The first edition of the Ordre de Gatineau took place on May 30, 2005 in salle Jean-Despréz, Maison du citoyen. Medals were given to the honorees at a ceremony aired live on Canal Vox, in the presence of the Mayor of Gatineau, members of the Municipal Council and members of the recipients' families, as well as the members of the Ordre de Gatineau jury, chaired by Robert Giroux, and the Ordre de Gatineau internal committee, chaired by Paul Morin.
Gatineau had the privilege of giving an Ordre de Gatineau gold medal to the Honorable Gérald-A. Beaudoin, senator and world-renowned constitutional lawyer. Mr. Beaudoin is one of Canada's most famous lawyers. For close to fifty years, Mr. Beaudoin has enhanced the level of Canadian legal research and given it an unprecedented measure of vitality. Former dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, he remains active in the establishment, having taught almost every lawyer in the Outaouais.
The second honoree was Yvette Debain, a pioneer in visual arts, who founded the L'Imagier exhibition centre in 1975 in Aylmer. L'Imagier quickly became the Outaouais' foremost not-for-profit art gallery. Over the past 30 years, l'Imagier has exhibited works by at least 300 professional artists from the region and elsewhere. In 1986, Ms. Debain also spearheaded the creation of parc de l'Imaginaire. She remains an active part of the cultural energy and synergy between the region's different cultural communities.Honours were received as well by Charles Henry, well known to hockey players in Gatineau—not to mention the country—as the famous General Manager of the Hull Olympiques starting in 1985, at the time driven by the legendary Wayne Gretzky. With his extensive experience, a boon to not only the Olympiques, but also the entire major junior hockey league in Quebec, Mr. Henry managed to bring the Olympiques to the play-offs every year, and saw more than 60 Olympiques players drafted by professional teams.
Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 285,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.