Riddell Family

Groundbreaking cancer immunotherapy research and care advances with $25 million donation from Riddell family

The University of Calgary (UCalgary), the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Alberta Cancer Foundation are pleased to announce a $25 million donation from the Riddell family in support of cancer immunotherapy research and care – and advancing the goal of making Calgary home to one of the best cancer centres in the world.

This transformative gift will establish the Riddell Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy, helping to reduce the burden of cancer in children, adolescents, and adults and improve survival through the rapid development and implementation of safe and effective precision cell and immune therapies for cancer.

More importantly, it will bring hope and healing to those who have no other treatment options. “Immunotherapy enables us to boost a patient’s own immune system to recognize and attack their cancer cells,” said Dr. Douglas Mahoney, PhD, associate professor at the Cumming School of Medicine and director of the Riddell Centre. “Right now, it is used to help children and adults with certain forms of cancer who don’t respond to conventional therapies, including rare and hard-to-treat cancers. With more research, I am confident that it will become a mainstay of cancer treatment for patients with many different forms of cancer.”

These precision cellular therapies will be tested and used on treatment-resistant solid tumours – making the Riddell Centre one of the first centres in Canada to trial this approach. The Riddell Centre will also have a particular focus on difficult pediatric cancers, a population that is often overlooked by traditional clinical trials.

“Our family is so pleased to be able to support this groundbreaking work happening in our own backyard,” says Sue Riddell Rose. “Alberta has become a world-recognized hub for research in immunotherapy cancer treatment and it is now time to take this research and its clinical application to a whole new level. Our hope is that the discoveries that come from the Riddell Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy will quickly take immunotherapy to a mainstream treatment protocol and very directly improve care and outcomes for cancer patients in Alberta and beyond.”

“We are grateful to the Riddell family for their history of generous support for world-leading care and research to improve health outcomes for children and youth in our community and around the world,” says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This remarkable investment is a gift of hope to families walking unthinkable cancer journeys with their children.”

Alberta is well positioned within a growing immunotherapy and cellular therapy landscape in Canada, thanks to an interdisciplinary network of specialized researchers and clinicians and early provincial investments in clinical trials and clinical data infrastructure that make these advancements possible. The generosity of donors like the Riddell family help accelerate the impact that cellular therapy can have on Albertans and Canadians facing cancer.

“For patients who are eligible, immunotherapy may represent the most significant progress in reversing treatment-resistant cancers in decades. And it’s happening right here, in Alberta,” says Wendy Beauchesne, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “This means we can provide early access to the most advanced experimental cancer treatments for Alberta patients – which is an incredible gift indeed.”

The Riddell Centre will build a Calgary-based biomanufacturing program to enable rapid, high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing of cell therapies that meet Health Canada and international regulatory standards. Once fully operational, this local expansion of biomanufacturing capacity will create employment and efficiencies that will both speed up access for patients to new immunotherapies and create cost savings for the Alberta health-care system.

“As we work to solve the cancer challenge and improve the lives of patients in Canada and around the world, UCalgary is also helping local industries to grow — including biotechnology — and building entirely new ones,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, UCalgary president and vice-chancellor. “The Riddell Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy will be a big part of Calgary’s economic story through its made-in-Alberta approach to biomanufacturing new cellular and immunotherapies.”

This gift also puts the OWN.CANCER campaign even closer to its goal of raising $250 million to help advance care and research at Calgary’s new Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre – the largest centre of its kind in Canada. When it opens in 2024, the 1.3 million square foot building will offer world-leading cancer care, research and education, together under one roof.



Media contacts:

Inquiries related to UCalgary and Dr. Mahoney:
Kelly Johnston, Senior Communications Specialist
[email protected]

Inquiries related to OWN.Cancer campaign and Alberta Cancer Foundation:
Ryan Kelly, VP, Communications and Community Partnerships
[email protected]

Inquiries related to Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation:
Jody Schwartz, VP, Communications + Donor Relations
[email protected]

Historic Announcement: Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre



The Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary announce largest donation in Alberta Health Service’s history to the new Calgary Cancer Centre.

Arthur J.E. Child Foundation makes remarkable $50 million donation to the Calgary Cancer Centre, officially naming the building the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

CALGARY, AB (June 28, 2023) – The Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF), Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the University of Calgary (UCalgary) are thrilled to announce a historic and transformational $50 million donation to the Calgary Cancer Centre from the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation. With this donation, the cancer centre, set to open in 2024, will officially be named the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The gift will accelerate research innovations and provide world-leading cancer care and treatment to Calgarians, Albertans and Canadians when the centre opens next year.

