The Awards of Distinction will be presented at the Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala on May 31, 2022.


Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year

The Distinguished Canadian Retail of the Year Award recognizes a retail leader that has led his/her company to outstanding business success and innovation and that has consistently demonstrated community commitment and support. The recipient is seen as a role model because of his/her exceptional leadership within the corporation, in the retail industry in Canada and in the community at large, through personal and/or corporate philanthropic activities. While years of service within the company are not a prerequisite, the individual's term as chief executive officer must commensurate with the company's outstanding success. The individual must be widely respected throughout the industry for his/her achievements and the corporation he/she represents must be seen as a leader in the business community.

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is honoured to announce that Best Buy Canada’s President, Ron Wilson, has been named the recipient of the prestigious 2019 Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year.
Year Recipient Company
2019 Ron Wilson Best Buy Canada
2018 Jeff Kinnaird The Home Depot Canada
2017 Clint Mahlman London Drugs Limited
2016 Andrew Lutfy Groupe Dynamite
2015 Terry Leon Leon’s Furniture Ltd.
2014 Larry Rosen Harry Rosen
2013 Stephen Wetmore Canadian Tire Corporation
2012 Brian Hill Aritzia
2011 Heather Reisman Indigo Books & Music Inc.
2010 Steve Matyas Staples Canada Inc.
2009 Louise Wendling Costco Wholesale Canada Limited
2008 Laurence Lewin La Senza

Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year

The Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of a local independent retailer to his or her community. The recipient is seen as a visionary, an innovator, and an integral part of the community that his or her business serves. Recipients are known for their community involvement, customer loyalty, and support of locally made products and services. As the name of the award suggests, this individual or business must embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship and community service required to be recognized as an ambassador of the retail industry.

Read the full story: Female-led, Canadian beauty brand Evio recognized as 2021 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year by Retail Council of Canada.
Year Recipient Company
2021 Brandi Leifso Evio Beauty Group
2019 Kendall and Justine Barber Poppy Barley
2018 Sierra Harris Birch Hill Studio
2017 Allan, Anita and Lisa Malbranck Diamond Gallery
2016 Cameron Baty and Karina Birch Rocky Mountain Soap Company
2015 Paul Dragan Reckless Bike Stores
2014 Don Sheehan Amos Pewter
2013 Paul and Gleniss Thomey That Pro Look
2012 Valerie Ventola Cuckoo's Nest
2011 Saul Korman Korry's Clothiers For Gentlemen
2010 Pat Higgins Canadian Tire Corporation
2009 Rob Grand Grassroots
2009 Paul Simmonds Robert Simmonds Inc.
2008 Karen and Don Cormier Dayle's Department Store
2008 John Stuparyk and Jason Bots United Cycle

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a senior executive with a minimum of 25 consecutive years of retail service who has demonstrated outstanding business success and community service throughout his/her career. Winners are visionaries who have left an indelible mark on the industry through their innovations and commitment to customers and employees. As the name of the award indicates, this honour recognizes a long-term commitment to the industry, to the firm(s) he/she has led, and to the community at large. The recipient is recognized and perceived as a retail role model, as an icon in the industry, and one who has dedicated his/her business life to retail.

Year Recipient Company
2018 Robin Lee Lee Valley
2017 Bonnie Brooks Hudson's Bay Co.
2016 Louise Wendling Costco Wholesale Canada
2015 The Billes Family Canadian Tire Corporation
2014 Michael Budman and Don Green Roots
2014 Bob Peter LCBO
2013 Not awarded  
2012 Bill McEwan Sobeys Inc.
2011 Not awarded  
2010 Gordon Reid Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
2009 Réjean Dionne Le Groupe Aldo Inc.
2008 Dr. William H. Comrie The brick Warehouse Corporation

Canadian Retail Hall of Fame

Inductees to the Canadian Retail Hall of Fame are executives working in retail who have demonstrated leadership in advancing and promoting retail as a career within their company and in the industry, and are strong advocates of retail education and training. Hall of Fame inductees are seen as inspirational leaders, promoting and encouraging young people to pursue careers in retail, current employees to acquire more skills to advance in retail, supporting the development of retail courses in schools, and lending support to organizations promoting retail as a career and retail education. Through their actions, these individuals have demonstrated that retail training and education have played an important role in the success of their companies.

Year Inductee Company
2019 Willy Kruh KPMG
2013 Alasdair Mckichan Retail Council of Canada
2013 John Torella J.C. Williams Group
2013 John Williams J.C. Williams Group
2012 Independent Retail Task Force Various
2011 John Stanton Running Room Canada Inc.
2010 Paul Strauss Home Hardware Stores Ltd.
2009 Fred Singer Henry Singer Fashion Group
2008 Stephen Bebis Golf Town
2007 Steve Matyas Staples Canada Inc.