Celine Dion gets top Order of Canada honour

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QUEBEC - It's taken five years, but singing star Celine Dion has attended a ceremony to pick up a medal elevating her within the Order of Canada.

The pop star was at the Governor General's Quebec City residence today to receive the award, a day before her concert at the nearby Plains of Abraham battlefield.

It's a rare appearance outside Las Vegas for the Quebec-born star, who is in the midst of a three-year stint at Caesar's Palace casino.

It was announced in 2008 that Dion would be elevated to the highest rank of the Order of Canada, that of Companion. She was initially named to the order in 1998, at the lower rank of Member.

She picked up the prize during a ceremony today at the Citadelle with her husband-manager Rene Angelil, who has now received a medal as Member of the Order of Canada.

Angelil thanked his wife in an emotional speech where he said his parents would have been proud to witness the moment. He called Dion his "engine," and a wonderful mother and wife who gave him "wings."

Dion thanked Gov. Gen. David Johnston for the honour — and said she would try to be a good companion.

In granting her the award, Rideau Hall lauded Dion's "voice, infectious energy and great sensitivity" — along with humanitarian causes including on behalf of a Montreal children's hospital.

According to Rideau Hall, the Companion of the Order of Canada recognizes "a lifetime of outstanding achievement and merit of the highest degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large."

Geographic location: Canada, Quebec City, Las Vegas Montreal

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