Cyril Leeder of Ottawa Senators to receive EY community builder award

EY celebrates Leeder’s contribution to Ottawa community

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(Ottawa, 28 September 2015) Over 27 years ago, Cyril Leeder, Bruce Firestone and Randy Sexton decided to bring an NHL franchise to Ottawa. In October, EY will honour the daring entrepreneurial spirit that Cyril Leeder, now President of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, has used to help build up the Ottawa community over the years.

It took two gruelling years for the trio to win an NHL expansion franchise for the City of Ottawa in 1990. Ever since then, Cyril has combined his passion for sport, community and business as a senior executive with the Ottawa Senators.

“Under Cyril Leeder’s direction, the Senators have made a significant contribution to the economic and social fabric of the Ottawa community,” says Colleen McMorrow, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national director. “We are thrilled to recognize this entrepreneurial community builder. His indelible legacy stretches well beyond Ottawa borders, and the realm of sport.”

Besides winning the Stanley Cup, Cyril’s goal is for the Senators to be the best community club in the NHL – and he’s worked tirelessly to make that happen. The club has had a tremendous impact on youth recreation, education and health in Ottawa and surrounding areas. Recently, The Sens Foundation was recognized for raising more than $100 million for community initiatives over its 20-year history.

“Cyril is a strong pillar of the Ottawa business community,” says Gary Zed, EY Ottawa Office Managing Partner. “He has done a tremendous job building not only a successful franchise in the NHL, but also an entrepreneurial business that gives back to the entire Ottawa community.”

“Doing good work in your community is good for business,” says Cyril Leeder, President of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. “I subscribe to the adage that a rising tide floats all boats. It’s incumbent on entrepreneurs and business leaders to drive their businesses forward but also to participate in community building. Our objective at the Senators has always been to create a community asset that’s important to the citizens of Ottawa-Gatineau, hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike.” 

Besides providing economic opportunities for local businesses, Cyril has also championed public-private partnerships that benefit the larger community. One example is building and operating local arenas in Ottawa and surrounding municipalities, providing local residents with an opportunity to play, not just watch, hockey. In fact, these business structures have become a model for similar arrangements in other Canadian cities. 

Cyril will be honoured at the Ontario Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala in Toronto on 29 October 2015.

More information
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About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

This year's national program sponsors are TEC Canada, La Presse, RDI, TMX, Merrill DataSite, Kira Talent, Air Canada, The Printing House Limited. Ontario regional sponsors are Captivate Network, OT Communications and RBC Royal Bank.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. For more than 150 years in Canada, we’ve delivered the insights and quality services that help build trust and confidence in capital markets here and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. 

For more information about the program, FAQs and key dates, please visit

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