News & Announcements (2004 – 2015)
David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre
October 9, 2015 – The Manitoba government partners with Rady Jewish Community Centre and David and Ruth Asper to expand child-care options for families. For more information, please click here.
2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award
September 16, 2015 – The Asper Foundation will be receiving the 2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Manitoba Chapter. For more information on the November 13 award luncheon, please click here.
News Release: Words & Deeds
September 1, 2015 – On September 9, 2015, CIJA and the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg will present the Words & Deeds Leadership Award to the Asper Family and the Asper Foundation for their outstanding community work. For more information on the award, please click here and here.
Moe Levy and Gail Asper Win Peace Award for CMHR Work
July 28, 2015 – Gail Asper and Moe Levy are the winners of this year’s Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award. The award will be presented during a ceremony November 5th at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. For more information on the award, please click here, here, and here.
News Release: Edible Gardens
June 8, 2015 – Two hundred children and their teachers have spent the past year taking part in the Edible Gardens Initiative in Dimona. For these students, the Edible Garden is a culture change. This Initiative was created in partnership with The Asper Foundation and other organizations. For more information, please click here.
The World in 7 Years
April 15, 2015 – The Asper Foundation is proud to sponsor the “The World in 7 Years”, a full day of events on May 9, 2015 at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as part of the Spur Festival being held May 7-10, 2015 in Winnipeg. For more information on these sure-to-be stimulating events, please click here and here.
Miracle at the Forks: The Museum That Dares Make A Difference Nominated for Award
March 27, 2015 – The book Miracle at the Forks:The Museum That Dares Make A Difference by Peter C. Newman and Allan Levine was nominated for the Art Libraries Society of North America 2015 Melva J. Dwyer Award which recognizes excellence in a reference or research publication focused on Canadian art or architecture. See here for more information on the book.
The Asper Foundation Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program Launches New Website
February 6, 2015 – With the fast growth of The Asper Foundation Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program since its 1997 inception, The Asper Foundation has launched a new website which provides visitors with the full breadth and depth of this award-winning program. Please click here to visit the website.
Words & Deeds Leadership Award to be Presented to the Asper Family
November 26, 2014 – The prestigious Words & Deeds Leadership Award will be presented to the Asper Family and The Asper Foundation at a Gala Dinner on September 9th, 2015 at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, in honour of their contributions to community and country. See here for more information.
St. John’s-Ravenscourt School Donation
October 15, 2014 – David, Ruth, Daniel, Rebecca and Max Asper’s Sensible Foundation dedicated the third floor Asper Hall in St. John’s-Ravenscourt School’s new senior school. This was made possible through a generous donation of $500,000. The cutting-edge technology of Asper Hall will ensure the school’s continued teaching excellence.
The Asper Foundation – CMHR News Release
October 7, 2014 – The Asper Foundation and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights signed a memorandum of understanding today that will see Canadian students travel to Winnipeg including a visit to the the Museum as part of the Foundation’s Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program. See here for the news release, and coverage at ChrisD.ca, Yahoo News, CBC, and ICI Radio Canada (en français).
Canadian Museum for Human Rights Opens
September 20, 2014 – On September 20th, 2014, Israel Asper’s dream was realized as The Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened its doors to the world, thanks to the tremendous support of donors and partners from across Canada and beyond. Read coverage of the event at Winnipeg Free Press, CTV, ChrisD.ca, The Jewish Post, and Global.
Gail Asper to Receive Duff Roblin Award
September 5, 2014 – Winnipeg philanthropist Gail Asper will be recognized with the Duff Roblin Award at a gala dinner on November 18. The University of Winnipeg is honouring Asper, President of The Asper Foundation, a private charitable foundation established by her parents, Babs and Israel Asper. Click here to read the full story at ChrisD.ca. Click here to read Moe Levy’s speech introducing Gail Asper at the gala dinner. Click here to read Gail Asper’s acceptance speech.
Izzy Asper Jazz Performances Website Launch
August 12, 2014 – The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances website. Please click here to visit the website.
