Memorable Manitobans: Sol Kanee (1909-2007)
Businessman, social activist, philantrophist.
Born at Melville, Saskatchewan on 1 June 1909, he was a successful businessman, co-founding the law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, building the Kanee Grain Company and Soo Line Flour Mills, chairing the board of Trans-Air and was a director of the Bank of Canada (17 years), and chairman of the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Kanee was also extremely active in the community, particularly in the Winnipeg Jewish community. He was involved in the World Jewish Congress in New York for over thirty years, serving on the executive. He was also involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, United Way, Canadian Society of the Weizmann Institute, Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, Board of Governors for the University of Manitoba (Chairman, 1975), Manitoba Centennial Corporation, and Jewish Senior’s Sharon Home (now called the Kanee Centre of the Sharon Home). He served as President of the Glendale Golf and Country Club (1950).
In 1979, Kanee received the International B’nai Brith Humanitarian Award, and the Nahum Goldmann Medal from the World Jewish Congress (1995). He received the Samuel Bronfman Medal from the Canadian Jewish Congress (1978) and the Centennial of Canada Medal. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1974). In 1977, he was inducted into the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). He was called ‘Citizen Kanee’ by the Winnipeg Free Press.
He died at Winnipeg on 22 April 2007 and was inducted posthumously into the Winnipeg Citizens Hall of Fame, in 2009.
“These Manitobans will help plan centennial,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 1963, page 9.
Glendale Golf and Country Club Anniversary Yearbook 1946-1996, compiled by Leonard Remis, Winnipeg, 1996.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 September 1999, page 13.
Obituary, The Globe and Mail, 17 October 2007, page L8.
“Kanee most recent inductee into Citizens Hall of Fame,” Winnipeg Real Estate News, 25 September 2009, page 1.
This page was prepared by Kris Keen and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 January 2021