If you could have dinner with any great Canadian, who would it be and why? It’s a hypothetical question many of us have pondered but few have been given the chance to live out. Edmonton’s Lyle Best, former Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Board Member, was able to experience that exact scenario. Not by chance, but because he was being honoured as a great Canadian.
At the Order of Canada Ceremony in Ottawa on September 3, Best was honoured as a member of the Order of Canada for exceptional contribution to Canada and humanity. An entrepreneur and corporate leader in Edmonton, Best is also described on the official website of the Governor General of Canada as a model of community spirit, social responsibility and generosity.
Best, who is currently the President and CEO of Quikcard, a company that specializes in benefit solutions for small businesses, was formerly the executive director of the Edmonton Oilers Alumni Association and founded the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.
“What a night,” said Best in an email to the Edmonton Oilers following the event. Seated across from him at the Order of Canada Ceremony in Ottawa were the Governor General Michaelle Jean, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, and Canada’s most accomplished Paralympian Chantal Petitclerc.
Other notable honourees with National Hockey League backgrounds at the ceremony were former Montreal Canadien and current club president Denis Boivin and hockey legend Mario Lemieux.
“The Governor General commented to the room it was probably the first time three NHL teams were represented at the Order of Canada Ceremony,” Best said in his email to the Oilers. Best was named Edmonton’s Small Business Owner of the year in 2008 and was inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame for his contributions to Edmonton. He is also a Senator at the University of Alberta.