Lending Expertise and Inspiring Others

Profile on John John McKellar

John McKellar at the 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation board appreciation event.

John McKellar, retired lawyer, generous donor and volunteer, is devoted to advancing and supporting the arts.

“My serious association with the arts began about 60 years ago when I was asked to join the board of Crest Theatre,” said John. It was John’s love for theatre that made this decision easy for him. Since then, John has volunteered his expertise on several theatre boards, an association that later led him to join the board of Toronto Arts Foundation, and to serve as Chair of the Board for both Toronto Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

“Every dollar that you spend on arts adds $8 to the economy,” he said. But it’s not just the economy that benefits. “Arts do a wonderful job of teaching people what we stand for, of showing people what we are, of telling our stories and expressing ourselves.”

A true arts champion, John extended his belief in volunteer service by encouraging other lawyers in his firm to join arts boards. “Arts are often underfunded and lawyers have the ability to help these organizations, to help companies understand what they should and should not do.” John retired from our board in 2021; Toronto Arts Foundation has certainly benefitted from his knowledge and support for our work. For his service to the arts, we thank John whole-heartedly.

This story appears in the 2021 Toronto Arts Foundation Annual Report