A Passion for Music and the Arts Inspires a $3M Leadership Gift

Helga Schmidt is a lover of operetta and live performance, and a benefactor of many cultural organizations in Europe. As lead donors, she and her late husband Mike Schmidt have made a transformational gift to the Love the ROM Centennial Campaign.
Arriving in Canada from Germany in 1956 with their two-year-old son, Helga and Mike Schmidt had $64 between them. “My husband would have been so proud to have witnessed our small part in the transformation and beautification of this wonderful Museum,” she said, speaking at the ROM’s Centennial Day. “Back then, a situation like this was not something we could possibly ever have imagined—not in our wildest dreams!”
Helga is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABC Group of Companies. A businesswoman, philanthropist, grandmother and greatgrandmother, she has shown extraordinary generosity to the ROM. “Canada has been a wonderful place to live and raise our family and we would like to give back to the community,” she says. “What better way than by supporting the ROM’s next century?”

The ROM’s future outdoor performance space will be named after Helga and her late husband and reflects their shared love of music and the arts. Their catalytic gift will enable visitors to enjoy live dance, theatre and music on the revitalized ROM Plaza.