All of us at the Gallery —Board members, staff and volunteers— are tremendously saddened by the sudden passing of Brenda Gilham. We send our condolences to Brenda’s husband Buddy, their sons Tom, JJ, and Jamie and the rest of the family.
Brenda gave some of the best years of her life to her work with the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. She was one of our longest serving staff members and made a major contribution to the success of the Gallery. Her strong work ethic, joie de vivre, and love of people and art came across daily and enlivened our workplace.
Brenda lived a full life and was a very accomplished person. In addition to being an award-winning figure skater and well-loved coach, she was a dedicated gardener. She loved working with staff and volunteers to make the Gallery’s annual Garden Tours extremely successful. These tours were one of the highlights of her year.
When you work with someone for such a long time you really get to know them —their hopes and dreams. One of Brenda’s great hopes —and one of her dreams fulfilled— was for grandchildren. Her deeply loved sons and their partners fulfilled this dream for Brenda and made her last few years profoundly joyful. You could hear in her voice and see on her face how much love she had for Isabella, Giuliana, Jack and Lucas and how much she enjoyed her time with them.
After retirement Brenda watched with much anticipation the progress to build the new art gallery on the waterfront —a project that was near and dear to her. We so regret that she won’t see it in its final form. The generosity of Brenda’s family in suggesting donations to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery is most appreciated. Donations received in her honour will be acknowledged in Brenda’s memory on the donor wall in the new art gallery. Here, her beloved grandchildren will see her name and understand her love of art and her special contribution to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
Director, Thunder Bay Art Gallery