The heirs apparent
The Class Of '78
Presenting the Canadians we’ll soon be talking about
“Bring him down a peg.” Up to now, that’s been one of the Canadian national sports. Somehow it’s just not right to do too well. That attitude could be changing, though, partly because of the emergence of a new breed of winners who want success—that old, solid, traditional, Establishment kind of success—and aren’t afraid to admit it.
Who are these winners of ’78? They’ve already made their mark in their various fields of exper -tise and they’re poised to move to the top. They’re the Canadians who will be giving the orders in the next few years. But mostly they’re the young people who have been willing to take the risks, pay the price, and keep on climbing.
For many, success is its own reward. It almost has to be, given the Canadian disregard for homegrown talent. Like so many in this new wave of achievers, Garth Drabinsky, a 29-year-old Toronto film producer prodigy, is totally frank about his ambition: “Canadians don’t get behind winners but I want to be one anyway.”
The new winners are breaking social barriers on their way to the top. The “right” school and the “right” club don’t seem to matter as much ány more; business and private lives are getting more informal; “going through the proper channels” is secondary to getting the job done. Toronto money manager whiz Tommy Kierans, 37, sees this as an American influence. “The Americans don’t care how old you are, whether you are yellow, black or Jewish. It’s brains that count.” So a Jewish up-and-comer can be found thriving in the traditional WASP stronghold of banking. When Barry Zuckerman went into banking five years ago, friends were incredulous. “Are you
crazy?” they asked. “You won’t go anywhere.” They were wrong. At 36, he’s head of investment for Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Another big change now under way is the appearance of more women among the ranks of winners. The successful woman feels an unquestionable right to be where she is; male counterparts are learning to take her presence in stride. But if the women have families, they’re still under more strain than most men to keep both careers and private lives healthy. Darlene Marzari, 34-yearold Vancouver feminist and alderman, has shucked the “perfect woman” syndrome—she doesn’t really care that her house is less than neat.
Some things don’t change, and the dual drives of devotion to career and desire to live a rounded private life are still taking their toll. As a group, the winners of’78 have had more than their share of broken marriages. Some talk of choosing a single life so as not to be “distracted.” Others hold on to a family through sheer hard work. Jim Peterson, a 36-year-old Toronto lawyer zooming up the Liberal Party ranks, and his wife, Heather, solved the problem of conflict by working together as a strong political duo on campaigns. But Bruce Allen, a Vancouver rock impresario, 29 years old and single, finds absolutely no time for a social life. “I’m living in a $300,000 house with a view and I don’t care.”
What follows is a completely arbitrary list of “new winners.” There are dozens of others across Canada who are quietly busy outstripping their competitors; these are among the achievers who attracted Maclean’s attention.
There’s a long road between tokenism and legitimacy, but Vancouver’s Darlene Marzari has finally arrived. She was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 1972 because she was a woman “in the right place at the right time and they were looking for an appropriate token.” She was reelected in 1974, she says, simply because she picked up sympathy votes. But in 1976 she polled fourth in the entire city because she’d become, as she puts it, “a successful politician. I’m getting bloody good at this business.” Marzari’s toughness isn’t evident in simple description: attractively blond (“I was always the golden girl”), young at 34, widowed, mother of a seven-year-old daughter. But the proof of it lies in her dedication. As self-confessed “meetingjunkie,” she goes flat out 15 hours a day defending minorities and pushing her treasured equal opportunities program through council. She’s also cursedly refreshing: “I have no intention of running provincially or federally. It’s much more exciting to be closer to home than to be a lousy backbencher.”
Fifteen years ago, Perrin Beatty walked out of a smalltown movie theatre straight into his future. Across the Fergus, Ontario, main street glowed the bright lights of the Conservative Party’s local campaign headquarters. Beatty was only 12, but he stopped, stared and thought, and his eyes grew very wide, reflecting the possibilities. By the time the 1963 election came about, he had a massive John Diefenbaker portrait blocking the living-room window. Forever conservative, he would one day defend the actions of Richard Nixon in a column he wrote for the University of Western Ontario student paper—“ . . . but that was in pre-Watergate days,” he pleads—and by age 22 would be on his way to Ottawa as a rightest-leaning Tory Member of Parliament. Now, five years later, he is married to a woman, Julie, who was Margaret Trudeau’s roommate during the courtship days with Pierre, and he has a brother-in-law, Colin Kenny, who works as political adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office devising strategies to defeat the Tories come the next election. Kenny may as well concede Wellington-Grey-Dufferin Waterloo riding to Beatty, though. Twelve-hour workdays in Ottawa, grueling constituency work on weekends and a growing reputation as a remarkably adroit MP add up to one thing: a cabinet post should the Conservatives rise to power.
