In celebration of National Philanthropy Day on Saturday, November 15, we’d like to highlight Alan and Marlies Clark – a couple who have devoted many years together supporting the HPO and Hamilton arts community.

In October, at the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s BMO World Film Festival, Marlies and Alan Clark were recognized publicly for their tremendous support of the arts in Hamilton. Over many years, the couple – whose first date was an HPO concert – has invested in our organization, from volunteering on concert nights via the Volunteer Guild to being committed donors who attend almost every HPO event. “[The arts] keep the community vibrant because they’re quality things,” says Marlies. “The children’s choir, All-Star Jazz Band and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra – they’re all quality things. The good stuff just has to keep going,” she adds.

Marlies and Alan felt enriched by a vibrant arts scene while growing up in Hamilton and think this is something young adults should consider supporting in the same way they have done since their early time together as a couple.

A memorable moment for Marlies and Alan was when they teamed up with Alan’s brother Hugh during their milestone birthdays and threw a giant birthday party. Guests were asked for donations to the HPO instead of gifts, and together they raised $10,000. “We get a real joy that our portion of our life has been in the arts and it’s brought a real significance to our lives,” says Alan.

Philanthropy is “the love of humankind,” and National Philanthropy Day is the day that thousands of people around the world come together to both put that word into action and recognize the change that word has brought to our communities.

You can support the arts and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra by making a philanthropic gift. To learn about more ways to support the HPO, visit or call our Executive Director, Carol Kehoe at 905.526.1677 x227.