Four Laureates to be inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame

The Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame Cabinet and JA British Columbia (JABC) are pleased to announce the 2018 inductees into the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame. The 2018 inductees are:

Peter R.B. Armstrong    Founder and CEO of Armstrong Group/ Rocky Mountaineer

Morris Belkin (1916-1987)    Founder, Chairman and CEO of Belkin Inc.

Frank Giustra     President and CEO of Fiore Group

Hugh Magee     Chairman of Gwil Industries Inc.

These four individuals will be inducted into the BLBC Hall of Fame at the 13th annual Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremonies taking place on May 8, 2018 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

“On behalf of the Hall of Fame Cabinet, I would like to congratulate the 2018 Laureates,” says Barbara Brink, Gala Co-Chair and Co-Founder. “The lifetime impact of their success and contributions to society can be felt throughout the province. They have set a tremendous example for future business leaders.”

“We are honoured to induct these four worthy individuals into the Hall of Fame,” says Olin Anton, Gala Co-Chair. “I congratulate them on this distinction and look forward to celebrating their achievements while inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”

The nomination process was guided by Laureate Selection Sponsor PFM Executive Search, an executive recruitment firm based in Vancouver. Prerequisites for induction include outstanding business achievements, enduring contributions to the province and country, as well as deep commitments to diverse and niche communities.

Final Laureate selection was made by an independent committee comprised of the following members: Ross Beaty, Executive Chairman, Alterra Power Corp., Chairman, Pan American Silver Corp. 3; Ken Spencer, President, SpencerCreo Foundation; Lori Mathison, President & CEO, CPABC; David McLean, Chairman, McLean Group of Companies, Chairman Emeritus, Canadian National Railways Company; John McLernon, Honorary Chair and Co-Founder, Colliers International.

The Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremonies taking place May 8, 2018 is proudly co-presented by Scotiabank and Fasken Martineau and attended by approximately 700 guests annually.

The evening will include a pre-dinner reception, commemorative videos, special guest speakers, JA student presentations and more.

Proceeds from the BLBC Hall of Fame support the efforts of JABC in delivering high-quality business education programs free-of-charge to over 40,000 students across the province annually.


About the Business Laureates of British Columbia Hall of Fame

The Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame was created by JA British Columbia (JABC) in 2005 to honour the lifetime achievements of outstanding BC business leaders whose efforts have shaped our province and country. The Hall of Fame stands as a testament to the positive legacy the Laureates provide to the youth of British Columbia. Laureates have demonstrated a level of Vision, Leadership, Integrity and Legacy unique among their peers. Visit for more information.

About JA British Columbia

Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JA British Columbia or JABC) is a member of JA Canada and part of JA Worldwide (JA), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. Since 1955, British Columbia schools have relied on JA to inspire and prepare youth to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. During the 2016-2017 school year, over 40,000 students in BC benefited from JABC programs delivered free of charge by volunteers from local business communities, who bring real-life experience into the classroom. JABC programs focus on work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, giving students the confidence and skills they need to become the next generation of business and community leaders. Visit for more information.

For more information, please contact:

Kari Buchanan
Marketing Communications Manager
JA British Columbia   604.688.3887 ext. 231

Social Media:
Twitter handle: @JA_of_BC
Hashtag: #BLBC2018

About the 2018 BLBC Laureate Inductees

Peter R.B. Armstrong   Founder and CEO of Armstrong Group/ Rocky Mountaineer

Peter Armstrong is the Founder and CEO of Armstrong Group, owner and operator of the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer luxury train company as well as National Hospitality Group, Alder Bay Private Equity, Enermax, Canadian Alliance Terminals and numerous holdings in the travel, real estate and financial sectors.

Since its inception in 1990, Armstrong Group has evolved from a small entrepreneurial dream into one of Canada’s most admired and respected companies.  Under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership, the first acquisition was the federal government’s fledgling tourist rail service through the Canadian Rockies.  That first foray has now become the acclaimed, Rocky Mountaineer, offering premium rail experiences connecting Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC, to the majestic Canadian Rockies. Rocky Mountaineer has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious World Travel Awards’ “World’s Best Luxury Travel Product.”

Mr. Armstrong has served on many tourism industry, community and public company boards. Currently he serves as a Trustee of the Vancouver Police Foundation and also on the Board of P3 Canada.

He has been inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame and the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and has been awarded many other accolades for his vision and leadership in the tourism industry. He has received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (2012), an Honourary Doctor of Technology from BCIT (2007), and a Doctor of Laws from Thompson Rivers University (2007). In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Armstrong was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and has been a proud resident of Vancouver for over 50 years. He attended St. George’s School, BCIT and the University of British Columbia. He lives in the West End of Vancouver with his spouse, Suvina, together they have four children and four grandchildren.


Morris Belkin, LL.D (Hon)  (1916-1987)    Founder, Chairman and CEO of Belkin, Inc.

Morris Belkin was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Belkin Inc. He was the middle child of Henry and Anna (Karacik) Belkin both of whom were Russian emigrants. Henry and Anna met in Calgary, having arrived independently from Russia with very little but hopes for a better life during a time of active Russian pogroms between 1905 and 1910.  Morris grew up in Elbow Park, Calgary with his older sister Alice and younger sister Lillian where he attended public school.

When he graduated high school in early 1930’s, the Depression was in full swing and his father suffered a major financial setback and his young meat business failed. No longer able to get financial support from his parents, Morris set his sights on Vancouver and the chance to obtain a university education as Calgary did not have a university yet!

Morris tended a carload of live cattle for a “free ride” to Vancouver and sought employment to support himself while enrolling at the University of British Columbia in a B.A. program focused on English literature. He joined the Ubyssey student newspaper where he assumed responsibility for producing and printing the newspaper.  While still a student, his career began in earnest when he raised $150 cash and assumed debt to acquire the failed printing plant, which had been printing the Ubyssey to ensure the student paper got produced, which became a longstanding successful business called College Printers Ltd.