Lloyd Axworthy is a man of wonderful idiosyncrasies— Anglo-Saxon from Winnipeg’s North End, a politician who turned his back on great success in Ottawa for provincial politics, and the only Liberal to hold a seat in Manitoba’s October 11 election. If that seems to be going backward, it is only an illusion. The 38-year-old Axworthy is content for the time being to divide his time between the University of Winnipeg, where he’s director of the Institute of Urban Studies, and his MLA duties, which involve fighting for things such as freedom of information and people’s basic rights. But watch out. His successes in
Ottawa, where he served as John Turner’s executive assistant for several years and where he acted as a member of the government’s Special Task Force on Housing, have by no means been forgotten. Asked about being Prime Minister one day, he would only say: “Doesn’t everyone dream about it?” No, but Lloyd Axworthy does.
In eight years she moved from dancing a frantic can-can at the Big Four Casino during the Calgary Stampede to the criminal courts. But Donna Martinson came to plead cases, not guilty; at 25, the slight, soft-spoken woman was the youngest Crown prosecutor in Calgary. Three years later she was promoted, temporarily so far, to the Supreme Court circuit, chosen far ahead of prosecutors with much more experience. Still dancing—at the YWCA, mind you—she spends most of her time, naturally, at work. And the strain cost her a six-year-old marriage last year. Her intention is to soften her work pressures by trying out such things as downhill skiing. With the rest of the week spent going up, it’s nice to know there’s something to level her out on the weekends.
Rosalie Abelia drapes her long legs over the arm of a stuffed chair. Pin-striped trousers. White shirt, stiff wing collar. A tiny heart-shaped face tilted in perpetual inquiry. At 31, she looks her part—one of Canada’s youngest judges (on the Ontario Family Court bench), one of the few women judges, period. The achiever-daughter of
an immigrant lawyer who survived a concentration camp, she shortcircuited the traditional lawyer career routejoin a big firm on the bottom rung—by jumping into her own practice. She worked right up until the day before the births of both her sons, and says simply: “I can’t imagine
life without work.” Her husband, Irving, accepts a wife who works all day and reads reports all evening. Her children, consigned to the care of a housekeeper, will never have a memory of mama cooking. (“I don’t think anything important has been given up, but that will have to stand the test of time.”) But they will remember her making divorce more human, protecting the rights of children. “If you want it badly enough, you do it so that nothing suffers—work or marriage.”
Someone with superior clairvoyance might have picked Kathy Love out at age 10 when she built herself a doll hospital out of apple crates at the same time as she was running a neighborhood “dental clinic” out of her father’s garage. Failing that, they might have known what was coming by reading her high-school yearbook, where she listed “Dr. Kathy Love” under ambition. Now she’s 30, and no one can ignore her obvious promise. She’s involved with the Infectious Diseases Division of the Toronto General and Mount Sinai hospitals, working beside the internationally renowned Dr. Charles Hollenberg, physician-in-chief at Toronto General, who predicts Love “will develop into one of the outstanding clinicians and teachers in the country.” Windsor-born, Alberta-raised, Love is bilingual, ambitious, attractive and newly married, and has a delightful sense of humor—her slogan was “Love for Vice”whensheranfor a high-school office.
Let them talk about Gordie Howe’s 1,000th goal. Wayne Gretzky already has scored more than 1,200—and he’s only 16, some 33 years younger than Howe. Let them remember Phil Esposito at his peak, say in 1971-72, when he led the NHL with 76 goals.
Wayne Gretzky was only 10 then, but he led his Brantford, Ontario, team in scoring, too—with 378 goals.
They call him “the new Bobby Orr,” but some are already thinking he might be the new, improved Orr. In this, his rookie season in Junior ‘A’ hockey, he is already the league scoring leader, with an astonishing three points per game for his Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He’s so obviously a winner that he’s already got his own agent, even though he’ll be junior age for three more seasons after this. But listen to this— he says hockey’s not even his favorite sport. Baseball is.
