Eugene Melnyk

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Eugene Melnyk
Born (1959-05-27) May 27, 1959 (age 58)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Residence Barbados
Occupation Businessman, sports team owner, racehorse owner
Known for Founder Biovail Corporation, Owner Ottawa Senators, Thoroughbred Horse Breeder, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, Ottawa Senators Foundation, Founder The Organ Project
Board member of Ottawa Senators, Advisory Council of Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Eugene Melnyk (born May 27, 1959) is a Ukrainian Canadian[2][3][4] businessman who has resided in Barbados since February 1991. He is the current and sole owner, governor, and chairman of the Ottawa Senators professional ice hockey franchise of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the founder, former chairman and CEO of Biovail Corporation which was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Canadian Business magazine ranked Melnyk 79th with a net worth of $1.21 billion on its 2017 list of Canada's 100 wealthiest people.[5] He is also one of the richest residents of Barbados, where he now lives.[6][7]

Business career[edit]

In 1982, Melnyk founded medical publishing company Trimel Corporation, which was sold to Thomson Publications (part of The Thomson Corporation) in 1989. Melnyk then founded Biovail Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company, in 1989. During his time as chairman and CEO of Biovail, revenues grew from $19 million in 1995 to $1.067 billion in 2006. One of Biovail's strategies was to look for drugs with expired patents, then reinvent them with the company's proprietary technologies. One example was producing drugs that had controlled-release features that let patients take the drug once a day instead of several times.[8] Melnyk retired from his position as chairman and CEO of Biovail on June 30, 2007.

Sports franchise owner[edit]

On August 26, 2003, Melnyk purchased the Ottawa Senators hockey club of the NHL and their arena, Corel Centre. He is the sole owner and holds the titles of governor and chairman.

Melnyk's first sports franchise purchase was the St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League in 2001. Until 2007, the club played at the St. Michael's College School's Arena in Toronto, but has now relocated to Mississauga, Ontario. As there was a club already in Mississauga, the IceDogs, Melnyk purchased the IceDogs in 2006 and resold them in 2007 to move the Majors into the IceDogs home arena. The new ownership of the IceDogs has relocated the team to St. Catharines, Ontario and is now known as the Niagara IceDogs. On May 10, 2012, Melnyk sold the St. Michael's Majors (now called the Mississauga Steelheads) to Elliott Kerr for an undisclosed price.[9]

On September 16, 2008, Melnyk proposed plans for an Ottawa Major League Soccer professional soccer team, and a new soccer-specific Ottawa Soccer Stadium [10] but could not obtain support from Ottawa's municipal Council. Instead, the Mayor and Council chose a different site for the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Redblacks franchise.

In 2009, Melnyk served as chairman of the IIHF World Junior Championship.[11]

In January 2012, Melnyk hosted the National Hockey League All-Star Game at his arena, the Canadian Tire Centre.[12] In 2005 and 2008, he hosted the NHL Entry Draft.[13]

In June 2013, Melnyk announced the naming rights change of his arena from Scotiabank Place to Canadian Tire Centre.[14] He made this decision based on a preference for the new sponsor Canadian Tire over Scotiabank.

As of November 2016 the Ottawa Senators are valued at $355 million USD.[15] Melnyk has repeatedly stated that the team is not for sale and he would never consider selling it.[16]

Thoroughbred horse racing[edit]

Eugene Melnyk is the owner of Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. and Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Florida, a 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) property on land that was formerly Tartan Farms and where such racing legends as Dr. Fager and Ta Wee are buried. His racing and horse breeding operations have more than 200 Thoroughbreds. All of the Melnyk racehorses are named after Barbados landmarks and carry the blue and gold national colours. Blue and gold are also Ukrainian national colours.

Melnyk was named a trustee of the New York Racing Association in August 2003, a position from which he resigned in January 2007. Melnyk was a co-recipient of the National Turf Writers Association's 2002 Joe Palmer Award and has also been honored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association as national owners of the year in 2005, and he formerly sat on the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association board of directors.

In 1998, his colt Archers Bay won Canada's most prestigious race, the Queen's Plate. Melnyk has won all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown with two horses: Archers Bay and Lodgehill. Another highlight came in 2007 with the 3-year-old filly Sealy Hill, who became the first filly to win the Canadian Triple Tiara, which legs include the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the Bison City Stakes, and the Wonder Where Stakes, since the series was inaugurated in 1999. Sealy Hill was awarded with triple Sovereign Awards–3-year-old filly, turf female and Canadian Horse of the Year and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August 2013. Melnyk has won 12 Sovereign Awards.

