Today in a private ceremony held at the McDougall Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Spruce Meadows co-founder Margaret Southern CC, LVO, AOE, B.Ed., LLD. was presented the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon). This commemorative medal was created to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.
The Medal recipients come from a variety of professional backgrounds and have left a positive mark on their professions, communities, and province. Each individual has demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service in their own field. You can learn more about the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal HERE.
Margaret participated in numerous businesses, community and non-profit boards and has received many awards and recognitions, including Canada’s highest award – Companion of the Order of Canada, Alberta Order of Excellence, Honorary Director of Laws from the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the University of Mount Royal.
Margaret served as the Lady-in-Waiting to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during Her Majesty’s Royal Visit to Canada in 1990, and, upon her departure, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the honor of Lieutenant of the Victorian Order (LVO) upon Margaret Southern.
By Order of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Mrs. Southern received Holland’s highest award, The Order of Orange – Nassau.
Her passion for sport and recreation has benefited many. Mrs. Southern was a long-time volunteer with Skate Canada and the World Skating Championships. A commitment to ensuring Calgarians enjoy parks and green spaces led Margaret to become a founder of the city’s first Parks and Recreation Board, which banked land for future recreational use, helped develop Fish Creek Park and preserved Nose Hill Park. She was an inaugural member of the Calgary Downtown Tree Planting Committee, planting 500 trees during Calgary’s centennial. In 2021 Mrs. Southern was recognized as one of Calgary’s Top 7 Over 70 for her work building sports opportunities in Calgary. In addition to co-founding Spruce Meadows, she established Cavalry FC, giving Canadian soccer players a chance to play professionally at home as part of the Canadian Premier League.
In 1992, Margaret, along with her husband Ron, was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2019, Margaret was inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame.