this month in #everydaybrilliance, lainey gossip talks to jane roos, artist, philanthropist and ongoing supporter of canadian athletes. read on to find out more about jane’s charity auction and how a life changing event inspires her in her art & in her charity work.
ce mois-ci à #brillanceauquotidien, lainey gossip discute avec jane roos, artiste, philanthrope et ardente supporter d’athlètes canadiens. lis l’article pour tout savoir sur l’encan de charité de jane et comment un événement a métamorphosé sa vie et a inspiré son art et ses actions caritatives.
jane roos, 44
born: ottawa, ontario
resides: toronto, ontario 
artist & philanthropist
lainey: 
you had different plans for your life when you were a teenager – what happened? 
jane: 
when i was grade 13, i was a heptathlete and a model. on november 8 (of that year), i was in a car with my girlfriend and she fell asleep at the wheel. she died instantly. i survived. i had 2 back operations. the magnitude of what happened to her and to me were night and day. i was very lucky to live. it changes you so drastically. i was an athlete, i was modelling, i was focused on going to the olympics, to the states on a scholarship, it changed my life inside out. it made me have to reinvent myself. i really identified with being an athlete, a model, the person who had a lot of expectations. and after the accident, no one had expectations of me. they were just like, you’re lucky to be alive. so after the 2nd back operation, while i was still in the hospital recovering, i organized a fundraiser from (my bed) in the hospital and we raised $40k for athletes who are competing on the world stage. 
lainey:
what motivated you to do that?
jane:
there’s a really old movie called fearless. it’s all about how they survive a plane accident and it’s the only movie i’ve ever watched that i can really identify with. when you go through an experience of living when someone dies, there’s a lot of gratitude, there’s a lot of why me, and you want to honour the person who didn’t get that opportunity. when i was in the hospital the 2nd time, i learned that you’re only here once, and you can make a difference. 
i feel like i learned this early on because of what happened to me. a lot of people i know in their 40s, they’re kind of catching up with me now. because i had to go through this experience, i had to do something. at the very beginning, i had athletes coming to my house and they’d give me receipts and i’d just give them money. now we’ve raised over $16 million. and we don’t work that way anymore! but we started very grassroots. at the time i had no idea it would evolve into what it is now. 
lainey:
what’s the goal of your foundation, canadian athletes now?
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jane:
two years out before every games, we are helping athletes. the top athletes in the country receive $1500 a month from sport canada. that’s only the top athletes. and that’s often not enough to cover their living and training expenses. we have several different programs but one of our programs focuses on a match. we call it 1500 for $1500. we’re trying to get 1500 canadians to raise $1500 each to support one athlete. 
lainey:
can you raise the $1500 among a group of people for one athlete?
jane:
yes! we helped 85% of the team canadian olympic team in vancouver. 
lainey: 
and you’ve been able to get some high profile support? 
jane:
one of my goals is to create things that people want to buy and use that to help athletes. so initially i asked famous canadians to paint. a few years ago chantal kreviazuk, peter mackay, randy bachman, jann arden, a whole bunch, they all painted and we auctioned off their work.  
last year i painted a canvas and gave it to famous canadians to write on the canvas and we’re doing the same this year. november 20 is our final fundraiser before sochi and we auction them off. our goal this year is $400,000 and we have paintings by georges st-pierre, prime minister stephen harper, justin trudeau, peter mansbridge, gord downey…and celine dion gave us tickets to her show and an opportunity to meet her. 
i want canadian talent to be celebrated but i want to use what they’ve accomplished to be able to help people coming up. this is a great way to do that. this piece of art will tell a story, it will go to a great cause, and it will help someone succeed on the world stage. 
lainey: 
you run an art gallery and you are an artist yourself – when did you get involved with art?
jane:
both my grandparents were artists. i grew up in home where i chose to be an athlete instead. and that ended with the accident. but when i was pregnant with my first daughter, my father was terminally ill. i needed an outlet. there’s a restaurant in toronto called cantine where the owner showcases art once a month. and so the owner gave me the month of may and we came up with 12 paintings to have a show. i had my first show. very few people then knew i painted. not even my core group. it went really well, 8 paintings sold and ever since then i’ve been painting. i do a lot of commission work, and i’ve had paintings sell throughout the world. 
i opened the gallery in 2008 just before the beijing games and the first show was done by athletes competing in the games. and a gentleman came in and bought the entire show for $25,000. there is no limit to generosity. 
lainey: 
you sound like someone who doesn’t stop and spends her days doing things for others. what do you do for yourself? 
jane: 
i get a lot of joy out of painting. i can escape into the studio – it’s attached to my gallery. it’s an amazing outlet. i just had a baby who’s now a year old. i’m severely sleep deprived! so i love getting my hair blowdried out. wash and blowdry to me is a treat. 
i enjoy the simple things. my time is tied up with 3 businesses and 2 children. when i do have downtime, i simplify, walk the beach. and i’m still learning that. to take some time for yourself. 
lainey: 
what advice can you give to others in how to manage it all? 
jane: i love what i’m doing. it makes it a lot easier when you’re passionate about what you do. i don’t mind getting “no”. i collect 10 “nos” a day when i’m out there trying to raise money for charity. you can’t sweat that. if you’re getting a no because you’re doing something you believe in, it makes it worth it. be committed to your passion, not attached to your result. i truly live that way. i don’t worry ever about the “how”. i work hard and i put a lot of time into my projects, but i definitely don’t worry about the “how”. all i know is that the “why” motivates and drives me. 
click here to follow can fund on twitter. and here for more information on the foundation. 
on wednesday november 20th, you have a chance to bid on art work by famous canadians who have shared their thoughts, mantras, words of wisdom and recipes on canvas in support of can fund and our winter athletes. this is the final push fundraiser. click here to see the art.