“It takes me away from all of the tension that I get in hockey.”
“The future could hold anything for me,” says Halifax’s Judy Lugar. At some point she might go into medicine, but right now her hopes centre on one thing: having women’s sailing accepted as an event in the 1980 Olympics. Last summer she placed eighth in the 19-nation Women’s World Sailing Championships held in England, and has had numerous other successes in North America and the Bahamas. Just 17, the flaxen-haired Lugar looks a bit like a young Anne Murray and is as tough as the Dacron sails on her 14-foot Laser. She has to be. While the Quebec-designed Laser is the thoroughbred of single-handed racing yachts, it is also quite tippy, and though Lugar spends four to five hours every day, summer and fall, on the water practising, she has also spent up to 20 minutes at a time in the water, numb with cold and wondering if she’ll ever be rescued. Her reason for all this is simple— sailing she says, sets you apart from other people.
Most successful civil servants would take a decade to rise half as far as Marshall A. (Mickey) Cohen. Once he gets back to Ottawa from a year’s sabbatical at Harvard he’s due a big promotion. What he’s been doing at Harvard is studying economics because, if the truth be known, he rose to his present position of assistant deputy minister in charge of tax policy without having read so much as the basic undergraduate primer in economics. Now 42, he was recruited in 1970 from a promising Toronto law career by the finance department to work on the massive overhaul of Canada’s antiquated tax system and his twoyear contract soon became a commitment. He married into Ottawa’s wealthy Loeb family, changed his philosophy from left-liberalism to “reconstructed liberal” (read “conservative”) and left the rest of the civil service choking in his dust. New Jersey-born and the son of a men’s clothing designer, he might well be in charge of our next tight fit.
Like so many others on this list, Jennifer McQueen is a work addict. “I haven’t worked a nine-to-five job since my most junior years,” she says. Now in her mid-forties, she is acting secretary-general of the National Museums, making her a powerful mover and shaker in the Canadian cultural scene as she oversees the federal art gallery, libraries and museums. But she is only “acting” head; in June, when Bernard Ostry returns from his sabbatical, he will reclaim his job. But for an idea of Jennifer McQueen’s future, simply look over the past: the planning of Expo,
the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, the policy work in the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, the Multiculturalism Programs . . . When you’re single and work so hard it’s necessary to have a retreat, and hers is a quiet country home in the Gatineaus which she shares with two cats. “If I was retired,” Jennifer McQueen says, “I shudder to think how many dogs and cats I’d have.” Some people in Ottawa shudder to think of her retiring.
Give the RCMP full credit on this one. As far back as 1971, the Mounties had Bob Rabinovitch tabbed as someone to “be watched with more than normal care.” They knew that in the
1960s he had been a student
activist, first at McGill, then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied economics and finance and was an early member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). He even marched on the Pentagon. Why he deserves “more than normal” watching now, though, concerns his travels in Ottawa: from the finance department to the Secretary of State’s office to the Department of Communications to his present Privy Council post as assistant secretary to the cabinet. That makes Rabinovitch, at 34, a key adviser to Cabinet Secretary Michael Pitfield and also to Prime Minister Trudeau. Short-haired now, and more reformist than radical, Rabinovitch considers himself still to be a social activist, but more tolerant now because “I’ve seen the other side.” He also freely admits to having ambition. “How could I be where I am without being ambitious?”
He looks like the Little Prince grown up: cornflower hair, China-blue eyes, pale and open face. And there is even that same purity of spirit and resolve. At 27, Jack Wetherall is one of the most acclaimed actors in the country. His Orlando in Stratford’s As You Like It last summer produced a teeny-bopper adulation Donny Osmond would understand, and the critics have been only slightly less swooning. Odd then, that Wetherall would say, “This last year has been tough for me. I’ve been questioning whether or not I’ve the talent to be an actor.” We know he went to high school in Sault Ste. Marie and to York University, so he must be able to read. And what have the critics been saying? “ ... extraordinary ...”
