We are very sad to announce the passing of Ardyth Webster Brott’s mother, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Webster. Betty was a founding member of the Brott Music Festival’s Board and a vibrant, innovative member of Canada’s musical community. Betty made an indelible impression on everyone who knew her and was a positive force in Canadian orchestra life throughout her tenure with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-75), the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras and Association of Canadian Orchestras (1975-97), and as the founding Executive Director of Orchestras/Orchestres Canada (1997-2001). She was a very proud Canadian and revered and loved every part of this great country.
Both a respected advocate and an entrepreneurial association executive, Betty’s greatest contribution to Canadian orchestras was her profound belief in their value as community resources, accessible and welcoming to young and old alike. She was also active on the international stage, chairing the International Alliance of Orchestra Associations, and representing Canada on the board of the American Symphony Orchestra League.
She contributed greatly to cultural management in Canada, particularly in the Ontario and national orchestral milieu. She has initiated numerous educational, community- access, and professional management and development programs. She encouraged the establishment of an education resource centre, as well as a musicians’ employment information service. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1992 and was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Betty attended BMF concerts with enthusiasm and always watched, listened to and followed the careers of the young NAO orchestral musicians with true delight. She was interested, curious and warm, enjoying conversations and charming everyone she met, whether young or old. A woman of great dignity, humour and warmth.
She will be greatly missed by Ardyth and her husband Boris, her other children Charlie (Carole), Jimmy (Mary-Anne) and Mark. Her grandchildren Alexandra, David (Marijana), Benjamin (Jennifer), Lauren(Mark), Callum and Colin. Treasured great-grandchildren Isabella, Everett, Jonah, Audrey and Eve.