National Gallery of Canada Foundation to Fete Distinguished Patrons and Major Donors at Gala Evening in the Presence of His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada

Ottawa - June 10, 2011

Prominent supporters of the National Gallery of Canada will convene in Ottawa on Monday, June 13, 2011, at the invitation of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation and in the presence of His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

Over 100 guests from all parts of Canada and from abroad will be present as the National Gallery of Canada Foundation salutes individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the country’s leading visual arts institution.  Among the guests will be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, who will preside as the evening’s Patron.

“We are deeply honoured to welcome to the Gallery the friends and admirers of our great national treasure,” said Thomas d’Aquino, Chair of the Gallery Foundation and Chair of the Distinguished Patrons.  “Fellow Foundation Directors join with me in saluting the Gallery’s loyal supporters who recognize the importance of the visual arts in the cultural life of Canada.”

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation was created in 1997 and has been a constant source of support to the Gallery.  Through the generosity of donors from all parts of Canada, and from abroad, Foundation funds have enabled hundreds of thousands of Canadians to appreciate the Gallery’s treasures via the permanent collection outreach programme and through travelling exhibitions.  Foundation support also has contributed in a significant way to the building of the Gallery’s permanent collection.

“The Foundation is an excellent example of volunteerism at its best,” said Gallery Director and Chief Executive Officer Marc Mayer.  “We look to the Foundation for financial support and for assistance in building awareness about the Gallery, its permanent collection and its special exhibitions.  The Distinguished Patrons who we will honour on June 13 are setting the bar for philanthropic initiatives that will assist in advancing our Gallery’s ambitious goals.”

On the occasion of the Distinguished Patrons Soirée, guests will tour the Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome exhibition which is to open at the National Gallery on June 17.  The exhibition is only the third in North America ever dedicated to Caravaggio and is curated by two eminent scholars: David Franklin, the Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art and formerly the Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Canada; and Sebastian Schütze, Professor of Art History at the University of Vienna.  The works of art on show have been loaned by forty-five institutions, including the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi in Florence, the Musei Vaticani in Rome, the National Gallery in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The event will also feature a concert performed by the Music and Beyond Festival Orchestra led by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Andrew Wan. Also featured will be Montreal’s Buzz Brass and Ottawa’s chamber choir, Seventeen Voyces. The musical programme for the evening was specifically conceived by Ottawa’s new major classical music festival, Music and Beyond, and its Artistic Director, Julian Armour and will offer an enriching experience of music from the time of Caravaggio.  “We are delighted that Music and Beyond is providing our Distinguished Patrons and guests with a preview of its exciting summer festival programme.  “Combining fine music and great art in our magnificent Gallery will offer a feast for the senses,” commented Foundation Chair, Thomas d’ Aquino.

Mr. d'Aquino expressed appreciation to Manulife Financial Corporation for its generous support of the Distinguished Patrons Soirée.  "We at the Foundation salute the leadership of this 120 year old flagship Canadian enterprise that through its support of the National Gallery demonstrates its commitment to advancing Canadian excellence."

On June 14, following the Distinguished Patrons Soirée, guests will participate in the Foundation–sponsored Visual Arts Symposium which will feature Dr. Sarah Thornton, Canadian-born author of the international best-seller Seven Days in the Art World.  The Symposium will feature roundtable discussions on major currents in the visual arts world and guests will participate in guided tours of the Gallery’s permanent collection directed by Chief Curator Paul Lang.

“The role of the Distinguished Patrons in advancing the National Gallery’s goals is of high importance,” said Michael Audain, Chair of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of the Foundation.  “Through their leadership and generosity, they are inspiring fellow Canadians to support this great institution and encouraging an ever-deeper appreciation of the visual arts.”

The Foundation’s Distinguished Patrons hail from all parts of Canada and are listed in the annex to this news release.

The National Gallery of Canada Foundation recently underwent a reorganization in order to effectively position itself for major new initiatives in the years ahead.  Working closely with the Gallery’s Director and senior management team, and with the Gallery’s Board of Trustees, the Foundation is well-positioned to meet the institution’s expanding needs.

“We are dedicated volunteers,” said Foundation Chair Thomas d’Aquino, “and we are proud to work with the Gallery’s professional team who are among the most accomplished in the world.  The National Gallery of Canada is both a national treasure and a centre of global artistic excellence.  Through the Foundation, we are determined to build on the Gallery’s outstanding achievements both in Canada and internationally.”

About the National Gallery of Canadian Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is a philanthropic organization composed of a volunteer Board of Directors and supporters from across Canada and dedicated to ensuring the long term viability and success of the National Gallery of Canada.  Its primary mission is to cultivate support, to raise capital and to maintain and manage an endowment for the benefit of the National Gallery.  Its offices are located at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. For more information, visit

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world, including the extensive collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains the largest touring art exhibition programme in the world. For more information, visit

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For more information, please contact:

Thomas d’Aquino
National Gallery of Canada Foundation

Cheryl Eadie
Executive Assistant to Thomas d’Aquino

Distinguished Patrons and Major Donors

David Aisenstat (Vancouver)
Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa (Vancouver)
Laurent and Claire Beaudoin (Montreal)
David Broadhurst (Toronto)
Thomas and Susan d’Aquino (Ottawa)
André and France Desmarais (Montreal)
Murray and Heather Edwards (Calgary)
Bruce Flatt and Lonti Ebers (Toronto)
James and Margaret Fleck (Toronto)
Fred and Elizabeth Fountain (Halifax)
Reesa Greenberg (Ottawa)
Paul and Carol Hill (Regina)
Stephen and Gail Jarislowsky (Montreal)
Hassan and Nezhat Khosrowshahi (Vancouver)
George and Karen Killy (Vancouver)
Ronald and Nancy Mannix (Calgary)
The Honourable Margaret McCain and the late Wallace McCain (Toronto)
Michael and Inna O’Brian (Vancouver)
J. Robert and Myriam Ouimet (Montreal)
Peter and Susan Restler (New York)
Hartley and Heather Richardson (Winnipeg)
Nancy Richardson (Ottawa)
Joseph and Sandra Rotman (Toronto)
Donald and Elizabeth Sobey (Stellarton)
William and Jean Teron (Ottawa)
Michael and Renae Tims (Calgary)
William and Nancy Turner (Montreal)
Sara Vered and the late Zeev Vered (Ottawa)
Anonymous (London, England)