A portrait of ten-time Olympian Ian Millar is the latest to grace the Canadian Sports Heroes Collection at Spruce Meadows.
Turner Valley artist Gordon Milne began painting the series in 2002. The collection now features 15 of Canada’s greatest sports icons, ranging from swimmers to boxers, and now includes an equestrian athlete. After 23 years of partnership with Ian Millar, BMO Financial Group Senior Vice President of the Prairies division, Robert Hayes, was on hand to unveil the newest portrait.
In deference to Millar’s dedication to therapeutic riding for those with mental and physical disabilities, $10,000 was donated to the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association on behalf of Millar; $1000 for each of his Olympic Team appearances.
Millar said: “I’ve seen the good riding can do for a person. Riding can heal, and everyone should have the chance to get on a horse.”
Gordon Milne was present to unveil the portrait with Millar. When asked about how he created the final piece, he replied “You can sense the kind of person people are when you spend time with them. After spending time with Ian, it was clear to me who he was. He loves his family, he loves his horses. Ian is a man who strives for excellence and expects excellence from those around him.”