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Awards & Scholarships

2004 Bryden Award Winners

Each year, York celebrates alumni who attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

The '04 Bryden Alumni Award recipients are:

Contribution Category Joseph D. Sorbara (LLB '68)
Friend Category Timothy R. Price (BA ’64, CA ’69)
Achievement Category Janet Green Foster (BA ’69, PhD ’76)
Leadership Category Peter W. Currie (BA ’73, MBA ’78)

The history of the Bryden Awards

Past Recipients



Contribution Category

Joseph D. Sorbara (LLB '68) is a principal of The Sorbara Group, a family owned enterprise engaged in the insurance brokerage business and the real estate development and investment business that includes property management and industrial and residential construction within the GTA.

Prior to becoming actively involved in the family business Mr. Sorbara was a partner in the law firm of Tanzola & Sorbara for a period of 16 years to which he continues to serve as counsel.

Mr. Sorbara was appointed to the York University Board of Governors in 1988, and was made an Honorary Governor after 12 years of service in 2000. During his tenure Mr. Sorbara served as Chair of the Finance & Property Committee (as it was then known) and latterly as Vice-Chair of the Board. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of York University Development Corporation, and, as such, sits ex officio on the Land Use Committee. He is also a member of the YorkUniversity Foundation Board of Directors.

Mr. Sorbara has served as Chair of the Board of Governors of Humber College, as President and Director of the Rotary Club of Toronto Black Creek, a director of York-Finch General Hospital, President and a director of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, a director of The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a member of the founding board of Villa Colombo Home for the Aged.

Currently, Mr. Sorbara, in addition to his business interests is Chair of Fundraising for the University of St. Michael’s College, Chair of the Advisory Board of OMNI Television (formerly CFMT-TV), a member of the Governor’s Council at North York General Hospital and a member of the board of The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.


Friend Category

Timothy R. Price (BA ’64, CA ’69) is the Chairman of Brascan Financial Corporation (formerly Trilon Financial Corporation) and served previously as Chairman of the boards of directors of The Edper Group Limited and Hees International Bancorp Inc.

Born in England, Tim received his BA in 1964 from the University of Victoria and his CA in Quebec in 1969. He was appointed to the York University’s Board of Governors in 1996, and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board, Chair of the Finance and Staff Resources Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the York University Development Corporation. In 2002, he became the first Chair of the York University Foundation Board of Directors. He also served on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Schulich School of Business, York Universityfor several years.

Tim has had over 30 years of management experience with the Brascan Group of companies, formerly serving as a Vice-President of Edper Investments Ltd. in the 1970s. He became President and COO of Mico Enterprises Limited in 1970 and followed on as President and CEO of Hees International Bancorp Inc. upon the merger with Mico in 1980.

His role in these companies included raising funding of debt and equity as well as operating a merchant bank dealing primarily in listed securities on the North America securities markets. He became Chairman of Hees in 1988, The Edper Group Limited in 1996 and then Trilon in 1997 upon the merger of Edper and Brascan and the Hees business being sold into Trilon.

Tim is active on several other public corporate boards: Astral Media Inc., Acktion Corporation, Dia Met Minerals Ltd., Goldlist Properties Inc. and Nexfor Inc. In the community, he serves on the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation Board and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation Board. He is also President of the Mad River Golf Club.


Achievement Category

Janet Green Foster (BA ’69, PhD ’76) born and raised in Ottawa. She began ballet training at a young age and, after completing grade nine, pursued a more formal dance training in the US and England. Returning to Canada, she danced professionally with the National Ballet of Canada for two years, 1958-60.   Upon leaving the ballet world in 1960, her broadcasting career began when she joined the new, independent television station, CFTO-TV, as a Production Assistant, and then moved to the fledgling CTV Television Network.

In l965, she entered York University (Glendon) as a mature student and embarked on a Hons BA, followed by an MA in history at the University of Toronto. In 1971, Janet returned to York for her Doctorate, completing her thesis on the early history of wildlife conservation in Canada. Her doctoral thesis was published in 1978 by the UofT Press under the title, Working for Wildlife: the Beginning of Preservation in Canada. (re-published in l998).

While studying for her doctorate in l972, Janet began working with her husband John, as television producer, writer and co-host in the field of natural science programming, and has been involved in the making of television documentaries about Canada’s wilderness and wildlife. These have been produced for both private and public television networks and broadcast around the world.  They formed their own production company in l987 and began working as a two-person team, producing and shooting natural science programs for TVOntario, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), and Channel Four (Britain).   Since l995, they have been producing documentaries for the Discovery Channel (Canada).

Currently, they are filming a one-hour special on Algonquin Park - one of their favourite places. Among their television awards is a Gemini for Best Photography, the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Science and Nature Documentary. Last year, both Janet and John received the Directors’ Award from the Friends of Algonquin.

Having published three non-fiction books for young readers: A Cabin Full of Mice (de Pencier, ‘80); The Wilds of Whip-poor-will Farm (de Pencier,‘82) and Journey to the Top of the World (de Pencier ‘87), she is also co-author, with John, of To the Wild Country (VNR’75) and Adventures in Wild Canada (M&S ‘84), books that were based on their CBC television series.  Her work with elementary school children across Canada continues with countless slide presentations, which shares with them her passion for wildlife and wilderness places.

Leadership Category

Peter W. Currie (BA ’73, MBA ’78) is vice-chairman and chief financial officer of RBC Financial Group, the brand name for Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries. As a member of RBC Financial Group's management committee, he is one of nine executives responsible for setting the group's overall strategic direction. In 2003, Mr. Currie was named Canada's CFO of the Year.

Mr. Currie joined Royal Bank in April 1997 from Northern Telecom Limited where he was senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

After graduating from Toronto's York University, where he received an undergraduate degree in economics, Mr. Currie began a career in finance with Procter & Gamble. It was also from York that he received a Master of Business Administration degree in 1978.

Mr. Currie serves on the boards of several industry, community, educational and international institutions, including: York University (Chair of its Audit Committee and member of its Board of Governors), Schulich School of Business (Board of Advisors), Toronto East General Hospital (Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee), Private Sector Council (Washington D.C.).

Mr. Currie joined Northern Telecom in 1979 as assistant controller. In 1985, he was appointed group controller for the firm's major operating unit in the U.S. Two years later, he returned to Toronto to become vice-president, Finance of the Canadian operating parent company.

Following two years with North American Life Assurance Company, where he was executive vice-president and chief financial officer from 1992 to 1994, Mr. Currie returned to Northern Telecom as senior vice-president and chief financial officer.


Bryden Awards History

These awards are inspired by Bruce Bryden (BA ’64), who was an exceptionally committed and influential leader at York. He was a member of our first undergrad class and held several prestigious positions, including founding president of the York University Alumni Association and member of the Board of Governors. It is for his vision and exemplary leadership that we named these awards after him.