Much-loved community leader dies
Matt Steffich, the well-known owner of Steffich Fine Art and a vibrant community leader, died suddenly from a heart attack on June 3 at the age of 61.
Matt was found collapsed in the gallery by a regular gallery patron at approximately 12:30 p.m. Emergency services personnel were unable to revive him.
Christine said Matt was proud of being raised in East Vancouver, and became interested in First Nations art because of a family connection to Reg Ashwell, who founded Pegasus Gallery on Salt Spring Island. Matt moved to Salt Spring Island and in 1992 opened his own gallery with a native art focus in Grace Point Square called Thunderbird Gallery with then-partner Jennifer Rosling. He and Christine changed the gallery name to Steffich Fine Art in 2007.
Matt was known for his love of music and guitar playing, especially slide guitar; for his local radio show called The Speakeasy co-hosted with John Bateman when CFSI was operating; his role as emcee of a number of community events; for his participation on the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce board, including terms as president and vice president; and as an enthusiastic proponent of the Ganges harbourwalk project.
Matt is survived by his wife Christine, sons Dakota Steffich, 13, and Austin Steffich-Rosling, 26, his four siblings and many family members and friends.
See Wednesday’s issue of the Driftwood for more about the life of Matt Steffich and his contributions to Salt Spring.