Osgoode graduate helps resurrects 228-year-old North West Company

Osgoode alumnus Edward Kennedy (LLB ’95), president of the North West Company, received the Henry Singer Exceptional Leadership in the Retailing and Service Sector Award, wrote the Edmonton Journal Oct. 24. Kennedy was born in The Pas, Man., graduated from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, and was named Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year in 2006 by the Retail Council of Canada.

The North West Company, under Kennedy’s leadership, "re-established its identity as an independent retailer in Canada, became the dominant retailer in rural Alaska and launched the expansion of Giant Tiger discount stores into Western Canada," noted the award sponsor, the University of Alberta School of Business, in a news release. North West recently expanded from the far north to the tropics by acquiring the Cost-U-Less warehouse store chain, which operates in the South Pacific and Caribbean islands.

The first North West Company was formed in 1779 to compete in the Canadian fur trade. In 1821, it merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1987, HBC sold its Northern Stores Division to an investor group that revived the old name, said the Journal.

Indie bookstore offers children’s reading sessions led by York teacher-trainers

The owners of independent Queen Street West bookstore Type Books, Samara Walbohm and Joanne Saul, have designed and instituted an after-school program called Wordplay at their Trinity Bellwoods store, which runs in two nine-week sessions per year, and includes storytelling, bingo and other games for children, wrote the National Post Oct. 24. Volunteers, including teacher-trainer candidates from York University’s Faculty of Education, run the Wordplay programs, which have been so successful that they have capped attendance at 18 per session and are keeping a waiting list, Walbohm said. Saul said they hope to have similar programming at their new store in Forest Hill.