The Canadian Canoe Museum is proud to congratulate James on his Meritorious Service Medal.
On December 12, 2017, James Raffan, our Director of External Relations, received a Meritorious Service Medal. This award is given to individuals who have, in a limited amount of time, performed acts bringing honour to Canada. The acts are often innovative, setting an example for others to follow. Recipients of this award can complete honourable acts in any field.
This award, created by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is one of the highest achievements an individual can receive. It was distributed by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall. This year, the Governor General presented 19 Meritorious Service Crosses and 23 Meritorious Service Medals. A list of 2017 recipients can be found in the Governor General's media advisory.
The museum is pleased to see James honoured with this award, as he has often brough honour to The Canadian Canoe Museum. Most recently, James spearheaded the Connected by Canoe journey, our sesquicentennial celebration. This two-week trip along the Rideau Canal served more as a floating conversation than a canoe trip. Over 20 individuals from various backgrounds joined together and engaged in a discussion about the future of Canada.
Years spent as a camper and staff member at Camp Kandalore from 1959 to 1973 inspired James’s lifelong interest in the museum’s collection. James’ passion led him to create the strategic plan that will allow the museum to move onto the national stage. He has been a key player in the museum’s planned move next to the Peterborough Lift Lock.
Before taking on his current role, Director of External Relations, James held many roles at the museum. In 1999, he worked to develop the museum's first Education program. He became the curator in 2007, and from 2008 to 2014, James served as our Executive Director, rescuing us from near bankruptcy and helping us transform into the vibrant national heritage site we are today.
James holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Education, Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science. He is an accomplished author and has written numerous books including Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the invisible Arctic, and the national bestsellers Emperor of the North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Deep Waters: Courage, Character and the Canoeing Tragedy of Lake Timiskaming.