It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that MediaSmarts’ founding Executive Director, Anne Taylor, has passed away after a two-year battle with brain cancer. Anne died peacefully in Ottawa on June 28th, with her family by her side.
For those of you who knew Anne personally, we are sure that you would agree with us that she was an exceptional woman and would appreciate her important legacy to Canadians. On a more personal level, we will miss Anne`s intelligence, generous spirit and intrepid nature.
As the founder and original Co-Director of Media Awareness Network (now MediaSmarts), it was Anne’s job to build an organization out of nothing: no small task, especially as we were preaching the gospel of media literacy which few understood or knew they needed. Anne was a true pioneer in 1995: she said our media literacy clearinghouse should be a website when nobody was even using the World Wide Web yet. She felt this new technology would revolutionize education – which it has – and that children would need skills to safely and wisely navigate it – which they do.
Anne understood then how digital and media literacy skills would become increasing important in a world that was rapidly evolving to one where children would access most of their information, communications and entertainment online. Thousands of Canadian teachers and students have benefited from the treasure trove of resources and programs that she guided to fruition.
For those of you who would like to send condolences to Anne`s family, her obituary is below. A celebration of Anne`s life will be held at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa on July 26, 2014.