The donor Bill Evanov
The gift: More than $10-million and climbing
The cause: Dozens of charities across Canada
As with many immigrants, Bill Evanov's parents and grandparents came to Canada from Bulgaria with next to nothing and had to fend for themselves, often relying on help from people in their community.
Mr. Evanov learned the importance of hard work and helping others from an early age. He carried that into adulthood when he launched a career in radio, starting in the sales department of CHIN Radio in Toronto and eventually buying up a chain of small stations. Today, Evanov Communications Inc. owns 18 radio stations across the country and Mr. Evanov, 75, is still in charge as president.
As the network grew, Mr. Evanov ensured that each station became involved in local philanthropic efforts. The company and Mr. Evanov have donated more than $10-million in the past 10 years to dozens of causes including universities, homeless shelters, cancer research institutions, health-care organizations and safety programs.
In addition to cash donations, the company has provided millions of dollars worth of free advertising to charities across the country. He has also provided mentoring opportunities for students and offered a platform for emerging artists.
"For me, it's a nice feeling of satisfaction," Mr. Evanov said. He added that his family's immigrant roots also show that "no matter where you come from, if you come to Canada there's an opportunity here."