The Legacy of Richard LaPrairie: His Gift of Art

By: Alex Robertson, CEO, Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium

Richard LaPrairie was an extraordinary man.

Mr. LaPrairie with campers from Camp Ooch

There are many words to describe him: uncle, colleague, collector, philanthropist, friend. Richard made a difference in the lives of so many. His art collection is an extension of the larger-than-life person he was.

In his tribute in The Globe and Mail, John LaPrairie, Richard’s nephew, reflects:

Art was the defining passion of Richard’s life. He was a canny collector: paintings, ceramics, installations, indigenous art. He cared only that the art was individual, witty, colourful and eye-catching. He said that he did not choose the art: The art chose him. Richard bought art that he loved, with little care for resale value, and was dedicated to supporting young and emerging artists. His home doubled as a gallery, and many art lovers visited for informal tours. His visual flair was also reflected in his dress, and his well-made and striking suits continue to be worn on special occasions by his great-nephews.

Richard was a wonderful friend of our organization for 34 years, from his first donation of $15 to helping us launch our first fundraising gala. He always brought a joyful spirit to camp whenever he visited. Richard remained a kid at heart. This was most obvious in his art collection and in his connection to camp. His art was whimsical and vibrant, and his deep empathy for the Campers moved us all. His ultimate gift to the kids was the extraordinary act of leaving his estate to the Camp to allow even more kids with cancer to attend.

When I think of Richard, what’s most impressive was the trust he had in us. We’d update him with stories from camp and the one question he’d ask every time was: “Are the kids having fun?” That’s what he cared about.

Because of him, so many more kids with cancer will continue to have fun. Thank you Richard.

Alex Robertson, CEO
Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium

About the auction

The auction represents a curated selection from the eclectic and playful Estate of Mr. LaPrairie, which will be offered online November 7 – 12.

From the quirky to the extraordinary, this extensive collection includes Canadian Outsider Art, works by ‘Junk artist’ Patrick Amiot and sculptor Andrew Benyei, and paintings by Lindee Climo, Brian Burke and Sean Yelland.

We invite you to view the full online catalogue for “The Wild and Wonderful World of Richard LaPrairie”.

Proceeds from Mr. LaPrairie’s estate will be donated to Camp Ooch & Camp Trillium to benefit children living with cancer.

Please contact us for condition reports, additional information, or photographs. Previews are available by appointment.

Lot 126 – Lindee Climo,
Lot 94 – Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent

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