With great sadness, Port Moody Mayor and Council announce the death of Ann Kitching, a Freedom of the City recipient and champion of the local arts community. Ann passed away at Inlet Centre Hospice on Tuesday, December 13, just two days shy of her eighty-fifth birthday. She was a driving force for the advancement of the arts in Port Moody, and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Port Moody residents, and the City as a whole, benefited from her energy, talent, and commitment to the community.
“Ann personified community spirit, and always contributed fully and passionately to everything she did,” said Mayor Mike Clay. “Her enthusiasm was infectious, and she knew how to get things done – and demanded the same of others. A tireless worker and advocate for the arts, you couldn’t ever leave a conversation with Ann without feeling inspired and wanting to do more, but rarely could you ever keep up.
“If our goal is to leave the world a better place, Ann has certainly done that, and taught the rest of us what can be accomplished when you have the drive and determination, and never take no for an answer. I’m frankly not even sure what Port Moody will be like without Ann here, but I know her legacy will live on in all that she has created for our success. The saying is ‘Dance like nobody’s watching, love like you’ll never be hurt,’ and we should add, ‘and get it done like Ann would get it done!’”
In Ann’s honour, the flags at Port Moody City Hall and the Inlet Centre Firehall will be at half-mast until the day after her public memorial service, which will be held January 7 at Inlet Theatre (details to be announced).
Penelope “Ann” Kitching was born December 15, 1931. She moved to Port Moody from Montreal in 1978 and, until her retirement in 1997, was a senior college administrator. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Math from Concordia University, and a Master of Arts from McGill University. She worked for Douglas and Kwantlen Colleges, and helped to set up the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. Following her return to Port Moody, she became joint owner and principal of Fraser Pacific College in Richmond. In 2002, Ann was appointed to the Board of Douglas College, where she served as vice chair until 2010.
During her retirement, Ann pursued her dream of becoming a fibre artist, and continued to contribute to the community in immeasurable ways. She served as president of the Port Moody Arts Centre Society and chair of the Wearable Art Awards Committee, and played a vital role as a member of the Arts and Culture Task Force and the City’s Centennial Committee.
In honour of her service to the community, Ann Kitching was granted Freedom of the City on December 2, 2013. Freedom of the City is the highest honour that Port Moody can bestow on an individual – it is awarded to acknowledge a person’s extraordinary contribution to the community. Ann was also honoured twice in 2016, with a bursary in her name, to help young artists attend summer art camps, and with the re-naming of the 3D Gallery at the Port Moody Moody Arts Centre. The new name for the 3D Gallery – the Ann Kitching Gallery – was chosen by Arts Centre donor Townline in recognition of Ann’s lifelong work in the arts and education.
Ann lived on April Road in Port Moody for 40 years, in a house known as “Chimney House,” due to the long, vertical pipe that comes up from the living room fireplace. She is survived by her daughter Rosemary, and granddaughter Anna.