Maison Alcan creator David Culver has passed away at 92 years of age in his Westmount home. Culver is survived by his children Mark, Andrew, Diane, and Michael, and predeceased in 2014 by his wife Mary (Powell) Culver.
Born in Winnipeg on December 5th, 1924, Culver migrated to Montreal with his parents and was raised within the city’s Golden Square Mile. He attended McGill university and graduated in 1947, alongside receiving an MBA from Harvard University. Two years later, he was hired at an aluminum production plant as a worker until he became CEO in 1979. When he wasn’t hard at work, he would go golfing at a club in Georgia or visit his summer home in La Malbaie.
One of David Culver’s greatest achievements outside of work was Maison Alcan, a vintage-meets-modern structure in Montreal that was deemed Alcan’s main location. The construction of the building gave Culver a strong tie to Montreal despite his birthplace, having wanted to create something that paid homage to the city’s timeless style.
The CEO was also renowned for his prominent leadership qualities and undying loyalty to both Alcan and Canada. He stuck through the mass disappearance of other companies’ headquarters in Montreal, remaining at Maison Alcan against all odds. Through events like these, he proved his commitment to his company and his country, and was admired for it.
To document his experiences, David Culver was aided in writing a series of memoirs, entitled Expect Miracles: Recollections of a Lucky Life. The book was published and released in 2014, containing Culver’s explanations about his company and its determination to stay in Montreal. He described the importance of connecting with the community Alcan was situated in, making sure to understand and appreciate everything it offered. In 2014, twenty-five years after Culver’s retirement as CEO, Alcan was taken over by Rio Tinto, a large UK-Australian mining corporation.
Culver’s mother had a strong interest in French-Canadian customs, language, and history, a fascination that was passed on to him at a young age and remained true for the rest of his life. He particularly enjoyed Montreal’s multiculturalism. Friends and loved ones have also noted that Culver was truly family-centric despite his business endeavours.