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Janice O’Born

Photography by Kourosh Keshiri


Chairman, The Printing House (TPH) Charitable Office


Janice founded the Charitable Office in 1985 to promote philanthropy to the staff of TPH and has raised in excess of $44 million since

2010 recipient of the Canadian Centre for Diversity Human Relations Award in recognition of opening the charitable office

Number of boards: 4, including the National Arts Centre Foundation and The Duke of Edinburgh Award for Business


Jerry Grafstein, lawyer and businessman, served on the Senate of Canada from 1984 to 2010

From Jerry Grafstein
As told to Rhea Seymour

My wife Carole and I met Janice several decades ago, when she was fresh on the scene in Toronto from England. Carole’s a major fundraiser for cancer—she started the Run for the Cure—and she’s always looking to draw in active, energetic people.

If you add up how many millions Janice has raised for different causes, she’s become one of the most dynamic volunteers in Toronto.

What I like about Janice is she doesn’t do anything without thinking about the bottom line. She was chair of the Brazilian Carni­val Ball for Sick Kids in 2009 and it was a smashing success. When you have a fancy ball, usually 75 percent of the money raised goes to the cost and promotion of putting it on. If Janice gets involved, she wants toreduce costs so more goes to the charity and that’s a rare attribute.

She’s a great leader because she won’t ask you to do anything that she won’t do her­self. You can call her up at any time of the day or night and she’s ready to help. She’ll ask: “what do you need,” “how much” and “when do you need it.”

After 9/11, I was complaining that other countries had a presence in New York City, but our Prime Minister hadn’t yet visited the city. My wife’s response was “don’t complain, go and do something about it.” So we called three or four cou­ples together at our home, including Janice and her husband Earle. Together the eight of us created the Canada Loves New York weekend in 2001 and 30,000 people showed up, including the Mayor of New York and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

A lot of volunteer leaders won’t do anything without a PR team beside them. For a lot of them, it’s about the applause, but that’s not Janice. Janice was instrumental with the planning, but she also worked behind the scenes as an usher during the ceremony [to present the check to Mayor Giuliani]. The event raised money for a new fire engine for the fire department and $110,000 for the police department. It was tremendously suc­cessful because of the volunteers.

Janice gets satisfaction for doing something well and getting results. She gives at home, she gives at the office, and she gets genuine delight out of it. Janice is an Eveready battery, always ready to go. And she’s not even in her second act yet.