A public celebration of life was held today to honour former CTV news anchor and community leader Max Keeping. Many local dignitaries, former colleagues, family and friends gathered at the Canadian Tire Centre for the celebration.

Among the hundreds in the crowd were former CTV National News anchor Lloyd Robertson, members of the Ottawa Senators, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Max died on October 1 after a long struggle with cancer. He will be remembered for his tireless community work, fundraising and support for charities. Most importantly his dedication and love for the Ottawa Senators and for CHEO.

James Duthie, TSN sportscaster and former colleague of Max’s, acted as MC for the celebration.

Duthie said he owes his career to Max, who gave him his start in TV journalism, and acted not only as a boss, but as a mentor and a friend.

Rabbi Reuven Bulka was among those who paid tribute to Max during the celebration. He spoke about how Max believed it’s not what life gives to you, but what you give to life that counts.

Mayor Jim Watson also shared his thoughts and memories of Max through the years, saying Max was a person who saw opportunity and potential where others did not.

He also spoke of how important CHEO and CHEO kids were to Max, and how much he believed in them and wanted to help.

“He loved our city, and Ottawa loved him back,” Watson said.

The crowd also heard from three of Max’s grandchildren, Lisa and Tabetha Meikle-Sigouin and Jordann Myles-Cameron.

Lisa Meikle-Sigouin spoke of how her grandfather Max would drive her and the other grandkids to dance classes every Saturday morning, and how he would take them out for dinner, telling them to order a variety of desserts before the main course had come.

They also spoke about how special the holidays were for Max, and of the many community fundraisers and concerts he took his grandkids to, from the Rolling Stones to 50 Cent.

Max’s son Shane Holley delivered the eulogy to his father, speaking about Max’s unwavering commitment to family, journalism, to his community and city.

The Ottawa Senators Foundation says it will match up to $100k in donations towards a Max Keeping Sens Rink in 2016.