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Brenda Clark

Brenda Clark named to the Order of Canada

January 27, 2015

A 1977 graduate of the Illustration program, Brenda Clark was named a Member of the Order of Canada at the end of 2014. She is best known as the illustrator behind the beloved Franklin the Turtle books which launched with the publication of Franklin in the Dark in 1986. Since then, she has illustrated more than 30 Franklin titles and numerous activity books for the series. Over the years, the Franklin brand has expanded into a TV series, e-books, DVDs, and toys and has achieved worldwide renown and success. More than 60 million copies of the books alone have been sold around the globe. In 2012, Canada Post issued a stamp featuring Franklin as part of a series celebrating Canadian children’s literature.

Brenda was also recognized for her work promoting literacy which has given her a great deal of satisfaction. “I am proud of the international success of that little green turtle, but mostly I have enjoyed the privilege of giving back to my community by way of support for literary and arts foundations,” said Brenda.

Sheridan has benefitted from Brenda’s ongoing support, as well. “It is an enormous pleasure for me to be able to offer the bursaries and scholarships that talented and hard-working Sheridan students have earned over the years,” added Brenda, who is grateful for the excellent instruction she received at the college. “I've been fortunate to have achieved success in an industry which can be highly competitive and not always sustainable. I owe some of that success to good timing, an amazing publisher and co-creators. Mostly, however, it was the work ethic learned while attending Sheridan that helped to drive me forward.”

Brenda has also donated most of her original works to the Osborne Collection at the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto Public Library.

The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. 

Franklin the Turtle

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