Concordia University

Jonathan Wener named Knight of the Ordre de Montréal

Concordia’s Chancellor, chairman and CEO of Canderel, was inducted into the order along with 18 other Montrealers.
June 15, 2018
By Joseph Leger

Jonathan Wener, BComm 71, was inducted as a Knight of the Ordre de Montréal. He was joined by 17 other prominent Montrealers, including Concordia’s first jurist-in-residence, Morton Minc, BA 67, who was also named a member on May 17.

“We take great pride in Jonathan,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard. “He has been a transformational leader and supporter of this university for many years. It is wonderful to see him recognized for his accomplishments.”

Jonathan Wener, BComm 71 Jonathan Wener was named a Knight of the Ordre de Montréal on May 17, 2018. | Photo: City of Montreal

The Ordre de Montréal is the city’s highest honour. It recognizes women and men who have contributed in a remarkable way to the city’s development and reputation. Wener was honoured as a knight of the order for distinguishing himself over the past four decades as a leading Canadian property developer and philanthropist.

“Among the many causes to which he has devoted himself, first and foremost are cancer research and higher education in Montreal, especially at Concordia University, where he is chancellor,” reads the citation.

Wener is the chairman and CEO of Canderel, a Montreal-based property developer, and he has been Concordia’s Chancellor since 2015.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be included into such a prestigious order,” says Wener. “I love Montreal where I’ve spent most of my professional life building and adding to this city. It has been my family’s home for six generations and I am passionate about being a Montrealer — it is a fundamental part of who I am. I’m very proud to be recognized by the city that means so much to me and my family.”

Wener has been an active member of Concordia’s leadership for nearly three decades, sitting on the university’s Board of Governors since 1995 and chairing the Real Estate Planning Committee from 1996 to 2012.

Wener is also an honorary chair for the Campaign for Concordia. Next-Gen. Now, the university’s bold fundraising initiative with the goal to raise $250 million.

He and his wife, Susan Wener, recently donated $10 million dollars to Concordia to establish a Centre for Real Estate in the John Molson School of Business and to support student bursaries and scholarships.

Ordre de Montréal - récipiendaires 2018 Jonathan Wener (back row and center) at the ceremony held at city hall, along with fellow inductees. The Ordre de Montréal was created in 2016 as part of city’s 375th anniversary preparations, replacing the Academy of Great Montrealers. | Photo: City of Montreal

After his wife was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, Wener started the Défi Canderel — a fundraising event supporting the cancer research centres at McGill University and the Université de Montréal. Susan Wener successfully battled her illness, and the Défi Canderel has raised more than $15 million to date.

In September 2017, Jonathan and Susan Wener donated an eight-metre-high kinetic sculpture, Di-Octo, to the city and Concordia for Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries.

Bram Freedman, Concordia’s vice-president of Advancement and External Relations, says Wener is an inspirational community leader and role model.

“I’ve known Jon a long-time and there are few people more dedicated to our community,” Freedman says. “His deep commitment to philanthropy is inspirational. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honour.”

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