A passionate advocate for better health, Allan stepped down as Chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Limited in 2012 to focus his energy on the wellness program he had founded at Pure North. Pure North is an innovative wellness program focused on the prevention of chronic disease, offering an individualized program that provides nutritional supplements, education and lifestyle advice to optimize nutrition and reduce the likelihood of illness in the future. Pure North puts in place the foundation for living a long and healthy life. To date, Pure North has engaged over 46,000 participants from all over western Canada with a special focus on vulnerable populations including seniors, fire and flood victims, homeless individuals and Aboriginal populations.
Pure North bases their practice and recommendations on the best available research. As such, research is a cornerstone of the Foundation both within the program and externally. Pure North prides itself on collaboration with many international experts. Pure North provides their data to researchers at the School of Public Policy and the Bone and Joint Institute at the University of Calgary, the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, Harvard School of Public Health, and the Schools of Medicine at Boston University and Creighton University. Together they strive to educate the population on the importance of optimized nutrition and prevention.
Mr. Markin is a major supporter of the Alberta Project Promoting active Living & healthy Eating in Schools (APPLE Schools) program. The project has expanded since inception, and is now running in 62 Northern Alberta schools, both urban and rural and including First Nations populations. Under Mr. Markin's leadership The APPLE Schools Foundation, was established as a charitable organization, which supports Healthy Kids in Healthy Schools. APPLE Schools has scientifically proven they can increase student leadership skills and physical activity levels, improve healthy eating habits and reduce obesity and chronic disease in a cost effective manner. Mr. Markin's leadership has also helped the project expand its funding base to include government and corporate contributions.
In recognition of his tremendous support of education, Allan has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge and St. Francis Xavier. Mr. Markin is a Founder of St. Mary's University and was bestowed an honorary fellowship from St. Mary's University in 2004. In accepting The Fraser Institute's T. Patrick Boyle Founder Award in 2010, Allan spoke of individual value and personal responsibility.
The Mayor of the City of Calgary bestowed him with the Citizen of the Year award for 2004 and he received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. In July 2008, Mr. Markin was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General. He received The Alberta Order of Excellence in October 2008. In the fall of 2009, he was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame. In March 2012, Allan was recognized as the Canadian Business Leader of the Year Award by the Alberta School of Business of the University of Alberta. In the summer of 2012 Allan was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Although diversified, his main philanthropic objective is to enhance education tied to health and wellness.