Brandon University pianist Megumi Masaki has been named to the Order of Manitoba.
Masaki is a pianist and music professor at Brandon University who is specially interested in exploring how sound, image, text and movement can be integrated in live multimedia performance and how the creative application of new technologies and approaches can expand how concert music is created and performed. Among her interests is a devotion to the advancement of Manitoba composer Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté's music.
"I feel fortunate to have immigrated to and grown up in Manitoba, a province that has a vibrant music community and advances greater inclusion of minority groups for a rich multicultural mosaic," Masaki said. "As a Japanese-Canadian musician, I am grateful to the Manitoba Japanese United Church and Japanese Cultural Association for fostering Japanese and Japanese-Canadian culture and heritage. Their work has been a tremendous inspiration for me to explore Japanese-Canadian and multi-racial experiences and history through music."
"I believe music can be transformative and holds a powerful role in making our communities just and equitable. Throughout my career, I have championed hundreds and created over 70 new Canadian and Manitoban works that reimagine the piano, pianist and performance space. I am grateful to Brandon University on Treaty 2 Lands, our community and Elders for supporting my work to mobilize collaborations that seek positive social and environmental change through creating music and engaging a wide audience in impactful experiences that motivate dialogue and action. One of my most meaningful experiences is to have founded the Brandon University Indigenous New Music Festival together with Indigenous Elders and musicians to further reconciliation. I am deeply honoured and thrilled to receive the Order of Manitoba."
The announcement was made Thursday, May 12, which is Manitoba Day.
"Megumi Masaki has been a leader in our faculty for years, crossing disciplinary boundaries in inventive and compelling ways and committing wholeheartedly to work that embodies truth and reconciliation," said Greg Gatien, BU's Dean of Music. "We are fortunate to have her in this community, and thrilled that her contributions she has made through such a distinguished career, are being recognized in this way. We are truly proud of our colleague, whose accomplishments and actions are part of what makes our School of Music such an amazing and inspiring place to work and study."
Masaki has been at Brandon University since 2006, and she maintains an extremely active performance career, as well as significant involvement with music councils and music festivals.
The others to be invested in the Order of Manitoba are:
Mr. Mohamed El Tassi
The owner of Sargent Blue Jeans, Mohamed El Tassi is a champion for vulnerable people, having supported multiple charitable and not-for-profit organizations that support people with intellectual disabilities and those experiencing homelessness. He has personally provided significant financial contributions to support both new immigrants and vulnerable and marginalized Manitobans.
Mr. Andre Lewis
The artistic director and CEO of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), Andre Lewis is an accomplished soloist who has performed and taught an array of diverse repertoire throughout North America, Asia and Russia. He has served as artistic director for more than 25 years, nurturing a strong creative vision focused on outstanding performance. Under his leadership, the RWB has become one of the premiere dance companies in the world.
Mr. Andrew Paterson
The president and CEO of Paterson GlobalFoods Inc. (PGF), Andrew Paterson has demonstrated a significant commitment to Manitoba. In addition to the economic impact of PGF headquarters in Manitoba, he served for nine years as chair of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, funded the Red River College culinary program and the Urban Circle Training Centre supporting Indigenous students. He served 14 years as honorary colonel of the Fort Garry Horse, assisting military personnel and their families.
Mrs. Shirley Richardson
Shirley Richardson is a community supporter whose love of nature and craft has inspired many projects in Manitoba. Prior to moving to Canada, she joined the British Air Force at 17 and served for over three years, driving transport vehicles during air raids in the Second World War. In addition to funding the Assiniboine Park Zoo's butterfly exhibit, she has donated more than $2 million to Canada's Diversity Gardens, subsidizing the admission cost for children, seniors and families.
Ms. Desiree Scott
A prominent member of Canada's national soccer team, Desiree Scott is an Olympic gold medallist (2020) and a two-time Olympic bronze medallist (2012 and 2016). A University of Manitoba alumna, she first represented Canada in 2006, qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. She is an ambassador for the Homeless World Cup and an athlete ambassador for KidSport, hosting an annual soccer camp for girls on behalf of the organization.
Mr. Darcy Ataman
Music producer, founder and CEO of Make Music Matter (MMM), Darcy Ataman enriches the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict and post-conflict zones. A Winnipegger, he founded MMM and created a new form of music therapy named the Healing in Harmony Music Therapy Program. This program has been implemented in eight countries and has positively impacted more than 8,500 participants directly. He co-founded a record label and publishing company that supports musicians in the most impoverished areas.
Mr. James Eldridge
James Eldridge has exemplified excellence in public service through his 48-year career with the Manitoba government. During that time, he was a non-partisan advisor to eight premiers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was heavily involved in attempts to reform the Constitution, leading first to the Meech Lake Accord and then to the Charlottetown Accord. He was also one of the drafters of equalization provisions of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Mr. Doug Harvey
A business leader and philanthropist, Doug Harvey is dedicated to Manitoba. Founder and CEO of the DLH Group, he has served on, and contributed to, numerous organizations that better the lives of Manitobans. He was recently named the Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Manitoba for his financial support of numerous organizations including FortWhyte Alive, the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
Mr. Leo Ledohowski
The owner and executive chair of Canad Inns, Leo Ledohowski is a respected Ukrainian-Canadian business and community leader. In addition to ensuring that Canad Inns remains Manitoba owned and focused, he has supported many initiatives including Partners in the Park, Health Sciences Centre Foundation, KidSport, Special Olympics Manitoba, United Way and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He was integral to the global recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.
Mr. Alix Jean-Paul
A Haitian immigrant, Alix Joseph Jean-Paul has dedicated himself to education, community building and anti-racism. This community mindedness was inspired by a fruitful 25-year career teaching in Winnipeg, where he earned a bachelor of education and two master's degrees. Recognizing the challenges faced by many immigrants and refugees, he developed and delivered workshops for both parents and school officials to better navigate the system, for new Canadians.
Ms. Marcy Markusa
For more than 25 years, Marcy Markusa has been a familiar broadcasting voice in Manitoba, most notably as host of CBC Manitoba's Information Radio. This morning show attained the number one rating on several occasions as the most-listened-to radio program in Manitoba. An award winner and trailblazer, she was the first female host of a number one rated morning show in Winnipeg and has led discussions on various topics important to Manitobans.
The Order of Manitoba Advisory Council relies upon nominations from the public. To nominate a deserving Manitoban for the 2023 Order of Manitoba, visit: www.manitobalg.ca