Roger Garland

Roger Garland

Roger Garland
Chair, Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee

Conversation Starter: More Than A Game – Sport as Powerful Socio-Economic Force

International multisport events are massive investments, generally with public funds [Vancouver and London, both costing multibillions of dollars/pounds respectively: the TO2015 capital and operating budget is $1.4 billion].

The wisdom and legitimacy of these investments are often very controversial [bread not circuses, etc.]. Are they in fact "investments"? How do governments justify these expenditures, particularly in tough economic times? What is the short term and long term impact? How do you measure the ROI – and is it worth it? What are the specific outcomes, the legacy impacts: financial/economic, social capital, legacy facilities for a broad range of beneficiaries? Are the benefits real and long-lasting for our communities, our educational institutions, our elite athletes, the impact on healthier life styles and consequent positive impact on health care costs, etc.?

If a solid case can be made for this kind of public "investment," why does it take a major event such as the Olympics or PanAms to trigger government action? How can these projects be framed most effectively in public policy terms?

About Roger Garland

Roger Garland received a BA from the University of Toronto in 1962 and commenced his professional career with Price Waterhouse, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1966. Following eight years of diverse experience in treasury, finance and accounting with several public companies, he joined Citibank in Toronto. Over the next seven years, he held various corporate banking roles in Canada and Switzerland.

Garland joined Four Seasons Hotels Inc. in 1981 and was appointed to its board of directors in 1984. In 1985 he was named executive vice-president and appointed vice-chairman in 1995, managing the planning development, acquisition and asset management activities of the company.

As well as being a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Garland was a member of the Real Estate Advisory Panel of the Canada Direct Insurance Corporation, and is a past chairman of the board of directors of the Greater Toronto YMCA.

He is the founding chair of the board of Soulpepper Theatre Company, director of the board of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, director of the Council for Business and the Arts in Canada and a director of a number of public and private corporations.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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