Martha Cohen, CM, AOE, LL.D., born Martha Ruth Block in Calgary, Alberta (1920 - ), Community Builder and Philanthropist, Member of the Order of Canada. With her late husband, Harry B. Cohen, she raised four children (Philip, Cheryl, Faye (Hersh), and David) while spearheading a variety of major civic projects. Her parents were Rebecca and Peter Block.
- Bachelor of Arts, University of Alberta (1940)
- Master Diploma of Social Work, University of Toronto (1945)
Martha Cohen has long been involved in community activities. Most notably:
- Past Chairwoman of the Board for the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts during the planning, financing and constructing of this major facility. Martha and her associates raised some $15 million of private funding toward the creation of the Centre.
- Past Chairwoman of the Mount Royal College Board of Governors during the period of planning, financing, and constructing a new campus. As such, she became the first woman to head a higher educational institution in Alberta.
- Past Chairwoman of William Roper Hull Home for Boys and Girls.
- Past Chairwoman of the Providence Creche.
- Founder/Past Executive Director of the Calgary Jewish Family Service.
- Past Vice-Chairwoman of Old Sun College at Gleichen, Alberta.
- Past President of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada
- Past member of the Council of the Alberta Order of Excellence.
- Prime Minister Medal, State of Israel Bonds (1970)
- Order of Canada (1975)
- Alberta Achievement Award (1975)
- Queen's Anniversary Medal (1977)
- Sesquicentennial Year Plaque, University of Toronto (1977)
- Calgary Citizen of the Year (1979)
- Honorary doctorate, University of Calgary (1982)
- Boy Scouts of Canada Medal (1984)
- Variety Club International Lifeliner Medal (1984)
- City of Calgary, Centennial Award of Merit (1985)
- Scopus Award, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1994)
- Distinguished Citizen Award, Mount Royal College (1995)
- Honorary Bachelor of Applied Communications, Mount Royal College (1995)
- Angel Award, International Society for the Performing Arts (1995)
- Best of Alberta Award, Calgary Herald (2008)
Harry and Martha Cohen Award
In 1985, Harry and Martha's four children (Philip, Cheryl, Faye, and David) established an annual award for individuals making outstanding contributions to the Arts.
Martha Cohen Theatre
In 1983, Martha Cohen's late husband, Harry B. Cohen, a successful Calgary businessman, donated $1 million to get a theatre named at the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts in honor of his beloved Martha's birthday.
A Pioneer on the Prairie
Residing in a penthouse today near the Elbow River, Martha Cohen is considered to be one of Calgary's most prominent citizens, a woman who played a major part in transforming "Cowtown" into a vibrant metropolitan center.
- Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 92.