Gail Asper Receives Honorary Doctorate From the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
August 5, 2014 – At the recently held 77th Board of Governors Meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Gail Asper was conferred with an Honourary Doctorate. Click here to hear Gail speak about her commitment to Hebrew University.
Gail Asper’s speech introducing Moe Levy on receiving the Scopus Award
June 26, 2014 – Gail Asper’s speech introducing Moe Levy on receiving the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (held May 13, 2014 at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada) Click here to read the full speech.
Moe Levy’s speech on receiving the Scopus Award
June 21, 2014 – Moe Levy’s speech on receiving the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (held May 13, 2014 at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada) Click here to read the full speech.
Moe Levy to be honoured by Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University
May 11, 2014 – The long-time executive director of the Asper Foundation is being honoured by the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University with its most prestigious award, the Scopus Award, at a gala to be held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on May 13th. Read the full Jewish Post article here, and watch news coverage on Global News and CTV News.
Winnipeg names street after Izzy Asper
May 11, 2014 – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights was Israel Asper’s dream, and now the City of Winnipeg has named a street at the museum after him. Israel Asper Way (formerly Waterfront Drive), runs along the west entrance to the museum. Read coverage of the naming event at Winnipeg Free Press, CBC, ChrisD.ca, and Winnipeg Sun.
In Conversation with Moe Levy
April 28, 2014 – Click here to read a Winnipeg Free Press interview with our Executive Director, Moe Levy, on the occasion of being Canadian Friends of Hebrew University’s 2014 Scopus Award recipient.
Asper Foundation program teaching rights, service
April 19, 2014 – The Asper Foundation’s annual Human Rights and Holocaust Studies program is expected to see about 58 schools and community organizations in six provinces travel to freedom memorials and the renowned U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., this spring. Click here to read the full Winnipeg Free Press article.
Award-Winning Human Rights Program Breaks 12,600 Mark Across Canada
April 17, 2014 – Since 1997, our award-winning Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program has now reached over 12,600 students and chaperones in 204 cities and communities spanning 12 provinces and territories. For more information on this program, please click here.
Community Leaders David & Ruth Asper Receive Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals
March 2014 – David and Ruth Asper were the recent recipients of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals. For more information, please click here.
The Asper Foundation Launches New Website
February 2014 – To mark the Foundation’s 30th anniversary, we have launched our new website which provides visitors with up to date news and information on the Foundation’s projects and initiatives that touch lives around the globe.
David Asper, Chair of The Asper Foundation, Visits Israel
January 2014 – Click here for a photograph of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and David Asper.
Babs Asper Lilac Garden Officially Opened
October 2013 – The University of Winnipeg officially opened the Babs Asper Lilac Garden at the University of Winnipeg’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. For more information, please click here and here.
Stretch of Waterfront Drive to be renamed Israel Asper Way
September 2013 – Winnipeg civic committee supports renaming road that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is located on after Israel Asper. For more information, please click here.
Asper Learning & Friendship Village Launched
April 17, 2013 – The Asper Foundation and Winnipeg Harvest launched the Asper Learning & Friendship Village today at Winnipeg Harvest. To read the media release about this exciting initiative, please click here.
Dr. Israel Asper to be inducted into Manitoba Business Hall of Fame
February 20, 2013 – Dr. Israel Asper will become one of the first six inductees in the newly established Manitoba Business Hall of Fame. To read more, please click here.
David Asper receives The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
December 7, 2012 – David Asper, Chair of The Asper Foundation, received The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal is presented to “exceptional members or our community in recognition of their dedication, leadership and service.” To read more about the medal, please click here.
Program Breaks Half-Million Dollar Mark in Loans
December 5, 2012 – The Asper Helping Hand Initiative recently advanced its 140th loan bringing the program total to over $500,000. To read more about this meaningful initiative, please click here.
Creation of New Leader in Cultural Arts
December 4, 2012 – The Asper Foundation and the Rady Jewish Community Centre announce the creation of the Babs Asper Centre for Cultural Arts at the Rady JCC in memory of Ruth “Babs” Asper. To read more about this exciting initiative, please click here.
