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Annual Nation Builder Award

Celebrating and recognizing the people who are building our country.

Empire Club's Annual Nation Builder Award

2023 Recipient

Wesley Hall, D.U., Canadian Businessman, Entrepreneur, Author and “Dragon” Investor

The Empire Club of Canada is proud to announce the recipient of the 2023 Nation Builder of the Year Award is Wesley Hall, D.U., Canadian Businessman, Entrepreneur, Author and “Dragon” Investor. Wes embodies the spirit of The Empire Club of Canada’s Nation Builder of the Year award. Having been exposed to systemic black racism in his early years, and then emerging as a leader in confronting and eradicating racism is inspiring to not just individuals with a similar background, but to all Canadians.​​

What makes Wes a Nation Builder is not only his rise to being a successful business advisor, executive author and TV personality — it his philosophy and mission to constantly give back to those who need it most – and his ability to influence others to do the same through his outstanding leadership.

Wes Hall is a renowned innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, widely recognized as one of Canada’s most influential figures. As the founder and executive chairman of Kingsdale Advisors, he has earned accolades from prominent publications such as the Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, Toronto Life, and Maclean’s. Additionally, Wes is the owner of QM Environmental, a leading environmental and industrial services provider, Titan Supply, a top manufacturer and distributor of rigging and wear products, and the luxurious Harbor Club hotel, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton in St. Lucia.​

In 2020, Wes was appointed to the Ontario government’s Capital Markets Modernization Task Force, where he played a pivotal role in modernizing the province’s capital market regulations. Notably, he founded the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) in June 2020, challenging Canadian businesses to confront and eradicate anti-Black systemic racism through a business-focused approach. Wes serves as the executive chair of BNI and chairman of the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism.​

Wes Hall is breaking barriers as the first Black Canadian Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, actively supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs. His generosity extends to numerous charitable initiatives, and he serves on the boards of the SickKids Foundation, Pathways to Education, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Black Academy, and the board of governors of Huron University. His philanthropic contributions have positively impacted countless children in the Caribbean and Canada.​

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Wes received the 2020 Communicator of the Year Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (Toronto) and has been honored with an honorary doctorate in 2017 and the Vice Chancellor’s Award in 2015 from the University of the West Indies. Wes Hall is a symbol of hope and opportunity for those who share his background, making a substantial difference in both the business world and the lives of many.

About the Award

The Nation Builder of the Year award formalizes what The Empire Club of Canada has been doing since 1903 – celebrating and providing a platform for people who are building our country.

Since its founding over a century ago, The Empire Club has played a pivotal role in many of our country’s major milestones. That’s why the focus of this award is on efforts by a Canadian individual (or group of individuals) who are making a significant contribution to our country. This individual or group of individuals can be from any walk of life – a political official, a business leader, an artist, or a cultural figure – who has made a major contribution to our national identity during their nomination year.

An independent panel comprised of 12 board members review the nominee and the successful nominee is presented to the Empire Club Board of Directors for ratification.

Explore our Nation Builder Award Events throughout the years.