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David S. R. Leighton


Dave L

David S. R. Leighton

Feb. 20, 1928 – August 11, 2022


David Struan Robertson Leighton, a leading figure in Canadian business, education and the arts, passed away with family by his side in Canmore, Alberta. 

He and his wife Peggy and their family fell in love with Banff and Alberta when he became the President of the Banff Centre (School of Fine Arts) in 1970. He transformed a small seasonal arts school into an internationally renowned institution and nurtured an extraordinary family of both employees and artists.

David was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence in recognition of this major achievement.

In addition to his years in Banff, David had a long and varied career.  Some highlights included: serving as Founding Director of the University of Western Ontario business school’s PhD program, President and CEO of the Calgary Olympics Organizing Committee, Chairman of Nabisco Brands Ltd, Director of the National Centre for Management Research, and Chairman of the National Arts Centre. He served on numerous corporate and public service boards and was co-founder and Chair of the Banff Television Festival.

David received honorary doctorates from University of Windsor and Queens University, and in 2007 was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

David and Peggy moved back to the Bow Valley and the mountains they loved in 2018.

The family owes a debt of gratitude to the caring people at Origin Spring Creek, Dr. Emma Morin and the acute care team at the Canmore Hospital.

David/Dad/Grampa is remembered with love and admiration. He led a life worth celebrating and set an example worth emulating.

Recognition of David’s life can be made by contributions to Leighton Artist Studios at the Banff Centre: