2006 Honorary Diploma Recipient – Gail Asper

Gail AsperEach year Red River College awards a Red River College Honorary Diploma to an individual who demonstrates high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.

One of Manitoba’s foremost community leaders, Gail has a passion for volunteering that makes her a role model for all Manitobans–especially youth. Her capacity to both initiate change and follow it through sets her apart as a champion of the community.

“I am blessed to be working with some of the finest organizations on some of the most exciting initiatives imaginable,” notes Gail, adding “I am thoroughly enjoying meeting incredibly philanthropic community and business leaders across this country.”

A University of Manitoba graduate with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law, Gail is a member of the Manitoba Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the National Association of Women and Law, the Legal Education and Action Fund, plus Canadian Women in Communications.

Her numerous professional accomplishments have been recognized at both the local and international levels. Gail serves as President, CanWest Global Foundation; Director and Corporate Secretary, CanWest Global; plus Managing Director and Secretary of the Asper Foundation, which is the private charitable foundation spearheading the establishment of the $300 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Augmenting an impressive list of professional achievements is Gail’s on-going commitment to a wide range of community, cultural arts, and human rights-based organizations. She sits on the boards of:

  • The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Chair)
  • Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Campaign Chair)
  • Great-West Lifeco Inc., The Great West Life Assurance Co., London Insurance Group Inc. and London Life Insurance Co. (members of the Power Financial Group of Companies)
  • Council for Canadian Unity
  • The Council for Business and the Arts in Canada (Vice Chair)
  • Arts and Cultural Enhancement Initiative
  • Centre for Cultural Management, University of Waterloo
  • Canadian Institute for International Affairs
  • Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Endowment Campaign (Co-Chair)
  • United Way (Deputy Chair, Leadership Giving)
  • St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation
  • Manitoba Chapter, Canadian Club
  • Human Rights Museum
  • Ladybug Foundation

Gail has also been involved in the CanWest Global Multimedia Classroom and Studio at Red River College, along with other media education initiatives throughout Canada.

Among her personal achievements, Gail has been involved in the “Joshua Project”, which focuses on helping Aboriginals in Winnipeg’s downtown core to improve their lives. She helps to promote children’s literacy via the Raise A Reader campaign, and is a founding member of the Manitoba Arts and Stabilization program. Gail was instrumental in bringing the Winnie the Pooh painting to Winnipeg, and spearheaded the establishment of the $300 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

While Gail supports a wide range of worthwhile initiatives, she makes a point of addressing the plight of the less fortunate: “As incoming Chair of the Board of the United Way of Winnipeg, I am very mindful of some of the exciting new initiatives being created in Manitoba which are aimed at addressing poverty and stimulating economic development for marginalized members of the community,” she says. “These are very important initiatives which I look forward to working on and supporting.”