Joan Lehman to be honoured at MacLaren Legacy Dinner

September 6, 2019
Joan Lehman, Legacy Dinner Honouree (left) and Steve Paikin, Guest Speaker
On September 26, the MacLaren Art Centre honours Joan Lehman for her leadership, vision and community service. The 2019 Legacy Award will be presented to Joan Lehman at the annual MacLaren Legacy Dinner, which pays tribute to an individual for their outstanding contribution to the MacLaren and to the community.

This evening of celebration heralds the beginning of Carnegie Days, a festival of art and language inspired by the MacLaren building’s origins as Barrie’s first public library. Also featured is award-winning journalist, author and documentary producer Steve Paikin, who will read an excerpt from his latest book Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not So Bland After All.

Joan Lehman has been engaged as a volunteer with many community organizations and is highly regarded for her work in the development of several important community centres.

A former member of the MacLaren Board of Directors, Lehman was a driving force in the transformation of Barrie’s Carnegie library into a major public art gallery. From 1996 to 2001, she coordinated the work of the architects, consultants, contractors, Board members, politicians and members of the community to bring the vision of the new art centre to life.

Lehman also served as Chair of the Building Committee that oversaw the construction of a new clubhouse for the Simcoe Muskoka Gilda’s. The 10,000-square-foot facility opened in 2010 to provide social and emotional programs for those living with cancer. Lehman helped secure the $1 million worth of donated materials and labour that was necessary to complete the project.

Her current volunteer work is focused on the Wiidookdaadiwin project, which seeks to relocate an iconic bronze monument by regional artist Marlene Hilton-Moore to the Huronia Lookout in Springwater Township. Depicting a First Nations guide and European trader carrying a canoe, the work will add context to the site, already significant for its view of lands and waterways used by Indigenous people for thousands of years.

Joan Lehman moved to Barrie with her family in 1978. After purchasing a historic building on Collier Street, they started their planning and consulting firm Lehman & Associates. For 20 years, she managed the firm while her husband did the consulting as it grew to 22 employees with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Barrie.

The MacLaren Legacy Dinner provides an opportunity for MacLaren friends, donors and sponsors to gather together to honour the Legacy Award recipient, enjoy an entertaining and inspiring evening, and raise funds that directly support the Gallery’s exhibitions and programmes. Lehman joins previous Legacy Award honourees Jamie Massie, Scott Elliott, Tom McBride, Janice Laking, the Pratt family, Graham Knight, Barry Peacock, Gerry Pilon and John Hartman, who share in common a dedication and generosity that inspires us all.

The MacLaren Art Centre extends its grateful thanks to Pratt Homes, Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 Legacy Dinner and Gold Sponsors Barriston Law, Wilsons Law Practice and Georgian BMW & Mini Georgian for their generous support of this event.

The MacLaren Legacy Dinner is on Thursday, September 26 from 6 to 10:30 pm at the MacLaren Art Centre. Tickets are $180 (includes a $100 donation receipt). For tickets, to arrange tables or to discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact Laura Aylan-Parker at 705-720-1044 ext. 236 or