Video Tribute to Israel Asper
October 1, 2012 – The University of Manitoba Asper School of Business has created a video tribute to Israel Asper. To view the video, please click here.
Fountain Dedication at Assiniboine Park
March 17, 2012 – Dedication ceremony held for installation of fountain of Babs and Israel Asper in Assiniboine Park’s English Garden. For more information about this gift, please click here.
Board of Trustees appoints David Asper as Chair and Leonard Asper as Vice-Chair
March 31, 2012 – The Board of Trustees of The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of David Asper as Chair of The Asper Foundation and Leonard Asper as Vice-Chair. For more information, please click here.
Donation to Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Imagine a Place Campaign
March 23, 2012 – The Asper Foundation announced a gift of $2 million towards the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s Imagine a Place Campaign. The announcement was made in the new Qualico Family Centre at Assiniboine Park by David Asper, Chairman of The Asper Foundation. For more information about this exciting donation, please click here.
Ethiopian Wedding Celebration Held at Winnipeg Community Action Centre
The Ethiopian community in Be’er Sheva widely uses the Edible Garden at the Winnipeg Community Action Centre. A number of families from this community feel that the Edible Garden project and the centre have changed their lives for the better. A testament to the centrality of the centre’s important role to this community was joyously demonstrated through a beautiful wedding celebration held at the centre in January 2012. The centre is integral to the Ethiopian and general community. For photos of the celebration, please click here. For more information on the Winnipeg Community Action Centre, please click here. For more information on the Edible Garden project, please click here.
Launch of Second Edible Garden
A second Edible Garden was launched on December 13, 2011 at the Chazon Ovadia School in Be’er Sheva, Israel. For more information about this exciting project, please click here, please click here.
UWinnipeg’s Home for Theatre & Film Renamed
The University of Winnipeg welcomes the renaming of the home of the Department of Theatre and Film to the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. The Asper Family has been instrumental in completing the commitment of $3 million originally made by Canwest Global Communications to The University of Winnipeg to establish the Centre in December 2006. For more information, please click here. For photos, please click here.
The Edible Garden
The unique Edible Garden project was established in October 2010 at The Winnipeg Community Action Centre in Be’er Sheva, Israel. One of its major focuses is teaching children and adults about the Jewish values of sustainability. The $225,000 project is jointly funded by The Asper Foundation, the Jewish National Fund of Canada, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and managed by Beit Moriah. For more information about this exciting project, please click here.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
June 2011 – Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has raised the first phase of $105 million in private funds. It has been working to raise the last phase of $45 million needed to complete the capital fundraising campaign for the world’s next great museum of which $20 million has already been raised with just $25 million to go! For more information about the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights please click here. For more information about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, please click here.
Statement from the Asper Family
David, Gail and Leonard Asper, on behalf of the entire Asper family, are deeply saddened to announce that their beloved Mother, Ruth (Babs) Asper, passed away suddenly on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Babs was 78 years old. In keeping with the spirit of Babs Asper, in lieu of flowers, a tribute gift in her memory will be gratefully accepted by the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, or by a number of other charities and organizations close to her heart. We thank you in advance, for considering honouring her in this way. Messages of Condolence can be left by visiting the Babs Asper Tribute Website.
In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands
From one of the most popular historians writing today comes a book as fascinating as the bestsellers of Karen Armstrong and Reza Aslan. Moe Levy, Executive Director of The Asper Foundation commented, “Dr. Israel Asper, OC, OM, QC, founder of The Asper Foundation, had the prescient idea to create this book.”
In this captivating chronicle, Sir Martin Gilbert shines new light on a controversial dilemma in the modern world: the troubled relationship between Jews and Muslims. Beginning at the dawn of Islam and sweeping from the Atlantic Ocean to the mountains of Afghanistan, Gilbert presents the first popular and authoritative history of Jewish peoples under Muslim rule. He confronts with wisdom and compassion the stormy events in their dramatic story, including anti-Zionist movements and the forced exodus to Israel. He also gives special attention to the twentieth century and to the current political debate about refugee status and restitution. Throughout, Gilbert weaves a compelling narrative of perseverance, struggle, and renewal marked by surprising moments of tolerance and partnership. A monumental and timely book, In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands is a crowning achievement that confirms Sir Martin Gilbert as one of the foremost historians of our time.
