VANCOUVER, Jan. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today presented 25 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to distinguished British Columbians who are making a difference in their communities. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to celebrate the 60 th anniversary of the accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. "I am very proud to present Diamond Jubilee Medals to these recipients. These Canadians are an inspiration to us all, and their contributions have made Canada a better place to live," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is proud to invest in commemorations like the Diamond Jubilee that contribute to our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians. On the road to 2017, when Canada will celebrate its 150 th anniversary, let us celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country we are today." The following citizens were presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal: David AisenstatRyan BeedieHarry BurgoyneMary Anne Cooper Greg D'Avignon Ralph DrewChristopher William DupuisGarry ElgearGordon GillardChan Hon GohJames D. GrayDon Hedges, M.D. Jane HungerfordConnie IsherwoodHassan Khosrowshahi Nezat Khosrowshahi Ann Kitching Honorary Captain Lyall Knott Corporal Tim LaidlerChris LeveilleColin Ogilvie Yoo-soon ( Eunice) OhHazel PostmaCarol RushMichael Walker A total of 60,000 Diamond Jubilee Medals are being awarded to Canadians. Presentations took place throughout 2012 and will continue until February 28, 2013, the date when the program closes. To be eligible, a person must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. They must have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region, or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada. The medal program is administered by the Chancellery of Honours, which is part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.