Dr. John Semple teams up with fashion designer for hospital fundraiser

Two men holding up a large silk scarf depicting a man looking at the ocean
Monday, November 13, 2017

Dr. John Semple, world-renowned breast cancer surgeon and Chair, OCAD University Board of Governors, has collaborated with Canadian fashion designer David Dixon on a Women’s College Hospital Foundation fundraising initiative. Together, they have created an exquisite silk scarf featuring a watercolour painting by Dr. Semple that is now available for purchase.

Proceeds from the scarf will support the highest priority needs of Women’s College Hospital, including the new Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers – an innovative new partnership between WCH and the Canadian Cancer Society with a vision to transform care for women’s cancers across Canada. 

Dr. Semple, Professor, Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, is a gifted artist who graduated from OCAD University prior to entering medical school. The painting depicted on the scarf was inspired by the extraordinary courage and resilience of women facing cancer – an inner strength that Dr. Semple has witnessed time and again throughout his career at Women’s College Hospital. 

A quote from the philosopher Albert Camus helped guide Dr. Semple’s vision for the final design: “In the depth of winter I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” Drawing on the quote’s tribute to the power of inner strength, Dr. Semple’s design shows a woman walking on a beach facing an open horizon, empowered by the “invincible summer” that resides within her.

Dixon also designed a beautiful collection of dresses based on Dr. Semple’s watercolour that was unveiled at the Foundation’s Women for Women’s gala luncheon on November 8.  A video depicting the extraordinary collaboration between David Dixon and Dr. John Semple can be viewed online.