In Memory of a Builder and Philanthropist – Bruce J. Kaufman

LDS Kaufman 400

Oct 7, 2019

By Line Goyette 

Suddenly on September 27, Bruce J. Kaufman passed away. He was the founder of the Kaufel Group Ltd., a worldwide emergency lighting, electrical products and systems company, which went public in 1985. Kaufel Group was engaged in various aspects of the electrical industry in Canada, the United States, Europe and the Far East. Bruce retired in 1997. After his retirement, Bruce never let go of his philanthropy and support of medical research. His participation in the McGill Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Fund of McGill University let to the creation of the Bruce Kaufman Endowed Chair in IBD. He also financed and donated the first laparoscopy surgical suite at the Jewish General Hospital in honour of his favourite surgeon, Dr. Jacob Garzon. He was also a great and constant supporter of his community but took great pride of avoiding publicity about his philanthropic activities.

Emergency lighting will always be associated to Bruce Kaufman in Canada. Beginning with Montreal’s Expo in 1967, he always led the development of emergency lighting in Canada. He first began as a VP engineering at the Montreal-based Red Comet Lighting, a company owned by Lionel Rimoin, father of Sam Rimoin, who is today the president of Standard Stanpro Lighting.

“Bruce taught me everything I know about running a business. He insisted on the importance of surrounding yourself with the best people. He also taught me how to be good to your suppliers as they are hard to find and they can make or break you. Lastly, he taught me how to make a better product at a better cost as salespeople can only sell at market price. These three lessons have helped me to bring Stanpro Lighting to the success it has achieved,” said Sam Rimoin who lost his lifelong mentor who was also part of his extended family.

Following the sale of Red Comet, Bruce decided to form a new emergency lighting company – Emergi-Lite. In September 1975, Emergi-Lite began operations with 2 people, in a 2000 sq. ft. office, shop and warehouse. Ten years on, Emergi-Lite had become one of Canada’s dominant lighting companies and began manufacturing in the USA for the American market. In the following decade, Emergi-Lite acquired emergency lighting companies across Europe and Australia, and as a mature worldwide lighting company was purchased by Thomas & Betts (now ABB).

Because of his entrepreneurship in Canada and creating a Montreal-based multinational Bruce J. Kaufman contributed to the livelihood of several 1000s of people most of which in Canada, some of which may still be alive today or the children of past employees.

The emergency lighting and the entire lighting industry is in mourning for a builder and great philanthropist. To honour his memory, you could make contributions in Bruce’s memory to the Bruce Kaufman Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Fund c/o McGill University HERE.

Line Goyette is Managing Editor of Kerrwil Electrical Group;

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Magic Lite & EFC Release Student Scholarship

    January 18, 2023 Magic Lite was thrilled to have participated in the 2022 EFC Scholarship Program and recently present the Magic Lite Future Leaders Award of $2,500 to Anthony Faustin of Sherbrook University in Montreal. As successful applicant, Anthony demonstrated leadership amongst his peers as well as in his community, and showed true entrepreneurial spirit… Read More…

  • Ascot Capital Group Announces a Change in the Presidency and the Appointment of Rob Nadler as President

    January 18, 2023 Rob Nadler, Stanpro’s Executive Vice-President will be promoted and assume the role of President of Ascot’s “General & Emergency Lighting Group – Stanpro, AimLite & Beluce” effective June 1, 2023. Rob joined Stanpro in 2001 and was instrumental in its tremendous growth over the past 20 years, including the organic acceleration of the business, the… Read More…


  • LIT Design Awards Light Art Project Winner: Integral Group

    LIT Design Awards Light Art Project Winner: Integral Group

    December 19, 2022 Prize(s) Winners in Light Art Project Company Integral Group Lead Designers Ellie Niakan + Catherine Chan Photo Credits Catherine Chan Completion Date December 21, 2021 Project Location New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada Although appearing as solitary, trees are connected to one another through vast underground systems known as mycorrhizal networks. Through these hidden systems—a symbiotic relationship between plants… Read More…

  • LIT Lighting Design Awards: Capital Park Landscape, Victoria, BC

    LIT Lighting Design Awards: Capital Park Landscape, Victoria, BC

    December 5, 2022 Located in one of Victoria’s most historic neighborhoods, the Capital Park Mixed-Use Development is made up of seven buildings stretching across three lots and is responsible for nearly an entire city block of Victoria’s downtown core. The project took place over the span of three phases and eight years. The first phase… Read More…

New Products

  • JSBT Tapered Switchable White Surface Mount Disk Light

    JSBT Tapered Switchable White Surface Mount Disk Light

    January 27, 2023 JSBT SlimBasics™ Tapered LED Disk Light Series comes in 4″ and 6″ sizes and provides even illumination where you need it most. Designed to provide good lighting quality, while also being budget friendly, the JSBT is the lowest total install cost LED solution for residential spaces. The matte white aluminum housing is… Read More…

  • 2″ Purist™ luminaires

    January 27, 2023 Meticulously designed, Purist was created with versatile light, beam, adjustability, and finish options that allow you to illuminate your environment in your light. 2″ Apertures (1.25″ with Pinhole trims). Up to 1500 lumens per lamp. 25° Vertical tilt. 2700K-4000K Color temperatures. 3000K-1800K Warm dimming. 15°-65° Beam Spreads. Wall Wash Available. For more… Read More…