On Thursday Governor General Julie Payette named the latest members of the Order of Canada and that includes two prominent residents of the Okanagan.
Charles Fipke of Kelowna and Imant Raminsh of Coldstream were named among 103 recipients of the honour.
Fipke, made his fortune after discovering large diamond deposits in the Northwest Territories. He would later named a horse ‘Tale of Ekati’ after the find. That horse would go on to finish fourth in the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Among Fipke’s other success in racing is his victory in the 2011 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf with Perfect Shirl.
Fipke was recognized for his leadership in heavy mineral exploration and for his philanthropic support of educational and health-care initiatives.
Fipke has donated millions of dollars to UBC Okanagan, home of the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research .
Raminsh, a native of Latvia, was recognized for his achievements as a musician, conductor and composer.
Born in 1943 in Ventspils, Latvia, Imant Raminsh came to Canada in 1948.
After completing an ARCT diploma in violin at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music programme at the University of Toronto, he spent two years at the Akademie “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, Austria, studying composition, fugue, violin and conducting, and playing in the professional Camerata Academica orchestra.
Among his many worldly accomplishments, he is the founding conductor of the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, NOVA Children’s Choir, and AURA Chamber Choir.
In addition to music, Ramish engaged in studies in geology and biology, and spent many summers as a naturalist/interpreter in BC provincial parks, and also a stint as a municipal Councillor.
The Order of Canada has recognized almost 7,000 people from all sectors of society since it was created in 1967 and ranks as one of Canada’s highest honours.