June 14, 2016
VICTORIA – Sixteen exceptional civic leaders will be appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest form of recognition, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, Chancellor of the Order, announced today.
We are pleased to announce that the Order of British Columbia will be honoured to John Mann.
John Mann is a founding member of one of British Columbia’s iconic musical groups, Spirit of the West. He is also an actor, solo artist and dedicated humanitarian.
Spirit of the West was formed in 1984 and Mann has played a key role in its life, growth and message. Over its 30-plus year history, Spirit of the West is recognized as a pioneer in Canadian Celtic music, having toured extensively in Europe, the United States and across Canada countless times.
Spirit has three gold albums and two platinum. They have also been honoured with awards, such as the Hall of Fame of the Western Canadian Music Association, the National Achievement Award from The Society of Composers and Authors of Canada, membership in the BC Music Hall of Fame, and a star in the Star Walk on Vancouver’s Theatre Row.
With nearly 300-recorded songs, one in particular, Home for a Rest, has become a multi-generational favourite, known by millions and often called “Canada’s unofficial national anthem”. Spirit’s pioneering efforts opened the door for other musicians and groups to successfully pursue the genre that they established.
Mann has a lengthy list of theatre, television, and musical credits but it is in his key role in the music of Spirit of the West, which has resonated deeply with British Columbians. The band’s association with B.C. is as strong as any musical group in its history, their song lyrics resonate deeply with individual experience and Mann’s distinctive voice is the band’s trademark.
Mann’s contributions to charity are remarkable, especially considering the great challenges he has faced in his own life. A cancer survivor, Mann works actively with the BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Foundation.
Mann has done charitable work with the Bulembu Project in Swaziland, assisting this village of orphaned children decimated by the AIDS epidemic. He has travelled there three times and has performed and recorded with the children of Bulembu.
Access to Music Foundation of BC presented John with their Beautiful Heart Award in 2014 to recognize his many charitable efforts.
In 2014, Mann announced that he had early onset Alzheimer’s disease and did not want to spend any more energy trying to hide his symptoms. For two more years, until April of this year, the band continued to perform together, with Mann courageously staying fully involved and making significant contributions to society’s awareness of Alzheimer disease. He now performs benefits for Alzheimer societies across the country.
About the Order of British Columbia
“For 27 years, the Order of British Columbia has recognized exceptional individuals whose hard work, generosity of spirit and outstanding achievements have contributed immeasurably to the wellbeing of our communities,” said Lt. Gov. Guichon. “I extend my congratulations to this year’s recipients and thank them for inspiring all of us with their efforts to build a healthy, diverse and inclusive province for generations to come.”
“British Columbia has a deep reserve of exceptional citizens who use their talents and passions to make a difference both here at home and, in comes cases, around the globe,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Honouring them is a way to acknowledge the positive impact they are making. On behalf of all British Columbians, I want to thank this year’s recipients for their dedication, and all they do to make B.C. a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”
Visit the official website here.