A monument that honours late Rogers Communications founder Ted Rogers will be a permanent fixture at Toronto’s Rogers Centre as of Tuesday evening.
The 12-foot tall bronze statue, inscribed with Rogers’ name and motto —“The best is yet to come” — was unveiled Tuesday to a crowd of about 150 people that included friends, former colleagues, plus Toronto Blue Jays José Bautista and R.A. Dickey.
“Ted would be very surprised and flattered to know that he’s been immortalized in bronze,” said Loretta Rogers, Rogers’ wife and a company director of Rogers Communications.
The idea for the statue came from Rogers Media President Keith Pelley a year ago, she said. It was brought to life by German-Canadian sculptor Siegfried Puchta.
It will stand outside Gates 5 and 6 of Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome), which Rogers acquired in 2004, four years after purchasing the Toronto Blue Jays franchise.
“We’re honoured to be associated with the Jays,” said son, Edward Rogers. “We have full confidence we will bring the World Series back to Toronto.”
Tuesday’s ceremony was emceed by Breakfast Television hosts Dina Pugliese and Kevin Frankish. It included a blessing by the Rogers’ family reverend, plus musical performances by opera-crossover group The Tenors.
Rogers passed away in 2008. Several guests spoke to his legacy and dedication to business, philanthropy and all things Canadian.
“The thing that drove Ted more than anything else was bringing innovation to Canadians,” said Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed. “I believe that his spirit, his drive, his relentless pursuit of this goal was what made Ted one of the greatest leaders Canada has ever had.”
Rogers kicked off his career in radio before expanding into cable TV, wireless, broadcasting and publishing. Rogers Communications, the parent company of Maclean’s, currently employs 30,000 Canadians.