundation for the 50th anniversary of D-Day and his continuing support of its evolution, his persistent and inspired efforts in seeing through the Valiants Project are legend and worthy of recognition.
2004 Dr. David Bercuson
Dr. Bercuson is a distinguished Canadian who has exhibited the highest standards of leadership throughout his career of service to Canada. The award will be presented on Friday, 19 November, at a mixed gala dinner in the Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau.
Dr. Bercuson attended Sir George Williams University, graduating in June in 1966 with Honours in History, and winning the Lieutenant-Governor’s Silver Medal for the highest standing in history. After graduation he pursued graduate studies at the University of Toronto, earning an MA in history in 1967 and a PhD in 1971.
In 1988, Dr. Bercuson was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and, in 1989, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary. In 1997, he was appointed Special Advisor to the Minister of National Defence. He was a member of the Minister of National Defence’s Monitoring Committee from 1997 to 2003. Since 1997 he has been the Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. Currently he is the Vice President of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, Calgary. Dr Bercuson is Honourary Lieutenant Colonel of 33 Field Engineer Squadron, Calgary.
2003 General Paul Manson
Born in Trail, British Columbia and raised in Québec and Ontario, General Manson attended Royal Roads Military College and Royal Military College. He graduated in 1956 and served as a fighter pilot in Canada’s air division in NATO. He served in a number of command and staff appointments throughout his military career, culminating with that of Chief of the Defence Staff from 1986 to 1989. Following his retirement from the Canadian Forces, General Manson held executive positions with Unisys Defence Systems, Paramax, Loral Canada, and Lockheed Martin Canada from which he retired in 1997 as Chairman. In 1998 he agreed to serve as volunteer chair of Passing the Torch, Canadian War Museum’s fundraising arm, a post he continues to fill. Under his lead, Passing the Torch has raised more than $12 million. General Manson is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. He chairs the Canadian War Museum Committee, and the CWM Building Committee of that Board.
2002 Colonel the Hon. John Fraser
Parliament of Canada biography
2001 Air Commodore Leonard Birchall (Ret’d)
Leonard Birchall, a native of Ontario, was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1937. In the pre-dawn hours of April 4 of 1942 Leonard Birchall, then a squadron commander, took off with his crew for an all-day patrol southeast of Ceylon. Just at the end of their patrol he sighted the Japanese Navy fleet steaming toward Ceylon preparatory to launching a surprise attack on Colombo, similar to the attack that had been carried out on Pearl Harbor. He immediately sent out a signal giving the location, speed, course, and composition of the fleet. Squadron Leader Birchall’s action enabled the Island to defend itself. As a result of this action, Squadron Leader Birchall was awarded the title ‘Saviour of Ceylon’.
Following the war, he held many senior appointments to his retirement from the regular force in 1967. He has since held honorary appointments in the Air Reserve up until 1996. Leonard Birchall has over the years devoted himself to public service. In 1992, he took over a project to build a suitable facility that was needed for a Kingston-area Girl Guide Summer Camp, entirely at his own expense. Also, at his own expense in 1993, Leonard Birchall sent out to Sri Lanka a sea container carrying over eight tons of hospital supplies to alleviate the serious shortage of hospital supplies in that country.
2000 The Hon. Barnett Danson
Barnett J. Danson was born and educated in Toronto. At the age of 18, when the Second World War broke out, he enlisted as a rifleman in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He was commissioned from the ranks and was later wounded in Normandy, losing his sight in one eye.
In 1968, Mr. Danson was elected to the House of Commons. In 1976, Mr. Danson was named Minister of National Defence, a position he held until leaving politics in 1979. After his return to private life, Mr. Danson served on numerous boards of directors. Mr. Danson was the executive producer of a six-part television series, No Price Too High, and a contributor to the book of the same name, which chronicles Canada’s role in World War II. Mr. Danson, until recently, was Chairman of the Advisory committee of the Canadian War Museum. He is Honorary Chairman of the Passing the Torch Campaign, a campaign to assist in the financing of the new Canadian War Museum.
1999 Lieutenant-General Charles H. Belzile
General Belzile was born in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, in 1933. He followed an illustrious career in the Canadian Army and the Canadian Forces from 1951 to 1986, during which time he held command of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment, the Combat Arms School in Gagetown, the 4thCanadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Germany, Canadian Forces Europe and Mobile Command, and served with both the United Nations and NATO. In 1986, France appointed him Commander of the Legion d’Honneur for enhancing military cooperation between France and Canada.
In 1996, he was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Royal 22nd Regiment. Since retiring from the Canadian Forces, General Belzile has continued his pace of activity. From 1987 to 1992, he was Vice-President, Business Development, for SNC Industrial Technologies, and since 1992 has been President of CH Belzile Consultants. He has carried on his service to Canada through his voluntary activities, which include serving as Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, as Member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and as President of the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation.
He has been directly involved in major activities aimed at the betterment of Canada’s security and the preservation of her democratic values. In 1994, he was a member of the Committee of Thirteen, a group of high-placed volunteers who contributed a major part to the 1994 White Paper on Defence. From 1995 to 1997, he served as Commissioner in a Special Commission on the Restructuring of the Reserve Forces. In 1997, he was appointed one of three members of the Special Advisory Group on Military Justice and Military Police Investigative Services, taking over the duties of Chairman on the death of the Right Honourable Brian Dickson in 1998.
General Belzile is married to the former Janet Scott of Braeside, Ontario. They have two children, Denise and Suzanne, and reside in Ottawa.