3. David Braley: Former Senator, Auto Parts Magnate

David Braley

By Shelley Falconer, CEO, Art Gallery of Hamilton

I met David Braley 15 years ago, he was the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and I was Director of Collections and Programs. He was all about the bottom line and football and I was all about art and education — an unlikely relationship but within a few months his keen mind, boundless curiosity and pragmatic sensibility engendered con- fidence and trust with staff and Board. “I will help you (the McMichael Gallery) but I want you to know that my priority is Ham- ilton and the community, that’s where my money goes” he once told me unequivocally.

Well it all made sense when I arrived last November as a new resident trying to navigate Hamilton’s urban core— David Braley and Nancy Gordon Sculpture Atrium at the AGH, David Braley Cardiac, Vascular and Stroke Research Institute, David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre, David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre and most recently the David Braley Health Sciences Centre – wow, I realized, you weren’t kidding!

Although I have been fortunate to know many wonderful donors, collectors and philanthropists over the years, David’s achievements and generosity transcend boundaries and are unique for many reasons—from his unwavering loyalty to Hamilton and the people that live here, to his discerning judgement, unparalleled business acumen and generous spirit he has truly redefined the role that philanthropy can play for this city as an engine of creative change.

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