Order of Canada honours for world-renowned Uxbridge percussionist


Published June 27, 2024 at 11:14 am

Beverley Johnston
Beverley Johnston

An Uxbridge musician who happens to be one of the world’s most accomplished percussionists has another laurel to add to her collection of honours – Order of Canada.

Beverley Johnston is an internationally renowned percussionist who has been at the forefront of the development and promotion of Canadian music, commissioning, performing and recording compositions from Canadian composers since the 1980s.

Many of those works have become a staple of the standard percussion repertory around the world. In honour of her commitment to Canadian music, she has also been named ‘Canadian Music Centre Ambassador’ and has been nominated for the 2023 ‘Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance’.

Johnston is one of 16 Officers and 83 new appointments – including pop music legend Avril Lavigne – in total to the Order of Canada announced Thursday by Governor General Mary Simon.

“The Order of Canada recognizes individuals who have made positive and lasting impacts on communities here in Canada or who have brought honour to our country abroad, Simon said in a news release. “As we progress towards an Order that is reflective of Canada’s full diversity I encourage all Canadians to nominate individuals who inspire them, from all walks of life and backgrounds. Congratulations to the new appointees and thank you to the nominators who cast a spotlight on their achievement, purpose and exceptional talent.”

At the University of Toronto where Johnston teaches music, she inspires female percussionists to excel in a mostly male-dominated field. Her achievements as a musical innovator have brought classical and contemporary percussion to concert halls and venues worldwide and she tours and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. She has been invited to numerous internationally renowned marimba and percussion festivals over the years and has recorded seven solo albums. She can also be heard as soloist and chamber musician on many other recordings.

Johnston, who is a Marimba One and Paiste artist, will be performing Carmina Burana at the Elora Festival July 20-21.

Established in 1967, the Order of Canada celebrates outstanding achievements and extraordinary contributions. Over the years, its members have been honoured for inspiring innovation, for shaping who we are, and for enriching Canada’s fabric.

The Order of Canada is Canada’s highest civilian honour.

INdurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising