YMCA mourns passing of Peter A. Allard

Photo courtesy of UBC

It is with great sadness that we announce a very close friend, member, and donor – Peter A. Allard – passed away on June 11, 2022. The YMCA of Greater Vancouver sends its deepest condolences to the entire Allard Family. 

Peter A. Allard, affectionately known as “Peter” to our YMCA family, was a passionate and longtime supporter of the YMCA. It has been our privilege to have Peter as an ardent ambassador of the Y – as a member, a key donor and an advocate for young people, single parents and other individuals in the communities we serve. 

“We will be forever grateful for Peter’s selflessness,” said YMCA of Greater Vancouver President & CEO Heidi Worthington. “His patronage and dedication to the YMCA has benefitted countless youth and families and will continue to have a lasting impact for future generations.” 

In extending its deepest sympathies to the Allard family during this difficult time, the YMCA is especially mindful of his loving nephew Robert King, and Peter’s siblings and the many (great) nieces and nephews.

Peter was a significant leader in our YMCA. Peter and The Highbury Foundation generosity has been making a difference for the YMCA for more than 16 years and counting. The Highbury Foundation, which Peter established in 1993 to help support Canadian charities, has made multiple, significant contributions to the YMCA. The foundation’s support has assisted a wide range of YMCA programs and services, including – but not limited to – child care, camps and other youth leadership initiatives, and investing as co-founders in spaces for people to improve their health and wellbeing. The impact enabling single-parent families to access Y programs such as child care and swim lessons were made possible by Peter’s guidance. 

More recently, Peter provided a transformational gift to the YMCA’s What Really Matters capital campaign that will further enshrine the Allard family’s legacy with the Y, as the new YMCA centre of community set to open in Coquitlam later this year has been named in honour of his mother, Bettie Allard.  

This past fall, we were pleased to have Peter and several members of the Allard family join us for a special gathering to introduce and celebrate Bettie Allard – who instilled in Peter so many of the values he shared with the YMCA – as the new facility’s namesake. We regret that he won’t have the opportunity to see the centre of community named in honour of his mother at its completion but are heartened to know his altruism and compassion won’t be forgotten.  

His legacy lives on through the many children and families in our community that he has strengthened through his generous philanthropic efforts.

Beyond the YMCA, Peter and The Highbury Foundation’s philanthropy has extended to many other charities, educational institutions and community initiatives. He also founded the Allard Prize for International Integrity, which honours individuals and organizations working to protect human rights and combat corruption on a biennial basis.  

We encourage you to click here to read more about Peter’s life, career and family, and to join us in reflecting on his enduring influence on the YMCA and our Greater Vancouver and global community as a whole.