Founding Donors

We honour our twenty Founding Donors who each contributed $5000 to create an endowment to address future needs that they could not yet see and support people they had not yet met.

Peter Bawden

Founder of Peter Bawden Drilling at age 22, Bawden was a leader in the oil and gas industry who pioneered drilling in the far North and promoted Canadian expertise and technology internationally. He served as a federal Member of Parliament and supported numerous community organizations.



George (Max) Bell

Recognized as a visionary business genius who devoted his life to his community, Bell was an entrepreneur, oilman, newspaper publisher, sportsman and philanthropist. His significant legacy lives on through the Max Bell Foundation which continues to support organizations across Canada.



William Borger

A successful businessman, Borger was the founder of W.D. Borger Construction Company which built the infrastructure for much of Alberta. The company remains in operation and is considered one of Canada’s best managed companies, a testament to Borger’s commitment to excellence.



Malcolm Brownlee

A successful travelling salesman and community leader, Brownlee was a founding member of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. As a philanthropist, he focused his giving on bursaries, setting up trust funds for students in agricultural mechanics at Olds College and the Calgary Board of Education.



Harry Cohen

An entrepreneur and real estate developer, as Board Chair, Cohen helped raise the Foundation’s assets by $2 million through the ‘Million Dollar Dinner’ fundraiser in 1979. As prominent philanthropists, Cohen and his wife Martha, were awarded an Order of Canada for their tireless commitment to community.



Alexander (Sandy) Cross

As son of A.E. Cross and grandson of Colonel James MacLeod, founder of Fort Calgary, Cross had deep roots in Calgary. A lifelong conservationist and rancher, Cross and his wife Ann, left significant legacies including the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory and the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area.



James Cross

James was the eldest son of A.E. Cross, one of the ‘Big Four’ who founded the Calgary Stampede. Born into a prominent family in Alberta’s history, Cross was widely respected as a rancher, avid sportsman, successful businessman, philanthropist and committed community leader.



John Cross

The youngest son of A.E. Cross, as a successful rancher, Cross operated the 13,000 acre A-7 Ranche, one of the oldest, original family owned ranches in Canada. As an environmentalist, he honoured his family’s ranching heritage by preserving the western landscape and his legacy lives on for future generations.



Sam Hashman

At age 21, Hashman formed a construction company that grew into a successful real estate development firm. Projects included the Planetarium and Westbrook Mall. Hashman was one of the early owners of the Calgary Stampeders and an active member of Calgary’s Jewish community.



John Hillier

John established Campbell and Hillier Ltd., a successful plumbing and heating company which exists to this day as Campbell & Hillier Renovations Ltd. Upon his death, Hillier’s wife Esther married Harold Honens and established the acclaimed Esther Honens International Piano Festival.



Ellis Keith

Ellis established Keith Construction, a company that rose to prominence for developing Lake Bonavista – Canada’s first man-made lake community. Keith left a lasting legacy through his unprecedented tree-planting programs that continue to beautify communities throughout Calgary.



Gertrude Laing

Recognized for her successful career in public service, Laing was Chair of the Canada Council and the only woman member on the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Laing received many honours for her extensive contributions in the fields of biculturalism, community and youth services.



Stanley Laing

As a prominent accountant, Laing was widely respected for lending his financial expertise to charitable organizations. In 1972, Laing was named the first Executive Director of Calgary Foundation. He was married to Gertrude Laing, also a founding donor of Calgary Foundation.



George Lancaster

Acknowledged as a successful businessman, Lancaster held numerous leadership roles with the Red Cross, YMCA, Board of Trade, the Zoological Society and served as an Alderman for 12 years. From

1965 to 1970, he was the Chair of Calgary Foundation’s Board of Directors.



Gordon Love

As President of CFCN radio and a founder of one of Calgary’s first television stations, Love was recognized as a trail-blazer in the development of Canadian broadcasting. An active Rotarian, he served as president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.



Fred Mannix

Fred C. Mannix led the successful Mannix Company Ltd. which built railways, highways, irrigation projects, airports and dams in Alberta. A man of exceptional talent and vision, Mannix was a notoriously quiet but effective philanthropist whose legacy of giving continues to support future generations.



Orrin Might

Orrin was an associate of the law firm Bennett, Hannah & Sanford which later became Bennett Jones. Might was active in the Downtown Rotary Club, the Ranchmen’s Club and served as President of the Calgary Golf and Country Club.




Carl Nickle

Carl was a well-respected leader, politician, oil and gas entrepreneur and philanthropist. Nickle began his career as a radio reporter and launched the Daily Oil Bulletin which is still considered the definitive source of information in the oil and gas industry.




Samuel Nickle

Samuel began his career operating a shoe business. Nickle invested in oil in the 1920s, but didn’t achieve substantial wealth until age 70. He was the founding donor for the Nickle Arts Museum and along with his son Carl, created the Nickle Family Foundation.




Ted Riback

From operating Ribtor Surplus Sales, to developing the exclusive Bel-Aire Estates, Riback had a successful and diverse entrepreneurial career. He was a highly respected supporter of the Calgary Jewish community and served as President of Calgary Foundation from 1970 to 1973.