Winnipeg arts lover Douglas MacEwan, 95, will be walking one kilometer every day for 96 days to raise $96,000 for local performing arts until his 96th birthday. The proceeds will be divided evenly between Winnipeg’s four major companies: Manitoba Opera, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
MacEwan was born in Ottawa, Ont., and is a WWII veteran trained as a medical doctor specializing in radiology. He moved to Winnipeg in 1966 to work at the University of Manitoba. When MacEwan finishes his challenge on Nov. 11th–the day of his 96th birthday–an anonymous sponsor has offered to round up the $96,000 donation to $100,000.
“I wanted to do something to ensure that future generations, including my eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, grow up in a city with a thriving performing arts community,” said MacEwan in an MO press release.
The sponsor has also agreed to donate $500 for every kilometer MacEwan walks, plus an additional $500 for each day he finds someone to walk with. MacEwan takes a selfie with his walking buddies and his daughter Eleanor is assembling a commemorative book.
“Dr. MacEwan is a very compassionate, caring individual and is an inspiration to us all,” said Manitoba Opera’s General Director Larry Desrochers in the release. “He has been a long-standing patron of all our organizations; he has been attending Manitoba Opera productions since 1972 when we were in our infancy. To take on such a challenge at any age, but certainly as a nonagenarian is truly remarkable and deserves our deepest respect.”