Skip to main content

'Incredibly honoured': Maritime cartoonist Michael de Adder appointed to the Order of Canada


New appointments to the coveted Order of Canada were announced Thursday and Maritime editorial cartoonist Michael de Adder was among the 78 people who made the list.

De Adder, originally from Riverview, N.B., says he has received quite a few awards during his career, but the Order of Canada “is on another level.”

“I feel incredibly proud, incredibly honoured,” he told CTV Atlantic. “Whenever cartooning is honoured these days, it’s a huge honour.”

De Adder’s work is featured in various publications, such as The Chronicle Herald, the Toronto Star and The Washington Post.

He began his career as a cartoonist while studying painting at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B.

“I ended up working for the school newspaper and ended up as an editorial cartoonist. It’s really that simple,” he says.

It’s a passion that began for de Adder from an even younger age. He says his mother told him he could draw a full train by the time he was four-years-old.

“It was the one thing I knew I could do from an early age,” he says.

Now, his drawing process involves watching, reading, and paying close attention to the news.

A cartoon by Michael de Adder following the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting. (Michael de Adder/Twitter)

“(I) figure out what the topic of the day is going to be and try to tailor, make an opinion, for that day.”

De Adder estimates he has drawn around 20,000 cartoons in his more than 20-year career.

“Cartoonists have long careers and they end up being known for five or six cartoons,” he says.

When looking back on his career, de Adder says the cartoon that stands out the most is a 2019 illustration of then U.S. President Donald Trump.

The cartoon depicts Trump standing over the bodies of two drowned migrants asking, “Do you mind if I play through,” referencing a real-life image of a father and daughter from El Salvador who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande.

A Canadian cartoonist says he lost his job after his illustration of U.S. President Donald Trump playing golf over the bodies of two drowned migrants went viral. (Michael de Adder)

At the time, de Adder said he was let go from his contract with several New Brunswick newspapers just 24 hours after the illustration went viral.

“That stands outs an important cartoon. I was immediately let go from The Irvings. They deny that cartoon had anything to do with it, but I had a longstanding dispute over Donald Trump cartoons.”

De Adder adds his upcoming appointment to the Order of Canada also draws attention to the newspaper field.

“Because of the way newspapers are -- is in decline,” he says. “It’s always important to draw attention to editorial cartooning and the importance it plays in democracy.”

With files from CTV’s Paul DeWitt and Top Stories


opinion The big benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle

In his column for, columnist Christopher Liew explains the benefits of adopting a debt-free lifestyle, as well as the change in financial mindset and sacrifices it takes.

Stay Connected