Order of Canada appoints lawyer, doctor from Hamilton

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Published December 28, 2023 at 12:49 pm

Two Hamiltonians graced this list of people inducted into the Order of Canada released this morning; a lawyer known for her contributions to music and a doctor known for his asthma research.

Governor General Mary Simon announced the 78 inductees on Dec. 28.

First on the list is Ardyth Brott, Executive Director of the Brott Music Festival. Brott has long served as a leader of the festival which hosts classical, opera, jazz, pops, and children’s education concerts in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara Regions.

The festival was founded by Brott’s late husband, the conductor Boris Brott, and has since grown to be the only orchestral music festival in Ontario and the largest in Canada. (Tragically, Boris Brott, himself an Order of Canada inductee, was struck and killed by a car last year.)

Much of the festival’s success hinged on Ardyth Brott’s leadership over the last 30 years. She was awarded the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award for her efforts in 2017. This award is given to those who “made a sustained and significant contribution over a number of years to the Canadian orchestral community, with an emphasis on leadership, education and volunteerism.”

She also runs the National Academy Orchestra, the top training orchestra in the country, and has for more than 30 years. According to Orchestras Canada, the NAO specializes in “training emerging professional orchestral musicians through intensive work with guest concertmasters and mentors from across the country, guest conductors, and internationally-renowned soloists, and performance opportunities ranging from full orchestra to opera to chamber music.”

When Brott received her award six years ago, more than 1,400 musicians had graduated from the NAO. Brott graduated law school from Western University and has served on the bar since 1995. She has also written three books “Jeremy’s Decision”, “The Loneliest Piano”, and “Pepe’s Magic Bow.”

Next up is Dr. Paul Myles O’Byrne, Dean and Vice-President of the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences. O’Byrne was inducted “for his exceptional work in expanding our understanding of and ability to treat asthma, and for his contributions to medicine in Canada as an educator and administrator.”

O’Byrne was born in Ireland and grew up in South Africa. Throughout his youth, he struggled with asthma inspiring him to study. He returned to the island to study at the medical school at University College Dublin then came to Hamilton for a fellowship in respiratory medicine at McMaster.

He returned to McMaster following his fellowship and was later made Chair of Respiratory Medicine. He also served Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health. He’s published 400 papers, authored 98 book chapters and edited 12 books.

In 2014, O’Byrne discovered the antibody AMG 157 can help alleviate asthmatic allergic reactions.

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