Mr. Levy added, “Dr. Asper felt very strongly that a definitive book be written that properly documented the history of Jews in Muslim lands. After his untimely passing in 2003, the trustees and staff of The Asper Foundation carried on his passion to facilitate the creation of a central, authoritative, historical document that did proper justice to this under-reported and widely misunderstood subject. This book is also particularly timely and relevant given the nature of on-going negotiations related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It ably documents this subject. “Sir Martin Gilbert, a historian’s historian, is without a doubt the best qualified individual to tackle this most complex subject in a highly objective manner. The Asper Foundation is very honoured to have helped facilitate the writing of In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands. This book will undoubtedly play a seminal role in the world’s understanding of the history of Jews in Muslim lands.”
Copies of In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands can be purchased through retail and on-line booksellers. See the Hebrew-language news report on the book “BE-OHALEI ISHMAEL” (In Ishmael’s House) that aired on the Israeli TV Channel 1 (November 1, 2013).
The Izzy Asper Jazz Series Receives Donation
June 2010 – The Asper Foundation acknowledges with deep appreciation a generous donation to the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances from the estate of Mr. Denis Beaulieu, a former series subscriber and jazz devotee..
The Asper Foundation and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Present Fuad Abu Hamed With Social Entrepreneurship Award
The Asper Foundation and the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are pleased to announce that on June 8, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel, they will recognize Mr. Fuad Abu Hamed as the inaugural recipient of the Social Entrepreneurship Award for his mentorship and support of the East Jerusalem BizCamp, creative entrepreneurship, inspirational community work and strong commitment to foster cross-cultural awareness. To read the complete media release, please click here.
The Fort Garry Hotel Becomes Series Season Sponsor and Official Hotel Sponsor of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances
The Asper Foundation is very pleased to announce that The Fort Garry Hotel is the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances Series Sponsor and Official Hotel Sponsor for the 2010-2011 season. The Foundation very much appreciates The Fort Garry Hotel’s tremendous show of leadership and support of the long-standing and much-cherished jazz series. To learn more about The Fort Garry Hotel, please click here.
Izzy: The Passionate Life and Turbulent Times of Izzy Asper
Izzy Asper was a true visionary and a self-made billionaire. In the kind of intimate detail that made his other books mega bestsellers, Peter C. Newman profiles one of the most charismatic and powerful Canadian tycoons of the past quarter century. A serial risk-taker with a fever in his blood, the always controversial Asper grew a tiny television station, operated out of a converted supermarket, into the CanWest empire. Izzy is Canadian business history at its best, a masterful portrait of the man who was, for decades, the country’s leading media mogul.
Copies of Izzy: The Passionate Life and Turbulent Times of Izzy Asper by Peter C. Newman can be purchased through retail and on-line booksellers.
In Memoriam of Stephen Tyrone Johns
The thoughts and prayers of The Asper Foundation’s staff and trustees are with the family of security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns after his murder at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on June 10, 2009. This great tragedy underscores the need for the museum to continue its vital work in helping educate the public about the dangers of hatred. As well, this senseless act of racist violence reaffirms the value of The Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program and revitalizes the Foundation’s intention to continue delivering this program to high school students across Canada.
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission Award
The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission confers Pioneer of Human Rights Award to The Asper Foundation for its Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program. This prestigious award recognizes human rights pioneers for their historic contributions to the protection and promotion of human rights in Canada. Previous recipients include former New Brunswick Premier Louis J. Robichaud, Dr. Gordon Fairweather, BCL, LLD, QC, OC, ONB, and the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, Senator Noël A. Kinsella. Click here for media coverage and click here for a photo of the award.
Tribute to Mr. Harry Zvi Hurwitz
The Asper Foundation offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Harry Hurwitz on his untimely passing on October 1, 2008. To view more on this item, please click here.