This donation represents the largest gift in the history of Alberta Health Services.

“With this historic donation from the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation, the Alberta Cancer Foundation will be able to provide educational and research opportunities for those pursuing careers in the medical field, and world-class cancer care for patients navigating cancer treatments,” says Wendy Beauchesne, CEO, Alberta Cancer Foundation. “This gift will transform cancer care and research for generations of Albertans and Canadians.”

The Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre will be the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Canada and a world-leading healthcare facility for research and education in oncology, delivering fully integrated cancer care under one roof. Its design, made up of two curving, L-shaped forms coming together in an embrace, will provide patients, families and staff with a warm, comforting environment that invokes hope and healing.

“AHS is grateful for this generous gift in support of health care innovation and excellence. The support of philanthropists and our partners helps our teams improve care and care outcomes for all Albertans facing a diagnosis of cancer,” says Mauro Chies, AHS President and CEO. “We look forward to the innovation, ground-breaking work, and world-class technologies that will be made possible for cancer care in this province, thanks to the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation.”

Arthur J.E. Child was a prominent businessman and former majority shareholder and CEO of Burns Foods of Calgary, known both for his financial acumen and his personal philanthropy until his passing in 1996. He has been recognized for his impressive record in business, military, education and public service – evidenced by Mr. Child receiving the Order of Canada in 1985. To further his legacy, the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation was created to receive the majority of his estate to continue his generosity beyond Mr. Child’s lifetime.

“As an advocate for perpetual advancements in science and specifically medicine, Mr. Child was committed to supporting causes that will make a significant difference through research,” says Lorne Jacobson, Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, TriWest Capital Partners and Lead Trustee, Arthur J.E. Child Foundation. “This $50 million donation closely aligns with Mr. Child’s commitment to accelerate cancer care and research, not only in Alberta, but to help defeat cancer at every level around the world.”

The Arthur J.E. Child Foundation has donated nearly $100 million to a wide variety of charities across the globe, with approximately $9 million in support of projects across various faculties at UCalgary. Some of these existing investments support the attraction, retention and development of leaders in research and innovation in the areas of cardiology and rheumatology.

“UCalgary’s translational research enterprise is strengthened by The Arthur J.E. Child Foundation’s longstanding commitment to our institution and our province,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary. “This transformational gift to OWN.CANCER will accelerate our learning health model for the cancer centre – one in which researchers work side-by-side with care teams to dramatically improve outcomes for patients and families.”

OWN.CANCER is an ambitious fundraising campaign actively raising $250 million for cancer care and research at the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre, bringing researchers, medical teams, prevention experts, patients and families together in ways never before possible. The Arthur J.E. Child Foundation’s donation is propelling the OWN.CANCER campaign’s focus on tackling cancer in five critical areas: decreasing cancer in the population, improving cancer treatment, improving patient experience, improving cancer outcomes and empowering the best and brightest in cancer care and research.

The Arthur J.E. Comprehensive Cancer Centre is scheduled to open in Calgary in 2024.

For more information, or to donate to the OWN.CANCER campaign, visit owncancer.ca.

For more information about the Alberta Cancer Foundation, visit albertacancer.ca.

Alberta Cancer Foundation

Albertans helping Albertans is at the core of everything the Alberta Cancer Foundation does. Our very purpose comes from our desire to create more moments for all Albertans facing cancer, no matter where they live or the type of cancer they are facing. From the Canmore mountains to the canola fields in Lloydminster – we support leading edge treatment, care and research that is making a difference for cancer patients across the province.

As the fundraising partner for the 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres, including the new Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Calgary, we make life better for Albertans facing cancer by supporting world-class research and patient care, right here in our own backyard.

Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.

University of Calgary

UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 35,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-ups. Start something today at UCalgary.

The Arthur J. E. Child Foundation

The Arthur J. E. Child Foundation is a private foundation created by Arthur Child to steward his charitable endeavors and was permanently endowed with his estate upon his passing in 1996. It has since disbursed nearly $100 million in charitable grants, with virtually no administrative costs, to a wide variety of worthy recipients ranging from personal health care to medical research, from international poverty relief and refugee programs to domestic violence and addiction recovery programs, from military history to youth literacy and specialized education programs. The Trustees of the Foundation have been guided in their granting of awards by a personal familiarity with Arthur Child and his passion for excellence, personal improvement through discipline and hard work and compassion for those disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control.


