The 1999 inductee, Israel Asper, has exhibited such ardent zeal, great wit and clever forays in pursuing his goals and dreams. At an early stage in his life, he was the editor of the University of Manitoba campus newspaper and was a participant in the Western Canadian Debating Championship. He graduated with honours in law and was a valedictorian. Mr. Asper went back later to obtain his Masters in Law at the University of Manitoba and teach at the University of Manitoba.
His writing carried on in his successful law career and included the authorship of a text on Canadian tax law and a weekly syndicated newspaper column for fourteen years. Little did anyone know at the time how Mr. Asper's involvement in media would evolve into a global communications corporation.
Mr. Asper also had been keenly interested in public affairs and was twice elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and was the leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba from 1970 to 1975.
Mr. Asper was involved in so many major cultural organizations and institutions in Winnipeg that there are too many to name. Suffice to say, the Asper Foundation, the Asper Jewish Community Campus, the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Manitoba and the CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre are all legacies attributable to Mr. Asper. Of course, you can not say something about Israel Asper without referring to his amazing business success. In acquiring the original license of CKND in 1974, he proceeded to bring everything together in 1977 to form CanWest Global Communications Corporation.