Through the RBC Emerging Artists Project, RBC today announced a $675,000-donation to Brock University’s Campaign for a Bold New Brock that will help to make the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts a world-class hub for arts education and community programming.
Francine Dyksterhuis, regional president for southwestern Ontario for RBC, joined Brock President Jack Lightstone to make the announcement that will see $500,000 of the gift go towards the new school at 198 St. Paul St. in downtown St. Catharines.
“RBC is proud to support Brock University and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” noted Dyksterhuis. “We believe it is critical to identify, nurture and reward the next generation of Canadian talent and are excited to help provide students with the space, tools and resources to pursue professional arts careers.”
In recognition of this generous gift by the RBC Foundation, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will name a suite of music performance rooms, labs and classrooms on the first floor of the building, the RBC Foundation Music Performance Suite for the lifetime of the building.
The remaining $175,000 will permanently endow funding for the school’s long-running Music@Noon series, which will also be renamed the RBC Foundation Tuesdays@Noon music series. The popular Brock lunchtime recital series has been running for close to a decade and offers, on average, 18 public performances a year.
Well-known Brock alumni who’ve performed at the series and have gone on to successful careers in music include, Melissa Shriner (soprano), Christina LeRose (piano) and Jorgo Kalo (piano).
President Lightstone hailed RBC’s contribution as a bold investment in the future of the fine arts in Niagara, Ontario and Canada.
“We are very grateful for RBC’s generous gift to this very special project,” Lightstone said. “This project represents a huge leap forward - both for the University and our surrounding community. The new home of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will provide a wonderful centre of excellence and learning for hundreds of Brock students, shaping the next generation of creative leaders for Canada’s arts and culture industry.”