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, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He is also Chair of Creswin Properties Ltd, a private real estate investment firm and an investor through the Manitoba Technology Accelerator program.
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 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 various committees of the Law Society of Manitoba.
Through his philanthropy, Asper has provided the lead gifts to establish the David & Ruth Asper Research Facility at the Pan Am Clinic Foundation and the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights at the University of Toronto. Together with his wife Ruth, they also provided the lead gift to the Rady Jewish Community Center to establish the David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre.
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 CentreVenture, (Winnipeg’s Downtown Development Authority) Chairman of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Football League Board of Governors, Co-Chair of the 2006 and 2015 Winnipeg Grey Cup Festivals, 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 has been recognized with the Arbour Award from the University of Toronto, the Award of Distinction from Destination Winnipeg, the Commissioners Special award from the Canadian Football League and the Chairman’s Special Award from the Winnipeg Football Club.
He is an honorary lifetime member of the Winnipeg Football Club and believes each year that the Bombers will win every game and the championship, because that’s what fans do.