David Asper, Chair and Trustee
David Asper is a lawyer, business-person, philanthropist and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his community service.
Starting his career as a lawyer Mr. Asper focused primarily on criminal defense litigation and successfully represented David Milgaard in overturning one of Canada’s most notorious wrongful conviction cases.
In business he is co-founder and Chair of Amenity Healthcare Ltd. which owns and operates a chain of independent pharmacies in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. He is also Chair of Creswin Properties Ltd, a private real estate investment firm and an investor through the Manitoba Technology Accelerator program where he serves on the Boards of Cubresa Inc. and Arterial Stiffness Inc., which are developing leading edge life science technologies. He has also invested in the Broadway revival of the Tony Award-winning musical Pippin, a London based critically-acclaimed and award-winning revival of The Scottsboro Boys and the forthcoming Broadway revival of On the Town. Previously Asper served as Chair of the National Post newspaper and in various executive or governance positions at Canwest Media in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Following completion of his Masters in Law at the University of Toronto in 2007 Asper served as Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. He continues to lecture and write occasionally on legal matters and serves on the Law Society of Manitoba Articling Task Force Committee.
In philanthropy and public service, in addition to being Chair of The Asper Foundation, Asper is Vice-Chair of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club, member of the Board of the Pan Am Clinic Foundation and co-Chair of the 2015 CFL Grey Cup Festival Committee. Through his philanthropy Asper provided the lead gift to establish the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the University of Toronto. He has also established major endowments at the University of Manitoba, United Way and the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba where he actively supports the Jewish Child and Family Services Helping Hand Initiative.
Past community involvement includes President of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Chairman of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Football League Board of Governors, Co-Chair of the 2006 Winnipeg Grey Cup Festival, Governor and Vice-Chair at St. John’s Ravenscourt School, member of the University of Toronto Governing Council, member of the Board of the Canadian Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Asper also received the Arbour Award from the University of Toronto and the Award of Distinction from Destination Winnipeg.