The 3rd Annual Zoomer List: Canada’s Top 45 Over 45: Walter Carsen

Walter Carsen, OC, 100, Arts Patron

The German-born Carsen landed on Canadian shores during the Second World War and started a business selling optical supplies, which grew into a successful company. The financial rewards were able to fuel his lifelong passion for the arts and resulted in numerous donations of both artworks – to the AGO, for one – and funding – Carsen paid for the renovation of the Shaw Festival Royal George Theatre, established the Walter Carsen Prize for the Performing Arts and has underwritten 12 National Ballet productions as well as donating the lead gift for the construction of the company’s permanent home, known as the Walter Carsen Centre for the National Ballet of Canada. “I encourage people to become involved with living artists. Having the opportunity to interact with them and learn from them is the best portal from which to enter the arts.”