Generosity of Spirit: The Doris Crowston Endowment Fund

A black and white photo of Doris Crowston sitting and smiling.

If you’ve visited the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre building in Sechelt and enjoyed an exhibition in the main gallery, you’ve been part of the ripple effect that is Doris Crowston’s legacy. “In 2008 the main gallery section of the building was dedicated to and named after Doris Crowston, a long-time moving force behind the establishment of the gallery,” as told in the history of the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre. 

Doris passed away in 2006 at the age of 89, after spending many years living on the Sunshine Coast and raising her two girls with her husband Bruce. The couple first moved to the Coast in the late 1950s, where they lived in a little cabin in Porpoise Bay.  

A watercolour painter herself, Doris was an avid supporter of the arts. In the 1960s, Doris attended the first meeting in Gibsons to create the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, where she became a founding member. She devoted many years to the building and the growth of the Arts Centre and in 2002 oral history interviewshe talked about the work it took to get the Arts Centre built. “It was an awful lot of work, going to different businesses and things to get enough money to complete the building,” Doris shared.  

Dorothy Fraser, the Arts Centre Chair from 2005-2006, said it best, noting Doris had been part of the Centre “from the ground up”. She remembered Doris as being generous, not just financially, but with her time and knowledge, sitting on the board in various positions including at the helm as chair, as treasurer, and as a director. Even after her time on the board she loved to be involved with the Centre and stayed on to help manage the volunteers. 

While Doris is no longer with us, her passion for the arts, her support of artists on the Sunshine Coast, and her commitment to the Arts Centre live on in a permanent fund created by her family in her name. The Sunshine Coast Arts Council’s Doris Crowston Endowment at the Sunshine Coast Foundation is a lasting tribute to Doris that supports the operations and programs at the Gallery. 

Doris’ daughter, Phyllis Sutherland, said that her mother had such a generosity of spirit and would be thrilled to know that contributions to the Arts Centre are made in her memory year after year. The Sunshine Coast Foundation is honoured to steward the Doris Crowston Endowment and contribute to Doris’ legacy, enriching the arts on the Sunshine Coast. 


The arts are a vibrant part of life on the Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Arts Council has been a tremendous resource and support for artists and art lovers who live and visit these communities. If you would like to contribute to the Doris Crowston Endowment please visit this page. If you are interested in supporting the Arts, Culture, and Heritage on the Coast please see our full list of Endowments or contact us at 604.741.7360 or 

No Comments

Post A Comment