Officer of the Order of Canada (OC)

The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Officer of the Order of Canada (OC).

Officer of the Order of Canada (OC)


Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. This honour is administered by the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall.


The insignia of the Order is a stylized snowflake of six points with a red annulus at its centre which bears a stylized maple leaf circumscribed with the motto of the Order, DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country), surmounted by the Royal Crown. It is struck in fine silver and is composed of three individual pieces: the snowflake, annulus, and maple leaf. The colour is added by hand through a unique application of opaque and translucent viscous enamel.

The design of the insignia of the Order of Canada dates from 1967 and is credited to Bruce Beatty, CM, SOM, CD. The technical drawings used by the Royal Canadian Mint in this new generation of the insignia were developed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority at the Chancellery of Honours, part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. The insignia is manufactured by the Mint at its Ottawa facility.

The ribbon of the Order is white, 38 mm wide, with red edges (9 mm).


There is no bar to the Order of Canada but one can be promoted within the Order.


The insignia of Officer shall be worn following the Companion of the Order of Canada in the sequence prescribed in the Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals Directive, and in the following manner: worn around the neck, suspended from the ribbon described above.


Officers are entitled to use the post-nominal letters “OC”.

Historical notes

To date, over 2,000 Canadians have been appointed Officers of the Order of Canada.

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