We are born with two hands: one to help ourselves, and one to help others.”

-Author unknown

Music is Not a Luxury
Annette Mangaard, director
Gerry Flahive, producer

Earlaine Collins

2012 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

Earlaine Collins has been a supporter of the performing arts in Canada for more than 45 years. She has donated time, talent and capital to leading cultural organizations, notably the Canadian Opera Company (COC), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic, and has provided personal and financial support to numerous emerging Canadian artists. She is a passionate ambassador for the performing arts, and her vision, determination and generosity have served as an inspiration to volunteers and artists alike.
As a member of the Canadian Opera House Corporation Campaign Cabinet, she helped raise $186 million to establish Canada’s first purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Inaugurated in 2006, the building marked the triumphant culmination of what then COC general director Richard Bradshaw (1944–2007, recipient of a 2006 GGPAA) called his “Thirty Years’ War” to get a professional-quality opera house in Toronto.
Mrs. Collins is president of the Gerard and Earlaine Collins Foundation, which she and her late husband established in 1989. Cultural institutions that have benefited from the foundation’s support include the National Ballet of Canada, Canada’s National Ballet School, Art Gallery of Ontario, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto Summer Music Foundation, Aldeburgh Connection, University of Toronto School of Music, Regent Park School of Music, and many more.
“I particularly enjoy sponsoring young artists and watching them grow and mature,” she says. “It’s an incredible personal opportunity: you get back tenfold what you give.”
Her voluntarism extends beyond the arts: she is active with the Havergal College Foundation, and supports the SickKids Music Therapy Program for Palliative Care (Toronto Hospital for Sick Children), St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, Mount Sinai Hospital, and World Wildlife Fund (Canada). In 1988, she and her late husband helped establish the House of Compassion of Toronto, a permanent residence for people living with mental illness.