Beloved Arts in the Park director Doug Sutherland passes away

(Doug Sutherland (l), Arts in the Park organizer, and Tyler Kealey (r), one of the many performers at Arts in the Park in 2019. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Our community of Stittsville has lost another dedicated volunteer who went about his activities humbly, but always with a smile and distinctive sense of humour. Doug Sutherland was the organizing giant behind Arts in the Park. Sadly, Doug passed away on Friday, February 28 at the age of 63.

Born in Scotland, he spent his early childhood years in England. Doug moved with his family to Canada in 1970. When attending University of Toronto to study Theatre and Modern Languages, it was evident that he had arts in his blood. Doug performed in many of U of T’s Hart House Theatre productions.

He eventually made his way to Ottawa to study Law at the University of Ottawa where upon graduation, he practiced civil litigation for 22 years and then as a consultant until he passed.

Stittsville was that much richer when Doug made our town his home. Doug was a long-time volunteer with the Stittsville Village Association (SVA) where he played an integral role in the many positions he held over the years as Vice-President, Director and more recently as the Treasurer.

Arts in the Park will be Doug’s legacy. He grew this major event for Stittsville from a small group of artisans who gathered to display their talents in the Village Square Park to the huge gathering of over 70 vendors that it has become. Doug told this editor last week that he already had 45 vendors in place this year and was so pleased.

Tanya Hein, President of the SVA, shared her thoughts on Doug, “I was heartbroken to hear about Doug’s passing. He was such a jovial and quirky character, and put so much of his energy into the community. He certainly left his mark on the SVA through his years of volunteer service, and his passion for running our annual Arts in the Park, which he grew into an amazing showcase of local literary and artistic talent. The SVA won’t be the same without his thoughtful presence. My thoughts are with Doug’s family.”

All who have known Doug whether through the SVA or Arts in Park, past and present, are feeling this same sentiment.

Doug leaves behind his wife of 30 years Glenda and children Lindsay and Corin, mother Marion, his sister Jennifer, sisters-in-law Debra and Rhonda, brother-in-law Brent and their families.

Visitation for relatives and friends of Doug will take place at the Kelly Funeral Home (580 Eagleson Road) on on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and 7:00 – 9:00 pm. Doug’s Celebration of Life will be held in the Chapel at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 7.

For those wishing to make a memorial donation for Doug, the family has asked that they be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Ottawa Humane Society. Condolences and Sharing Memories can be made at


2 thoughts on “Beloved Arts in the Park director Doug Sutherland passes away”

  1. I only knew Doug through the Arts in the Park festival. He was always there to help and spread his humour. I was looking forward to see him again this year. He will be missed by his family and friends and the local arts community.

  2. We all love the activities at the park in particular Arts in the Park, music festivals, etc.
    and a heartfelt “thank you” to Doug. When we walk through, we shall remember you.
    R.I.P. dear Doug.

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