National Gallery of Canada launches Benefactors Initiative with Thomas and Susan d'Aquino bequest

OTTAWA, Aug. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The National Gallery of Canada Foundation today announced the launch of the Benefactors Initiative aimed at attracting major bequests in support of the National Gallery of Canada. Under this Initiative, major bequests will be recognized as intended gifts confirmed in the estate plans of donors and will form a vital part of the future patrimony of the Gallery.

To mark the launch, the Foundation is pleased to recognize a major bequest from Thomas d'Aquino and Susan Peterson d'Aquino of Ottawa. The d'Aquino bequest, dedicated to advancing curatorial leadership, research, exhibitions and acquisitions pertaining to the Canadian collection and to the Gallery's world-renowned prints and drawings collection, is one of the most generous in the Gallery's history.

"Support of the National Gallery of Canada is one of the highest priorities among our philanthropic activities and commitments", said Mr. d'Aquino and Ms. Peterson d'Aquino. "This great national treasure, with its soaring and iconic architecture, houses a superb collection of Canadian and international works of art and is served by a remarkably talented team of curators, scholars and specialists. It is with enormous pride that we offer both the Gallery and its people our appreciation and support."

Gallery Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marc Mayer, said, "on behalf of the National Gallery of Canada, I salute Thomas d'Aquino and Susan Peterson d'Aquino for their exemplary leadership, unwavering support and profound generosity. Along with the Foundation's announcement of its new Benefactors Initiative, the d'Aquino bequest launches another important chapter in the cultivation of long-term philanthropic commitments at the National Gallery."

Gallery Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Karen Colby-Stothart, enthusiastically welcomed the intended gift of Thomas d'Aquino and Susan Peterson d'Aquino. "Their bequest is transformative and marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Foundation's building of philanthropic support at the Gallery. Their example will serve as a catalyst for other publicly-spirited Canadians to contribute to the advancement of the National Gallery and its vital mandate as our country's leading visual arts museum and global centre of excellence."

The d'Aquinos have had a twenty-five year relationship with the National Gallery of Canada. Mr. d'Aquino has served as Chair of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation for over twelve years.  Under his leadership, the Foundation has contributed very significant financial support to the Gallery and has been highly effective at fostering linkages with the philanthropic community across Canada and abroad. He is the Founder of the Gallery's Distinguished Patrons which today includes close to 100 prominent donors and collectors across Canada. The d'Aquinos spearheaded the outreach to donors leading to the purchase for the Gallery of artist Joe Fafard's "Running Horses" and to an endowment to support the travel of the exhibition across Canada. Ms. Peterson d'Aquino currently chairs the Friends of the Print Room at the Gallery.

About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to supporting the National Gallery of Canada in fulfilling its mandate. By fostering strong philanthropic partnerships, the Foundation provides the Gallery with the additional financial support required to lead Canada's visual arts community locally, nationally and internationally. The blend of public support and private philanthropy empowers the Gallery to preserve and interpret Canada's visual arts heritage. The Foundation welcomes present and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments. To learn more about the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, please visit

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art, including the extensive collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information: please visit


SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

For further information: Josée-Britanie Mallet, Senior Media and Public Relations Officer, National Gallery of Canada: (613) 990-6835,

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