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Ardyth Brott appointed to the Order Of Canada

Hamilton music leader joins her late husband, conductor Boris Brott, in being recognized with one of the country's highest honour. 

One of the new members of the Order of Canada is Hamilton music luminary Ardyth Brott.

Governor General Mary Simon announced 78 new appointments to one of Canada's highest honours on Dec. 28.

Brott was appointed a Companion of the Order, and the official citation states that she is recognizedfor her contributions to the Canadian orchestral community, and for her sustained support for youth involvement in music.”

Brott is the widow of the internationally acclaimed conductor and music festival founder Boris Brott, who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987. He was tragically killed in a vehicular hit-and-run in his Hamilton hometown on April 5, 2022, at age 78. Read his HCM obituary here

Ardyth Brott has served as the executive director of the Hamilton-based Brott Music Festival for the 36 years of its operation. The Brott Music Festival is considered Canada’s largest orchestral music festival. She also had a crucial role in establishing the BrottOpera and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, serving as the latter’s executive director for the past 35 years.

Appointees will be invited to an investiture ceremony at a later date to receive their insignia. 

Since the creation of the Order of Canada in 1967—Canada’s centennial year—more than 7,600 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. They exemplify the Order’s motto: Desiderantes meliorem patriam (“They desire a better country”).

She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1995, and has also become a best-selling author. Published in 1990 by Oxford University Press, her children’s book Jeremy’s Decision sold 90,000 copies. Her other books include Here I Am (2012), and The Loneliest Piano (2014).

In August 2017, Ardyth Brott was presented with Orchestra Canada’s most prestigious honour, the Betty Webster Award, prior to a Brott Music Festival concert in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. The award is named for Ardyth's mother, Betty Webster, who managed the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for eight years and led Orchestras Canada for 26 years.

It is presented annually to an individual or organization deemed by a national jury of peers to have “made a sustained and significant contribution over a number of years to the Canadian orchestral community, with an emphasis on leadership, education and volunteerism.”

In handing the award to Ardyth Brott, OC executive director Katherine Carleton told the BPAC audience that “our five-person jury noted her creative, literary and legal achievements, her extraordinary work ethic, her sustained support for youth involvement in music, the fact that the festival has never had a deficit in its 30 year history thanks to her capable management, and the lasting impact her work has had on over 1,400 (NAO) musicians in Canada and beyond.”