Donor Profile: March

John McEwen and Rosalie Elliot

March’s Mini-Matching Campaign Lead Donors are John McEwen and Rosalie Elliott.

Mr McEwen & Ms. Elliott have been opera lovers for many years–it was actually the movie “Amadeus” in 1984 that was the catalyst for their interest–and they have been subscribers to either Vancouver Opera or Opera Kelowna ever since.

Mr. McEwen was on the Board of Vancouver Opera for nine years, and being a VO board member was both an enriching and an eye-opening experience. Among many intriguing events, the couple were able to meet not only singers, but also musicians, directors, set designers, conductors, props makers, and staffers (from the General Director to the ticket handlers). To see the myriad of details that go into making opera happen was an education that they loved and will never forget. “The passion and commitment shown by everyone involved, from top to bottom, is both humbling and inspiring.” 

Ms. Elliott’s niece is a professional opera singer, and through her the couple have come to personally know many other singers, both local and international.

The couple have been donors and subscribers to many arts endeavours over several decades. These include the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Music on Main, Bard on the Beach, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Since moving to Naramata in 2011, Mr McEwen & Ms. Elliott have shifted their interests to local community activities and arts organizations here in the Okanagan. In July 2019, they sponsored Colin Ainsworth to sing at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Kelowna, and then in their own home in Naramata, where 50 lucky people attended. Colin–the well-known Canadian tenor from Toronto–was accompanied by Dr. Laura Loewen, collaborative pianist, and they created a varied and enjoyable program which made for memorable evenings in both venues.

“The arts need funding, and even more so during the time of COVID. We are pleased and honoured to be able to do our part.”