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|Order of Nova Scotia|
|Awarded by the|
Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
|Eligibility||Any Canadian citizen presently or formerly resident in Nova Scotia, save for politicians and judges while in office.|
|Awarded for||Outstanding contributions or achievements that bring honour and prestige to themselves and to Nova Scotia.|
|Next (higher)||Order of New Brunswick|
|Next (lower)||Order of Newfoundland and Labrador|
Ribbon of the Order of Nova Scotia
The Order of Nova Scotia is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Instituted on 2 August 2001, when Lieutenant Governor Myra Freeman granted Royal Assent to the Order of Nova Scotia Act, the order is administered by the Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Nova Scotia residents for conspicuous achievements in any field, being thus described as the highest honour amongst all others conferred by the Nova Scotia Crown.
The Order of Nova Scotia is intended to honour any current or former longtime resident of Nova Scotia who has demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, having "distinguished themselves in many fields of endeavour and hav[ing] brought honour and prestige to themselves and to Nova Scotia." There are no limits on how many can belong to the order, though inductions are limited to five per year; Canadian citizenship is a requirement, and those who are elected or appointed members of a governmental body are ineligible as long as they hold office.
The process of finding qualified individuals begins with submissions from the public to the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council, which consists of a person who serves as the chair, appointed by the premier; the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia; the Clerk of the Executive Council and an individual appointed by the clerk; the president of a university in the province; and one person appointed by each of the leaders of the parties in the House of Assembly, all of whom must be resident in Nova Scotia. This committee then meets at least once annually to make its selected recommendations to the Executive Council and works with that body in narrowing down the potential appointees to a list that will be submitted to the lieutenant governor; posthumous nominations are accepted up to one year following the nominee's death. The lieutenant governor, ex officio a Member and the Chancellor of the Order of Nova Scotia, then makes all appointments into the fellowship's single grade of membership by an Order in Council that bears the viceroyal sign-manual and the Great Seal of the province; thereafter, the new Members are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ONS.
Upon admission into the Order of Nova Scotia, usually in a ceremony held at Government House in Halifax, new Members are presented with the order's insignia. The main badge consists of a gold medallion in the form of a stylized epigaea repens (or mayflower)—the official provincial flower—with the obverse in white enamel with gold edging, and bearing at its centre the escutcheon of the arms of Nova Scotia, all surmounted by a St. Edward's Crown symbolizing the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour. The ribbon is patterned with vertical stripes in red, blue, gold, and white; men wear the medallion suspended from this ribbon at the collar, while women carry theirs on a ribbon bow at the left chest. Members also receive a lapel pin that can be worn during less formal occasions.
The following are some notable appointees of the Order of Nova Scotia: