VICTORIA - Fourteen provincial leaders in areas such as politics, religion, culture and business have been awarded the Order of British Columbia, the highest form of recognition the province can give.

Former B.C. Premier Dave Barrett, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, astronaut Robert Thirsk, homeless advocate Sister Nancy Brown and world-class swimmer Marion Lay are among the recipients.

Premier Christy Clark says those who receive the award are examples of remarkable individuals who have contributed to improving the quality of life for British Columbians.

In a ceremony at Government House on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Steven Point says he's proud to honour each recipient and thank them for exceptional contributions to the province.

New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix says the award for Barrett, who's a former NDP premier, is richly deserved for a man who was truly one of modern B.C.'s architects.

Also among the recipients are Dr. Peter Cooperberg, Christopher Gaze, Rick Harry, Norman B. Keevil, Hassan Khosrowshahi, Carol Matthews, Djavad Mowafaghian, James Ogilvie and Tricia C.M. Smith