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Profile 1 - Ruth Dukas

.By Nancy Dorrance with photography by Randy deKleine-Stimpson

Kingston artist Ruth Dukas is a glass-half-
full kind of person. Immigrating to Canada along with her family a decade before the Holocaust decimated their Polish village of Ostrowiec, she overcame a serious childhood illness and other obstacles — including the sometimes misogynistic fashion industry of the 1950s — to become Canada’s leading designer of women’s gowns.

After the fashion world abandoned formal evening wear in the Swinging Sixties, Ruth changed direction too. Unfazed by her fall from fame, she refocused on what had always been an underlying passion: painting. And through it all, Ruth maintains that she has lived, to quote the title of her 2019 memoir, A Fortunate Life.

Sitting in the elegantly appointed living room of her Ontario Street apartment one afternoon, Ruth poured tea and pronounced her pleasure in settling here with husband, Kenneth, after years of travelling the world together. . . .

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