KLEIN, Bonnie Sherr

It began on a summer day in 1987. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Bonnie Sherr Klein and her husband Michael were enjoying a few days alone at their cabin. After a day in the outdoors, Klein became weak and nauseous. When she began to stagger and slur her speech, her husband, a physician, rushed her to the hospital in Montreal. Two weeks later, she suffered a second, nearly fatal stroke. Klein was 46 at the time. She spent seven months in the hospital and three years in rehabilitation. Klein learned to get around with two canes or a motorized scooter. A passionate activist, she co-wrote a memoir called Slow Dance: A Story of Strokes, Love and Discovery (Knopf) with Persimmon Blackbridge. They received the 1998 VanCity Book Prize.

Klein was born in Philadelphia on April 1, 1941. She moved to B.C. in 1993. She is the mother of Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, and other books.

[BCBW 2004] "VanCity"

Order of Canada
Press Release (2013)

On December 30, 2012, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada announced 91 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees include two Companions (CC), 33 Officers (OC) and 56 Members (CM). These appointments were made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

Some of the BC-based appointees honoured for their contributions and achievements in the fields of arts, culture, and heritage community include:

Julie Cruikshank, OC, of Vancouver, for her contributions as an anthropologist whose research in the North has helped to preserve the history of Indigenous peoples;

Bonnie Sher Klein, OC, of Vancouver, for her achievements as a filmmaker, writer and social activist who used her work to shed light on the issues of peace, women’s rights and the lives of people with disabilities;

Ian Wallace, OC, of Vancouver, for helping to shape Canada’s contemporary art scene over the past 50 years as one of the most influential art photographers of his generation;

James K.M. Cheng, CM, of Vancouver, for helping to develop the Vancouver style of architecture, influencing the face of a city and a generation of Canadian architects;

Jane Coop, CM, of Vancouver, for her achievements as a pianist, performer and educator;

Harold Kalman, CM, of Vancouver, for his contributions to the preservation of Canada’s built heritage, as an architectural historian, practitioner and author;

Toyoshi Yoshihara, CM, of Vancouver and Tokyo, for his achievements as an entrepreneur and arts patron dedicated to bringing Canadian works of drama to the Japanese stage.

Other inductees include former BC premier Mike Harcourt, Indigo CEO Heather Reisman, hockey player Paul Henderson, philanthropist and founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize Scott Griffin, choreographer Paul-André Fortier, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario Roald Nasgaard, and CBC broadcaster Michael Enright.