The OWN.CANCER campaign is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the landscape of cancer research, care and treatment with the goal of raising $250 million in support of Calgary’s new world-class cancer centre, the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre. This game-changing initiative is backed by three trusted community institutions: Alberta Health Services, Canada’s first and largest fully integrated provincial health system; the University of Calgary, a globally recognized leader in medical research and home to tomorrow’s health-care professionals; and the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the official fundraising partner for all 17 cancer care centres across the province. Currently under construction, the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre will open its doors in 2024 as one of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in North America.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Ryan Kelly | Vice President, Communications & Community Partnerships
Alberta Cancer Foundation
[email protected]


OWN.CANCER campaign celebrates $4 million in contributions to cancer research in Alberta

Local philanthropist’s generosity pushes-forward world-leading research at new Calgary Cancer Centre

April 25, 2023 – Alberta – Earlier detection, better treatments and possible cures—people with cancer living longer, better lives. Thanks to the generosity of local philanthropist and businessman, Wayne Foo, researchers in Alberta are paving the way to these discoveries and more.

Foo and his family have donated a total of $4 million to cancer and tumour research through the OWN.CANCER campaign, a cause close to their hearts

“Having gone through a cancer journey with my late wife, Lynne Marshall, my family understands the toll this disease can have,” says Foo. “Sadly, Lynne passed away from glioblastoma in early 2014, the same type of tumour that claimed her father 20 years earlier. Our donations honour her memory, recognize the commitment of her incredible care team, and will also help drive innovation in cancer research and care for other families facing cancer.”

The Foo family’s support is aimed at training and attracting the best and the brightest clinical and research minds who will help change the course of cancer care. This included the establishment of an endowment for a clinical fellowship for glioblastoma in 2014 and, more recently, a professorship in surgical oncology. The professorship – which will ultimately support Dr. Oliver Bathe’s research related to improving outcomes in cancers of the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract – also has great significance to the Foo family, as both Wayne’s father and brother ultimately passed away from liver and gastrointestinal cancer.

Foo’s contributions also translate into support for the new Calgary Brain Tumour Research Program. This program is dedicated to training the next generation of scientific and clinical experts on brain cancer, better understanding the causes and characteristics of brain cancer, and improving the quality of life for Albertans facing the disease, specifically those with primary malignant brain tumours.

“While there has been a significant increase in our understanding of brain tumours in the last two decades, there is still an urgent need for novel therapeutic approaches and improved outcomes for patients with brain cancer,” said Dr. Jennifer Chan, Director, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute. “The Foo family’s commitment to this cause is driving scientific breakthroughs and innovation, leading to patients with brain tumours living longer, healthier lives.”

Among the early donors to the OWN.CANCER campaign, Foo’s contributions are just the beginning of the clinical excellence and leading-edge research that will soon fill the halls of the new Calgary Cancer Centre, set to open in 2024.

“We are grateful to Mr. Foo and his family for their generous support of cancer research and care in our province,” says Wendy Beauchesne, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “It is these donations, these acts of generosity and goodwill that are bringing the new Calgary Cancer Centre to life, helping to create an environment that spurs innovation, discovery and collaboration.”


Media are invited to join us as we celebrate the Foo family’s passion for giving back to our scientific and medical communities:

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Calgary Cancer Centre
Main Entrance Atrium
3333 Hospital Drive NW
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Complimentary video and photography of the new Calgary Cancer Centre can be found here.

To arrange interviews with Wayne Foo, major gift donor, Wendy Beauchesne, CEO, Alberta Cancer Foundation, or Dr. Jennifer Chan, Director, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, or for more information, please contact us:

Ryan Kelly | Vice President, Communications & Community Partnerships
Alberta Cancer Foundation
[email protected]

Ashley Tyler | Marketing Manager
Alberta Cancer Foundation
[email protected]

About the Calgary Cancer Centre

One of the largest comprehensive cancer centres in North America is coming to life in Calgary this very second. Inside this dynamic structure, medical teams and researchers will collaborate on new diagnostic tools and treatment plans, giving patients the best possible outcomes. Down the hall, educators will lead prevention programs to keep others from ever experiencing a cancer journey. And patient-focused spaces for quiet reflection or child art therapy will give the centre an atmosphere filled with healing and hope.

When it opens its doors in 2024, this Calgary Cancer Centre will shelter 1.3 million square feet of world-leading cancer care, research and education, allowing us to transform the landscape of cancer in this province and beyond. It will also establish Alberta as an international leader in cancer care, research and innovation.

