Kelly O'Brien, former Ottawa Festival director in the '70s and 80s, died May 5, 2003, at age 50 at her home in Beaches, near Toronto in Canada. According to a report in the TORONTO STAR, she suffered from liver disease, but autopsy results were inconclusive, so the matter is still under police investigation.
Born in Toronto, O'Brien was the third of four children of a pediatrician and homemaker. She trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College. She worked under Frederick Manter at the National Film Library to organize its 10,000-film catalog. She moved on to be co-founder and director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. In the mid-1980s, she returned to Toronto to the Ontario Film Development Corp. as an archivist, and then became a film consultant.
"She had a bright, witty, often wry person and she knew animators all over the world," said Manter, a close friend.
O'Brien received the Queen's Jubilee Medal for her contributions to the betterment of Canadian culture in 1977. O'Brien is survived by her mother Margaret.