Donor Profiles

It takes vision to see past current horizons. Meet some of the visionaries who support Perimeter.


Finance and physics are mathematical fields, but it isn't a knack for numbers that drew Gluskin Sheff + Associates to Perimeter Institute. It's the shared ethos of innovation. Founded in 1984, the firm prides itself on leadership and innovative thinking, traits that have vaulted the firm into Canada's upper echelons of wealth management.

That's why the firm's President and CEO Jeremy Freedman saw Perimeter as a natural partner. "At Gluskin Sheff, we see ourselves as innovators, and we're proud to be associated with Perimeter Institute because Perimeter is a global leader and innovator as well," Freedman said. "We believe Canadian institutions can be as good as anyone in the world  Perimeter has proven that, and we believe Gluskin Sheff is proving that as well."

The Gluskin Sheff Freeman Dyson Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute is supported by Gluskin Sheff's $2 million donation, matched by Perimeter. It is named after one of the 20th century's most distinguished and well-known scientists, whose work continues to influence many branches of physics. Inaugural chairholder Freddy Cachazo's work is anticipated to have similar impact.


Chairman (retired) and Founder, Teledyne DALSA Corporation
Savvas Chamberlain knows better than most people that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. After all, he’s a scientist and inventor who turned his deep expertise in CCD image sensors (the kind of sensors inside high-end digital cameras) into a company called DALSA. Today, DALSA is a global leader in high performance imaging and semiconductors. Their image sensors are even inside NASA’s Mars Rovers.

It wouldn’t have happened without physics. Semiconductors (of which CCDs are a type) were invented by theoretical physicists: Willard Boyle (a Canadian) and George Smith from Bell Labs, who were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work. The connection is even deeper, as CCDs rely on the photoelectric effect, described by Albert Einstein in 1905.

The breakthroughs made by the great physicists of the past have shaped our modern world in deep and surprising ways. And the breakthroughs made by the great physicists of the present – who knows where they will take us?

The beauty of investing in these breakthroughs is that the price tag does not have to be high. This isn’t “big science” with its high-priced equipment. Theoretical physics is work done largely on chalkboards.

By lending their support to the Perimeter Institute, far-sighted individuals like Savvas Chamberlain can help make the breakthroughs that will change the world.



The Cowan Foundation is a lead sponsor of the Perimeter Institute’s Power of Ideas travelling exhibition, a national partnership celebrating Canadian innovation for the country’s sesquicentennial in 2017.
Youth and families take a fun hands-on approach to engaging in the process of science through this immersive experience that fosters curiosity and a better understanding of how we investigate our world.
Travelling to schools and science centres across the country, the Power of Ideas Exhibition also includes an interactive presentation for youth that draws on stories of Canada’s past to inspire the innovator in all of us.
“The Perimeter Institute is once again thinking of creative ways to positively engage Canadians through science outreach, and we are happy to be one of the lead partners to assist as they roll this innovative exhibition across the country for individuals of all ages to explore and enjoy.”
– Terry Reidel, Executive Director, The Cowan Foundation


In 2010, the BMO Financial Group announced the single largest donation supporting science in its history: $4 million to establish the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute.

Perimeter is already competing successfully for faculty members with the leading institutions in the world. Still, the competition for the very best minds is fierce.

That’s why one of Perimeter’s highest priorities is establishing ten prestigious endowed chairs and recruiting as new chairholders five of the most influential theoretical physicists of our time.

One of the world’s top scientists has filled the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics at Perimeter Institute : Xiao-Gang Wen, a leading expert in condensed matter theory. He came to Perimeter from MIT, where he held the Cecil and Ida Green Professorship in Physics.

“This investment is a game-changer. When we announced BMO’s support in attracting even more of the best theoretical physicists to Canada, we were confident that this chair, in particular, would be a magnet for talent. Dr. Wen is a scientist of exceptional global stature, someone who is pushing the boundaries in an area of science where the potential applications are simply enormous. It’s an opportunity not only to enhance innovation in Canada, but also to establish our leadership position in new quantum technologies – globally.”

– Bill Downe, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group

“I am eager to see what today’s chalkboards will look like when they too come to life.” 

Savvas Chamberlain,

Perimeter Donor and Leadership Council Member