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The website of the World Retail Congress, which just concluded its annual confab in France, asks “Why Paris in 2014?”

Why, indeed, British retail CEO Andy Street might have asked. The chief of department store chain John Lewis made his way to the conference last week to receive the award for Best Omnichannel Retailer (No, we don’t know what that means, either).

... A big voice in philanthropy

Businessman Marcel Desautels, who made his fortune when the company he headed up – credit reference and recovery firm Creditel of Canada – was sold in 1996, is one of McGill University’s most generous benefactors. He donated $22-million in a landmark gift to the university’s business school (now named after him) in 2005 and is also a big donor to the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Mr. Desautels also happens to be an accomplished opera singer. When he visits McGill every now and then he takes some singing classes to keep his tenor voice in form.

“The students were so inspired,” says McGill principal and vice-chancellor Suzanne Fortier. “He is in his early 80s and to have the quality of voice and the ability to perform that he has at this point of his life is fantastic. ”

Read full article: The Globe and Mail, October 9, 2014