Nurturing the Arts for All: Katherine Porter and Lyn McMillan

Left to right: Stacy Kelly (CKFA Executive Director), Lyn McMillan, Katherine Porter (H’Art Centre Executive Director), Nancy Gray, and Bill Gray
In the vibrant and inclusive community of Kingston, Ontario, two remarkable individuals, Katherine Porter and Lyn McMillan, have left an indelible mark on the local arts scene. Their enduring commitment to accessibility, inclusivity, and the power of the arts has not only transformed lives but has also set an inspiring example for generations to come.
Katherine Porter, the visionary founder of H’art Centre, has dedicated over two decades to creating a haven for adults with disabilities and those facing barriers who yearn to immerse themselves in the world of Arts, Music, Dance, and Theatre. What began as a modest visual arts studio on Montreal Street in downtown Kingston soon expanded into a comprehensive arts center, thanks to the unwavering support of the community and Katherine’s unshakable belief in the transformative potential of the arts.
For Katherine and Lyn, H’art Centre is not just an organization; it’s a calling, a passion, and a way of life. Katherine currently serves as the Executive Director of H’art Centre, and her partner, Lyn, has been her steadfast pillar of support throughout this incredible journey. Together, they’ve experienced the joy and purpose that the arts can bring into one’s life, and they are determined to pay it forward.
Their dedication to the community, shared values of putting community first, and belief in the enduring impact of endowment funds have culminated in a profoundly generous gesture. Katherine and Lyn have decided to bequeath 75% of their estate to the H’art Centre Disability Arts Fund, which resides at the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area (CFKA).
This decision is more than just a financial contribution; it’s an endorsement of the endowment model, a sustainable way to support vital community initiatives indefinitely. Rather than starting fundraising efforts from scratch each year, the endowment model allows organizations like H’art Centre to build on their past successes, ensuring continuous growth and steadfast support for Kingston and Area’s essential community organizations.
Through their generosity, Katherine and Lyn aspire to encourage others to find their own passions, their own “fields of interest,” and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they touch. They firmly believe that you don’t have to give everything, but giving something from your heart can have a profound impact on someone’s life.
Katherine and Lyn’s extraordinary act of giving serves as an inspiring testament to the power of community, the transformative force of the arts, and the enduring impact of legacy planning. Their legacy will live on through the H’art Centre Disability Arts Fund, ensuring that the H’art Centre continues to empower individuals, enrich the Kingston art scene, and create ripples of positive change in the community.
As H’art Centre celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the legacy of Katherine Porter and Lyn McMillan will forever be intertwined with the organization’s history. Their remarkable journey serves as a reminder that, in the world of philanthropy, it’s not about how much you give, but about the lasting impact you create. 

Community Foundation for Kingston & Area