Harley Hotchkiss was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario in 1927. A graduate of Michigan State University in 1951 and a geologist by trade, Hotchkiss moved to Calgary in 1951. He married Rebecca Boyd and they raised five children in Calgary.
Hotchkiss had a long career in the oil and gas industry. He served as President of Alcon Petroleum into the 1960s, and started up his own companies, including Sabre Petroleum. His peers remembered him as an “icon” in the industry.
Hotchkiss was well known for his contributions to sports development in Canada. He was one of the original owners that brought the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Flames to Calgary in 1980 and remained a team owner until shortly before his death. He served as Chairman of The Board of Governors of the National Hockey League between 1995 and 2007, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2006.
Hotchkiss also worked tirelessly to support our health care system. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Hotchkiss co-chaired the Partners in Health Campaign, a $50 million fundraising project to support health-related initiatives in the Calgary area. Funding from Partners in Health supported the development of the first intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging machine in Canada, helped attract world-class researchers and clinicians to Alberta, and bought state-of-the-art medical equipment that has enhanced
Health care for Albertans. Hotchkiss also made a $15-million donation to the Calgary Brain Institute which was renamed the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.
Hotchkiss was a noted philanthropist and donated generously to the many charities. As a result of his stellar community involvement, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1997, elevated to Companion in 2009, and named to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1998. In May 2012, it was announced that a new neighbourhood in southeast Calgary, Hotchkiss, would be named after him.
In 2009, Harley Hotchkiss along with Paul Grescoe wrote a memoir titled “Hat Trick – A Life in the Hockey Rink, Oil Patch and Community”.
Harley Hotchkiss passed away in 2011. For over twenty-five years, Mr. Hotchkiss’s contributions have positively influenced the development and sustainability of many industries and many groups, organizations, and individuals in our city, province and across the country.