When Sylvie Kinal-Chevalier was watching her first ballet, The Nutcracker, she fell soundly asleep. But that’s many years ago, and now, a professional ballerina at 18, she is where she belongs—on the stage, not in the audience, poised for a leap into a role of Canada’s newest ballet princess. She won the silver medal at Varna, Bulgaria, two years ago in one of the world’s most prestigious competitions. Last year, she starred in Les Grands Ballets
Canadiens’ Romeo And Juliet. Down to earth, from a middle-class Ukrainian background, she still lives at her parents’ Montreal home, commuting two hours daily to
the studio—as she has since she was 10. A dancer who maintains silence and complete concentration at rehearsals, she is not one to let the bright lights uncover her own half-formed ambitions. “I don’t want to think of anything too grand,” she says, “and then be disappointed.”
In just 11 months, four Toronto art students have become the best-known Canadian band in the current punk rock craze. Calling themselves the Diodes, they wear the required uniform—short, spiky haircut, straight-leg jeans and pointy boots. Bassist Ian Mackay, 22, adds a K-Mart dog dollar. Singer Paul Robinson, 22, sports a miniature switchblade on a neck chain. John Catto, guitarist, and John Hamilton, drummer, both 21, just look like plain British toughs. Unabashedly pro-technology, they reject all that 1960s nonsense about communes, dropping out, moving to the country and smoking dope. Instead, they boast about the “consciousness-lowering” of their highly repetitive music and they show an entrepreneurial streak. Last summer, they invested $1,500 to convert a Toronto basement warehouse into Crash ’n’ Burn, the city’s first punk rock venue. That closed after complaints from the
building’s chief tenant, the Liberal Party of Canada. Now with a five-year, $250,000 contract with CBS Records of Canada Ltd., and one LP cluttering the airwaves, the Diodes’ days of living off their girl friends are almost over.
In some ways, 33-year-old Don Proch seems to be winning big despite himself. The Winnipeg artist showed his sculptural drawings of hayracks, copulating bodies and Prairie waste in Paris and picked up rave reviews. Then the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery predicted international acclaim would soon come to Proch. And how did he react? “So what?” is how. “It’s just another phase. It’s just like having my first show at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. When it’s over, you still have to go on producing.” All that’s not to say he’s unappreciative—just practical. Art for him is no different from “any other nine-to-five job,” and though he works Saturdays from time to time, in no way does his art completely dominate his life. Proch claims to have little use for money, apart from the $10,000 or so he needs each year for art supplies, and there’s very little possessiveness or arrogance about completed works; once they’ve been exhibited they go into storage sheds if Proch can find no buyer. What keeps him going, then? The need to create each day, of course—a mark of a true artist.
When Peter Nygard was 12 he managed four newspaper routes—three he leased out, the fourth he kept for himself. The son of Swedish immigrants brought up in small-town Manitoba, he obviously had the entrepreneurial instinct right from the start. At 23, he was
an Eaton’s executive. By 26, he was a partner in a women’s fashion firm and well on the way to being a millionaire. Now 36, he is the owner of Tan Jay fashions, a multimillion-dollar clothing firm with plants in Winnipeg, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York. His “Bianca Line” of dresses and suits is selling so well he is planning to add 400 employees to his Canadian and American plants. He has five $35,000 Excalibur cars, placed in the various cities around the world where he spends his time. But success has exacted its price— Nygard works 80 hours a week and his marriage fell apart several years ago, on the very day he was moving into the old Eaton house in Winnipeg’s Wellington Crescent.
“Some people are motivated by sex, or the pursuit of money,” says 33-year-old Michael Hepher. “With me,
it’s power.” Unabashed aggressivity is what helped make Hepher president of Maritime Life Assurance Company of Halifax two years ago. The son of a welloff British family, he turned down a chance to go to Oxford—no time for he “enjoyable social life of university”—and instead moved to Canada where he became an actuary. Maritime Life, just a small old regional company before Hepher got to it, bloomed under his care and is now the fastest growing, most unconventional insurance company in the coun□ try. Though he’s happily I married, with two children, I he admits “it’s work which ¡5 pervades my life, 168 hours a S week.” Not surprisingly, he t is especially finicky about
how he uses his time. “All successful people have some eccentricity and I suppose this is mine. I am very intolerant of people who waste my time.” But perhaps more eccentric is the fact that he is running a national company from Halifax of all places, and proving that it can be done.
