It is with great sadness that we announce our former leader, supporter and dear friend Michael Phelps passed away on April 20, 2019.
Michael was a member of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Board for many years, and served as our Board Chair from 2010 to 2012. During this time Michael led with his usual forthright, outspoken and clear-headed manner. Following his term, he and his wife Joy continued to be advocates for health care in BC by becoming members of our Patrons’ Council. The Phelps, along with Rod and Jeannie Senft, were also the originators of our very successful annual Health Matters in the Desert event.
“He gave his time, his talent and his treasure to many community organizations like ours,” says Barbara Grantham, President and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “All of us are richer for having had his keen mind and curious intellect in our midst.”
Outside of the Foundation, Michael pursued his dreams with a relentless dedication and fervor. He studied history and nature, and also had a love for the film industry and everything related to movies.
A proud Canadian, Michael was born in Montreal, raised in Winnipeg, and was a public servant in both Manitoba and Ottawa before moving to Vancouver and pursuing a successful career in the oil, gas and energy sector. He was named President and CEO of Westcoast Energy at just 40 years old, becoming one of the youngest CEOs in BC history.
He was a public servant, a business and community leader, participating in the Vancouver Olympic 2010 Organizing Committee, chairing the Business Council of BC and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and more recently serving as a member of the Talent Fund Advisory Committee of Telefilm Canada.
His years of dedication to the betterment of his community and country were recognized in his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001.
Yet despite all his accolades and accomplishments, Michael’s greatest pride has always been his family. His loving wife, Joy, his three daughters and sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren.
“I know I am joined by all of you in expressing our heartfelt gratitude for the many gifts he brought to all British Columbians,” says Barbara. “Michael was a true gem of health care philanthropy, and he will be missed.”
In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate any donations to a number of causes close to their heart, including VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
Donations in Michael’s memory can be made here.