Both Harry and Katie believe in giving back to the friends and family and the community at large that enabled and supported their careers.
Hence their establishing of the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre (KOAC) is not only their cultural legacy but a fulfilment for a lifetime as teachers and artists dedicated to the education, creation and the promotion of contemporary art.
The site was purchased by Harry and Katie in 1973 and they have been living there since 1978. Their vision for a Centre fostering contemplation and creativity, and for promoting and experiencing contemporary art through exhibitions, research, lectures, symposia, workshops and residencies includes the donation of the property, residence, artist studios and facilities to the KOAC Society – of which they are lifetime Board members. In the near future, as the Centre becomes operational, they will complete transferring to the Society their personal works, their art collection and endowment funds for operational purposes.
Harry and Katie’s entire personal ‘oeuvre’ of paintings and sculptures and their extensive and valuable international and Canadian contemporary art collection will form the core of the artwork display at the Centre.
The Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre was incorporated in 2007 and received Canada Revenue Agency’s charitable society designation in 2010. Since then, the Centre has improved the property’s infrastructure, increased the protection of the wetlands, changed the land use designation and finalized the design of a future arts Pavilion.
In the video below Katie and Harry explain, better than anyone else, the significance of their gift and the scope of the project.