June 29th… Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced new appointments to the Order of Canada.   Michelle is one of them! 

The list of appointees, with short citations, can be found here https://www.gg.ca/en/media/news/2022/appointments-promotions-order-canada

The Order of Canada is one of our highest honours. Created in 1967, it honours people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations and whose compassion unites our communities.

More than 7 600 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order:


Wildlife & Adventure Photographer

Michelle Valberg photo by Lindsey Gibeau
For over 35 years Michelle Valberg has focused her camera on people, wildlife and landscapes with the intention of transforming simple beauty into a deeper reflection of humanity.  Her thoughtful portrayals of the natural world aim to draw viewers toward the idea that we all need to be better stewards of our natural world. By developing a deeper awareness of the connection between people, animals, and the environment, Michelle believes that we can be inspired to take action in our local communities and beyond.
On June 29, 2022, Michelle was appointed to the Order of Canada, she is a Nikon Ambassador Canada and the first Canadian Geographic Photographer-in-Residence.  She is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and the prestigious Explorer’s Club in New York City. Michelle has self-published 4 books, her photographs hang in embassies around the world and she has been published in numerous international magazines.  She was awarded the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, the top prize in the Big Animal International Photography Competition in the Terrestrial Category and a gold medal at the World Photographic Cup in Rome 2022.
“The natural world mirrors what we see in ourselves… our beauty, our simplicity, our complications, and our responsibilities. Nature is a part of us and reflects who we are. As a visual storyteller, it is my mission to educate, inspire, and immerse my viewers in the beauty and wonder of planet earth.”


Michelle is honoured to have 4 Canada Post stamps that feature her images of a polar bear, Kermode bear, black bear and most recently,  a snowshoe hare.

Both stamp series feature multiple images in the background of the booklets and collectible items.

For me, my favourite photos of yours always Always capture the eyes of every animal looking directly at you in a way that lets you connect in a human way

Then I thought about photographers like Ansel Adams and you.

With your  powerful photos of the North and Ansel’s, I figured out what it is – It’s like the landscapes are looking at me!!

Not me looking at them.  Same as the animals.

You have a gift

Mike Stevens

Thank you, Michelle, for all the myriad ways you make this world a better place; from Project North to Planet Hope to your exquisite wildlife and landscape photography, you bring light, hope, life, optimism, and love to everything you do. You are both an artist and a humanist.  JW

I was one of the many attendees at your Creativity in Motion presentation last Friday night. I almost decided to do something else that night and what a huge mistake that would have been. Your images were both incredible and stunning! And you have such a wonderful presentation style and a gift for storytelling. It was such an enjoyable and inspiring experience–without a doubt the best online seminar that I have seen during the entire pandemic!
So if you ever wonder if you are making a difference–the answer is absolutely! As I mentioned in the chat box at the end of your talk, you are truly one of Canada’s ‘Crown Jewels’. Keith Kennedy

When you pour your heart and soul into your work, art and life’s passion, it pays you back a thousand fold.  Michelle you are a National Hero! Everyone take a look at the incredible picture she took, that won her A Gold medal 🥇 in Rome.
Then think about how many thousands of hours she has traveled to the North, frozen her butt off, practicing and patiently perfecting her techniques and honed her skills to capture that PERFECT SHOT, at the PERFECT MOMENT….. And to top it off, she depicts that space and time so eloquently in her presentation of it….. Gold was the only answer.
CHEO is the receiving hospital for pediatric patients from Nunavut. We (RT’s) see many complex kiddos from up there each year. It’s so easy for us to overlook where they are from; such a beautiful place. I wanted to let you know how much of an impact your photos have had the last few months. When shifts have been both mentally and emotionally exhausting I find peace in walking past your photos, paying respect, and being on my way. I know I’m not the only one. You’re a star.


Any of us in the arts ultimately shows who we are through our work; you forever reveal yourself to be a being of light, hope, beauty, and love. Your spirit humbles me.

Jon Park Wheeler


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