History of the Chair

The Avie Bennett Historica Chair was established at York University in 2004 by the Historica Foundation of Canada, endowed by York Chancellor Emeritus Avie Bennett. Its purpose is to promote the study of Canada’s heritage and ensure the academic vitality of the discipline.

Avie Bennett

Avie Bennett
C.C., OOnt, HonLLD (Toronto), DU (Ottawa)


From 1998 to 2004, Avie Bennett served as Chancellor of York University, and he was Chancellor Emeritus and a member of the Board of Directors of the York University Foundation until his death in 2017.  Avie Bennett was the Chair of McClelland & Stewart Ltd., The Canadian Publishers; Chair of the Historica Dominion Institute; and President of the International Readings at Harbourfront.  In 2004, Mr. Bennett was appointed Honorary Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of Ontario and he was also promoted within the Order of Canada to the rank of Companion.  He received the Order of Ontario in 1996.  In June 2004, Avie Bennett was made a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) at York University, having previously received a Doctor of University (D.U.) from the University of Ottawa in 1997 and a Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the University of Toronto in 1995.  In 2000, Mr. Bennett donated 75% of McClelland & Stewart to the University of Toronto.  The same year he donated The Canadian Encyclopedia, electronic version, to the Historica Foundation of Toronto.  In 2000, Mr. Bennett was the Co-Chair of the Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission.

Mr. Bennett was a member of many cultural, educational, and government agencies over the past ten years including The Premier’s Economic Council of Ontario, The National Ballet of Canada, the Schulich School of Business, and the United Way of Greater Toronto.

Reference: http://www.yorku.ca/secretariat/board/biography/honorary/bennett.html