December 1, 2020
1939 – 2020
University librarian, professional ‘psychic’ and award-winning artist, Ada Gabriel was an unsentimental, strong-willed and loving woman.
She could be fierce as she was beautiful. During the mini-skirted sixties, she protested against an intrusive landlord, first notifying the Vancouver Sun, then picketing for tenants’ rights in a bikini outside her apartment block, decisively winning the public relations battle.
She earned her post-graduate librarian degree at UBC where she later worked in the campus library, indulging her favourite pastime, her passion for research. Like the fact-finders in John le Carré spy novels, she was a burrower.
Spirituality was the most powerful force in her life. Raised Catholic, ordained a minister of a new-thought church in the 70’s, providing aura healings in a second-hand millinery store, then at her lively Psychic Fairs on the waterfront at Granville Island and private telephone readings for her Canadian and international clients.
In the next season of her life, she channeled her spirituality in a new-found love for painting. More research and practical study of art history and technique was followed by her ‘Called into Being’ series, large scale oil paintings and diptychs, mostly abstractions bound together with harmonious palettes, serene and calming. Ada’s work was celebrated with gallery openings, art magazine reviews, regional awards and internet sales.
In the last decades Ada retired into private life, often as reclusive as Garbo, but when she fell ill her family, long-time friends and neighbours stepped in to help her with errands, groceries, gardening and finances, and to enjoy conversation over an afternoon glass of wine…for Ada Gabriel was a Shahrazad of spirituality, weaving her insights and research into her deeply-felt understanding of the Divine her soul now encounters. Obituary
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