Joe Robertson helped create a dental supply firm and sold it for millions before he turned 40, and then, with his wife Anita, became a major philanthropist in Southern Ontario, generously supporting SOCAN and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, among others. The couple, both 58, and their 24-year-old daughter Laura Robertson, were killed in a plane crash in Maine on July 30, 2018, as they flew to Prince Edward Island for a vacation.
A Harvard MBA graduate, Robertson and Anita took dental supply company Arcona Health Inc. from its founding into an organization with $65 million in annual sales, and more than 900 staff, before it was sold in 1998. After the Niagara-based couple retired, they became philanthropists, supporting not only SOCAN and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, but also Brock University in St. Catharines, the United Way, and Niagara Health.
“Joe Robertson was an integral part of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame show committee and board these past 18 months,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. . “His passion for music and dedication to the success of our organization was so evident in everything he did for us. We all had such respect for him, and his warmth and generosity will be terribly missed, moving forward.”
“Joe was a great friend of SOCAN,” said Michael McCarty, the organization’s Chief Membership and Business Development Officer. “He generously provided us with heavily discounted tickets to his Music Cares table at the company’s annual pre-Grammy superstar tribute dinner. He was the single biggest private supporter of the event. More importantly, he was not only a huge music fan, but more specifically, a fan and student of songs and songwriters. We invited him into the Board of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he made a huge impact, generously donating his time, energy, business wisdom, creative ideas. He also leveraged his considerable contacts to generate tremendous sponsorship, VIP ticket revenue, and excitement for the organization.”
Joe and the Robertsons will be greatly missed. SOCAN extends its deepest condolences to their friends and extended family, and we thank them once again for their incredible support for music creation over the years.