The Honouree
Cal Nichols

Cal Nichols saved the Oilers from leaving Edmonton, not once, but twice.

In 1996 he organized a ticket campaign to raise the number of game attendees for the season to receive the NHL’s Canadian currency equalization payments. The second time was when he rallied investors all over the City together to purchase the team and keep the Oilers from being sold to Les Alexander, owner of the Houston Rockets basketball team. Cal went on to serve as Chairman and NHL Governor for ten years.

Born in Paradise Hill, Saskatchewan, Mr. Cal Nichols started his oil and gas career as an Esso commission agent. He has spent most of his life in petroleum marketing-related industries and real estate development. In 1984, Cal was a founding partner in Northridge Petroleum Marketing Inc., which became Canada’s first privately owned company in crude oil and gas marketing after deregulation. He created Gasland Oil Ltd. in 1985, which grew to over 50 branded independent petroleum outlets in Western Canada.

Cal has been inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame and recognized by many other organizations for his continued efforts in his community.

In 2014, he was named to the Order of Canada, established in 1967 to acknowledge citizens with “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.” Mr. Nichols states how worldview was shaped by reciprocity, “I believe in being rewarded for superior effort, harder work, … you should benefit from that, but in the process of benefiting, you should never forget where you came from, and how can I use my good fortune to help those who are less fortunate. I think it’s about living life in balance.

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