“This project is symbolic of the stance of the university: to be both a driver in the world of academia […] and being fully involved and engaged with our students, faculty and staff in the life of the communities around us.”
That was a remark by Brock University President Jack Lightstone during his address at the donation announcement on Monday, September 23.
Gathered there were guests from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), faculty and staff from the music department as well as university media members at the university Pond Inlet.
After mingling with coffee and enjoying a quintet of performers from the music program (playing a medley of Beatles classics), attendees were seated for a procession of speeches from executives from RBC and the Brock University Administration. Not too long into the event, RBC Regional President for southwestern Ontario for RBC Francine Dyksterhuis made the announcement everyone was waiting to hear.
“It gives me immense pride to announce that through the RBC Emerging Artist Project, we are donating $675,000 to Brock University’s campaign for a Bold New Brock, in support of the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Dyksterhuis.
Of the large sum, $500,000 will go towards the new Marilyn I Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) currently under construction at St Paul St in downtown St. Catharines. In recognition of RBC’s generosity, a suite of music performance rooms, labs and classrooms will be named the RBC Foundation Music Performance Suite.
Furthermore, the Music@Noon series run by the music department at Brock for past years will benefit from the remainder of the donation and be renamed the RBC Foundation Tuesdays@Noon series.
Douglas Kneale, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, took the podium later to share the technical specs of the practice room, stating that they were to include the existing concrete floors of the Canada Hair Cloth building to maintain acoustic isolation, acoustic gypsum partitions, floating ceilings providing further acoustic insulation and further tech to control humidity.
“These state of the art facilities will help us enormously in recruiting and educating highly trained musicians whose interests lie in performance,” said Kneale. “For many of our students, the reason they want to come to university […] is to develop their skills in performance.”
Music students in attendance at the event were pleased with the proposed facilities, but ultimately were more concerned with quantity than quality.
“We don’t tend to have enough space here at times, so having more at the new building would be great,” said first-year Music student Donnie Thompson.
For more information about the MIWSFPA, visit http://www.buildingtheartsdowntown.ca/marilyn-i-walker-school-of-fine-and-performing-arts/. RBC Foundation’s Tuesday@Noon series takes place in the Sean O’Sullivan each week, for a list of upcoming programs, visit brocku.ca/humanities/departments-and-centres/music/events/music-noon-tuesday-recital-ser.