The museum’s collection of Quebec and Canadian art features nearly 11,000 works, of which more than 6,700 cover the period from 1945 to today. The chair will support acquisitions, research, education and promotion related to the collection, and exhibitions related to Quebec and Canadian art of that period. The generous endowment has also allowed the museum to hire a specialist in that specific time period in Quebec and Canadian art history, Marie-Eve Beaupré, as part of its curatorial contingent. (Jacques Des Rochers remains curator of Quebec and Canadian Art before 1945).

Stephen A. Jarislowsky was born in Berlin, Germany, and is the stepson of a steel mill owner, who was ousted by the Nazis for harbouring Jews. Jarislowsky emigrated to the United States in 1941, and in 1955 settled permanently in Canada.

A businessman and philanthropist, and an astute art-lover, Jarislowsky has been collecting Canadian art for more than 50 years. Since setting up the Jarislowsky Foundation in 1991, he has established more than 30 chairs in Canada, mostly at universities, including the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University.

CEO of Jarislowsly Fraser Limited, one of the largest and most successful investment management firms in Canada, he is the 26th richest person in Canada, with personal wealth estimated at $1.6 billion (data from February 2015).