In Celebration of

Jini Stolk

June 16, 1948 -  August 25, 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce Jini Stolk’s sudden and unexpected death on August 25 at the family cottage on Kasshabog Lake in her 74th year. She died of an Aortic Dissection, an unforeseen and catastrophic event. She was John (Zdizlaw) Gladki’s wife, partner and best friend for 42 years. She leaves behind her daughters Kasia Gladki (Fraser) and Sarah Gladki (Jonas) and her four grandchildren—Elise, Sasza, Ariel and Alistair, as well as her sister Jeri in Baltimore, Md, Cousin Barbara Swann in Wilmington, NC and numerous relatives across the US.

Jini grew up in Teaneck, NJ. She excelled academically in high school and attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate. She moved to Canada in 1972, after which she dedicated her work to her life’s passion: the arts. A true champion, she had a huge impact on the arts community in Toronto, first as general manager of Open Studio, an artist-run printmaking centre, and later as associate director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. After the birth of her two daughters, she became executive director of the Toronto Theatre Alliance (now known as Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts) which she led for 10 years. Following this, she was the executive director of the Toronto Dance Theatre, where she worked with artistic director Christopher House to establish it as one of the leading modern dance companies in Canada. Her last major project was Creative Trust, where she raised and distributed more than six million dollars to support the sustainability of over 50 small and medium sized performing arts organizations. In retirement, under the auspices of Toronto Arts Foundation, she established Creative Champions Network, a networking and learning program for arts board members.

She also served on many boards. She was the Chair of Artscape, an early tenant board member of the Centre for Social Innovation, a founding member and the first Chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network and at her death she was the Chair of the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, among others. Her support of Toronto’s arts community was ongoing; in 2021 she donated to 22 different arts organizations. She was the recipient of multiple awards for her service to the arts.

Her enthusiasm for life extended to many passions, including nature and gardening with native, pollinating plants, trying to read every good book ever published, maintaining strong, meaningful friendships with many people, good conversation, sharing beauty with others and staying active at the Jewish Community Centre. She loved her cottage, hummus, dancing, good music, her children, her grandchildren, her cats, lawn sales, elegance and good dining.

She was a strong feminist. She was an advocate for social justice, not just in theory, but also in practice by befriending and supporting those in need. She lit up every room. She leaves a powerful legacy. She made the world a better place. We miss her terribly.

Following a private funeral there will be a Celebration of Life at Wychwood Barns on Sunday, September 11 between 4-6 PM. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Sistering or a small or medium arts organization of your choice.


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Rod McPhail (Friend)

Entered August 29, 2022 from Toronto

John and family. Very sorry to hear of Jini’s passing. My condolences to you and your extended family. You have many wonderful memories that you will cherish for a lifetime. Peace be with you.

Eti and Ken Greenberg (Close friends)

Entered August 30, 2022 from Toronto

Jini's loss is so hard to process. We saw her just recently. She and John were dear friends with whom we shared so many times and places and events in our lives. She brought a special energy to all the things she touched and enriched the arts and culture in our city. She is already sorely missed.

Julian Sleath (Friend and arts colleague)

Entered August 30, 2022 from Toronto

My wife and I were introduced via mutual friend soon after we arrived in Canada - more than 20 years ago. She ( and along with her family ) have been a good friends and a wonderful work colleague. We shall al miss her joyous outlook on life and especially nearing Christmas, the presence at the "decor" party. My condolences to her family - she will be missed - Julian

Robin Cardozo (Colleague and Friend)

Entered August 30, 2022 from Toronto

Jini was a valued champion, mentor and friend in the arts sector. She wore her passions on her sleeve -- demonstrating that it's okay to be passionate! I have fond memories of our many conversations over the years. Also the laughter. It's hard to believe that she is no longer with us. Jini will be greatly missed.

Ed Phillips (Friend)

Entered August 30, 2022 from Toronto

Jini was a friend and neighbour. A vital force in the arts community and an advocate for the natural world. Over the past few years she became part of a small group of locals that met regularly in the mornings over strong coffee and good conversation. Jini, always going to or from a long walk, an exercise class at the JCC, home for a zoom meeting or to finalize an article or polish a presentation, managed to spend time with us discussing the state of the political situation, the health crisis and sharing concerns for the current state of the arts. On occasion, when trading personal stories we would hear about her years growing up in New Jersey, her time in Chicago and her early foray in the Toronto arts world.
Not only is my garden better for her generosity, but my life too, richer for her friendship.


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