Francophone theatre director, cartoonist, Ma Mawi worker on list of 5 Manitobans to receive Order of Canada – Manitoba

Five Manitobans are on the list to receive one of Canada’s top honours.

“I hope it means that people realize that relationships and caring for each other and just being who you are really makes a difference for people,” said inductee Josie Hill, a former executive director of Winnipeg’s Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

On Friday, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced the latest list of 125 remarkable Canadians to be inducted into the Order of Canada for outstanding achievements, dedication to community and service to the nation.

Here’s a list of the Manitobans who received the award.

Roland Francois Mahé

For 44 years, Roland Mahé served as the artistic director of the prominent Winnipeg Francophone theatre company Cercle Molière.

“[Francophone theatre is] a rapprochement between the two cultures. We have two official languages in Canada.” Mahé told CBC News on Friday. “The coming together of two cultures, I think, is really important.”

Roland Mahé served as artistic director of the Cercle Moliere for 44 years. (André Mahé)

Mahé said he hesitated at first when he got the call three weeks ago, asking him if he’d be willing to accept the award.

“Because I just did my work, as I felt,” he said, laughing. “And I thought I did a pretty good job, but to get the Order of Canada is something else.”

He did accept the award and said he’s glad he did so on behalf of the artists, designers, actors and community members he worked with in four decades with the theatre.

“They’ll be proud of the theatre, you know, of the Cercle Molière. They’re part of it,” he said.

“We’ve been working together for all these years, the community, myself and the public at large. They’ll be proud of what we are and what we’re doing and French theatre in St. Boniface [and] Winnipeg.”

Josie Hill

If she had to pick one lesson she’s learned in the 33 years she spent at Winnipeg’s Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Josie Hill says it would be that…

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