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Gerry Schwartz’s contributions to the motion picture industry recognized

Schwartz, along with his wife, successful book and music chain store owner, Heather Reisman, will have an exclusive lobby and gallery dedicated in their name at that soon to be opened Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to be known as the Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman Mezzanine Gallery.


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 Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman $5 million donation / Getty

/ By Albert Hecht /

In appreciation of their constant string of contributions to the world of art in general and the motion picture industry in particular, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced that both the mezzanine lobby and gallery space in the museum, due to open in early 2017 in Los Angeles will be dedicated in the couple’s name.

Schwartz and Reisman are believed to have donated that sum of $5 million towards the design and construction costs of the museum. When completed, the Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman Mezzanine Gallery will contain more than 25, 000 square meters of exhibition areas, galleries, theatres, and screening rooms as well as a number of areas for hosting special events.

The $300 million campaign to raise capital for the project began only last year, and the tremendous efforts on behalf of those involved in raising money, particularly co- chairpersons Annette Benning  and Tom Hanks has already seen enough capital flow in to get the project underway.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be situated in a Los Angeles landmark, the former May Company building, adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Italian architect Renzo Piano, holder of a Pritzker Prize award will be working in tandem with Zoltan Palito design the new 300, 000-square-foot Academy Museum.


Gerald W. Schwartz, was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, going on to study at the University of Manitoba, graduating with a degree in law, before he went on to study for his masters at Harvard University,   leaving with an MBA degree in 1970.

In 1977 Schwartz began his career as a business owner by co-founding CanWest Global Communications Inc in 1977, following that up in 1983 by establishing the Onex Corporation. In addition Gerry Schwartz has held a seat on the board of Scotiabank since 1999.

In 2006, in recognition of his efforts in the field of commerce and industry in Canada , Schwartz was granted the honor of becoming an Officer of the Order of Canada, rated as being the second highest in all of Canada. The OC recognized outstanding merit or distinguished service by citizens of the country whose contributions are deemed to have made a major difference to the Canadian way of life.

Gerald Schwartz is well known for his acts of philanthropy both within Canada and throughout the world. St. Francis Xavier University, located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, that specializes in teaching art, science, business and information systems has been regular recipients of his generosity , and in appreciation have dedicated the Gerald Schwartz School of Business in his name.

Israel has also been a regular recipient of contributions from Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman through their Heseg (achievement) initiative. Heseg is a four year full scholarship program, aimed towards assisting new immigrants who initially come to Israel on their own to serve the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Known as “lone soldiers” the Heseg Foundation offers scholarships to soldiers falling into that category to support their pursuit of academic excellence following their completion of military service.

In addition, Schwartz also arranges to donate iPods and other modern communications equipment to Israeli soldiers serving in the field.

In 2006, Schwartz also made a close to $600, 000 donation to the University of Waterloo in Ontario to enable them to establish an exchange program between students of the University and those of Haifa University in Israel.

Schwartz, with an estimated net worth of around $1 billion has recently been ranked as the 24th most wealthy Canadian.


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