James Temerty, C.M., receives National Hero Honour from Canada's Walk of Fame
TORONTO — Canada's Walk of Fame is pleased to announce Ukrainian-Canadian James Temerty, C.M., as this year's recipient of the National Hero Honour, recognizing a person whose selflessness, dedication, and outstanding contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of others. Mr. Temerty [was] honoured during Canada's Walk of Fame star-studded Gala on Saturday, 3 December, in Toronto, along with this year's Inductees and Honourees. Hosted by ETALK's Traci Melchor, CTV will broadcast a one-hour primetime special, CELEBRATING GREATNESS: CANADA'S WALK OF FAME 2022, premiering Friday, 17 December at 7 p.m. ET on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app.
"James Temerty's story is as remarkable as it is inspiring. He was born in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, and he began a new life in Canada in 1950. He has devoted his life to his wife and family and focused his career on technological progress in renewable power and medical research. We are proud to honour him as this year's national hero," said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO of Canada's Walk of Fame. "We are all so moved by his extensive commitment to Ukraine as well as the special connection to our 2021 induction of the researchers who discovered insulin — Frederick Banting, Charles Best, James Collip and John Macleod — through the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and his tremendous support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation."
In 2010, Ernst and Young named Mr. Temerty Canadian Entrepreneur of the year. His many successful business ventures include his growth of thirty Computerland franchises, early and ongoing contributions to Softchoice Corporation, and founding and leadership of Northland Power Inc., a major Canadian independent power producer and market leader in renewable energy globally.
A pillar of responsible society, Mr. Temerty has made significant philanthropic contributions in Canada, in Ukraine, and around the globe. James, and his wife, Louise Temerty, established the Temerty Foundation in 1997. Their philanthropy has been both broad and deeply impactful, including support for causes related to healthcare, education, culture, vulnerable populations, and community-building. Through the Temerty Foundation, James and Louise funded the world's largest Breast Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, the opening of a leading-edge facility focused on the treatment of depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), as well as significant contributions to the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
The Temertys have become two of the ROM's greatest ambassadors who generously give their time and energy to make the ROM a better and more welcoming place. The Temerty Foundation has supported numerous galleries, exhibitions and events over the years, inspiring others to give and attracting new communities, supporters, and volunteers to the Museum. As Chair of the ROM Board of Governors, Mr. Temerty led the Renaissance Campaign that successfully raised over $400 million.
Continuing their leadership in healthcare philanthropy, in September 2020, the Temerty Foundation gifted $250 million to the University of Toronto, naming the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, a gift which is recognized as the largest philanthropic donation in Canadian history. In March 2022, the Foundation's gift of $10 million to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation marked the largest single donation to Type I Diabetes research in Canada.
Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Temerty Foundation has made several contributions to organizations addressing the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Support has included contributions to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation's Humanitarian Relief Fund, the Ukrainian World Foundation's relief efforts, Help Us Help Charity's campaign to help Ukrainian children stay warm this winter, and the Olena Zelenska Foundation, the first lady of Ukraine's foundation which provides immediate relief to individuals in the de-occupied areas of Ukraine, such as Kharkiv and Kherson. Aside from addressing humanitarian needs, Mr. Temerty helped to found and fund the Unite with Ukraine Campaign at the Ukrainian World Congress which focuses on supporting volunteer defenders on Ukraine's front lines with protective equipment. Mr. Temerty is also supporting President Zelenskyy's fund, United24, which has garnered international support from ambassadors like Barbara Streisand and Leiv Schreiber.
Within Canada, the Temerty Foundation has funded a program at the University of Toronto to bring 200 students and five faculty members from the Kyiv Mohyla Academy to Toronto to continue their academic pursuits. The Temerty Foundation has created a fund at the Shevchenko Foundation to help newly arrived Ukrainians transition into their new communities.
In 2008, Mr. Temerty founded and funded the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE), a multinational initiative involving Ukrainians of Christian and Jewish heritages in Ukraine, Israel, and their diasporas. The goal of the UJE is to deepen the understanding of the breadth, complexity, and diversity of Ukrainian-Jewish relations throughout history. Mr. Temerty was instrumental in founding and funding the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, both in Canada and Ukraine, which promotes the research, study, and understanding of the Holodomor — the forced famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine. Annual global initiatives undertaken by the Temerty Foundation include the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at Harvard, the Eurasia Centre at the Atlantic Council, and Ukraine in European Dialogue at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, a project initiated by Timothy Snyder.
Mr. Temerty has served on various charitable and non-profit boards over the years, including the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, and has served as Chairman to the Advisory Council of the Kyiv Mohyla Business School, and Founding Chairman of the National Advisory Council for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Mr. Temerty's entrepreneurial career and philanthropic endeavors have been recognized with many distinguished honours. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to society. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 to honour him for his contributions to his country. In 2015, Mr. Temerty received Ukraine's Order of Yaroslav the Wise from the President of Ukraine, which is the highest tribute Ukraine bestows to a foreign citizen who has not been a head of state.
Originally appeared @Canada's Walk of Fame.