Composer Ann Southam leaves $14M to Canadian Women’s Foundation

Ann Southam with Christina Petrowska Quilico, at the piano. Photo by André Leduc.
Ann Southam with Christina Petrowska Quilico, at the piano. Photo by André Leduc.

Ann Southam has bequeathed $14 million to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the largest ever donation to a Canadian women’s organization. Since 1991, the foundation has supported more than 1,100 community programs across Canada.

“Ann cared about women’s issues and she saw how our work changed lives. She saw us as people who shared her values. At the foundation, Ann often commented that she found her middle C,” said Wybrow.

Ann had been involved with the Canadian Women’s Foundation for more than 12 years as a donor and volunteer.

“She was very unassuming and completely uninterested in personal recognition. She would, however, like the idea that she was a role model for other donors,” said Beverley Wybrow, president and CEO of the Foundation.

Southam dedicated her life to creating music. She started composing at 15 and studied at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music. She went on to compose music for modern dance companies such as the Toronto Dance Theatre. She also taught at the Conservatory. Southam was inducted into the Order of Canada last year for her contribution to music.

Read the rest of David Graham’s wonderful article about Ann’s gift.

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