Morris built the business into Canada’s largest paperboard packaging company. He was a pioneer and leader in establishing the use of recycled paper in leading quality consumer packaging for the food and beverage industries, creating the largest recycle fibre based consumer packaging company in Canada, which he sold in 1987 for $235 million.

Morris was very active in the community having served on the Boards of Children’s Hospital, Vancouver Symphony, Jewish Community Centre (President), Combined Jewish Appeal (Chairman).  As a philanthropist and civic leader, Morris’ philosophy was to support as many British Columbia initiatives as possible, including hospitals, universities, the arts and numerous charitable needs such as Variety Club and the United Way. He was recognized as Israel Bonds Man of the Year (1975), Honorary Doctorate Simon Fraser University (1983), with the David Ben Gurion Award in 1987 from State of Israel Bonds and many other awards and honours.  Morris Belkin also served on the Board of Directors of the B.C. Development Corporation and the Asia Pacific Foundation.  He also welcomed winning The American Marketing Association’s “Marketing Man of The Year”.  Morris loved the coast of British Columbia and spent many of his happiest hours on the water with his wife Helen exploring the province’s marine beauty.

Frank Giustra, O.B.C.    President and CEO of Fiore Group

Frank Giustra is President and CEO of the Fiore Group, a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments and companies, specializing in food and lifestyle, art and entertainment, and natural resources.

Mr. Giustra has an established track record of building natural resource companies through access to capital and creative deal-making. As President and later Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yorkton Securities in the 1990s, he grew the firm into a leading natural resource investment bank. As Chairman of Endeavour Financial from 2001 to 2007, his vision and leadership led to the successful launch of numerous resource companies, including Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. (acquired by Goldcorp Inc.), and Silver Wheaton Corporation.

By 1997, Frank’s entrepreneurial success also included the founding of Lionsgate Entertainment, now one of the world’s largest independent film companies. Today, Mr. Giustra is a significant investor in Thunderbird Entertainment, a multi-platform media production and distribution company based in Vancouver, Canada. In 2014, Mr. Giustra established Fiore Music and Westsonic Music, where he and his team write and produce songs for all genres.

Frank Giustra is a strong believer in philanthropy, and devotes much of his time to a variety of causes. In 1997, he established The Radcliffe Foundation, which supports a wide variety of international and local charities. Most recently he is responding to the on-going refugee crisis by providing humanitarian aid to refugees and programs in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. In addition, the Radcliffe Foundation is a founding partner in the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), which works to assist and inspire countries around the world to open new pathways for refugee settlement by using the Canadian private sponsorship model. In 2007, Mr. Giustra and former President Bill Clinton launched the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, recently renamed Elevate Social Businesses (Elevate). Elevate is a social business builder that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty.

Since 2005, Mr. Giustra has been an active executive member and financial supporter to the International Crisis Group, a widely recognized independent, non-partisan source of analysis and advice to policymakers on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. In 2016, he donated $1M to establish the International Crisis Group Giustra Fellowship Program.

Mr. Giustra is a board member of Leagold Mining Corp., Pentanova Energy Corp., and Thunderbird Entertainment. In addition, he sits on boards of Elevate Social Businesses, Clinton Foundation, International Crisis Group, and Streetohome Foundation. Mr. Giustra is a founding patron and active supporter of the Boy’s Club Network.


Hugh Magee, B.S.A.    Chairman of Gwil Industries Inc.

Hugh Magee is a prominent Vancouver businessman with a lifelong interest in health care, First Nations pursuits, the environment and conservation projects. He was born in Kitchener, Ontario and received a BSA from OAC, the Ontario Agricultural College, in agriculture and economics.

Since 1976 Mr. Magee has been the Chairman of Gwil Industries, a Vancouver based private company that is the leading provider of mobile crane services in British Columbia and also provides coal and mineral testing services in Western Canada.  GWIL, formerly Great West Steel, was a Canadian public company and a major fabricator and supplier of structural steel in Canada and the western United States. He also founded Fiberplast Products, a manufacturer of polyester resins and a supplier of resins and related products, which lead to the unprecedented growth of the fiberplast reinforced plastics industry in British Columbia and Western Canada. Hugh’s received the CanPlast award for his considerable contribution to improving the Canadian plastics industry.

Mr. Magee also has business interests in private health care and in 1997 he created the Canada Diagnostic Centre, one of the first private diagnostic and imaging centres in Canada and in 1996 he co-founded the Cambie Surgery centre, a ground breaking private surgical facility. Mr. Magee has served on numerous national and international corporate boards, including the East Asiatic Company, Bannister International Corporation, Churchill Corporation and Scott Construction. He has been an active and long-time member of Young Presidents Organization and World Presidents Organization.

Hugh’s Civic contributions include: being the Chair of the Vancouver Esperanza Society, where he envisioned the redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital; Chair of the Friends of Jack Campaign to raise money for the first ever robotic surgery arm for the VGH Prostate Cancer Centre; a Board member of the BC Waterfowl Society dedicated to the growth and preservation of the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, the past Chair of The Nature Trust of British Columbia, where he helped secure over 170,000 acres of ecologically significant land. Hugh was also a Board member and Chair of the Finance Committee at BC Children’s Hospital, and for the past 17 years he’s been a Federally appointed Trustee for the Nisga’a Nations’ Fisheries Conservation Trust.

Mr. Magee was an active pilot for over 50 years and has flown fixed wing aircraft and jets, and until recently owned and flew his own helicopter. He resides in Vancouver with his wife, Sherri, and has six children and ten grandchildren.