Though it came two years late, Coldstream’s Imant Raminsh has officially been invested into the Order of Canada.
It’s one of the highest honours in the country he came to as a Latvian refugee in 1948.
The renowned composer was named to the Order in 2018 and would have received the award in Ottawa in 2020, but the pandemic pushed the ceremony back to May 2022.
Governor General Mary Simon awarded Raminsh at Rideau Hall on May 6, along with 23 other recipients from across the country.
“A conductor, violinist, mentor and creator of works in a broad range of styles, he has had an impact at both the national and international levels,” Simon said during the ceremony, referring to Raminsh as one of Canada’s most important composers.
Raminsh is a classical composer of international renown in all genres. He’s also a conductor, violinist and mentor, and cited for his ongoing contributions to the cultural life of smaller communities in Canada.
“Committed to sharing music and encouraging public involvement in the art form, he is credited with nurturing musical communities outside of Canada’s major centres,” said Simon. Raminsh was the founding director of the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, the AURA Chamber Choir and the Prince George Symphony.
In 2007, Raminsh was honoured with the Order of the Three Stars, Latvia’s equivalent to the Order of Canada.