Order of Nova Scotia


2016 Recipients, Group Photo
Françoise Elvina Baylis  

Françoise Elvina Baylis


Professor Françoise Baylis is an expert in the field of bioethics. She is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University and is the Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy. Her work with those outside the medical profession has brought honour, understanding and respect to her field.

Baylis is able to take complex issues such, as stem cell research and new reproductive technologies, and make them understandable and assessable to society. She uses film and other media to educate and engage the public without jargon and other barriers created by complex academic subjects.

At the heart of Baylis’ work is the belief that citizens belong in the discussion and decision making about scientific advances that affect our lives. Her commitment has won the affection and admiration of her colleagues and citizens of Nova Scotia.

Freeman Douglas Knockwood (Deceased)
ONS, DHum (Hon)

Indian Brook

Elder Doug Knockwood embodies the spirit of resilience. He had a loving father who fought and succeeded in liberating him from a residential school. When he returned home he had to relearn his language and his culture.

A short stint in the Canadian Armed Forces resulted in tuberculosis and the loss of a lung. He has survived homelessness and alcoholism. Elder Knockwood fled to the New England States, as did many of his generation. There he became a respected cook and earned his sobriety.

Elder Knockwood used his experience of survival and redemption to empower others. He has used Mi’Kmaw spiritual teaching and personal experience to help others overcome addiction across Canada. He is well known for his work with youth and vulnerable people afflicted with drug and alcohol problems. Elder Knockwood is a loved and respected elder.

Arthur Bruce McDonald

Arthur Bruce McDonald

Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Kingston, Ontario

Arthur McDonald is a teacher, collaborator and Nobel Prize winning Astrophysicist. His career in science began as a student at Sydney Academy. Some fifty years later his work has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter — the behavior of neutrinos.

Those extra math classes at Sydney Academy led to bachelor and master degrees in physics from Dalhousie University. He then moved on to earn a doctorate at the California Institute of Technology. He worked at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories and became a professor at Princeton University and then Queens.

He led a team of international scientists as Director of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Collaboration and shared the 2015 Nobel Physics Prize with Takaaki Kajita of the SuperKamiokande Collaboration for measurements that defined important basic properties of fundamental particles called neutrinos. McDonald has received many honours for his science and is valued by his colleagues for his vision, his leadership and his persistence.

Throughout his career, Dr. McDonald has supervised and mentored the research of more than 100 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates. He is an Ambassador of Canadian science who has not lost touch with his Nova Scotia roots.

James Leonard Morrow

James Leonard Morrow
ONS, DHum (Hon)


Jim Morrow’s puppets are larger than life and so is his vision. As Artistic Director of Mermaid Theatre he creates magical worlds from wood, foam, music and storytelling. He began his theatre career as a performer, and now designs, directs and teaches, mentoring a new generation of performers in the art of puppetry. Morrow had done it all, from performing to carving to the creation of full stage productions.

His adaptations of children’s stories, created at Mermaid’s headquarters in Windsor, are enjoyed by audiences around the world from Canada’s North to Bahrain, from Japan to Ireland and in every state and province in the United States and Canada.

Morrow and his shows serve as cultural ambassadors for Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia culture, with a healthy dose of humour, generosity and humility.

Donald R. Reid

Donald R. Reid (Deceased)


Donald Reid was born near the cliffs that have shaped his life and fueled his passion. He left school at a young age to work at the coal mines. With no formal training in paleontology, he gathered an amazing collection of fossils which now form the heart of the Joggins Fossil Centre.

Mr. Reid’s collection, 70 years in the making, catalogues the world’s most complete fossil record of terrestrial life of the “Coal Age” dating back 300 million years. His work was essential in securing the Joggins Fossil Cliffs designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To this day he walks the cliffs, his passion for finding those rare and precious fossils undiminished. The largest known footprint of a Coal Age tetrapod is being named in his honour.

He is generous with his time and his knowledge, collaborating with scientists on many research projects and mentoring fossil hunters. He is known locally as the “Keeper of the Cliffs.” But it is his generous and passionate nature which has garnered the respect and affection of fossil lovers from around the world. We recognize his lifelong contribution to Nova Scotia’s natural history and heritage.