The PAL Ottawa community is mourning the passing, and marking the inspirational life, of the much beloved Barbara McInnes – one of our longtime advisors and supporters.  A radiant and respected community leader, Barb was lost too soon – but her bright light lives on through her lasting legacies.

Our hearts go out to her husband Glenn McInnes, daughters Leah and Emily and their husbands and children, and all of her dearest at this difficult time.

Barbara with her father, Alastair Gamble. Together with Gordon Henderson, they co-founded the Ottawa Community Foundation.

Together with her father, Alastair Gamble, and Gordon Henderson, Barbara established the Ottawa Community Foundation in 1987. She directed it for 26 years, until her retirement in 2013.  She also helped guide the work of other Canadian and international community foundations. Caring and giving – and compelling, gently, others to do so – was her calling and gift.

Innumerable organizations and individuals greatly, and gratefully, benefited from her philanthropic leadership.  And she and Glenn personally supported many Ottawa arts organizations and artists.

PAL Ottawa has been fortunate to benefit from both. The Ottawa Community Foundation – and having Barbara on our Advisory Group – have helped us in pursuing the creation of a ‘PAL Place’: to provide the Capital’s aging arts workers with affordable housing and personal support in a creative, caring community, so they can continue to live, create and inspire.

Barbara at one of her signature Garden Parties.

Barbara and Glenn also graciously hosted one of PAL Ottawa’s first garden party fundraisers.

Not long before her passing, PAL Ottawa Chair Peter Haworth and Housing Co-Chair Catherine Lindquist had a special visit with Barbara in that garden (recently adorned with hearts with heart-warming words) just after a media session announcing our partnership with Ottawa Community Housing to pursue the creation of PAL Place.  As only Barbara could, she shared her delight and continued interest in achieving this goal.  She also shared her inspiring contentment with her life lived and legacies.

Dearest Barbara, your PALs mourn, miss, and celebrate You.

Barbara joins Catholic Centre Immigration Centre Executive Director Carl Nicholson for a podcast on the Ottawa Vital Signs report in 2007.

As she retired, Barbara handed the torch to the Ottawa Community Foundation’s new CEO and President, Marco Pagani.

All photos courtesy of the Ottawa Community Foundation.