Lunenburg County woman appointed to Order of Canada


  • <p>SOURCE: GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA WEB SITE</p><p>Barbara Butler, of the Mahone Bay area, was named a member of the Order of Canada.</p>

Barbara Elizabeth Butler, a champion of traditional music on the South Shore who readily committed to showcasing the art form and musicians as Musique Royale's long-time artistic director, is getting one of the nation's highest civilian honours.

Butler's appointment as a member of the Order of Canada is "for her contributions to the musical landscape of Nova Scotia, notably through her promotion of numerous concert series across the province," reads a citation posted on the Governor General of Canada's web site.

Butler was in a senior role with Musique Royale, a Lunenburg-based music-promoting non-profit group, at the time of her retirement with the organization in January 2020.

She campaigned tirelessly to bring a variety of musical offerings to the South Shore, including salon-style house concerts, Cookie Concerts aimed at families, and major presentations with symphonies and choral ensembles at St. John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg.

In an online social media post, former colleagues congratulated the Mahone Bay area resident.

"It brings us joy and pride to celebrate Barbara's achievements over many years to the cultural landscape of Nova Scotia," read Musique Royale's message.

Butler could not be immediately reached by LighthouseNOW for comment for this story.

She founded the St. Cecilia Concert Series, retiring as a director of the society in 2012 to devote more time to her activities with Musique Royale and St. John's Anglican Church.

"Right now I think they are putting together a season amongst the talent they have in their own board and I think they'll be fine," she told LighthouseNOW in 2012 in a story focusing on her departure from the society.

"And they also want to continue bringing concerts down to Lunenburg, so I don't think, as far as people going to concerts at St. John's, that they'll notice any difference at all. If there is something that comes along that maybe would typically be a St. Cecilia concert that [they] can't do, I'd like to pick it up and do it under Musique Royale."

Butler served as the music director at St. John's for a time, and, through St. Cecilia - and in her role with Musique Royale - she continued to present an average of about 100 concerts a year in Lunenburg and throughout other areas of the province.

Butler is of one of two Nova Scotians named to the order, among five dozen recipients announced December 30. A ceremony honouring Butler and the others will be held at a future date, Rideau Hall said in a news release.

The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

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