The first thing you noticed about Jan McIntyre were her eyes -- big, attractive, twinkling and full of warmth. The eyes defined the woman.
McIntyre loved theatre the way she loved people. She died August 6 of congestive heart failure following chemotherapy.
I met Jan in the early 80s, when she had already worked at the Ontario Arts Council for several decades after coming to Canada from Scotland. I remember bringing her congratulatory flowers in the early 90s when she became the council's theatre officer. She was, typically, surprised that I -- or anyone else -- made a fuss over her.
She had a real passion for theatre and the community who created it. When she was involved in a funding project, she gave more than money -- she gave her heart. When she received a Harold Award last May for her contribution to Toronto's alternative arts scene -- and the award planners weren't even sure that her health would allow her to attend the ceremony -- she was bewildered that she was being honoured. She'd only done her job, Jan protested.
No, Jan, you did far more than that. Your love of theatre and its practitioners, your energy and fervour mixed with a sly sense of humour, made us -- your extended family of theatre folk -- feel special and loved.