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B.C.’s Marsden named to Order of Canada

Jan. 13, 2014, West Vancouver, B.C. - Two West Vancouver residents - one of Canada's most celebrated authors and artists, and a pioneer in the aviation industry - have been named to the Order of Canada.


January 13, 2014
By The North Shore News

Douglas Coupland received the rank of officer of the Order of Canada, "for his contributions to our examination of the contemporary human condition as a novelist, cultural commentator and artist."

Barry Marsden has been named a member of the order, "for his contributions to the growth of Canada's aviation industry as president and CEO of Conair Aviation and as the founder of Cascade Aerospace."

Gov. Gen. David Johnston announced the most recent inductees to Canada's highest civilian honour on Dec. 30.

After training as an artist and designer, Coupland achieved huge acclaim for his first novel, Generation X, in 1991. Since then, he has published more than a dozen novels as well as non-fiction books on Canadian history and culture and screenplays. As a designer, Coupland's work spans clothing, furniture, public spaces and sculpture.

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Marsden began his aviation career in the 1950s and went on to join and lead Conair, one of the largest aerial firefighting companies in the world. Cascade grew to a giant in the Canadian aerospace industry providing servicing and fleet management for large-scale commercial and military transport planes.

The news of his appointment came as a total shock to Marsden.

“I’m very, very honoured to have been selected and certainly, it humbles you,” said the deferential captain of planes and industry. “When I was informed, I kept thinking, ‘You’ve gone to the wrong person. This doesn’t seem right to me.’ It was just stunning — overwhelming. It’s not something you believe you’re ever in line for,” he added, noting the many important Canadians on the list.

“All I’ve done all my life is just do our work and enjoy that.”

Since the Order of Canada was established in 1967, more than 5,000 Canadian artists, athletes, politicians, philanthropists, business owners, scientists and community volunteers have had the honour bestowed on them.