City celebrates as local philanthropist turns 80

Family and friends of Malcolm Jenkins, pictured here in this file photo, celebrated as the local business owner and philanthropist turns 80 today, Friday January 13, 2023. Photo Courtesy Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald.

‘Any community would be lucky to have dad,’ with his 80th birthday approaching, Matt and Karen Jenkins reflect on the contributions their father Malcolm has made to Prince Albert

If there’s one thing that’s always impressed Matt Jenkins about his father, it’s his desire to contribute.

Whether it’s through business, the arts, or philanthropy, Jenkins says his father, Prince Albert business owner Malcolm, has always been eager to give back.

“Any community would be really lucky to have to have dad in it doing the things that he does, contributing in the ways he does,” Matt said during a phone interview from his home in Edmonton. “He’s chosen Prince Albert. He gets a lot from Prince Albert, and he gives back.”

This weekend, Matt and his family will show their love in person, as Malcolm’s friends and family gather to celebrate his 80th birthday this weekend. Matt said his father has loved Prince Albert and its residents since he first moved here, and has only wanted to make it better.

“(He’s) been very inspirational,” Matt said. “It’s big boots to fill, really. I mean, I’m just amazed…. Even here in Edmonton sometimes I bump into people and there’s some kind of Prince Albert connection. When they find out I’m Malcolm’s son, there’s invariably some kind of big story that rolls out about the time that they met him and a funny joke or something he did or said, or just commenting on the impact he’s had on the community.”

Business owner and philanthropist Malcolm Jenkins gets a high-five from a Prince Albert youth during the opening of a new spray park. Herald File Photo.

Malcolm Jenkins has been such a major part of the Prince Albert community, it’s hard to believe he never started out here. Matt and his sister, Karen, grew up in Southern Ontario before the family relocated to Northern Manitoba when Malcolm got involved with Canadian Tire.

He then moved to Prince Albert, where he continued to run a Canadian Tire store. Matt says his mother and father fell in love with the City almost immediately.

“From day one, they loved the community. They were quite excited to reveal that that was where they intended to move for their next store—the next part of their adventure—and it’s been ongoing ever since,” Matt remembered.

“They really enjoyed the Prince Albert community, but found it lacking in some aspects that they missed, having seen them in other cities and provinces. I think they got it eventually in mind that if there were things that could be done to make things a little better for the population, to give back to the population, that they would do so.”

Since moving to Prince Albert, Malcolm Jenkins has donated time and money to too many causes to mention. Among them are skate parks, spray parks, recreation facilities, the Rose Garden Hospice, and numerous non-profited organizations and community groups.

Karen, Matt’s sister and Malcolm’s daughter, said she appreciates how her father focuses on making the city better.

“It’s my dad’s thing, and I know it makes him happy,” Karen said via email. “I think it’s a wonderful thing my dad does for the community.”

“He developed anything that needed developing or adding on, looking for opportunities,” Matt added. “He just loves the dreaming side of things. If there’s an opportunity to improve something or add something on, he was the first to propose it or back it financially if it made sense and he thought it was something that would improve things.”

At 80-years-old, Malcolm Jenkins shows no signs of slowing down. Matt said his father loves running Canadian Tire, which he approaches with the theatrical flair of an actor.

As long as his father loves being in business, Matt expects him to keep donating and supporting as many local causes as he can.

“As a person, when he loves something, he really does love it,” Matt said. “He loves his friends and family, and in so many ways he supports us and his many friends.

“He loves his friends and family, and he also loves PA.”

@kerr_jas •