Top 7 over 70
May 06, 2021
Kim McConnell / Jim Gray
Top 7 over 70


The Top 7 Over 70 Awards is a dream-turned-reality for founder Jim Gray, a renowned Calgarian, oil patch pioneer and philanthropist. Over the years, Jim noticed award programs sprouting up for people in a myriad of demographic groups, except for those who were older in years. At the same time, he seemed to be meeting an increasing number of people who were starting new ventures and initiatives even after they reached traditional retirement age.

The vibrant contributions these people were making to the community seemed to be getting a bit overlooked by society and Jim decided he was going to do something about that. He began dreaming — and talking — about an awards program that would recognize the contributions of community members after age 70.

“I am struck by the dynamic contributions I see Calgary seniors making in every facet of life, adding to the richness of our community,” says Jim. “That’s why I thought it is time to celebrate the unique achievements of seniors by recognizing the Top 7 Over 70.”

Jim and fellow philanthropist Brian Felesky began rounding up a coalition of acquaintances and business professionals to help turn this idea into a solid project.

The result was the formation of a volunteer committee that includes Linda McNally, who serves as co-patron with Jim Gray, and Bonnie DuPont and Steve Allan, who in 2017 served as co-chairs with Brian Felesky. In 2019, Bonnie continued as chair of the Top 7 Over 70 executive committee. For the 2021 instalment, Kim McConnell takes over this role.