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Article

Harley Hotchkiss

Harley Hotchkiss, businessman, community leader, philanthropist (born at Tillsonburg, Ont 12 Jul 1927; died at Calgary, Alta 22 Jun 2011). Harley Hotchkiss was known as a "builder.

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Stephen Smith

Stephen J. R. Smith, financial services entrepreneur, civic leader, philanthropist (born 2 June 1951 in Ottawa, ON). Stephen Smith is a successful entrepreneur in the financial services industry. He is co-founder, chairman, president and CEO of First National Financial LP, Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender, as well as chairman and co-owner of the Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company, Canada’s third largest mortgage insurance provider. He is also involved in the administration of cultural organizations such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Rideau Hall Foundation and Historica Canada — publisher of The Canadian Encyclopedia — where he has been chair of the board of directors since 2009. The business school at his alma mater, Queen’s University, was named in his honour after his record $50 million gift to the university in 2015. He is a Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (2019). A licensed pilot, he is renowned among friends and associates for his daredevil approach to his favourite sports, which include heli-skiing and long-distance cycling. As Charles Brindamour, president and chief executive officer of Intact Financial Corp. has said, “Stephen is a force of nature.”

Article

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. 

Article

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.

Article

Byron Ingemar Johnson

Byron Ingemar Johnson, "Boss," businessman, politician, premier of BC 1947-52 (b at Victoria 10 Dec 1890; d there 12 Jan 1964). After service in WWI, Johnson and his brothers formed a building supply company in Victoria. Elected as a Liberal in Victoria in 1933, he was defeated in 1937.

Article

Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham, fur trader (b probably near Edinburgh, Scot c 1733; d at Prestonpans, Scot 8 Sept 1815). Graham worked for the Hudson's Bay Company at Churchill, York Factory and Ft Severn (1749-75).

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Richard M. Ivey

Richard (Dick) Macauley Ivey, CC, QC, lawyer, businessperson and philanthropist (born 26 October 1925 in London, ON; died 28 December 2019 in Toronto, ON). Richard M. Ivey had a long career as a corporate lawyer and business executive, but he is best known for his philanthropy. Working through his family’s Ivey Foundation, he supported education, medicine and the arts, in particular. The name of the world-renowned Ivey Business School at Western University recognizes his and his family members’ contributions to the university.

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Larry Tanenbaum

​Lawrence “Larry” Murray Tanenbaum, O.C., businessman, sports executive, philanthropist (born 8 July 1945 in Toronto, ON). Larry Tanenbaum is best known for his position as chair of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns four major league sports teams: the Toronto FC, Maple Leafs, Raptors and Argonauts. His career has also spanned the worlds of finance, construction, politics and philanthropy. He is a prominent figure in Toronto and Canada’s Jewish community.

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Mike Savage

Michael John Savage, businessman, politician, mayor of Halifax, 2012 to present (born 13 May 1960 in Belfast, Northern Ireland). Savage, whose father was premier of Nova Scotia in the 1990s, served as a member of Parliament before becoming mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

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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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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.

Macleans

Bronfman Sells DuPont

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on April 17, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

Former film-maker Edgar Bronfman Jr. showed last week that he still has a flair for the dramatic. Investors and analysts were kept on the edge of their seats as the 39-year-old chief executive of Seagram Co. Ltd.

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David O'Brien (Profile)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 16, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

David O’Brien, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Canadian Pacific Ltd., is a man who regularly confounds expectations.

Macleans

Cowpland Charged

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 25, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

One of the best anecdotes about COREL Corp. chief executive Michael COWPLAND that doesn't also involve his flamboyant wife, Marlen, concerns the time he accidentally drove his Corvette off the road one winter morning on his way to the office.

Article

James McGill

James McGill, fur trader, merchant, politician, philanthropist (born 6 October 1744 in Glasgow, Scotland; died 19 December 1813 in Montreal, Lower Canada). James McGill was one of Montreal’s most prominent citizens in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He grew a successful career as a fur trader into a business empire. McGill also held various positions in public office, including three terms in Lower Canada’s legislature. His will contained the endowment for McGill University. James McGill’s achievements cannot be separated from the fact that he enslaved Black and Indigenous people and profited from this practice.