The life and legacy of a longtime community advocate
Susan Scott’s relationship with The Winnipeg Foundation spanned more than three decades. Susan, known as Susie to her many friends and family, demonstrated her love of community through purposeful philanthropy.
Winnipeg was Susan’s home, and her innate ability to envision equitable possibilities made her a discerning champion of our city. She was happiest when witnessing others using their gifts and talents. By walking alongside Indigenous, Inuit, and Métis emerging leaders, Susan helped create space in the arts, education, and in neighbourhood-level community development. Susan’s style was behind the scenes, and she inspired others to view community through a lens of reconciliation, and to offer a helping hand.
The support Susan extended was deeply personal and took many forms. Beyond investing in partner charities and enabling the launch of innovative new programs, she created opportunities within different communities. These opportunities ranged from providing musical instruments or group concert tickets to covering registration fees for summer programs. Beyond her philanthropy Susan was hands-on, purchasing food, sharing meals, providing art and beading supplies, and working to ensure no one was excluded. She was confident taking risks in her giving, saw possibilities not barriers, and believed wholeheartedly that investing in people is always worthwhile.
Susan never sought accolades for her generosity and was content to watch the magic unfold. Despite the quiet nature of her giving, Susan was awarded the Senate of Canada’s 150th Anniversary Medal for her expansive support of various communities in Winnipeg. The Rotary Club of Winnipeg also honoured her with the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Senator Patricia Bovey described Susan’s delight as “seeing the twinkle in her eye when she did something, or when something she supported reached fruition or when she witnessed public reaction to those accomplishments. No one knew these were her projects or artists in her orbit. Susan’s orbits were always expanding, and we know through her enjoyment of giving and encouraging that she has inspired others to do so”.
Susan Scott died on January 14, 2022, after a brief illness, surrounded by family and close friends. Susan established the Susan J. Scott Fund in 1991 and it continues Susan’s engaged community life and spirit. Her impact will be ongoing and expansive, as clearly was her full intention.
This story is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.