In Memory of
Alan Bryan

Obituary for Alan Nymark


JULY 24, 1948 – MAY 15, 2016

After a brief illness, Alan died in his 68th year at the Ottawa General Hospital on Sunday, May 15th with his loving wife Christine by his side. Alan was one of Canada’s leading public servants having served as a Deputy Minister in several federal government departments, including Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Environment Canada and as Associate Deputy Minister of Health.

Trained in Economics at Queen’s University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, he spent the early part of his career at the International Monetary Fund, the Royal Bank of Canada and was the Policy Director of the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (the Macdonald Commission). As a consequence of his work at the Macdonald Commission, he became the Assistant Chief Negotiator for the Canada - USA Free Trade Agreement that ultimately led to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It was while they worked together at the Free Trade Office that Alan and Christine met, fell in love, married and lived happily with their three girls.

In addition to his exceptional working career, Alan was a very active retiree. He served on the Steering Committee of Sustainable Prosperity, a policy and research think-tank focussed on making markets work for the environment. He was Chairman of The Centre for the Study of Living Standards and more recently, Chairman of the Government of Canada Audit Committee. He also became a certified sommelier and was in the process of completing a second Masters Degree in Film Studies at Carleton University. He was part of Les Marmitons International in Ottawa, a gastronomic and social club of gentlemen who share a common interest in fine food, wine and the culinary arts.

Alan and Christine enjoyed their time together in Ottawa and in their splendid home in Tuscany, as well as at the family cottage near Bristol, Quebec. They traveled extensively together and most recently spent time in Barbados accompanied by their family.

In addition to Christine he will be greatly missed by his mother Eva, his beloved daughters, Jessica Nymark, (Drew Black), Wellsley Hamilton (Andre Gagnon) and Whitney Hamilton (Kevin Cook), as well as his brother Wayne Nymark of Vancouver BC, his sister Diane Nymark (Norman Allan) of Ottawa and his much adored grandchildren, Gabriel Zimmerman, Anden and Connor Black, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O’Connor) on Tuesday, May 17th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. A Celebration of Alan’s life will take place at the Westin Hotel,11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, the following day, May 18th at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to Sustainable Prosperity ( would be appreciated.