Tony and Anne Arrell

Tony Arrell, a longtime University of Guelph supporter and an alumnus of honour, will be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame (CBHF) on May 11.  

Considered the nation’s highest business honour, the Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of Canadian business leaders and their contributions to economic development and prosperity. 

Arrell’s award is a nod to his career-long business leadership ranging from running a top investment management firm on Toronto’s Bay Street to co-directing – along with his wife, Anne – a named philanthropic organization that has been a major U of G benefactor.  The couple are both U of G grads: Tony, B.Sc. (Agr.) ’67; Anne, B.H.Sc. ’68.  

“This is a wonderful honour befitting the great work Tony has done throughout his career. On behalf of the entire University of Guelph community, we offer our heartfelt congratulations to him,” said Dr. Charlotte Yates, president and vice-chancellor.   

“Tony, Anne and his entire family have had a tremendous impact at U of G, establishing the Arrell Food Institute that has helped us become a leader in the agri-food sector as well as expand our innovative research and program offerings.”  

Tony Arrell served as chair and CEO of Burgundy Asset Management Ltd., which he founded in 1992. Trained as an investment analyst after graduating from U of G, he also earned an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.   

A former director of the Toronto Stock Exchange, he served as a director of several private and public companies. He was a founding director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, which promotes good governance practices in Canadian public companies. 

Arrell was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2016.  

Family foundation a major supporter of agri-food research, teaching at U of G 

Anne became a teacher after completing her degree at U of G. The couple have run a cattle farm for more than 40 years south of Collingwood, Ont.  

In 1999, Tony and Anne established the Arrell Family Foundation to support health and quality of life, which aligns with the University’s goal to Improve Life through teaching, research and innovation.  

In 2017, the foundation provided $20 million to U of G, the University’s largest-ever single gift. Matched by the University, the donation led to the establishment of the Arrell Food Institute (AFI) intended to ensure food safety, stability and security. 

Led by Dr. Evan Fraser, a professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, the institute brings together big data and technology with cross-campus agri-food expertise in finding sustainable ways to feed a growing world.  

“This is a well-deserved honour and an incredible recognition of Tony’s contributions as a business leader and philanthropist,” said Fraser. “The Arrell Food Institute was founded on his, and the Arrell Family Foundation’s, generosity and their commitment to promoting more sustainable agri-food systems in Canada means Arrell Food Institute is able to help work to create change for a more sustainable food future for all.” 

The AFI has supported faculty research chairs and student scholars as well as international food innovation awards and an annual conference called the Arrell Food Summit. So far, the AFI has provided funding for 19 student scholars across campus and research chairs held by faculty members in three U of G colleges.  Many more researchers from across campus are AFI affiliate members.  

This month, the inaugural Arrell Family Chair in Behavioural and Experimental Economics was announced at U of G for Dr. Tongzhe Li, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics in the Ontario Agricultural College.  

A former member of the U of G Board of Governors, Tony Arrell received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 2012. In 2019, Tony and Anne were co-recipients of U of G’s Alumni of Honour award

More than 200 business leaders have been inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame since 1979. The CBHF induction ceremony is the signature national fundraising event for JA Canada, intended to inspire young people to realize their potential and make a positive community impact.  


Kimberly Moser