Arthur Irving grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, and attended Acadia University before joining Irving Oil in 1953. He worked with his father, K.C. Irving, and his brother Jack, and became President of Irving Oil in 1972. He is now Chairman of the Company and continues to work with his brother Jack and sons Kenneth and Arthur Jr.
Throughout his career, Arthur Irving has demonstrated a strong enthusiasm for people, the environment, education, and his community. With the help of many good people, Irving Oil grew into new markets while retaining a strong customer focus and emphasis on long-term relationships. Irving Oil became a regional market leader in refining and marketing, expanded its refinery in two major upgrades, and built Irving Canaport, the western hemisphere’s first deepwater terminal able to receive supertankers.
Today, Irving Oil operates the largest single refinery on the Eastern Seaboard, in Saint John, N.B, located just 65 miles from the U.S. border. The 300,000 barrel per day refinery is responsible for meeting 60 per cent of petroleum product demand in the U.S. Northeast, north of New York and 20 per cent of all U.S. gasoline and diesel import demand. In 2003 Irving Oil became the first oil company to receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline, and a year later Irving Oil was named North American Refiner of the Year by World Fuels. The company is currently building, in partnership with Repsol YPF, the first new LNG Terminal on the East Coast of North America – Canada’s first. Canaport LNG will be operational at the end of 2008.
Arthur Irving enjoys his dogs, motorcycles, gardening and the outdoors. He has a strong interest in canoeing, hunting and wetlands preservation. He has canoed seventeen remote rivers in the Canadian Arctic and has served for 20 years on the Board of Directors of Ducks Unlimited, two of those as President. Under his Presidency, many milestones were reached, including the 1986 signing of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Arthur Irving has been Chancellor of Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, since 1996. Recognized as one of Canada’s leading educational institutions, this year Acadia was named the number one undergraduate university, along with Mount Allison, in the annual Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking.
In 2002, the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens were dedicated at Acadia University. A centre of excellence for the study of the natural environment, this gift from the Irving family fulfilled Arthur Irving’s vision of creating a place for students, faculty, staff and the community to meet and work in a natural setting. It is a research and teaching centre of the highest standards concentrating its studies on the ecology and native flora and fauna of the Northeast.
Arthur Irving is married with five children: Jennifer, Kenneth, Arthur, Emily and Sarah and lives in Saint John with his wife Sandra.