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Wilfrid Laurier University Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Christine Magee named Laurier Outstanding Business Leader

Sleep Country Canada co-founder and president exemplifies qualities valued by SBE

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Oct 26/05| For Immediate Release


Dr. A. Scott Carson
Dean, Laurier School of Business & Economics
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2054


Nancy Wilson, Executive Assistant to the Dean
Laurier School of Business & Economics
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2546

WATERLOO – A successful entrepreneur with a commitment to community service will receive the Laurier Outstanding Business Leader Award for 2005. Christine Magee, president and co-founder of Sleep Country Canada, will accept the award at a luncheon on October 31.

The Laurier school of business and economics (SBE) presents the award annually to a business leader who exemplifies the qualities the school works to instill in its students. The selection committee, which includes business leaders, previous winners and SBE faculty, chose Magee because of her entrepreneurial success and record of community service.

“Christine Magee offers an outstanding example of the entrepreneurial spirit. She helped start Sleep Country Canada with virtually nothing, and grew it into a tremendous success by taking smart risks – not gambles,” said Scott Carson, dean of SBE. “She brings energy and enthusiasm to everything she does, including a range of community activities, demonstrating a strong sense of social responsibility.”

Magee will meet with students in an undergraduate marketing class. She will then address the audience at a luncheon where she will be presented with the award. 

Magee and her partners, Steve Gunn and Gord Lownds, founded Sleep Country Canada in 1994. Today there are more than 700 associates in 108 stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario. The company recently opened its first stores in Winnipeg.

The company was recently ranked one of the top 50 companies to work for in Canada by the Globe and Mail. It was also inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends and into the Retail Council of Canada Hall of Fame.

Magee’s leadership and foresight led the Financial Post to name her the Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year, Retail/Wholesale, in 1998. She was named the Consumers’ Choice Toronto Business Woman of the Year in 1999 and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.

Magee is a champion of the many charitable initiatives supported by Sleep Country, including the Donated Bed Program, Give A Kid A Coat, Backpack for Kids and Basics for Babies.

She believes strongly in sharing knowledge and staying involved in the community. She frequently speaks at conferences, business associations, chambers of commerce and schools about issues pertaining to leadership and effective management strategies. She also served as a cabinet member for the United Way of Greater Toronto in 2001 and 2002.

In addition to her charitable work, Magee sits on the board of Sleep Country Canada Inc., co-chairs the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation major gifts committee, and is on the board of directors of both the Cott Corporation and St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville, Ontario. She is also a member of the advisory council for the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Magee lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

To learn more about Sleep Country Canada, please visit

With more than 3,200 students enrolled in its programs and 110 full-time faculty members, Laurier’s SBE is one of Canada’s most innovative business schools, with campuses in Waterloo and Toronto. Visit for more information.


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