Sandra Kolber (1934-2001)

1994 Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts

Asked why she has worked so energetically on behalf of the arts, Sandra Kolber replies: "Because I'm a fervent Canadian. I think what distinguishes Canada from every other country is its culture."

An experienced artist herself, a poet, film consultant and writer, she believes truly effective supporters have a powerful sense of community and of their responsibilities as citizens. She was once described as a "woman of valour and a wonderful catalyst." From the early eighties, she has been a dynamic patron of the arts in her Montreal community, regionally and nationally as president of the Sandra and Leo Kolber Foundation and through her personal efforts. Many organizations, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Stratford Festival, the Centaur Theatre, the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, have benefited from her dedication. Her fundraising campaigns and special events for the MSO alone attracted over 500 individual donors and more than $1 million.

Whether organizing major campaigns or quietly providing assistance to a young Canadian creator, she finds her work "completely fulfilling." She is currently a member of the board of directors of the CBC and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1993.