Flags flew at half-mast at city hall in honour of Jean Pigott, the prominent executive, parliamentarian and National Capital Commission (NCC) chairwoman who died early Tuesday morning at Grace Manor. She was 87.
Under Pigott’s leadership in the 1980s, the NCC took over responsibility for the capital’s official residences, established Confederation Boulevard and ramped up annual events like Winterlude, said Russell Mills, the NCC’s current chair.
“She had quite an impact on the NCC in making it more effective and building a capital for Canadians,” Mills said.
A shared joke between them, Mills recalled, was the time they worked together organizing a benefit concert and managed to get kicked out of B.B. King’s dressing room — twice, by two different bodyguards. On their second trip out the door, they finally met the legendary bluesman.
Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa McLeod remembered Pigott as an inspiration and a mentor who supported her initial run for office despite lukewarm support from Progressive Conservative officials.
“The fact that a woman like Jean Pigott could believe in me meant more to me than I could ever explain in words,” she said. “She was a great human being, she was a giant and she was a trailblazer.”