Just received word that Kate Davis, former director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Kate assumed her post at the MacKenzie in 1996. It was a perilous time for the gallery. A few years earlier it had moved from its antiquated spot on the old College Ave. campus to its new digs in the T.C. Douglas building on south Albert. With expanded facilties and programming, of course, come expanded costs of operation. Unfortunately, the gallery’s ability to sustain itself was hindered by budget cuts imposed by the Romanow NDP government who were struggling to cope with the disastrous economic mis-management of the Devine era.
A woman of keen intelligence, with a passion for the arts and an ability to communicate with people from all walks of life, from powerful politicians and business leaders to artists and art lovers alike, Kate played a huge role in broadening awareness and appreciation for the gallery in Regina and the province as a whole which helped greatly in stabilizing its finances and permitting it to pursue its vision of artistic excellence and community engagement.
Today, the MacKenzie ranks as one of the leading art institutions in Canada. It is truly a proud legacy that she leaves behind, and our sympathies go out to her husband John Noestheden; her immediate and extended family; and the many friends and colleagues she leaves behind to mourn her passing.