Inspiring Stories

Celebrating your philanthropy

Many of us are familiar with the expression ‘the people make the place’ and nowhere is this truer than at ROM. The Museum would not be a world-class cultural institution without the generous support of so many individuals, families and corporations. Here are just a few stories of ROM volunteers and donors who have gone above and beyond.     


Janet Waddington was a cherished member of the ROM Palaeontology Department for more than 40 years. To honour her legacy, family, friends and colleagues, rallied together to establish an endowed fund that will continue to support the collection and research she helped build for generations to come. 

Brothers Paul and John Johnston in ROM's atrium

Brothers John and Paul Johnston have been visiting ROM together their entire lives. Now, they are helping to preserve the Museum’s collection and ROM family experiences for generations of future visitors.

OpenROM will open the Museum up even more to the public, creating a thriving cultural and civic hub in the heart of the city.

Nearly two decades after receiving an invitation to attend a curatorial event at ROM, the Museum has become like a second home to Neera Chopra and her husband, Deepak. They became members of the Royal Patrons Circle and Neera was drawn to contributing in a more meaningful way. She began volunteering with gusto, chairing the Friends of South Asia committee, co-chairing ROM Ball 2019, and serving two terms as a ROM Trustee.  

As a mechanical engineer, Arthur Kennedy spent his lifetime building the infrastructure used by millions of people across the Greater Toronto Area to this day. And thanks to a gift in his will in support of ROM, he will continue to have a positive impact on the community for generations to come.

Like so many ROM employees, Meg Beckel’s relationship with the Museum began decades before ever working here. A surprising family connection and an insider’s perspective on the impact the Museum can have for Ontarians compelled her to offer support in a new way. 

Micropalaeontologist Francine McCarthy has studied our changing world for decades. She wants her legacy gift to help communicate the urgency of climate action and has entrusted ROM’s Climate Change Initiative with the task.

Remembered for her infectious energy and vibrant laugh, Vera Kircheis had a lifelong love of art and culture. Her remarkable spirit lives on through a family fund that will enable future generations to nurture similar passions at ROM. 

Swee Goh

An afternoon exploring a favourite gallery, a long lunch at the café, a stroll through Philosopher’s Walk – these are some of the things Swee Goh and his late wife, Lilian, enjoyed most about ROM. Upon retiring to Toronto, they lived across the street from the Museum and decided to get to know their new neighbour. 

Philanthropist Red Wilson establishes the permanently endowed ROM Curatorship of Canadian Art and Culture