Headshot of Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D. ©
Emeritus Director

Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D.

Winnipeg · MB

Last updated: October 13, 2022

Gail Asper is President and Trustee of The Asper Foundation, a private charitable foundation, which was the driving force behind the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.  

Gail was a member of the board of directors of Canwest Global Communications Corp. and Great-West Lifeco Inc., and its subsidiaries. She serves and has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit groups. She co-Chaired the Manitoba Theatre Centre Endowment Campaign, which followed a $6 million capital campaign which she also co-Chaired. She served on the board and as President of the Manitoba Theatre Centre and as Vice-Chair of Business for the Arts. Gail currently serves on the Executive of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the boards of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Gail has received numerous awards for her community service, including the 2005 Governor-General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, the Order of Manitoba, the Order of Canada and several honorary doctorates. She has also received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

She obtained her B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1981 and 1984 respectively. After receiving her call to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1985, Gail practiced corporate and commercial law with Goldberg & Thompson in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before joining CanWest Global Communications Corp. in 1989, as Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel. 

She lives in Winnipeg with her husband Dr. Michael Paterson and has two sons, Stephen and Jonathan.

Gail serves as an outside member on the finance committee of the National Arts Centre Board of Trustees and is Emeritus Director of the National Arts Centre Foundation.

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