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K.C. Irving

Kenneth Colin (K.C.) Irving, OC, industrialist and entrepreneur (born 14 March 1899 in Bouctouche, NB; died 13 December 1992 in Saint John, NB). K.C. Irving built a business empire under the Irving name that ranges from pulp and paper and oil refining to newspaper publishing and broadcasting. He has been called New Brunswick’s first modern entrepreneurial industrialist. Businesses he founded were divided up among his sons and remain within the family. Irving companies continue to account for a large portion of New Brunswick’s economic activity.

Macleans

Gerry Schwartz (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on 8 March 1999. Partner content is not updated.

The big black Mercedes glides past the beds of gold- and wine-coloured chrysanthemums that spruce up Toronto's business district in early fall. Quickly and discreetly it transports Gerry Schwartz from his Onex Corp.

Article

Mike Lazaridis

Mihal (Mike) Lazaridis, OC, O Ont, FRS, entrepreneur, business executive, philanthropist (born 14 March 1961 in Istanbul, Turkey).

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Joe Mimran

Joseph Mimran, entrepreneur, consultant, fashion designer, retailer (born 2 December 1952 in Casablanca, Morocco). Mimran is best-known for launching the Alfred Sung, Club Monaco and Joe Fresh fashion brands, as well as his involvement with Pink Tartan, a fashion line designed by Kimberley Newport-Mimran, his second wife. Mimran is a partner at Gibraltar Ventures, a Toronto-based firm that invests in technology-driven companies. He also appears as a Dragon on the CBC series Dragons’ Den.

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Joseph Rotman

Joseph Louis Rotman, OC, MSC, businessman and philanthropist (born 6 January 1935 in Toronto, ON; died 27 January 2015 in Toronto). Rotman was a prominent businessman who was active in oil trading, oil and gas exploration, merchant banking, real estate and venture capital investment. Later in life, he became a notable philanthropist with a focus on education, the arts and health care. The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University both bear his name.

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Ken Sim

Ken Sim, entrepreneur, politician, mayor of Vancouver 2022– (born 18 October 1970 in Vancouver, BC). Ken Sim worked as an accountant and investment banker before co-founding two successful businesses: Nurse Next Door and Rosemary Rocksalt bagels. Sim made an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Vancouver in 2018, losing to Kennedy Stewart by 957 votes. In 2022, he and his A Better City (ABC) Party won a majority government with a platform that stressed law and order and public safety. Sim is the first Chinese Canadian to be elected mayor of Vancouver.

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Jean Coutu

Jean Coutu, O.C., O.Q., pharmacist, entrepreneur and philanthropist (born 29 May 1927 in Montreal, Quebec). Jean Coutu is the founder of the Jean Coutu Group, a chain of pharmacies established in 1969 under the name Pharm-Escomptes Jean Coutu. He is also the cofounder of the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation, a private charitable foundation. Jean Coutu has received many honours and awards recognizing both his career and his philanthropy.

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Henry Birks

Henry Birks, silversmith, founder of Henry Birks and Sons (b at Montréal 30 Nov 1840; d there 16 Apr 1928). He graduated from Montreal High School in 1856 and spent the next winter perfecting his French. In April 1857 he joined Savage and Lyman, a large firm of watchmakers and jewellers.

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Gilles Ste-Croix

Gilles Ste-Croix, OC, street performer, businessman (born 1950 in La Sarre, Quebec). In 1984, Gilles Ste-Croix and Guy Laliberté transformed their troupe of street performers into Cirque du Soleil, the world’s largest circus production company and one of the world’s biggest live entertainment companies. Ste-Croix served as vice-president from the company’s founding and as creative director from 1988 until his retirement in 2014. He is a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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James Croft

James Croft. Violin maker and repairer, b Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, 10 Jun 1884, d Winnipeg 4 Sep 1968. Though he moved to Winnipeg in 1904 as an engineer, he had been taught violin making by an uncle at the Hill shop in London, and in 1915 he began building and repairing violins.

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Joshua Mauger

Joshua Mauger, colonial entrepreneur, sea captain, politician (baptized 25 April 1725 in the parish of St. John, Jersey; died 18 October 1788 at Warborne, near Lymington, England). Mauger was one of Nova Scotia’s wealthiest and most influential merchants in the 18th century. Although he only spent 11 years in the colony, he exerted significant power in its business and politics for two decades after. His complex involvement with Nova Scotia underscores the bonds of subservience and influence that hindered the colony’s early development. Mauger also enslaved Black people and built a significant portion of his business empire on the labour of enslaved people.

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Art Dealers

Art dealers in Canada have served as art dealers everywhere, not only as sellers of art but as tastemakers. Since they act as a link between the work of art and the art-buying public, they have an important role in the identification of who is important in Canadian art.

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Jean Lumb

Jean Bessie Lumb (née Toy Jin Wong), CM, community leader, restaurateur (born 30 July 1919 in Nanaimo, BC; died 17 July 2002 in Toronto, ON). Jean Lumb was the first Chinese Canadian woman and first restaurateur inducted into the Order of Canada. She is also best known for her role in successfully lobbying the federal government to change its discriminatory immigration policies that separated Chinese families. Lumb also led the Save Chinatown Committee to prevent further demolition of Toronto’s Chinatown in the 1960s.

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Heather Reisman

Heather Maxine Reisman, OC, entrepreneur, business executive (born 28 August 1948 in Montreal, QC). Reisman is best known as the founder, executive chair and CEO of Indigo Books & Music, Canada’s largest book and specialty toy retailer, and the co-founder of Kobo, a top global e-reader maker. She holds honorary doctorates from several universities and a bachelor’s degree in social work from McGill University. In 2022, Reisman was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

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C.D. Howe

Clarence Decatur Howe, engineer, politician (b at Waltham, Mass 15 Jan 1886; d at Montréal 31 Dec 1960). Howe was the most successful businessman-politician of his day, and provided a link between the Liberal Party and Canadian industry.

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Daniel Williams

In addition to practising law, Williams excelled at business. While attending Dalhousie's law school, he led a group of businesspeople to seek the first cable licence in Newfoundland and built Cable Atlantic into one of the largest communications companies in Atlantic Canada.

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Mabel Hubbard Bell

Mabel Gardiner Hubbard Bell, aeronautics financier, community leader, social reformer and advocate for the deaf (born 25 November 1857 in Cambridge, Massachusetts; died 3 January 1923 in Chevy Chase, Maryland). Bell actively supported and contributed to the work of her husband, inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Her financial investment in his work made her the first financier of the aviation industry in North America. She was a community leader in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, where the Bell family spent their summers. She was also a social reformer and supported innovation in education.

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