Together, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have partnered to raise $250 million to accelerate cancer research and revolutionize treatment within our new world-class cancer centre. We can’t do it alone—we need all Albertans to stand with us and OWN.CANCER.

For more information or to donate, visit owncancer.ca.

Calgary Cancer Centre delivered to AHS

Patients receiving cancer care in Calgary are another step closer to receiving that care in a world-class medical centre.


Watch the live key handover to Alberta Health Services for the new Calgary Cancer Centre: Calgary Cancer Centre delivered to AHS | alberta.ca

Cancer patient’s family donation to OWN.CANCER will support groundbreaking research


Partnering to ‘OWN.CANCER’

UCalgary, Alberta Cancer Foundation and Alberta Health Services announce $250-million fundraising campaign.

Calgary, AB – Construction on Canada’s largest, most ambitious and comprehensive stand-alone cancer centre is well underway. This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform treatment, research and patient care for this deadly disease. A new fundraising campaign launched today to help achieve the ambitious goals for the Calgary Cancer Centre so we can ‘OWN.CANCER’.

The $250-million OWN.CANCER campaign partners Alberta Health Services, Alberta Cancer Foundation and the University of Calgary to provide life-affirming supports for patients and their families, purchase cutting-edge equipment, and fund revolutionary research that will help the Calgary Cancer Centre achieve its full potential.

“The Calgary Cancer Centre is so much more than bricks and mortar. It’s an opportunity to expand our capacity to care for Albertans battling cancer, meet the growing demand for life saving cancer treatments and champion research. This state-of-the-art Cancer Centre will be home for our staff, physicians and researchers who are working hard to improve the lives of Albertans with cancer. More importantly, it will be a place for patients and their families to find comfort and care during what we know is an incredibly scary time. We couldn’t be more grateful for our philanthropic partners and their donors who are supporting this work.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO, Alberta Health Services.

“The work we support can’t just be groundbreaking. It has to change lives. When you combine world-class talent, government funding and philanthropic support from the community we can achieve the very best things. Together we can OWN.CANCER.”

Dr. Chris Eagle, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Alberta Cancer Foundation

This 1.3-million square foot centre builds capacity to treat cancer patients and will more than double the space for clinical trials that is currently available in Calgary. It will also contain 110,000-square feet of dedicated research space. The anticipated opening date is fall 2023.

Over 200,000 Albertans are living with cancer, and one in two Albertans face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. The cancer centre is designed to be a world class facility housing international leaders in care and research that brings hope to cancer patients and their families through transformative change in the way care and treatment are provided.

“The University of Calgary is proud to partner with the Cancer Centre, deepening our already close relationship with the health care system and the community. Today, we are calling on the broader community to engage in this important campaign to help bring our innovations and discoveries to bear on prevention, treatment and care of cancer patients. Working together, we can break down barriers to ensure we have more cancer survivors than ever before.”

Dr. Ed McCauley, PhD, President and Vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

Located on the Foothills Medical Campus and next to the University of Calgary’s Foothills Campus, the cancer centre will offer an integrated approach to cancer care that can take full advantage of the university’s transdisciplinary approach to research. It is envisioned as a learning health system where we will learn from every patient, and build on that knowledge to improve treatment and care for each one that follows.

UCalgary, ACF and AHS are grateful to campaign committee volunteers and co-chairs – Heather Culbert, Deborah Yedlin and John Osler – for their commitment to help raise the $250 million to realize the vision of the cancer centre.

To be part of the transformative change in the way cancer is prevented, detected and treated join us at owncancer.ca.

Media inquiries

Sean Myers
Senior Communications Specialist
University of Calgary
[email protected]

Jennifer Green
Senior Communications Advisor
Alberta Health Services
[email protected]

Breanne Kraus
Interim VP, Communications & Marketing
Alberta Cancer Foundation
[email protected]


The Calgary Cancer Centre Campaign is on a mission to OWN.CANCER by raising $250 million in support of improved research, treatment and care at Calgary’s new world-class cancer centre. This game-changing initiative is backed by three trusted community institutions: Alberta Health Services, Canada’s first and largest fully integrated provincial health system; the University of Calgary, a globally recognized leader in medical research and home to tomorrow’s health-care professionals; and the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the official fundraising partner for all 17 cancer care centres across the province. Currently under construction, the Calgary Cancer Centre will open its doors in 2023 as the largest, most comprehensive cancer centre in Canada.

To donate and learn more, visit owncancer.ca.

OWN video

OWN.CANCER Campaign Video