Neville Gilfoy, publisher and philanthropist, dead at 63
Gilfoy leaves behind his wife of 39 years, Ann Janega, and two sons, Jamie and Peter
Nova Scotia has lost a "tireless promoter" of Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs.
Neville Gilfoy died of cancer Tuesday night at the age of 63.
"It was a stunner, an absolute stunner," said Peter Spurway, vice-president of corporate communications at the Halifax International Airport Authority. He knew Gilfoy for about 20 years.
Gilfoy was involved in the publishing industry for more than 30 years, and he spent most of them as the head of the Progress Media Group. The group publishes Progress Magazine, about Atlantic Canadian businesses.
"When I think about Neville, he was a tireless promoter of entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada," said Spurway.
"I can't think of anyone in our region who promotes business and the growth of business and the entrepreneurial spirit more than Neville did."
According to the Wallace McCain Institute, Gilfoy previously served as the chair of the boards of the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce and the Greater Halifax Partnership. He was also the chair of the capital campaign for the Dartmouth General Hospital and the chair of Atlantica Council for the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce.
Gilfoy also hosted Face 2 Face, an annual business conference that would draw people from across all four Atlantic provinces.
"This leaves a huge hole in the Atlantic business landscape," said Spurway. "He will be very sorely missed."
Pamela Scott-Crace, the former editor of Progress Magazine and current head of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, worked with Gilfoy for nearly 18 years and said he was also a mentor to her "long before that."
"We shared so much more than a publisher-editor relationship," said Scott-Crace.
'He was a true mentor'
"He was a true mentor, a friend, and the wise counsel who could always help me see my way through challenges, and how to make the most of opportunities."
Scott-Crace added that while Gilfoy was known for his business dealings, he had a "real gift for storytelling" and a love for entrepreneurship and Atlantic Canada.
Gilfoy was also actively involved in building schools, wells and health clinics in the African countries of Niger and Burkina Faso.
He was France's honorary consul for Nova Scotia, working closely with senior officials of the French government in Canada.
Recently, Gilfoy received an honorary doctorate in civil law from Saint Mary's University.
Gilfoy leaves behind his wife of 39 years, Ann Janega, and two sons, Jamie and Peter.