The Ottawa Hospital Receives the Largest Individual Donation in its History: $7-Million Donation from Investor Eric Sprott and his wife Vizma will put Canada at the Forefront of Stem Cell Research

July 25, 2006

One of Canada’s most successful investors, Eric Sprott, and his wife Vizma, have made a $7-million donation to the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital. The gift – the largest individual donation in the hospital’s history – will go toward the creation of an endowment fund to support the new Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research, named in honour of the generous donors.

The endowment fund will ensure future growth of the Centre, which will officially open in November at the Hospital’s General Campus. The permanent fund will allow some of Canada’s leading scientists to further advance stem cell research that could one day lead to cures for some of humanity’s most debilitating diseases.

The 30,000 square-foot facility will be the largest research centre in Canada devoted to the study of stem cells. It will house approximately 120 researchers, who will also be affiliated with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine.

“Stem cells have the potential to revolutionize medicine and possibly lead to cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Diabetes,” said Dr. Ron Worton, CEO and Scientific Director of the OHRI. ”The new Centre will mean untold benefits for people in our community, now and in the future.”

“The donation will catapult the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa to the forefront of stem cell research and regenerative medicine in Canada,” said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Director of the new Centre and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"We’re so grateful to Eric and Vizma Sprott,” said Susan Doyle, President and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. “The very qualities of foresight and vision that have made Eric Sprott one of Canada’s most successful investors are now guiding his philanthropy. This donation will accelerate our progress toward this exciting new era of regenerative medicine."

"Since our first meeting with Dr. Worton and Dr. Michael Rudnicki (director of the new Centre), we realized that these were exceptional scientists who would one day play a key role in curing disease on a global scale,” said Mr. Sprott, Chairman, CEO of Sprott Asset Management. “We are excited to be a part of that work and know that our investment will pay enormous dividends some day.”

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is also announcing today that it has met the fundraising challenge of The Kresge Foundation. In September 2005, the Ottawa community was issued the challenge to raise $2 million by November 2006 to support the construction of the Centre for Stem Cell Research as a condition to receive a grant of $800,000 from the U.S.-based foundation. This means that the community has donated a total of $8.6 million of the $17.4 million cost to build and equip the Centre, with the balance coming from matching provincial and federal funds. Today’s donation by Eric and Vizma Sprott is in addition to the funds raised to build the Centre and will go toward the future development and growth of the Centre.

The donation by Eric and Vizma Sprott brings the fundraising total of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s Legacy Campaign to an impressive $85 million. The Campaign’s goal is to raise $100 million over five years for facility upgrades, new equipment and leading-edge medical research and education.

Eric Sprott has more than 35 years of experience in the investment industry. Born in Ottawa, Mr. Sprott completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton University and earned his designation as a Chartered Accountant. In 1981, he founded Sprott Securities Inc., and then Sprott Asset Management in 2000.

The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is a multi-campus, academic health sciences centre, serving 1.5 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, both in English and French. It provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada, and boasts specialty centres in cancer, heart, kidney and vision care, as well as rehabilitation services. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Web site at

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of the Ottawa Hospital and an affiliated research institute of the University of Ottawa. With more than 1,200 scientists, investigators, trainees and support staff, the OHRI is investigating human health at every level. For more information, visit the OHRI website at

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s mission is to inspire and enable people to support the highest quality healthcare at The Ottawa Hospital and world-class research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. For more information, visit The Ottawa Hospital Foundation Web site at

For more information, please contact:

Robin Percival
Media & Public Relations Officer
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Tel.: 613-798-5555, ext. 18718

Jennifer Paterson
Communications Manager
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Tel.: 613-798-5555, ext.19691