Kathleen Richardson, LL.D., May 30, 1989
Kathleen M. Richardson

I have the honour to present Kathleen Richardson, Officer of the Order of Canada, Bachelor of Arts.

It is fitting that, at a time when The University of Manitoba is paying tribute to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on its 50th anniversary year, that both the artists and the supporters of the Ballet should be honored.

The attainment of the highest levels of achievement in the performing arts depends not only on the talent and commitment of the artists themselves but also on lay persons whose dedication, vision and generosity prompt them to create the conditions under which the arts may flourish. These patrons of the arts are people who are able to discern in the turmoil of the daily events those things which are essential for the nurture of the human spirit, and the enrichment of society.

There can be no better exemplar of these qualities than Kathleen Richardson. She was born and educated in Winnipeg and within a few years of her graduation with a B.A. from The University of Manitoba, established herself as a leading citizen of her city, province and nation. The list of hercontributions is truly impressive. She served asa memberof: the Canada Council, the national executive of the Pan-American Games Society, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Advisory Board of The Winnipeg Foundation, the Board and Executive Committee of the Institute of Research on Public Policy, the committees involved in the restoration of Macdonald House, and the governing board of The Stratford Shakespearean Festival. As impressive as this list is, it touches only a few of the many enterprises to which Kathleen Richardson has contributed her time and effort. Through her direct personal involvement and through the many contacts she has made in the business community as a Director of James Richardson and Sons and its affiliates, Gulf Canada, the Sun Life Assurance Company, and Barclays Bank of Canada, she has opened doors, created opportunities, and helped to build a constituency for the arts in Manitoba and Canada.

These contributions alone would have been ample enough reason to honor Kathleen Richardson. But today we give special recognition to her long-standing involvement with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She served as President of the Ballet from 1957 to 1961 and has been its honorary president for the last twenty-six years. Years which have seen the Ballet achieve international acclaim. In 1986 she chaired the Ballet's Capital Campaign which raised $5.5 million in private contributions to the $10.3 million project which resulted in the opening of a magnificent new building in January, 1988.

No one who has met Kathleen Richardson remains immune to her quiet charm, wit, simplicity and grace. She shuns publicity and praise and is thus deservedly praised all the more. She has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and is a recipient of the Alumni Jubilee Award.

Mr. Chancellor, it is an honor and privilege for me to ask in the name of the Senate of The University of Manitoba, thai you confer upon Kathleen Richardson the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causo.