Order of Nova Scotia


2017 Recipients, Group Photo
Bradford J. Barton  

Bradford J. Barton
C.M., O.N.S.


Brad Barton has devoted his career to making Nova Scotia a more vibrant, more equitable province. His parents taught him to work hard, do right, and give back — advice he appears to have taken to heart.

His formal education started in a small segregated school in rural Nova Scotia. As a teenager, he knew he wanted to be a teacher. From teacher to department head, to principal, to supervisor of schools, to senior management team, he has been a pioneer in integrating Nova Scotia schools and creating the foundation for inclusion of African Nova Scotian learners, educators, and curriculum.

Both in his work life and in community service, Barton has worked patiently and relentlessly in pursuit of positive race relations, cross-cultural understanding, and human rights. His efforts have earned the respect of school boards, the province, and the country.

Barton is also an internationally recognized sports official, with over fifty years of service as a coach, referee, and mentor, taking teams as far as the Olympics. He has mentored referees throughout the Atlantic region — and across Canada while serving on Volleyball Canada’s National Referee Committee.

Mr. Barton has a reputation of giving generously of his time and wisdom. Many of today’s African Nova Scotian leaders credit him with giving them the support and confidence to go on to higher education and professional careers.

Geraldine Marjorie Browning

Geraldine Marjorie Browning
O.N.S., DHum (Hon.)

Centreville, Kings Co.

Gerri, as she prefers, or Mrs. B, as she is widely known, has used her early struggles against systemic racism to fuel her advocacy work. Her vision is a Nova Scotia where no form of discrimination exists. She advocates for the protection of women and children against violence and abuse. She promotes literacy. She promotes education as a means of building understanding and compassion. She frequently visits schools and university classrooms to recount her experience. She generously shared her story on film, so that educators across Canada can use her example to bring understanding to new generations.

She was a founding member of the Black Business Initiative. She was a founding member and past president of the Black Cultural Society. She is a founding member and current president of the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association. She has served on and chaired many community-building and faith-building volunteer boards and committees. She has served as a representative on the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, a provincial government task force, and an RCMP advisory committee. She is especially proud of recognition of her work by Acadia University in 2014, when she was granted an honorary degree.

Mrs. B inspires others to build stronger, safer, more compassionate communities so that our province can truly prosper. Her life experience shows us how dialogue and understanding conquers barriers and creates the just communities all Nova Scotians need.

R. Irene d’Entremont

R. Irene d’Entremont
C.M., O.N.S., D.Comm. (Hon.)


R . Irene d’Entremont is a leader in entrepreneurship and community development with a passion for promoting Nova Scotia as a great place to live. In business for over 40 years in sales and service, research and development, and manufacturing. She’s president of ITG Information Management Inc., past president of M.I.T. Electronics Inc., and Women’s Up-To-Date Shop Inc., and was Secretary Treasurer of Wesmar Electronics Canada Limited.

Her areas of focus are tourism, culture, and economic development. She has served with the Chamber of Commerce, locally, provincially, and nationally. She is a past member of the Law Commission of Canada and of Revenue Canada’s National Business Advisory Board. She has served on the boards of Nova Scotia Power and Emera. She is also a past director of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Marine Atlantic. She has been the director of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association and ambassador of Nova Scotia’s aerospace and defense sector both domestically and internationally, which is now ACADA. She is now serving on the NS Provincial Council for ACADA. She is the past chair of the Yarmouth Airport Board of Directors. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Atlantic Canada and a Board member of the National American Chamber. She is a director of the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation, the Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica Foundation, the Art Gallery of NS and the Chair of Tourism Nova Scotia.

Ms. d’Entremont has travelled the province as a commissioner for the One Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy. She was among 23 women selected from across Canada to imagine Canada’s future — A Bold Vision — to speak of equality, justice, community, good governance, and as an Acadian woman in business.

Ms. d’Entremont is compassionate, kind, and hardworking. She is known as a consensus builder who gives freely of her time to many business, charitable, and arts organizations. She encourages others to strive to better themselves and their communities.

Raymond Edmund Ivany

Raymond Edmund Ivany
O.N.S., M.S., D.Law (Hon.)


Ray Ivany has focused his career on higher education and public policy, and on making Nova Scotia a place where we can all prosper.

He has distinguished himself locally, nationally, and internationally as an innovator. While president and CEO of Nova Scotia Community College, he transformed the institution into one recognized as a national leader in applied post-secondary education. As president and vice-chancellor of Acadia University, he has worked to create important research opportunities for students at the undergraduate level and has elevated the institution to one of Canada’s leading primarily undergraduate universities. He also drove the creation of the Maple League of Universities, with three other small Canadian institutions, to focus attention on the power of a highly engaged undergraduate experience.

He has advised various levels of government on public policy in a variety of areas: environment and the economy, students, fiscal management, and the cod fishery. He engaged and challenged us with his One Nova Scotia Commission’s report: Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians. This “Ivany Report,” as it is known, has become the blueprint for transformational change in Nova Scotia and the standard by which actions of governments, business, educational institutions, communities, and citizens are assessed.

Mr. Ivany has contributed a lifetime of remarkable leadership to higher education, public policy, and the future of our province. Along with his many noteworthy accomplishments, he is known for his commitment to those he serves, his deep compassion, and his humanity. He has helped to create a better Nova Scotia and a more secure future for generations to come.

Peter J. M. Nicholson

Peter J. M. Nicholson
C.M., O.N.S., PhD.

Annapolis Royal

Peter Nicholson has been a central force for policy changes in fisheries, third-world debt, national economic policy, and science and technology. He is deeply committed to finding new and better ways of doing valued things.

Dr. Nicholson was the principal author of the 1980s Kirby Task Force that set out principles that still govern the Canadian fishery today. As senior VP of the Bank of Nova Scotia, he proposed a resolution to the Latin American debt crisis of the late 1980s. As deputy chief of staff in the prime minister’s office in the 1990s, he helped turn around Canada’s fiscal position. Internationally, he has been special advisor to the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. Nationally, he helped to develop a strategy on science and technology and the Canada First report. Provincially, he contributed to the One Nova Scotia report and The Field Guide for Nova Scotia’s Innovation Ecosystem.

He has a long list of volunteer service in the fields of science and technology. For example, he has variously chaired, directed, or served on the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematics, the National Research Council, the Research Council for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Canadian Institute for Innovation, the Millennium Scholarship Foundation, the Science Media Centre of Canada, and the Institute for Quantum Computing. In particular, he was the inaugural president and CEO of the Council of Academies, where he led science-based expert assessments to inform public policy.

Dr. Nicholson’s ability to deeply engage in a topic and profoundly influence others has made him a leading voice for innovation and science policy. He has bravely tackled some of our most complex issues. He has mentored leading innovators. His life’s work has contributed to scientific and economic policy in Nova Scotia and beyond.