BRAGANZA: CHERYL of MONTREAL

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Passed away peacefully after a 12 year battle with multiple myeloma cancer. Survived by three children, Andre, Carlos, and Miguel. A musician with raw unbridled talent, she was offered a scholarship to Juilliard when she was 16. From a young age, she played the piano, the organ, the accordion, and the harmonica with equal versatility. She began to paint in her 20’s and discovered that she was a gifted painter.

She was diagnosed with bone cancer on her 60th birthday and came a hairsbreadth from death four times but fought her way back to life each time. She gained confidence and developed her painting talent with exponential speed. When asked why, she answered “I’m in a race against time. I have so much to say and so much more to bring into the world…” In her last five years of life, she produced more artwork and published more writing than she produced in the previous 20 years.

In 2008, she was named Montreal’s Woman of the Year for using her art as a tool to fight for women’s rights all over the world. She was then elected President of the prestigious Women’s Art Society of Montreal, which she grew dramatically.

Confronting the reality of death enabled her to blossom with unlimited creativity, courage and joy. The more broken her body became, the more she painted soaring images of birds, and butterflies, and dancing women. And when the cancer paralyzed her body, she painted tapestries of colour and love with her face, her voice and her mind.

She was never alone, surrounded by a closely knit group of friends who grew to love her (and each other). She died peacefully in her sleep after seeing her three children; her soul soaring to the beautiful places reflected in her art.

The family will receive condolences at 1070 St-Mathieu, Montreal, H3H2S8 (rear entrance on Joseph Manseau) on Dec 18 and 19, 2pm-9pm. In lieu of flowers, consider a financial donation to the Montreal Women’s Art Society to help publish her work.

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