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A Special Statement on The Passing of Phil Lind


The AGO mourns the passing of Phil Lind, an AGO trustee for 18 years. He served on various board committees and contributed enormous amounts of wisdom and guidance over significant periods of change at the AGO.

Phil was a giant in the business world and worked hand-in-hand with the Rogers family to build one of the most successful companies in Canada. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2002 and inducted into the U.S. Cable Hall of Fame in 2012.

He was also very much a family man and would often bring his children, Sarah and Jed, and grandchildren to activities at the AGO. Everyone at the AGO extends our deep sympathies to them and his long-time partner, Ellen Roland, a dear friend of the AGO.

At the AGO, Phil was particularly passionate about chairing the Modern & Contemporary Committee. During his tenure, the committee acquired several outstanding contemporary works including Adrián Villar Rojas’s Today We Reboot the Planet, 2013; Tacita Dean’s Antigone, 2018; and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s OPERA (QM.15), 2016.

“Phil’s unwavering belief in contemporary art to frame the world we live in was perhaps his most striking attribute. While always direct with his opinion, he demonstrated a compassion for people that was nothing short of humbling. His lack of artifice and pretense, combined with his deep commitment to creating a better Canada, made him a fantastic leader.” – Stephan Jost, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Phil was incredibly passionate about his involvement at the AGO and made many, many important and lasting gifts, including:

  • Donation of works of art by Vija Celmins and Canadian artists Robert Fones, Jin-me Yoon and Stan Douglas into the AGO collection
  • Stage III and Transformation AGO campaign gifts that resulted in the naming of the Anne Lind Artist-in-Residence Room and the Philip B. Lind Galleries
  • Exhibition support of many shows at the AGO reflecting his deep love for photography, including Scott McFarland: Snow, Shacks, Streets, Shrubs (2014), Thomas Ruff: Object Relations (2016), Mark Lewis: Canada (2017), Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory (2019), Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956–1971 (2020), and most recently, Wolfgang Tillmans: to look without fear (2023)
  • In recent years, Phil generously supported the commission of Brian Jungen’s Couch Monster: Sadzěʔ yaaghęhch’ill, 2022, and the acquisition of the Montgomery Collection of Caribbean Photographs

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