Bearskin’s Harvey Friesen Dies

Former Bearskin Airlines co-owner Harvey Friesen died suddenly while on vacation in Palm Springs, Calif. last Sunday.

Harvey Friesen, left with brother and partner Cliff.
Harvey Friesen, left with brother and partner Cliff.

Friesen also served as president of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and was a member of its executive committee.

Friesen was working as a pilot for the tiny operation in the 1970s when he bought 50 percent of the company. His brother Cliff bought the other half a few years later and the two built the business into one of the most important air transportation links serving the isolated communities of northern Ontario and Manitoba.

It also has flights to Ottawa, Winnipeg and Kitchener, linking its northern schedule to those southern destinations. Exchange Income Corp. bought Bearskin in 2010 and Friesen was most recently the Chairman and CEO of Thunder Air.