Your legacy is every life you have touched.”

-—Maya Angelou

Lynda Hamilton

2020 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

Lynda Hamilton has made it her mission to provide performing artists with the support they need to thrive in an industry that is exciting and fulfilling, yet often fraught with financial hardship. A generous volunteer, she has shared her time, expertise and resources with numerous organizations, notably the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC), the Artists’ Health Alliance, the Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network, and the Valleyview Artist Retreat in Caledon, Ontario.
 
Born in British Columbia, Ms. Hamilton studied ballet from childhood into her mid-20s, and is now an accomplished Pro-Am ballroom dancer. Professionally, she worked as a human resources consultant, specializing in developing innovative education and training programs.
 
Ms. Hamilton is a co-founder (1985), past chair, advisory council member and lead patron of the DTRC, a national charitable organization that helps dancers transition into, within, and from professional performing careers. The DTRC’s Toronto-based head office is named in her honour.
 
Inspired in part by her lifelong interest in non-traditional treatments and healing modalities, and as a financial backer and chair of the Artists’ Health Alliance, she helped found and implement the Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. This unique facility combines medical treatment, complementary therapies and mental health care for artists in a major teaching hospital, a first in North America.
 
She is the co-founder (2005) of UBC’s Teaching from the Heart program, which connects students in the elementary teaching curriculum with artists in residence to promote the arts in a classroom setting.
 
In 2009, on her rural property in Caledon, she founded the Valleyview Artist Retreat, offering free, week-long retreats for artists and arts administrators to find inspiration and respite.
 
Ms. Hamilton is a past director of the National Ballet of Canada, the National Ballet School, and Brascan Corp., and is the co-founder and former director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. She currently supports St. Stephen’s Community House and the Augusta Centre, and co-founded the Peter Bronfman / Brookfield Asset Management scholarship program at Woodsworth College, University of Toronto. In 2002, the University honoured her outstanding generosity and voluntarism with an Arbor Award.