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Francesco Aquilini

Born:1960Status: Owner (Vancouver Canucks)
Hometown:Vancouver, BC, CANKnown For:Managing director of Aquilini Investment Group

Francesco Aquilini (born 1960) is a Canadian businessman and is a managing director at the company his father founded, Aquilini Investment Group. On top of the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena, the Group oversees and has investments in real estate, energy, development, restaurants, agriculture, hotels and more.

Vancouver Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini
Vancouver Canucks chairman Francesco Aquilini (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Through both the Canucks and the Aquilini Investment Group, Aquilini is known for his philanthropic work as well. He gives significant support to the BC Children’s Hospital, the Canucks for Kids Fund, Canucks Autism Network, and the Boys Club Network. He is also involved in wildlife preservation which led to him purchasing the Codd Wetlands in order to preserve them.

Under Canucks Sports & Entertainment, Aquilini also owns the AHL’s Utica Comets, the NLL’s Vancouver Warriors and eSports team Vancouver Titans of the Overwatch League.

Canucks Under Ownership

In 2004, Aquilini purchased 50 percent of the Canucks, purchasing the remaining shares two years later. The deal wasn’t an easy venture to start, as Aquilini was sued by now-Stars owner Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie, claiming that the three of them were supposed to buy the team together. The court ruled in favour of Aquilini. The estimated total that Aquilini paid is $250 million, and the hockey club is worth $725 million (2020).

Under Aquilini, since his initial investment, the Canucks have done well, winning six division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies and making one trip to the Stanley Cup Final. They had a rough stretch from 2013-14 to 2018-19, but have young players in the fold like Elias Pettersson to right the ship.

Deeper Dive

Staff History

  • Vancouver Canucks (Franchise Owner) 2004-current
  • Vancouver Canucks (Chairman) 2006-current
  • Peoria Rivermen, AHL (Franchise Owner) 2012-2013
  • Utica Comets, AHL (Franchise Owner) 2013-2020