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

  • Exciting Partnership Announcement from LuxVision and Techni+Contact

    February 28, 2024 Techni+Contact is delighted to announce a new strategic partnership with LuxVision as their exclusive Canadian Distributor!  A lot may have changed in the industry, but Techni+Contact, with over 40 years of trusted experience, has always focused on connection between people. Through their exceptional pre and post-sales support and focus on developing relationships… Read More…

  • LEDVANCE Canada Welcomes Cristiano Konofal as National Account Manager 

    February 26, 2024 “I am thrilled to announce the return of Cristiano Konofal as a National Account Manager. Cristiano has extensive experience working with our customer base and has technical skills that will be an asset to our team. We look forward to seeing his positive impact as he steps into this role, driving growth… Read More…


  • Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    February 6, 2024 Since 1940, WFCU Credit Union is a prominent and forward-thinking financial institution based in Windsor and Essex County. For over 80 years, WFCU has been dedicated to serving Ontario residents, community, organizations, small businesses, commercial entities, and public institutions. Their new headquarters in Kitchener was created as they continue to grow their… Read More…

  • Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    December 5, 2023 At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships. For several years, the Parc de la… Read More…

New Products

  • LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    February 22, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s LED Hi-Pro Lamps offer a 320° rotating EX39 base making the installation of these lamps easier than ever. The two different on-unit CCT and Wattage Selectable switches give the user the power to customize the lighting for each unique environment. The notable design of the expandable light panels, when used in… Read More…

  • LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    February 21, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s PIR screw-base lamps with integrated motion sensor turn any luminaire into a motion activated light source without added wiring. Conveniently install lamps to improve safety and security in any application. Available in A19 and PAR38 bulb shapes and rated for wet locations, these lamps can be used indoors or outdoors, and… Read More…