Frank and Ellen Remai began their life together with limited resources, but through hard work and determination they built a highly successful real estate development business, which included PR Developments and Remai Ventures.
Under Frank’s leadership, their companies developed and operated the West Harvest Inn and Executive Royal Inn Hotel chains in Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as other successful commercial and rental properties. As the home of corporate offices and the site of many outstanding projects developed by Frank and Ellen Remai’s companies over more than 30 years, the Saskatoon area has benefitted in particular through the creation of hundreds of jobs.
A very kind and caring man, Frank Remai believed in helping others. He and Ellen created the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation which invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in the community in Saskatoon annually, particularly in the fields of education, social issues, and the arts. “Frank and I realized that with our success comes the personal responsibility to give back, to make a difference with your life beyond financial success, establishing our foundation was truly our proudest achievement” said Ellen.
When Frank passed away in August 2001, although devastated by the loss of her beloved husband, Ellen stepped in to lead her companies through new challenges and on to greater prosperity and diversity. Ellen Remai has proven herself an astute, business woman as demonstrated by the continued success she has enjoyed as President of the family business.
Not only is she a highly respected leader in the business community, Ellen Remai is a true community builder. She quietly makes significant investments in Saskatoon every year through her business activity and the extensive charitable donations of the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation. “To give money effectively can be a challenge; you must put the same care into giving that you put in to making your money. You want your money to be spent wisely, to have an impact, and to create real value for society – that requires strategic planning” stated Ellen.
The Frank & Ellen Remai Fund for Persephone Theatre was created through a donation of $1.5 million dollars from the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation. This endowment fund will provide consistent and ongoing financial support for the theatre’s operating costs. Ellen Remai commented, “This is an exciting deviation from the capital projects and scholarship gifting we have done previously. This enduring gift has enabled Persephone Theatre and the Saskatoon Community Foundation to leverage federal funding from Canadian Heritage. The social and cultural fabric defines our city like nothing else, and I am very proud – as I know Frank would have been – to be part of this exciting community partnership.”