Class of 1995
Dr. Charles A. Allard was a man of many talents: a surgeon, broadcaster, property developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, he had astonishingly diversified business interests. Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1919, Charles graduated with a medical degree from the University of Alberta in 1943. His medical career was a prestigious one; Dr. Allard received Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) in 1948, and became a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery in 1950.
When he first set out to establish his medical practice in Edmonton in the mid-40s, a shortage of office space had prompted “The Doctor,” as he was called, to enter the property development business. With a partner, Charles formed Paris Investments and the company became a prominent holder and developer of property throughout Western Canada. His medical career also continued, and he was eventually appointed Chief of Staff at the Edmonton General Hospital.
Dr. Allard was founder, Chairman of the Board, and Director of International Jet Air Ltd. He also became founder, Chairman of the Board, and Director of Alberta Gas Chemical Ltd. in 1972. Playing a critical role in the founding of the Bank of Alberta, Charles also established the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association (WHA).
Having been a correspondent for the Edmonton Journal when in high school, Charles later founded the Edmonton Free Press. He returned to communications media in 1965 when he started the Edmonton radio station CHQT. Within three years, Paris Investments went public and was renamed Allarco Developments, becoming one of the largest real-estate companies in Canada. Allard gave up his medical practice in 1973 when Allarco received a broadcasting license for its outlet CITV, Western Canada’s first independent TV station.
Next for Allard was Allarcom Ltd., a company that co-founded The Family Channel, founded Super-Channel and built Edmonton’s Allarcom Sound Stage, home to a number of movie and television productions. Allarcom’s hit comedy series, SCTV, became the first Canadian series to run in the Unites States.
Charles Allard also established Allard Foundation Ltd. through which he directed his various charitable contributions. Today the Allard Foundation continues to nourish both young minds, through donations to the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and young bodies, through its support of the Breakfast for Learning initiative.
At the age of 71, Charles sold Allarcom to WIC (Western International Communications), passing away shortly after in 1991. A private man, he lived by his basic philosophy: be fair, live by your word, and treat people with respect.