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Koltun, Lilly Ann

KOLTUN, Lilly Ann

1951 - 2021


After a valiant struggle with cancer, Lilly passed away peacefully on Sunday November 21, 2021. She is survived in love by her brother, Walter, her sister, Nadia, her nephews and nieces, Catherine, Alex, Andrew and Stephanie, by her many cousins, colleagues and friends and by her beloved cats, Weegee, Maggie, Wally and Emmy.

Lilly loved her life as an interdisciplinary artist, a historian, an archivist, photographer, teacher and mentor. She loved her work as the Director General of the National Portrait Gallery of Canada, as an adjunct professor at Carleton University and as a director on the Board for the Ottawa Art Gallery.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday December 4, 2021, between 1:00 and 5:00 pm in the Chapel at the All Saints Event Space, 330 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa. In keeping with current COVID protocols guests must be double vaccinated; proof of vaccination will be required for entry and masks must be worn. Handicapped access is available through the red door in All Saints parking lot located on the Chapel Street side of the premises.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society at

Lilly, the Koltun family and their friends and colleagues would like to thank the staff at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, the Ottawa General Hospital and the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital for their dedicated care.

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The Koltun Family

I met Lilly Koltun when she headed the National Portrait Gallery. My grandmother, the author Madge Macbeth was a close friend of Yousuf Karsh and sat for him when he was new to Ottawa. Her support helped his early career. Lilly was thrilled to see these very early Karshes as she said there were few from that time. She arranged my donation of these photographs to the Portrait Gallery. Her charm and enthusiasm enhanced her expertise.
I had reason to contact her more recently regarding other Karshes in my possession and she responded with grace and kindness.
I may have only had a limited time meeting with Lilly but she was indeed memorable. The world has lost a wonderful woman.
"Mike" Macbeth (Mrs) Uxbridge Ontario.

Mike macbeth, December 1, 2021

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