In 1967, Canada turned 100. The minimum wage was $1.10 an hour. And this magazine took its fledgling steps to document the seismic changes shaping our city. A look back at 45 years with 45 agents of change.
Azim Jamal: A life can change over a single cab ride. Jamal was heading back to his hotel room in Karachi after visiting an Afghan refugee camp. What he’d seen there, he said, “shook my soul. I was crying like a baby, shivering and sweating. Thoughts went through me: what’s the point of life when you cannot really use your gifts to make a difference?” The Ismaili accountant returned to Vancouver determined to put his abilities to better use. Out went a 20-year business; in came something new: The Corporate Sufi. He set himself targets: over 10 years, he would raise $40 million for charity and become one of the finest inspirational speakers in the world. “Nothing fazed me. One year, I spoke 170 times in a year: in France, Portugal, New Zealand. I didn’t get a penny. If one person showed up, I spoke.” He sought to inspire 5.7 million people to achieve their potential, in part through books like The Power of Giving, written with colleague Harvey McKinnon. Auditing the last decade, he concedes he’s probably fallen short, though he’s come to realize our spheres of influence are hard to calculate-how to track an emotional chord that might not crescendo until days or weeks after he’s spoken? What he does know is that he’s raised more money and touched more people than if he’d stuck to QuickBooks.