It is with sadness and respect that Golf Canada extends sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Mr. Ignat “Iggy” Kaneff of Mississauga, Ont. who passed away on July 12, 2020 at the age of 93.
A proud community supporter and champion philanthropist, Mr. Kaneff immigrated to Canada from Bulgaria in 1951. He built a successful legacy as chairman of the Kaneff Group of Companies which included Kaneff Golf – six premium public golf properties across southern Ontario including Lionhead Golf & Conference Centre, Royal Ontario Golf Club, Royal Niagara Golf Club, Carlisle Golf & Country Club, Century Pines Golf Club and Streetsville Glen Golf Club.
Among his countless honours, accolades and professional designations, the real estate magnate was a deserving recipient of the Order of Ontario, a member of the Order of Canada and a respected community leader who was a driving force behind the growth of Peel Region and the development of Mississauga as a world-class city for business, culture and recreation. He helped build schools, hospitals and community centres and established the Ignat Kaneff Charitable Foundation in 1986 to support education, health, the arts, and social services of local communities.
CANADA – DECEMBER 18: Medal of devotion: Developer Ignat Kaneff shows off the commemorative medal received from the federal government for his community service. (Photo by Andrew Stawicki/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
“Iggy Kaneff and the Kaneff family have been passionate builders, operators and supporters of the game of golf,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “As a young professional in the golf industry in the early 90’s, I had the great fortune of getting to know and playing golf with Iggy at his signature golf courses during a very exciting time of growth for the game he loved. He was kind, entertaining and had an aura of energy that surrounded everything he was involved with.
The Kaneff Golf collection of signature courses have contributed greatly to the golf experience across southern Ontario and those facilities have hosted countless charity tournaments and fundraisers that have supported so many important and worthwhile causes. What is most inspiring about Iggy’s legacy is that he was a philanthropic champion celebrated for his generosity and tireless efforts in giving back to his community. He will be sorely missed.”