Conrad Black is a bit like the Montreal Canadiens, a traditional winner, a dynasty, if you will. He’s only 33, but he is already widely regarded as a young businessman whose future will be one of the most fascinating to watch. If it’s
as interesting as his past, all eyes will be on him. Articulate, educated, blessed with a photographic memory and the proper social graces, Black is already worth well over $50 million, thanks to inheritance, his growing publishing concerns and his array of directorships (Argus Corporation, Eaton’s, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Dominion Securities etc.). He lives alone in a million-dollar property in Toronto, but his influence is so vast that he seems to be everywhere, in business, Conservative politics, even literature (his 743-page biography of the late Quebec premier Maurice Duplessis is considered a major historical work). As for what’s to come, few doubt that Conrad Black will eventually take over direction of Argus
Corporation, succeeding John Angus (Bud) McDougald, and that will simply give Black some two billion dollars worth of major say in the future of this country.
A “cultural drifter”? The man in the dark three-piece suit, silver-rimmed glasses and hair greying at the temples, looks more like a banker. But Howard Eaton, 42, head of one of Canada’s newest banks (the Canadian Commercial and Industrial Bank, head office Edmonton) is both. Born in the United States of a Canadian-American match, he spent four years doing U.S. Air Force intelligence work, trained as a Chinese Mandarin linguist and later joined the Bank of America in the Far East. In 1967 he headed back to Vancouver and worked for an investment dealer before joining the Bank of British Columbia where he quickly rose to executive VP. Despite the pressures of starting a new merchant bank from scratch, Eaton insists that “the maintenance of my own personal identity is the most important thing to me.” Carefully separating private from business life, the father of three sees his stay at the top as temporary. “We are only custodians for a period of time,” he says. “You’ve got to give it up gracefully. That’s why my private life is so important to me.”
Not so long ago, Montrealer Brian Mulroney was a Big Loser. But the Conservative party leadership race will soon be two years in the past, and Mulroney is no longer coming in third. “If I am going to make a career change,”
he said at the time, “this is the time to do it.” By becoming an executive vice-president with the Iron Ore Company of Canada, he walked away from politics and from his “star” position as a lawyer in the weird world of Quebec labor law (he made headlines daily while serving on the commission that investigated violence in the construction industry). Now 38 and president of the powerful company, Mulroney can be said to have completely bounced back. He’s so perfectly bilingual that people often assume his mother is French (she isn’t). He’s also a fiercely federalist anglophone who is completely at home in Quebec— so, considering the state of affairs at hand, there’s little doubt Mulroney’s political time will come again.
Richard Cashin has done a lot of political tacking, but he’s always been heading in one direction—to be a part of what he calls Newfoundland’s “process of change.” Some people would say he is causing it. At 41, his current role is head of Newfoundland’s fishermen’s union, an entity he has put together almost single-handedly over the past seven years. He was once a member of the National Republic Party and the CCF, but in 1962, with a law degree newly in hand, he joined the Liberals to contest—and unexpectedly win—the federal St. John’s West riding. Cashin lost the seat in 1968 and that’s when he got busy building “people’s organizations.” His union activities grew out of his legal defense of Placentia Bay fishermen who were complaining about pollution from a phosphorus plant. He’s become so good that fishermen in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are casting envious glances in his direction.
Seven years ago, Michel Bourdon’s career took a jolt. As president of the reporters’ union at Radio-Canada in Montreal, he criticized the way his employer submitted to government censorship during the October-FLQ crisis. He was promptly fired. But the temporary setback merely propelled him toward new opportunities. Hired by one of Quebec’s most radical union groups, the Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux, he produced a controversial report—the “Black File”—on violence in the tumultuous construction industry. Four years ago he was elected president of the building trades federation of the CSN, while it was under attack from all sides—from rival unions, from government and industry over labor disruptions, from its own members who felt it was too radical. Bourdon, now 34, has not only survived these pressures but he has also managed meanwhile to become an important figure in the Parti Québécois, with influence on the Quebec government. At the same time, Bourdon has avoided the pattern of an older generation of labor leaders who have plenty of time for fellow workers but norie for the family. Along with wife Louise Harel, a feminist and leader of the PQ’s left wing, he makes time to spend with his preschool daughter. “I’m much better than the average on that,” he
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