Martha Cohen

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Martha Cohen

Martha Ruth Cohen, CM, LLD (née Block; 1920 – February 26, 2015) was a Canadian community activist and philanthropist.[1]

A member of the Order of Canada, she and her late husband Harry (1912–1990) raised four children, while spearheading a variety of major civic projects. Born in Calgary, Alberta, her parents were Rebecca and Peter Block.[2]




Harry and Martha Cohen Foundation[edit]

The Harry & Martha Cohen Foundation is a private family foundation which provides grants primarily to Calgary-based charities. In her role as executive director of the Foundation, Cheryl Cohen oversees all applications and grant decisions.[8]

Harry and Martha Cohen Award[edit]

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.[9]

Martha Cohen Theatre[edit]

In 1983, Martha Cohen's late husband, Harry, a successful Calgary businessman, donated $1 million to have a theatre named at the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts in honor of Martha Cohen's birthday.[10]

Dr. Martha Cohen School[edit]

On May 4, 2015, the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) announced that it would name a new Middle School (located in New Brighton/Copperfield) after Martha Cohen. Describing her as one of the city’s foremost humanitarians and philanthropists, the CBE expects the new school to open by January, 2017.[11] The Dr. Martha Cohen School is anticipated to provide educational programming for approximately 900 students (Grades 5-9) and will be located at 1750 New Brighton Drive S.E.[12]