Top racehorses include champion sprinter Speightstown, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint, Marchfield (2007 Breeders' Stakes), Flower Alley (2005 Travers), Pool Land (2006 Ruffian), Marley Vale (Test), Tweedside (Coaching Club American Oaks), Bishop Court Hill (Carter), Harmony Lodge (Ballerina), along with other graded stakes winners Indian Vale, Gouldings Green, Strong Hope, Host, Fisher Pond, Lodge Hill, Bovell, Pico Teneriffe, and Graeme Hall. Owns a substantial quantity of bloodstock and is standing stallions in Florida and Kentucky, including Speightstown (at WinStar Farm), Strong Hope (at Winding Oaks Farm), and Flower Alley (at Three Chimneys Farm), Graeme Hall, and Harlington (Winding Oaks Farm).

Melnyk's Flower Alley is the sire of I'll Have Another, which won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and was suddenly retired on the eve of the Belmont Stakes (the third leg of the U.S. Triple Crown) with an injury to his left front tendon.

In February 2013, Eugene sold a few of his broodmares to refocus the business from breeding to purchasing yearlings and racing those instead.[17] His dedication and investment in the thoroughbred racehorse industry remains strong and substantial, and he can be regularly seen attending many of his horses' races.

On April 4, 2017, it was announced that Eugene Melnyk will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as a builder.

The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place on August 9th, 2017 at the Mississauga Convention centre. Eugene Melynk is one of five that will be inducted that evening.

Business ventures[edit]

  • Ottawa Senators (NHL Team)[18]
  • Belleville Senators
  • Canadian Tire Centre (Multi-purpose Arena and home of the Ottawa Senators)[19]
  • Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation[20]
  • Biovail Corporation (retired),[21] formerly known as Trimel Pharmaceuticals (same name as Melnyk's new pharmaceutical company) [21]
  • Bert's Bar (Barbados)[22]
  • Bert's Bar (Ottawa)[23]
  • Providence Charitable Trust[24]
  • Providence Elementary and Secondary schools[25]


Eugene Melnyk is involved with various charitable organizations. His primary charitable focus is on helping children and the elderly. His involvement has included:

  • Honorary Director of Help Us Help the Children (HUHC), a humanitarian organization that benefits from his annual donation of medical supplies and clothing. The organization, founded in Canada, helps to offer vital care to over 100,000 children living in 220 orphanages scattered throughout Ukraine.[33]
  • Donated $1.8 million to St. Michael's College School to upgrade the field with new state-of-the-art artificial grass, stadium lights, sound system, and an electronic scoreboard. This field is called "The Eugene Melnyk Sports Field".[34][35] Melnyk has made several significant donations to the school making him the single largest individual donor in the 150+ year history of the St. Michael's College School.
  • Donated $1 million to the Belmont Child Care Association for the construction of a child care center at Belmont Park. Called Anna House, it is named after one of his two daughters and the center is the first facility in the United States to be located on the grounds of a racetrack. The center provides child care for all families who work at Belmont Park regardless of their ability to pay for services. Many of the children belong to grooms, exercise riders and other behind-the-scenes racetrack employees.[36][37]
  • Donated to finance the elaborately decorated Byzantine-style Ukrainian Catholic chapel at the St. Demetrius Residence Centre for the elderly in Toronto.[38]
  • Donated $1 million to launch the foundation "Patrons of Sport" with Canadian Athletes Now Fund (CAN Fund). The foundation supports Canadian athletes.[33][39]
  • Honorary Patron of the St. Joseph's Health Centre; Donated $5 million to St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto to help improve patient access to one of Toronto's oldest hospitals. Eugene's father, the late Dr. Ferdinand Melnyk, was instrumental in creating the hospital's first emergency room department that now services the largest volume of patients of any single site hospital in the Greater Toronto Area. This donation was the single, largest private donation in the 86-year history of St. Joseph's Health Centre.[40]
  • In April 2007 Eugene made a special surprise visit to Kandahar, Afghanistan to deliver a special donation of hockey equipment to Canadian and United States troops involved in the NATO rebuilding efforts in that country.[33]
  • The Ottawa Senators Foundation is the second largest charity in Ottawa/Gatineau region. His involvement with this Foundation has led him to become a Founding Partner of an ambitious and innovative $4.5 million pediatric palliative care facility in Ottawa called Roger's House which he helped to officially open in April 2006 and is only the second facility of its kind in North America.[41]
  • Hosts the "Eugene Melnyk Skate for Kids" event at Canadian Tire Centre every year where he donates Senators jerseys, helmets and brand new skates to hundreds of underprivileged children living in Ottawa.[42]
  • Appointed to the Advisory Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC). The UCC brings together all national, provincial and local Ukrainian Canadian organizations to represent the interests of one of Canada's largest ethnic communities and works to help shape the country's social, economic and political landscape.
  • In 2014 Melnyk spearheaded a campaign to boycott sponsors of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in order to push FIFA to remove the event from Russia, out of protest for its war with Ukraine.[43]
  • On February 15th, 2017, Eugene Melnyk launched his charity The Organ Project in Ottawa, Ontario. The charity aims to end the waitlist for those in need of an organ transplant. On March 31st, 2017, Melnyk then hosted The Organ Project Inaugural Gala in Toronto, Ontario.

