One of Calgary’s most recognizable
names in business, energy and
philanthropy, Jim Gray has long dreamed
of starting an awards program for people
over 70 years old. Now 83, he’s making
his vision happen.
Top 7 Over 70 hopes to inspire seniors
to contribute and be active, regardless
of their age. “I have been a senior for
almost 20 years,” Gray says. “I’m aware
of how active seniors are and of their
contributions to our community and
economy—they’re moving the dial
Gray adds that it’s important to draw
attention to the value seniors bring to
society because they’re living longer,
healthier lives and contributing to their
Drawing attention to the value
WRITTEN BY ANNE GEORG
PHOTOGRAPHED BY GEORGE WEBBER
TOP 7 OVER 70 GALA
October 2, 2017
Sheraton Eau Claire
Get tickets at eventbrite.ca
communities in new and interesting
ways. “We’re opening businesses,
making art, mentoring young people,
working at Tim Hortons and climbing
mountains,” says Gray, a longtime YMCA
supporter who begins each day with a
long swim at the Y’s Eau Claire pool.
The Top 7 Over 70 awards will
recognize achievements in a range
of fields, from the arts and sciences
to philanthropy and business. The
seven finalists will be honoured at a
Hollywood-style gala in early October.
Money raised from the gala will
go towards programs that encourage
innovation and connect seniors who
want to mentor emerging entrepreneurs.
“We have young talented people with
technical knowledge and this kind of
program will aid in percolating that
energy,” says Brian Felesky, a Top 7 Over
70 committee co-chair.
Gray says the awards program is likely
the first of its kind on the continent.
“You’ve got to have the right timing
for everything,” Gray says, exuding his
characteristic optimism. |a
Philanthropist Jim Gray launched an awards program to recognize seniors’
contributions to communities across Alberta.