Canadian Failures


Successful Canadians write about failure, and how it got them where they are today.

What does it mean to fail? To some of the most successful Canadians, it was a rite of passage, a stepping stone to greater things, or even a brilliant source of inspiration.

The light bulb (patented by two Torontonians), the Avro Arrow, Nortel Networks, and many other examples have had profound impacts on our national identity. As we reflect on milestones on Canada’s 150th anniversary, it would be careless to discard the hard lessons learned along the way, and how they strengthened our lives, careers, and nation, and shaped our identity.

Like every nation, Canada is defined as much by what it has tried and failed to do as by what it has achieved — and what was a success for one person may have been a complete disaster from the perspective of another. Canadian Failures gathers ten experts from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and academia, all of whom have grappled with failures and success throughout their lives. Their powerful argument: that Canada, and Canadians, must not shy away from failure if we hope to succeed.

About the Author

Alex Benay

Posted by Kendra on March 1, 2017
Alex Benay photo

Alex Benay

Alex Benay is the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada. Previously, he was the President and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation. Before joining the Corporation in 2014, Benay was Vice-President, Government Affairs and Business Development at OpenText, Canada’s largest software company. He lives in Ottawa.