The Trent University community is saddened to learn of the passing of Timothy Porteous, famed political strategist, supporter of the arts in Canada, companion of the Order of Canada, and Trent donor and honorary degree recipient.
A lawyer by profession, Mr. Porteous entered a notable career in politics as primary speech writer for Pierre Elliot Trudeau's successful 1968 campaign, where he was in charge of press and television relations. Post-election, Mr. Porteous served as chief speech writer then executive assistant for Prime Minister Trudeau.
Following his years with PM Trudeau, Mr. Porteous took the opportunity to work in the field he loved and transitioned to the Canada Council of the Arts, where he served as a director. He then went on to become associate director to the Canadian Centre for Architecture and president of the Ontario College of Art and Design.
Trent University presented Mr. Porteous with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, the University’s highest honour, for his dedicated championship of the arts in Canada in 1986. He was awarded the Order of Canada for his public service in 2003.
“He was a master of inspired and inspiring leadership and what he achieved [at the Canada Council for the Arts] in terms of protecting and advancing the cultural cause across the nation was perhaps his greatest single legacy,” reads his obituary in the Montreal Gazette.
Throughout this career, Mr. Porteous served on various arts boards and advisory committees including the National Theatre School of Canada, the National Arts Centre, National Museums, and the National Gallery of Canada.
The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Porteous’ family and friends, and to all who knew him at Trent University.