News Release

Wall Honors Donors Who Value the Arts
May 21, 2010

ARTicipate Fund Raises $4.7 Million for Shenkman Arts Centre Activities

Ottawa, Ontario –The ARTicipate Campaign honored its community, individual, business and major donors by unveiling a stunning multi-paneled glass donor wall on May 19. The 26-foot high wall, located in the upper lobby of the Shenkman Arts Centre, displays the names of supporters to the ARTicipate Endowment Fund, which has received $4.7-million in donations.

The formal unveiling was combined with the first annual Donor Recognition event with more than 285 guests in attendance. "There have been a wide range of donors from all walks of life," explained Chantal Rodier, Director of the ARTicipate Endowment Fund. "We expect to make further additions to the wall, on an annual basis, as we continue our work to build the fund."

The many generous gifts, ranging from $50 to $1-million, represent community spirit at its best, supporting artistic activities at the Shenkman Arts Centre, she added. All those who contributed $50 or more before April 1, 2010 are permanently honored as Pioneer Donors on the wall. Donors of $15,000 and above were recognized during the unveiling ceremony for their Benefactor, Visionary and Founder levels of commitment to the fund.

New to the long list of distinguished major donors is Richcraft Homes who donated $200,000 to name the Shenkman Arts Centre Black Box Theatre as le Théâtre RICHCRAFT Theatre. Also recognized was resident arts partner at the Centre, MIFO (Mouvement d'implication francophone d'Orléans) for its donation of $50,000, naming the lower level bar BAR MIFO.

One of the Centre's ARTists in Residence Studios will now be honored with John and Simone Joanisse's names in gratitude for their private donation of $25,000. "We donated to encourage the development of our bilingual culture through the arts and to show all the residents of Ottawa that the East has a vibrant and dynamic arts community," explained the Cumberland residents.

Present at the ceremony was Bill Shenkman, Chair of the Shenkman Family Foundation, whose $1-million to the ARTicipate Endowment Fund named the Centre itself and the 500-seat main theatre as la Salle Harold Shenkman Hall in honour of his father. Ron Caza, chair of the ARTicipate Campaign Cabinet, noted that building the endowment fund was a massive undertaking, especially for AOE Arts Council, a small community council “with big dreams and limited resources.” With AOE's move into the Shenkman Arts Centre, the ARTicipate campaign gained momentum and community support, he added, including donations of all sizes, naming opportunities within the Centre, as well as seat plaque sales in the Harold Shenkman Hall.

"We took on this enormous task because we recognized that having this magnificent building, while in itself a work of art, was not enough," said AOE Arts Council Executive Director, Christine Tremblay. "It is the artists, the audiences and the artistic activity that takes place in and around it that will truly make this a centre for the arts."