Celine Dion and husband honoured at Order of Canada ceremony
Published Friday, July 26, 2013 1:25PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 26, 2013 6:27PM EDT
Canadian singer Celine Dion and her manager husband Rene Angelil were honoured at a special Order of Canada ceremony in Quebec City on Friday evening.
Though Dion was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2008 – the highest level -- she was officially presented with the insignia of Canada’s highest civilian honour during a ceremony at the Citadel of Quebec by Governor General David Johnston.
Johnston praised Dion and her husband as being “wonderful ambassadors” for the country.
“Your commitment to helping fellow Canadians and people around the world is inspiring and we are grateful for what you have done,” said Johnston.
Dion accepted the honour in front of her mother, who sat next to her during the ceremony.
“I allow myself to share this with my mother who is here also with my children who are still too young to measure the scope. My husband Rene, who I owe so much to for the woman I became and the artist I am,” Dion said
Dion's husband, Angelil, was also presented with an insignia during the ceremony. Johnston called Angelil one of Canada’s “great producers and artists.” He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada last November for his work with “propell(ing) the careers of Quebecois singers,” including Dion.
“It is with much emotion that I accept this medal. My parents would be so proud of their son today,” Angelil said.
He ended his speech by calling Dion an “an exceptional artist, wife and mother.”
At a press conference after the ceremony, Dion shared her excitement about performing at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City Saturday night.
“The fans make me feel like we know each other very well. These are the people that gave us hope so it’s always a wonderful trip as well as an emotional one,” she said.
The three levels of the Order of Canada
- Companion: Recognizes a lifetime of outstanding accomplishments of the highest degree
- Officer: Recognizes a lifetime of exceptional achievement of a high degree
- Member: Recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service
Dion’s career in numbers
The music power couple -- who tied the knot in 1994 at a ceremony in Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal -- is in Quebec City for Dion's concert at the Plains of Abraham on Saturday. It is the singer’s only Canadian show this year, as she’s currently in the middle of a three-year residency at Las Vegas’s Caesars Palace.
Dion – who is due to release a new album in October – has garnered international acclaim during her three-decade career. Here’s a look at the 45-year-old’s achievements, by numbers:
- 12: The age Dion collaborated with her mother and brother to write her first song, "Ce n’etait qu'un reve." The recording was later discovered by her future husband Angelil. The couple have three sons together.
- 1990: The year Dion released "Unison" – her first English-language album
- 30 million: The number of copies of "Let’s Talk about Love," Dion’s fifth English album, sold worldwide.
- 175: The number of awards listed on Dion's website.
- 717: The number of Las Vegas shows Dion performed for her "A New Day" tour since it premiered in March 2003
- 250,000: The number of fans who gathered in Quebec City in 2008 for the 400th anniversary of the city. Dion performed a selection of French-language songs and performed multiple duets with a number of guest artists.
- 5: The number of continents Dion's first world tour "Taking Chances" crossed from 2008 to the end of February 2009.
- 70: The number of shows Dion performs a year at the Colosseum in Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas