Gail Asper, O.C., O.M., LL.D. appointed Vice-Chair of the
National Arts Centre Foundation Board

(Ottawa, Canada) Gail Asper, President of The Asper Foundation and one of Canada’s most active supporters of arts and culture, has been appointed Vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the National Arts Centre Foundation, the National Art Centre’s fundraising arm.

“I believe strongly in the vision of Peter Herrndorf and the entire team at the National Arts Centre,” said Ms. Asper, who has been a director of the National Arts Centre Foundation since 2005. “I want to help give them some much needed support so they can fulfill their admirable goal of reaching out to artists and audiences across the country.”

“I am delighted that Gail Asper has accepted to be Vice-Chair of our Board,” said Gail O’Brien, Chair of the NAC Foundation. “Ms. Asper is one of Canada’s greatest philanthropists and a passionate champion of the arts throughout this country. The NAC and its audiences have already benefitted from her energy and drive through her dedicated support and, more recently, through her leadership with the Prairie Scene Council.”


Gail Asper 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. 

In addition to being President of the Canwest Foundation, Ms. Asper is also President of The Asper Foundation, a private charitable foundation, which has been the driving force behind the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.  Ms. Asper was a member of the Board of Directors of Canwest Global Communications Corp. from 1991 to 2010 and from 1998 to 2008 was a member of the Board of Great-West Lifeco Inc., and its subsidiaries.  She serves and has served on the Boards of numerous not-for-profit groups and Co-Chaired the Manitoba Theatre Centre $11 Million Endowment Campaign, which followed a $6 million capital campaign also co-Chaired by Ms. Asper.  She also served on the Board and as President of the Manitoba Theatre Centre.  She is the past Campaign Chair for the Winnipeg 2002 United Way Campaign and is Past President of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Winnipeg.  In 2009 Ms. Asper completed 9 years of Board service with Business for the Arts where she also served as Vice Chair since 2006.

Ms. Asper is currently on the Board of Canada Israel Jewish Advocacy and she is a Governor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  In 2008, she was appointed to the inaugural Board of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Ms. Asper has received numerous awards for her community service, including the YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Voluntarism, the 2005 Governor-General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts and Women in Film and Television-Toronto 2005 Outstanding Achievement Award.  She has received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award for 2006 from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and in 2007 received the Order of Manitoba.  In July 2008 Ms. Asper was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.  In October 2008 she received an Honourary Doctorate from the University of Manitoba.  Most recently, Ms. Asper received the 2010 Bovey Award for her contribution to business and the arts. She is married to Dr. Michael Paterson and has two teenage sons, Stephen and Jonathan.


For more information, please contact:

Carl Martin
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560
(613) 291-8880 (c)