Several prominent figures in the arts and culture community have passed away over the past several weeks. As some of these occurred during our winter closure, the Alliance regrets that we were unable to properly memorialize them. Below, please find our tributes to the deceased, with our thanks for their service to the arts.
Heather Hannaford passed away Dec. 26, 2016, at the age of 75. An influential figure in Northern BC pottery and an advocate for arts and culture in her community, Hannaford was among the founding members of both the North Peace Potters’ Guild and the Fort St. John Community Arts Council. Among her many other accomplishments, she was a School District #60 board trustee for 29 years and was the first BC Arts Council board member appointed from Northern BC. Hannaford was also instrumental in the creation of the North Peace Cultural Centre.
"Heather can be proud of her influence in developing a thriving pottery awareness," said Rosemary Landry, chair of the Fort St. John Community Arts Council and treasurer of the North Peace Potters’ Guild. "She strove for excellence and instilled a sense of accomplishment in all those who were under her leadership. Her theme was to take a risk and if it didn’t work out, 'There’s always another pot where that one came from.'”
A memorial took place on January 6. In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations to establish an arts scholarship in Hannaford's memory.
Ann Kitching passed away in December at the age of 84. A celebration of life took place January 7 and was attended by hundreds of friends and family, who mourned a woman described by former Conservative MP James Moore as "a whirlwind of passion" for her local Port Moody arts community.
Kitching was a devoted volunteer, fundraiser, and connector of people. Though her background was in radiography and later, education, Kitching was well known for her volunteerism with the Port Moody Arts Centre (PMAC). Among her long resume of accomplishments and initiatives, Kitching was known for the fervour and eloquence with which she advocated to all levels of government for arts and culture funding. She also coined the municipality's brand, the City of the Arts, and donated hundreds of hours to embroider a quilt for the city's 100th year
She is remembered by her friend, PMAC executive director, Vicki Alessia, as a hardworking woman with a facility for bringing people together: "If the organization needed something, Ann knew someone."
Catherine Montgomery passed away on Jan. 5, 2017 at 62. Though not a BC resident, Montgomery was well-known to many in the BC literary community in her role as literary program officer for the Canada Council for the Arts.
Quill & Quire posted the following on their website:
Montgomery, a native of Ontario, trained as a translator and had a long career working for the advancement of literature. She spent several years working in the visual and media arts, and in 1996 joined Livres Canada Books, an Ottawa-based not-for-profit that supports the export of Canadian books. In 2005 Montgomery moved to the Canada Council, where she worked on a number of programs in the writing and publishing section, including the national translation, literary arts, and magazines programs, and various components of the support to publishers program.
Montgomery had planned to retire in February.