Asper Family – The Asper Foundation

Everything is Doable

The Asper Center was founded on the tenets of celebrated Canadian entrepreneur Israel Asper (O.C., O.M., Q.C., L.L.D.), a rare visionary in the business world. A unique personality in the business world, Israel Asper was not only a successful entrepreneur; he was also a media mogul, politician, lawyer, and musician, as well as a devoted supporter of Israel and one of the greatest philanthropists in the history of Winnipeg, Canada.

In an interview held in shortly before he passed away (2003), Israel Asper laid out his beliefs in simple equation.

“Everything is doable; if you are tenacious enough, you can do whatever you set out to do. Because all you need is more determination than the guys who are trying to stop you.”

As an early visionary in the field of media and communications, Israel Asper established the CanWest Global Communications Corporation in 1977, which became a leading international, diversified media empire spanning three continents, with interests in television, film production, radio, and newspapers. Recognizing the potential of the Internet as a medium for distributing information, Israel Asper became an early adopter of Internet publishing and media channels.

The success of the CanWest Global Communications Corporation enabled Israel Asper to found, together with this wife, Ruth (Babs) Asper, The Asper Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to education, healthcare, environmental action, and social justice.

Tikun Olam

Israel Asper’s inspirational philanthropic philosophy, which he imparted to his three children when he founded The Asper Foundation in 1983, was the unshakeable belief that each person must do something useful with their lives and make a difference. He was imbued with what in Hebrew is referred to asTikkun Olam – taking action to improve the world.  Never content to sit back and watch while a wrong was perpetrated, he created the Canadian Museum for Human rights so that, as his daughter Gail related, so that “future generations could be taught that we all need to stand up for one another and be vigilant in the protection of each other’s rights.”

In Winnipeg and elsewhere, the arts, universities, hospitals, parks and disadvantaged have all benefitted from Israel Asper’s generosity, which was based, as Leonard Asper detailed in his eulogy to his father, on the desire “to set an example for his descendants and for others that you give back to your community. It was particularly important to him that the future trustees of The Asper Foundation understand his philosophy of giving and appreciate the legacy they must uphold.”


Visit The Asper Foundation Website