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Backgrounder: Career advice from high-profile Canadian dads

Most of us have heard of hockey dad Walter Gretzky's advice to his son Wayne: "Don't skate where the puck is, skate where it's going to be."

We tracked down some high-profile Canadians to find out what career advice they received from Dear Old Dad, and what they might pass on their kids.

What their dads told them…

"When I was a teen, my dad kept saying to me, ‘Don't take things for granted!' At the time I had no idea what that meant, but 12 years into my career as an actor/comedian, I find myself saying it all the time."

  • Shaun Majumder, Actor/ comedian

"My father always told me, have fun with what you do.  The minute you stop having fun in your job, it is time to make a change!"

  • Mark Cohon, CFL Commissioner and son of George Cohon, founder of McDonald's in Canada and Russia

"My father told me that the difficulty in business is never the choice between good and bad—any idiot can figure that out.  The difficulty is the choice between good and good.  The secret to real success in business and in life is taking the time to make the best choice."

  • Rocco Rossi, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation

"I can still remember my father's words to me as I left Ireland for Canada:  We sent you to good schools… taught you the difference between right and wrong … provided you with every advantage. This will not be enough to make you a success. What will make you a success is your commitment to do more – it's who you are that will get you to the finish line."

  • John Furlong, CEO, Vancouver 2010

"When I was thinking of a career path, I wanted to do anything but follow my father's footsteps. I told myself that TV was not for me, but despite my best attempts, his passion became mine as well. He could have offered me all the best advice in the world, but the best thing he did was to simply encourage me to find my own way."

  • Pénélope McQuade, Sault Bonjour! host and daughter of Quebec TV personality Winston McQuade

"When I was young, my father was the perfect example of perseverance. He always told me to aim for the top, and if I didn't reach it, then at least I'd tried!  Mount Everest became our dream, and I hope one day I'll return to the top of the world with my daughter."

  • Jason Rodi, cinematographer who climbed the tallest mountains of all continents and reached the North and South poles

And what they'll tell their own kids…

"When I became a father [my dad] quietly told me to encourage our daughter to develop spirit and resilience, along with a command of the English language; the rest would take care of itself."

  • Simon Whitfield, triathalete and Olympic gold-medalist

"My father always encouraged me to reach for the heights, and never to compromise my integrity and honesty along the way. As my daughters grow up, I'll tell them that we deal with all sorts of people in this world, and ethical, honest behaviour is the most effective tool for success and peace of mind."

  • Randy Lennox, CEO, Universal Canada

"The central value I want to teach my daughters is perseverance. In both professional and personal life, it's important to identify goals. I also taught Kimberly and Katherine, as my father taught me, that family is the heart of everything and they should never lose that focus."

Bruny Surin, entrepreneur and Olympic 4*100 metre relay gold-medalist