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Our Champions

Honourary Patrons

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M, C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada

Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, O.C., O. Ont.


Champions lend their fame as role models and mentors for our young people to DARE to rise above life challenges and be leaders.

  • Edward Asner

    Emmy Award winning actor, in film, television, on stage, voice actor, and a former president of the Screen Actors Guild.

  • Sonja Bata

    Founding Chairperson of the Bata Shoe Museum. She has a strong belief that in a democratic country, citizens should actively contribute their talents to community needs, which is reflected in her many philanthropic activities. She was awarded the Officer of the Order of Canada.

  • Jeanne Beker

    Canadian television personality, author and newspaper columnist, who covers fashion and lifestyle news for CTV, FashionTelevisionChannel, and the Toronto Star.

  • George Chuvalo

    Reigning Canadian Heavyweight Boxing Champion for 21 years, from 1958 until 1979, and Founder of ‘Fight Against Drugs’. His presentations are in high demand as George speaks to students, parents and other groups about drugs and how they have impacted his life. He lost 3 sons and a wife as a result of substance abuse.

  • Antoni Cimolino

    Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. Cimolino is a Member of the Order of Canada and has made great contributions to Canadian theatre and arts leadership.

  • Alan Doyle

    Actor, producer, lead singer of Great Big Sea and solo artist behind the recently launched album, Boy on Bridge. Doyle’s life has been transformed by music and his discipline in practicing his crafts.

  • Morgan Freeman

    American actor, film director, and narrator. He has received Academy Award nominations, Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

  • Robert Gillespie

    British actor, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, notable TV credits, film appearances, currently devoted to directing theatre and has created his own production company.

  • Graham Greene

    A First Nations actor, who has worked in Canada, England and the United States, on stage, in film and in TV productions. He also provided the narration for the DAREarts Aboriginal video, "Fill My Hollow Bones."

  • Gene Hackman

    Retired American actor and novelist. Nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, won three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs in a career that spanned five decades.

  • Paul Henderson

    A Canadian former professional ice hockey player for 13 seasons in the National Hockey League, a published author and motivational speaker.

  • Ben Heppner

    A Canadian tenor, specializing in opera and other classical works for voice, associated particularly with the Wagnerian repertoire, but he performs a wide range of operas from the German, French and Italian canons. In 2002, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

  • General Rick Hillier (Ret.)

    Former Chief of the Defense Staff of the Canadian Forces the highest ranking Newfoundland and Labrador officer in history. His passion, leadership and outspoken nature have captured the hearts and minds of Canadians across the country.

  • Dr. Eric Jackman

    Currently president of the Psychology Foundation of Canada and heads the Jackman Foundation, an advocate for early childhood education, winning numerous awards. “I just believe that the more we understand about how to raise children, how to educate them, the better off they are going to be,” says Dr. Jackman.

  • Karen Kain

    Retired Canadian ballet dancer, and currently the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada. In 1976, she became an Officer of the Order of Canada and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1991.

  • Eugene Levy

    A Canadian actor, writer and comedy legend. He is known for his work in Canadian television series, American movies, and television movies. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011.

  • Rt. Hon. Paul Martin

    Twenty-first Prime Minister of Canada from 2003-2006, Minister of Finance from 1993-2002, and the Member of Parliament for LaSalle-Èmard, in Montreal Quebec, from 1988-2008.

  • Rick Mercer

    Television personality, host of “The Rick Mercer Report,” stand-up comedian, and The Globe and Mail best-selling author of Streeters and Rick Mercer Report: The Book. He received the DAREarts cultural award in 2014 for his contribution to Canadian culture and commitment to arts education.

  • Shamin Mohamed Jr.

    As a DAREarts grad, Shamin founded Let'sStopAids, a youth-driven Canadian charity that inspires youth to take action relating to HIV, within local communities. He has been an inspirational speaker to thousands of youth across all seven continents promoting the message that youth can truly make a difference. He is a recipient of the DAREarts Leadership Award and is one of the 2005 Canada's 'Top 20 Under 20' for innovation, leadership and achievement.

  • Alexander Neef

    Appointed General Director of the Canadian Opera Company in June 2008, and has worked with some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the world. His career as an artistic administrator has taken him from the Salzburg Festival to the Ruhr Triennale in Germany, Opéra national de Paris and New York City Opera, to leading the Canadian Opera Company, Canada’s largest opera company and one of the most important in North America.

  • Peter Oundjian

    A Canadian violinist and conductor. He is currently the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has been designated music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for the 2012/13 season.

  • Charles Pachter

    A Canadian contemporary artist. He is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, historian, and lecturer and an officer of the Order of Canada.

  • Christopher Plummer

    A Canadian theatre, film and television actor. In 1968, he was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada.

  • Marshall Pynkoski

    Co-founder and artistic Director of Opera Atelier. Collaborator on several award winning films, and a recipient of numerous awards of distinction. Most recently, he received the Muriel Sherrin Award for outstanding contribution to music in Toronto.

  • Mark Raynes Robert

    An international, award winning goldsmith and renowned Canadian crystal artist and sculptor. His work has been presented to royalty, heads of states, and distinguished leaders from their chosen fields.

  • R. Murray Schafer

    A Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist perhaps best known for his World Soundscape Project, concern for acoustic ecology, and his book The Tuning of the World (1977). He was notably the first recipient of the Jules Léger Prize in 1978.

  • William Stevenson (in memoriam)

    A distinguished journalist, war correspondent and the author of sixteen books, perhaps best known for his book, ‘A Man Called Intrepid’. He was a World War II Royal Navy fighter pilot turned journalist, and in 2012 released his latest book, ‘Past to Present — A Reporter’s Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics.”

  • Roy Henry Vickers

    A Canadian artist best known worldwide for his limited edition prints. He is an accomplished carver, design advisor of prestigious public space, a sought-after keynote speaker, publisher and author of several books. He is a recognized leader in the First Nations community, and a tireless spokesperson for recovery from addictions and abuse.

  • Jeannette Zingg

    Co-founder and artistic Director of Opera Atelier. A Canadian dancer and choreographer she has performed internationally in classical ballet, modern dance and national/historical dance.


About Us Nav

From personal observation, I have seen that by offering a child a positive way of expressing himself or herself, DAREarts changes not only the life of that child but also that of their whole family.

- The late Judith Teller, Patron