Personal life[edit]

Eugene Melnyk was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He now resides permanently in Barbados. He is divorced and has two children.[44]

Melnyk was made honorary Colonel of the No. 414 Squadron RCAF.[45]


On May 19, 2015 Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant surgery at Toronto General Hospital.[46]

Books and TV[edit]

Eugene has been featured in the following books:

  • "Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money, and the Future of Canadian Business" by Diane Francis[47]
  • "Going for the Green: On the Links with Canada's Business and Political Elite" by Robert Thompson[48]
  • "The Pied Pipers of Wall Street" by Benjamin Cole

He has also been featured in the following TV shows:

  • 60 Minutes: "Betting on a Fall" [49]
  • 20/20
  • CBC's Venture – 2 episodes

See also[edit]


  • Ottawa Senators Media Guide 2007-08. Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. 2007. 
  1. ^ St. Michael's College School: Mr. Eugene Melnyk
  2. ^ Bulka: Presumed consent the wrong approach Ottawa Citizen, May 24, 2015
  3. ^ Ukrainian-Canadians answering call of the homeland The Star, Dec 22 2014
  4. ^ Sens owner Melnyk urges Canadian action on Ukraine The Globe and Mail, March 25, 2014
  5. ^ Canadian Business, December 9, 2013 issue
  6. ^ Melnyk – one of the wealthiest - NationNews Barbados - Local, Regional and International News -
  7. ^ alpha services - Barbados
  8. ^ BIOVAIL CORP./Ontario, Canada Drug Firm Has Last Laugh Over Questionable Buy -
  9. ^ Kerr buys Mississauga Majors
  10. ^ "Bring the World to Ottawa". Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  11. ^ He also served as chairman of the Host Organizing Committee which was responsible for overseeing this major international hockey tournament. The event saw Team Canada win its fifth consecutive gold medal and the overall tournament shattered all financial, economic and broadcast records: nearly a half million tickets were sold for the event which generated in excess of $80 million in regional economic activity for the nation's capital. Eugene Melnyk: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek
  12. ^ Melnyk's all-star dream comes true | Senators | Sports | Ottawa Sun
  13. ^ Ottawa hosts 2008 NHL Entry Draft - Ottawa Senators - Features
  14. ^ Naming rights for Scotiabank Place sold to Canadian Tire | Ottawa & Region | News | Ottawa Sun
  15. ^ "The Business of Hockey". Retrieved 2017-05-28. 
  16. ^ Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk: Team is not for sale | Senators | Sports | Ottawa Sun
  17. ^ Melnyk Horses Bring Gratifying Sale Results |
  18. ^ Ottawa Senators
  19. ^ Canadian Tire Centre :: Home
  20. ^ Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ Bert's Barbados - Welcome
  23. ^
  24. ^ Yearwood, Trevor (2009-07-06). "'All-inclusive' school by 2010". Nation Newspaper. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  25. ^ Providence School
  26. ^ Winding Oaks Farm
  27. ^ Home page Fusion Beauty
  28. ^ Eugene Melnyk Acquires Fusion Brands Inc. and Fusion Brands International
  29. ^ CORRECTION FROM SOURCE/Eugene Melnyk and Olivann Beauty Congratulates British Band One Direction on Launch of New Fragrance
  30. ^ Account Suspended
  31. ^
  32. ^ Players got nothin' on these coaches
  33. ^ a b c Biography
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Ukrainians abroad strive to keep alive cultural traditions of the homeland
  39. ^ CANADIAN ATHLETES NOW FUND | Eugene Melnyk launches national 'Patrons of Sport' campaign in support of Canadian athletes
  40. ^ Eugene Melnyk Donates $5 million to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Improves Patient Access to one of Toronto’s Oldest Hospitals
  41. ^ Roger'S House Officially Opens Its Doors | Ottawa Start.Com
  42. ^ Eugene Melnyk Skate for Kids creates a lifetime of memories - Ottawa Senators - News
  43. ^
  44. ^ Ottawa Senators owner Melnyk in divorce proceeding
  45. ^
  46. ^ Canadian Jewish News: "Want more organ donors? Pay them" June 3, 2015
  47. ^ About Diane Francis - Diane Francis
  48. ^ Going for the Green Book: April 29 | Going for the Green
  49. ^ [1]

External links[edit]