“This year’s inductee is one of Winnipeg’s unsung heroes whose dedication and generosity to the arts is music to the ears of countless arts connoisseurs,” said Bill Burns, chair of the WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame Committee “He is also held in very high esteem in the business community owing to his true entrepreneurial spirit with a penchant for embracing leading edge technology.”
Mr. Loewen’s career includes innovation and successful commercial achievement in the fields of computer services and electronic commerce. He founded Comcheq in 1968 which evolved into a leading national payroll service company. Upon selling it in 1992 to CIBC, he retained the research and development division and went to work to create Telpay Inc. which he still chairs. It is a new generation bill payment service business where everything can be done online. No cheques are required.
Testimony to his business acumen are prestigious business awards received from the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Business magazine. In 2005, he and his company Telpay Inc. received the Distinguished Treasury Award from the Treasury Management Association of Canada. He served on Winnipeg’s Economic Development Agency from 1992 to 2001.
An Order of Canada recipient in 1999, Bill Loewen is a lifelong supporter of the arts and a number of community groups. He has put a significant amount of time and financial resources behind the arts as was the founding member of the performing arts consortium.
One of his most notable causes has been his dedication to the success of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has served as president and chairmen of the WSO and received the Golden Baton award from the organization in 1998 in recognition of his many contributions over a number of years. He is also an honourary member of the WSO musicians.
Loewens’s philanthropy has been significant to the restoration and upgrading of the Pantages Playhouse Theatre and to the historic Bank of Commerce building on Main Street, which is now the Millennium Centre, a multi-use non-profit centre. Well-known cultural institutions such as the West End Cultural Centre and the St. Norbert Arts Centre have been supported by the Bill and Shirley Loewen Foundation.
Bill Loewen’s commitment to the arts and culture in the community and across the country was specifically acknowledged by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce presentation of the Lieutenant Governor’s Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award in 2007.
“When you hear someone talking about the importance of the arts and culture to Winnipeg’s fabric and identity you may want to let them know if they are not aware already how individual citizens like a Bill Loewen play an integral part in ensuring they do remain vibrant and will continue to flourish,” said Burns.