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Renseignements en Français

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Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award

Established in 1997, the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award provides official recognition by the Government of Saskatchewan of persons from outside the province who have made significant contributions to the well being of Saskatchewan and its residents. The award was introduced to acknowledge the importance of international and inter-provincial relations to Saskatchewan's economy, culture and society.

1. Insignia

Saskatchewan Distinguished Service AwardRecipients receive a gold lapel pin bearing the Saskatchewan coat of arms with the provincial motto Multis e gentibus vires (From many peoples strength), and a certificate to recognize their achievements. The award is presented by the Premier or another Cabinet Minister.


2. Nomination Criteria

Nominees must have made a significant contribution to the economic, social or cultural development of Saskatchewan and its people through leadership and personal activity in areas such as:

  • Trade
  • Investment
  • Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Resource development
  • Technology
  • Research
  • The arts
  • Culture industries

They must be either citizens of other countries, or Canadian citizens who reside in other provinces or territories of Canada or in other countries.  Former residents of Saskatchewan are eligible if the contribution for which they are being recognized has been made since their departure from the province.  Representatives of organizations are eligible for the award but not the organizations themselves.  Posthumous nominations are accepted within a year of the death of the nominee.

Nominations for the award may be proposed by any ministry, agency or Crown corporation of the Government of Saskatchewan, or authority in which the government is a direct partner. An annual call for nominations is made.

The Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council recommends recipients to the Premier.


3. 2013 Recipient

Robert (Bob) McGrath, Sesame Workshop/Bob McGrath Productions, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA

Mr. Bob McGrath is an American entertainer, author and humanitarian who has made a long-term commitment to Saskatchewan. A 1954 graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, he later earned a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Prior to joining the inaugural cast of iconic children’s program Sesame Street in 1969, Mr. McGrath cultivated a successful international music career as a lyric tenor.

Mr. McGrath was the featured male soloist for the NBC Sing Along With Mitch television program, and was a Japanese teen sensation known as “Bobu Magulas”. In his 43 years entertaining and educating children as resident music teacher “Bob” on Sesame Street, he has recorded eight children’s albums, selling over 500,000 copies worldwide. He has authored two best-selling books and a creative music curriculum for educators. Since 1977, he has volunteered his time to host the children’s fundraiser Telemiracle 34 times, with the 35th slated for this year.

In addition to this commitment to charity in Saskatchewan, Mr. McGrath has appeared with more than 100 symphony orchestras in the USA and Canada, hosted the Worlds Children’s Day at the United Nations, and has hosted Variety, The Children’s Charity Telethon in Vancouver and The Children’s Charity Telethon in New York for 35 and 10 years respectively. Mr. McGrath’s many selfless contributions and achievements have resulted in multiple awards and honours, including the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan in 2006.

Mr. McGrath and his wife, Ann, have five children and eight grandchildren.


4. Previous Recipient


Robert Banks, Washington, D.C., USA

Peter Gzowski, Toronto, ON

Moto Motohashi, Tokyo, Japan


John Cook, Toronto, ON

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Hawaii, USA

Ian Wahn (1916-1999) , Toronto, ON


Philip Gordon, Toronto, ON


Tom Jackson, Calgary, AB

Ichiro Okamoto, Hyogo, Japan


Ken Battle, Ottawa, ON

Adrian Burns, Ottawa, ON

Judith Maxwell, Ottawa, ON

Steve McGirr, Toronto, ON

John Richards, Vancouver, BC

Sir Conrad Swan, Suffolk, United Kingdom


Dr. Thomas Courchene, Kingston, ON

The Right Honourable Sir Robin Janvrin, London, United Kingdom

John C.S. Lau, Calgary, AB

Wilton J. Littlechild, Hobbema, AB


Sensei Hidetaka Hishiyama, California, USA

Olga Lysenska, Kyiv, Ukraine


Dr. Ronald Cavell, Edmonton, AB


Dr. Daniel Fox, New York, USA


Bob McGrath, Teaneck, New Jersey, USA

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