Arthur Ryan Smith C.M., D.F.C., LL.D.
Arthur Ryan Smith’s quiet confidence has earned him the respect of his peers and accolades from fellow Albertans. His exceptional record of lifelong public service, demonstrated through his terms as a Calgary alderman, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, a Member of Parliament and a business advisor, confirm the commitment Mr. Smith has to the betterment of his community.
A native Calgarian born in 1919, Mr. Smith first took on the challenge of public service by enlisting with the military in 1939. Serving as a Royal Air Force Bomber Pathfinder Captain until 1944, he received his first award of merit with the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943.
Following his wartime service, Mr. Smith began a new career in Alberta’s oil and gas sector, participating in the early development of this province’s valuable resource-based industry.
Continuing to build on his public service career, he ran for and was elected to Calgary city council in 1952, the Alberta Legislature in 1954, and the House of Commons, where he served from 1957 until 1962. While serving as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Smith participated in sessions at the United Nations, representing Canada on issues such as the Middle East and apartheid.
Following his public service career, Mr. Smith resumed his business career. Through the years, he has worked for various corporations. For 18 years, Mr. Smith was the President and Chief Executive Officer for the predecessor company to SNC-Lavolin Inc. He has received international awards for marketing.
Mr. Smith has also shared his business experience with many students. He has lectured on various business subjects at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Mount Royal College. At the University of Calgary, he lectured for the Political Science Department. In addition to his academic work at these educational institutions, Mr. Smith has assisted in fundraising efforts.
In 1981, his business acumen was noticed by then-Mayor of Calgary, Ralph Klein, who asked Mr. Smith to assist in the formation of the Calgary Economic Development Authority. Then in 1994, Mr. Smith’s expertise was required once again as the Alberta Economic Development Authority was created from the model developed in Calgary.
Mr. Smith continues to work as a business consultant and advisor to senior management at SNC-Lavolin Inc., as well as to other clients.
In 1988, Mr. Smith served as the Chief of Protocol at the Calgary Winter Olympics. He has also offered his services in the founding of the Calgary Booster Club, the Olympic Development Association and the University of Calgary’s International School of Business.
In 1997, Mr. Smith received yet another honour: the title of Honorary Colonel of the 416 Fighter Squadron. In 1961 and 1962, Mr. Smith was the president of the Air Cadet League.