Murray and Marvelle Koffler lived what they called “an enchanted journey.” That journey was rich in accomplishment and marked by a passion for making the world a better place.
As a man of business, Murray was prescient in co-founding the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in 1960, and socially innovative in supporting the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business in 1984. As a man of science, Murray built Shoppers Drug Mart. As a man who loved the arts, Murray was equally entrepreneurial, creating – together with Marvelle – both the Koffler Centre of the Arts and the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Murray believed in building community – through the arts and through science. He created organizations that have endured and thrived without losing sight of their original ideals or purpose. His enchanted journey has immeasurably enriched the lives of many Canadians.
Throughout her life, Marvelle was a passionate supporter of the arts and a steadfast advocate for women’s health and humanitarian causes. Marvelle’s vision and commitment were not only instrumental to the success of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, but also to the flourishing of arts and culture in Canada. She was the first chair of the cultural committee of the YM–YWHA, and it was through her founding vision that the Koffler was created. She also served as a board member of multiple arts organizations, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Arts Council. Marvelle’s commitment to leading-edge women’s healthcare ushered the establishment of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre in 1995 and the creation of the International Committee of Women for Science at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
Murray and Marvelle's spirit will always remain part of the heart and soul of the Koffler Centre of the Arts.