The University of Manitoba Alumni Association honoured Gary and Janice Filmon on Tuesday, June 28 with its Distinguished Alumni Award, the annual honour conferred on alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the university and wider communities.
This year’s DAA recipients are recognized for their contributions to the university, to the province, to the community and to the welfare of others. The commitment they have demonstrated through professional and volunteer activities encompass a broad scope of influence in all aspects of life. As individuals, each is recognized — Gary Filmon (BScCE/64, MSc/67) for his public service and contributions to the community and Janice Filmon (BScHEc/63) for her tireless efforts with community organizations and committees. As a couple, they exude a wonderful synergy and commitment to teamwork.
Gary is perhaps best known as having served as premier of Manitoba from 1988 to 1999. His public service has also included terms as a Winnipeg city councilor and as an MLA. Among his community activities, he has served as president of the Association of Canadian Career Colleges, director of the Administrative Management Society, director of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club and director of the Red River Exhibition Board.
His achievements have been recognized by numerous organizations including: the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers Community Service Award, 1992; B’Nai B’rith Canada Award of Merit, 1991; Centre For Ukrainian Canadian Studies Tribute Dinner, 1997; The Jewish National Fund of Canada Negev Dinner Honoree, 1996 and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Manitoba Branch & Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Winnipeg Tribute Dinner, 2000.
Gary is currently vice-chairman of Wellington West Capital Inc., vice-chair and trustee of Arctic Glacier Income Trust, a board member of F.W.S. Construction Limited, member of the Advisory Board of Marsh Canada, a board member of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. and chairman of the Exchange Industrial Income Fund. He is also chair of Canada’s Security Intelligence Review Committee.
Janice provided invaluable support to Gary during his terms as premier. On her own, she has touched lives throughout the world and perhaps one of her greatest attributes is her ability to motivate others. She believes in getting involved and possesses a superior fundraising acumen.
Her scope of voluntary contributions reaches the local, national, and international communities and encompasses fields as diverse as health care to athletics. She is presently co-chair for Leadership Winnipeg, serves on the board of directors of the Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation and the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, and continues to be involved in youth leadership. She was also chair of festivals for the 1999 Pan American Games.
Janice has been honoured with the Guardian Angel Award by the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation. As well, the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation & Great West Life created the Janice C. Filmon Award for Leadership in Cancer Care in Manitoba, to honour those who make significant contributions in this field.
Both Gary and Janice were active in student life on campus and have remained supporters of their alma mater throughout their lives. As a student, Gary was the Engineering representative on UMSU council and later served on the university's senate. Janice was on the board of trustees of the UMSU Bursary/Scholarship Fund and has served as moderator for the university’s Conference on Sexual Harassment. Both regularly make presentations on campus. Both have also served as president of the Alumni Association. In addition, both have served as active volunteers in the university’s 2001-04 Building on Strengths Campaign.
The Filmons were nominated by Douglas Ruth, dean, Faculty of Engineering and by Gustaaf Sevenhuysen, acting dean, Faculty of Human Ecology. Gary and Janice will officially receive the award at the university’s fall convocation.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an alumnus or alumna who demonstrates outstanding professional achievement, significant service to the University of Manitoba, and significant contributions to the community and to the welfare of others.