Opening of Fourth Community Action Centre
The Asper Foundation, Jewish National Fund of Canada and the Jerusalem Foundation have established The Israel Asper Community Action Centre in Ramot, a suburb of Jerusalem, Israel. This is the fourth centre created by The Asper Foundation including the Winnipeg Community Action Centre in Be’er Sheva and the Israel Asper Community Action Centres in Ofaqim and Migdal Ha’emek. To read more about this centre, please click here.
The Koret Israel Economic Development Funds – Asper Foundation Micro-Enterprise Project
Bedouin women recently held a fair in Rahat, Israel through the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds – Asper Foundation Micro-Enterprise Project. Click here to read an English translation of a June 22, 2008 Negev News article (originally in Arabic) on the event and click here for a Power Point presentation on the event. For further information on the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds – Asper Foundation Micro-Enterprise Project, please click here.
Human Rights & Holocaust Studies Program Celebrates Significant Success With First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students
From 2001 to 2008, over 320 Aboriginal students from every province spanning British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador as well as the Yukon and Nunavut territories have participated in The Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program including students from Winnipeg’s inner-city and communities such as Norway House Cree Nation, MB (Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation), Cross Lake First Nation, MB (Pimicikamak First Nation) and Opaskwayack Cree Nation, MB. The Asper Foundation has directly contributed almost half a million dollars for the participation of these students. Please click here to read more.
Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship Renamed the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship
The Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship was renamed the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship to honour Stu Clark, an I.H. Asper School of Business graduate, for his $5-million donation to the school. The Asper Foundation donated $1-million to the Centre in 1997 to inspire others to give to the Centre and the Asper family is very pleased that Mr. Clark was motivated to make such a generous donation. Leonard Asper, president and CEO of Canwest Global Communications Corp., said “We’re thrilled that has come to pass. It’s great to have angels outside of the city continuing to support this great place.” Please click here to read more.
The Asper Foundation Pays Tribute to Congressman Tom Lantos (1928-2008)
The Asper Foundation offers its heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Annette Lantos and the Lantos family on the untimely passing of Congressman Tom Lantos. Congressman Lantos was a man of true integrity, vision and justice. The Asper Foundation is forever indebted to him and Mrs. Lantos for their meetings in the past several years with hundreds of Canadian students participating in the program. Please click here for a tribute to Congressman Tom Lantos.
Gift to Friends of Upper Fort Garry
The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce a gift of $500,000 to Friends of Upper Fort Garry which is spearheading the reclamation and transformation of a historic site in Winnipeg into a world class heritage park and interpretive centre for all Manitobans and visitors. Of the initiative, David Asper commented “If we can bring it to light, I think we do get a better sense of who we are and that provides a better keel and rudder of where we need to go. If properly done, this should provide another interesting reason for people to visit Winnipeg.” Click here to read more about Friends of Upper Fort Garry and this exciting project.
Record-Breaking Expansion of Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program
The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce that a record-breaking 30 communities with almost 1,200 people across Canada will be participating in its 2008 Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program. Including 2008, over 6,000 Canadian students and chaperones from 101 communities across Canada will have participated since the program’s 1997 inception in Winnipeg. Click here to read more about the program.
The Asper Helping Hand Initiative
The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce the generous support of The Asper Helping Hand Initiative by the David and Ruth Asper Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba through a $500,000 donation to the fund by David and Ruth Asper. Click here to read more about this initiative. As of October 2008, The Asper Helping Hand Initiative has advanced 79 loans totaling over $230,000.
Asper & Lakhani Families Receive Human Relations Award
On November 22, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews honoured the Asper family of Manitoba and the Lakhani family of Toronto with the Human Relations Award for their contributions to “the fabric of Canadian culture and society.” Click here to read more about this event.
Expansion of BizCamp for Arab Participants
The Asper Foundation is pleased to announce $137,400 in new funding through equal generous donations from an anonymous Canadian foundation and the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for expansion of the successful BizCamp for Arab participants administered by the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2007, the anonymous Canadian foundation had already contributed $37,000 to launch this ground-breaking initiative. Click here to read more about ACE.