Life is certainly never dull for Anne and Alan Tompson. The art and music lovers enjoy spending time with interesting people and learning about the world around them. Alan himself is an artist, and his drawings and paintings fill the walls of their home gallery.
They have plenty of stories to share about the people they’ve met over the years – some of them famous – and the places they’ve seen. Raised in England, they lived through the second world war, and later emigrated to Montreal. They settled in Victoria in 1971, where they’ve been strong supporters of the city’s small but steadily growing arts scene, counting musicians and artists among their friends. In fact, they helped open the way for Knowledge’s partnership for the Royal BC Museum’s Treasures exhibit by helping staff at the two organizations connect with each other.
The couple considers Knowledge a vital aspect of their intellectual and cultural experiences. “It’s part of our lives,” says Alan. “We learn so much from all the different programs - about the past, the present, and what’s coming up. It fills one’s mind with so much knowledge!” And it’s the sort of knowledge that keeps on growing: as Anne mentions, when she sees a good program, it encourages her to read related books and learn even more on the subject.
There’s plenty they enjoy watching on Knowledge: the arts programs, of course, as well as the biographies on Masters and Aperture, documentaries like the recent series New York, and travel-related programs such as Around the World in 80 Treasures and India with Sanjeev Bhaskar.
The couple, who feel strongly that much more money should be allocated to all forms of the arts, have been Knowledge Partners since 1990. They simply love the programming, and want to ensure that everyone continues to have access to it. “Not everyone can budget to donate. That’s where people like us can, and do, and enjoy.”
Anne mentions a bookmark she has with a quote from Einstein, the physicist and student of the world: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” She and Alan both agree that the great scientist didn’t have it quite right. “I’d say imagination is as important as knowledge,” says Anne. That’s what they love about Knowledge. “We don’t watch it to be entertained. We watch it to be informed and stimulated. It’s always been good, but it’s really getting to be exceptional.”