Tribute to Christopher Bunting, CANFAR Deputy Chair
It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research announces that Christopher Bunting, CANFAR Deputy Chair, has passed away on the evening on January 9th, 2023, following a three-year battle with cancer.
A relentless advocate for AIDS research and LGBTQ2S+ rights in Canada, an esteemed colleague and Board Member for the organization, Chris has been involved with CANFAR for over two decades in a wide variety of roles, including as President and CEO from 2008 to 2017 and most recently as Deputy Chair of CANFAR’s Board, a role he occupied since 2017.
“I am devastated to share the news that our friend and colleague Chris Bunting has passed away earlier this week. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. Chris was a passionate advocate for the fight against HIV and AIDS and it was always a joy working alongside him. He remained a shining light of hope and an esteemed friend and advisor throughout his illness. He will continue to be an example for us all going forward. Chris will be remembered for his brilliance, his quiet wit, his great generosity and eternal optimism as a leader, “ stated CANFAR’s Chair Andy Pringle.
An alumnus of both Carleton University and University of Ottawa, Christopher Bunting enjoyed a long and impressive career in consulting and management in Canada and the UK. He joined renowned PR firm Weber Shandwick Canada in 1985 where he became Chairman and CEO, supporting Top 500 companies with business strategy and enterprise communications as well as acting as a leader and mentor to hundreds of employees, clients and friends. Chris left Weber Shandwick in 2002 to join London’s global consulting group Inizio as Senior Managing Director. In 2008, he became Chief Executive Officer for the Awareness Foundation, also based in London, before retiring in 2010. A few years later he began dedicating his time to supporting a number of causes including CANFAR’s mission of ending HIV in Canada, providing strategic input and expert guidance to the organization, its Board of Directors, executive team as well as employees and volunteers.
Chris was a mentor and coach to many business leaders and an esteemed advisor and colleague to LGBTQ2S+ and HIV organizations and advocates across the country. He was a skilled strategist and communicator, and his contributions to the industry were recognized by his peers, media and academic institutions throughout his lifetime.
“Chris was a personal mentor and a friend. I will forever be grateful for his intelligence, his inter-personal skills, his dedication to making a difference and his commitment to the cause of HIV in our country. We will miss him deeply; we’re lucky he leaves CANFAR with a legacy of expert guidance and a robust strategy. We will continue to work towards goals he contributed to define and will honour his memory through our efforts as an organization. Our deepest condolences go to his family,” stated Alex Filiatrault, CEO of CANFAR.