Dan Johnstone, also known as “Can Man Dan”, is a Canadian anti-poverty activist, philanthropist, community organizer, and motivational speaker. His fundraising group, also called Can Man Dan, works to alleviate poverty, among many other important social issues, throughout Alberta, Canada. Johnstone was born in Edmonton on July 31, 1987 during the notorious Edmonton tornado (also known as “Black Friday”).
Dan, along with his younger brother, was raised in a single-parent household and for years, the family struggled to make ends meet. To help support his struggling mother with bills and rent, Dan began working at the age of 13 and would deliver newspapers around his neighbourhood in the morning, while also working for a local fast food outlet after school. For years, the Johnstones relied on various social services and programs to keep the family afloat. Dan graduated high school in 2006 and attended Grant MacEwan University for one year, after which he left to care for his mother who had fallen ill. He entered the labour market, working mainly commercial and residential construction jobs, embracing the blue-collar lifestyle of hard work and determination. After rising through the ranks in his career and ensuring his mother’s well-being, Johnstone started his philanthropy work by creating Can Man Dan in 2011 and Localive in 2015. Johnstone has since become one of western Canada’s most well-known and respected philanthropists, bringing attention to several different social issues and raising millions in resources for many charities/non-profits around the province. Johnstone currently resides in Edmonton South where he keeps busy with his Can Man Dan endeavours, supporting local entrepreneurs with his Localive initiative, coaching community sports, volunteering at several local events, and acting as an ambassador to many different organizations. Dan has been praised for his work in the community and has earned a powerful reputation for his hard-working spirit, big heart, and unique events.