Browse "Philanthropists"

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Adam Hartley Zimmerman

Adam Hartley Zimmerman, OC, FCA, lumber and mining executive, philanthropist, and prolific board member (born 19 February 1927 in Toronto, ON; died 19 October 2016 in Toronto, ON). Zimmerman studied at the Royal Canadian Naval College from 1944 to 1946, and then at Trinity College, University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1950. He became a chartered accountant in 1956. In 1958, Zimmerman began his career in the resource industry with Noranda Mines Ltd., rising to president and CEO by 1982. He sat on more than forty public and private boards, including Toronto-Dominion Bank, Confederation Life and the C.D. Howe Institute.

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Alain Stanké

Alain Stanké (Born Kaunas, Lithuania 1934). Alain Stanké, whose real name was Aloyzas-Vytas Stakevicius, was deported to a German concentration camp at the age of ten, and then emigrated to Paris complete his studies.

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Jim Balsillie

James Laurence (Jim) Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion, business executive, chartered professional accountant, philanthropist (born 3 February 1961 in Seaforth, ON). Balsillie is best known as the former chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion, the Waterloo, Ontario, company now known as BlackBerry. He is also a major philanthropist and the founder of numerous non-profit organizations, including the Arctic Research Foundation (which found one of the lost Franklin ships in 2016), the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. An avid hockey fan, Balsillie tried on three separate occasions to purchase an NHL team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario.

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Herb Belcourt

Herbert Clifford (Herb) Belcourt, CM, entrepreneur, philanthropist (born 6 July 1931 in Lac Ste. Anne, AB; died 5 July 2017 in Sherwood Park, AB). Belcourt was a celebrated Métis philanthropist and businessman recognized for starting several successful businesses in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, including Belcourt Construction, which became one of the largest power line companies in Alberta. Belcourt was also a philanthropist who gave back to the Métis community of Alberta through affordable housing and education bursaries.

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Brandt Louie (Profile)

In the days before business plans and vision statements, Vancouver shopkeeper Hok Yat Louie wrote, in his native Chinese, a series of letters to his sons. It was 1934 and, in failing health, he'd returned for the first time in 38 years to his birthplace in south China's Pearl River Delta.

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Brandt Louie

Brandt Louie, business tycoon, philanthropist (born 5 July 1943 in Vancouver, BC). Louie is the president of the H.Y. Louie Company, a business started by his grandfather in 1903 that now includes London Drugs Ltd. and the IGA grocery store chain. In 2017, Louie was listed as Canada’s 47th richest person in Canadian Business magazine’s annual ranking, with an estimated fortune of $2.1 billion. Louie is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and a Member of the Order of British Columbia.

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Bronfman Family

Descendants of Russian immigrant tobacco farmer Yechiel (Ekiel) Bronfman and his wife, Mindel, members of the Bronfman family have owned and controlled huge financial empires built from the profits of the family liquor business (see Seagram). The best-known members of the family are Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagram and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1939–62), and his descendants. Samuel’s wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman, was an influential philanthropist who supported the arts in Canada and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for organizing work on the home front during the Second World War. Sons Edgar and Charles Bronfman ran Seagram for decades, while grandson Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. oversaw the sale of Seagram to Vivendi. Charles was also co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada and Heritage Minutes, as well as chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos. His sister Phyllis Lambert is a well-known architect who founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Their cousins, Edward and Peter Bronfman (sons of Allan Bronfman), developed a financial empire in their own right. The family has given generously to several charitable organizations and been involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress. 

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Charles Bronfman

Charles Rosner Bronfman, PC, CC, businessman and philanthropist (born 27 June 1931 in Montréal, QC). Bronfman was co-chairman of the Bronfman family business, Seagram, the world’s largest producer and distributor of distilled spirits. He also owned the Montreal Expos baseball club from 1968 to 1990. According to Forbes, Bronfman had an estimated net worth of over $2 billion (as of 2017) and was ranked the 16th wealthiest Canadian and 896th wealthiest person in the world. Bronfman is also a dedicated philanthropist. He established the CRB Foundation to promote study of Canadian and Jewish affairs, and co-founded and endowed the Historica Foundation of Canada, which later became Historica Canada (publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia). He has disbursed approximately $325 million through Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies Inc. (ACBP) and private donations.

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Saidye Rosner Bronfman

Saidye Rosner Bronfman, OBE, community leader, philanthropist (born 9 December 1896 in Plum Coulee, MB; died 6 July 1995 in Montreal, QC). Saidye Bronfman was a leader in the Jewish community who generously supported the arts and various charities. She received the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Red Cross during the Second World War. Saidye and her husband, Samuel Bronfman, drew from their fortune in the liquor business to create a foundation that continues to fund community groups today.

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Henry Franklin Bronson

Henry Franklin Bronson, lumber manufacturer (b at Moreau Twp, Saratoga County, NY 24 Feb 1817; d at Ottawa 7 Dec 1889). In 1852 Bronson and his partner John Harris moved to Bytown [Ottawa] to exploit the timber reserves of the Ottawa Valley, bringing his family the following year.

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Michael C.J. Cowpland

Corel introduced its first version of CorelDRAW! in 1989. This computer drawing program has since become the world leader in its field. The program is updated annually. Cowpland has led the company with forceful marketing policies that distribute CorelDRAW! with a rich variety of other programs.

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Michael Lee-Chin

Michael Lee-Chin, businessman, investor and philanthropist (born 3 January 1951 in Port Antonio, Jamaica). Lee-Chin is president and chairman of Portland Holdings, a private investment company. According to Canadian Business magazine, Lee-Chin has an estimated net worth of more than $3.95 billion (as of 2017) and was ranked the 20th wealthiest Canadian. He is also one of the richest Jamaicans. Lee-Chin is also a dedicated philanthropist and has pledged and donated more than $60 million to hospitals, universities and, most notably, the Royal Ontario Museum, where the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is named in honour of his $30-million pledge.

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John Edward Cleghorn

John Edward Cleghorn, banker and philanthropist (b at Montréal 7 July 1941). A university football player, he studied commerce and history, graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1962.

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Luce Cuvillier

​Luce Cuvillier, businesswoman and philanthropist (born 12 June 1817 in Montréal, QC; died 28 March 1900 in Montréal).

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Cyrus Stephen Eaton

Cyrus Stephen Eaton, financier, philanthropist (b at Pugwash, NS 27 Dec 1883; d at Cleveland, Ohio 9 May 1979). Educated at McMaster, Eaton moved to the US in 1900. He became involved in public utilities and after 1925 in steel, eventually forming Republic Steel.

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David Lam

David See-Chai Lam, OC, CVO, OBC, 25th lieutenant-governor of BC 1988–95, banker, land developer, philanthropist (born 25 July 1923 in Hong Kong; died 22 November 2010 in Vancouver, BC). After establishing himself as a successful banker in Hong Kong, David Lam moved to Vancouver in 1967 and became a central figure in the city’s real estate development. As a philanthropist, he made major contributions to the cultural life, community spaces and educational institutions of British Columbia. A vocal advocate of immigration and of Canada’s role within the Pacific Rim, Lam served as lieutenant-governor of British Columbia from 1988 to 1995. He was the first person of Asian ancestry to hold a vice-regal post in Canada.