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http://www.concordia.ca/content/shared/en/news/offices/vpaer/aar/2019/03/14/the-world-is-a-big-place-and-we-need-opportunities-for-students-across-the-spectrum.html

‘The world is a big place and we need opportunities for students across the spectrum’

14 Concordia leaders, department chairs and friends reflect on Peter N. Thomson's $5.6 million donation to the Faculty of Fine Arts

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the Concordia community is sharing how support from the Peter N. Thomson Family Trust will impact the university — and go beyond.

Join the celebration by using the hashtags #ThankYouThomsonFamily and #MerciFamilleThomson, or find out more about the Campaign for Concordia: Next-gen. Now.


 Alan Shepard, Concordia President

Alan Shepard
Concordia's president

“Like all universities, we need the kind of private philanthropic support the Peter N. Thomson Family Trust offers us to do our very best. The world is a big place and we need opportunities for students across the spectrum to explore the depths of the human experience through artistic discovery in the classroom, in the studio and in the field. And all of that comes together in the Faculty of Fine Arts.”


Rebecca Duclos Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts

Rebecca Duclos
Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts

“Being next generation has been the lifeblood of what it means to be an artistic practitioner for hundreds of years. What’s exciting about this gift is that it will allow our students to really free themselves to become the best creative practitioners they can without being held back by concerns around funding or their ability to move freely in the world and to activate that world in the way they want to.”


Daniel Cross, BFA 91, MFA 98  Interim chair, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Daniel Cross, BFA 91, MFA 98
Interim chair, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

“Donor support is extremely important because it clarifies to the community and to the students that what the students are doing is important and that they are the best at what they do. That kind of empowerment creates self-esteem. Self-expression builds self-esteem — these are the things that create great art, great work, great community and great citizenry.”


Johanne Sloan, BFA 83 Chair, Department of Art History

Johanne Sloan, BFA 83
Chair, Department of Art History

“This gift is really a wonderful opportunity for many of us to collaborate in new kinds of ways.

I think the range of projects that are enabled through this gift, in the form of experiential learning — which is to say field schools — as well as  funding for graduate students, will create opportunities for forging links with specific communities, here in Montreal as well as further afield.”


Juan Carlos Castro Chair, Department of Art Education

Juan Carlos Castro
Chair, Department of Art Education

“It's essential that philanthropy play a significant role in supporting public knowledge production and support, especially of the arts. Art making and art education have a long history of benefactors. It’s important that this history is kept alive and continues supporting creative knowledge production, which is necessary to enrich the broader cultural landscape.”


Mark Corwin  Chair, Department of Music

Mark Corwin
Chair, Department of Music

“Getting a gift of this nature is really quite an important step, mainly in the recognition from outside of the academic field. The Faculty of Fine Arts is Canada’s biggest; it's unique because it has virtually all of the visual and performing arts in one place and few other institutions do this — certainly none in Quebec.”


Silvy Panet-Raymond Chair, Department of Contemporary Dance

Silvy Panet-Raymond
Chair, Department of Contemporary Dance

“The long-term benefits of this kind of support allow for incubation. When you start to incubate, when you start to have peer-to-peer support and peer-to-peer learning, you're developing the next generation.”


Ursula Neuerburg-Denzer  Chair, Department of Theatre

Ursula Neuerburg-Denzer
Chair, Department of Theatre

“This kind of gift allows us to think bigger, give more opportunities to our students and plan over a much longer term. Gifts like this make us feel pride and open up a lot of opportunities for everybody involved in the fine arts and that primarily means our students, through whom we receive the reputation we have. We hope students will be encouraged to do more work that pushes the discipline further, which in turn opens up new venues for our Faculty.”


Guylaine Vaillancourt  Chair, Department of Creative Arts Therapies

Guylaine Vaillancourt
Chair, Department of Creative Arts Therapies

“This gift is a great opportunity for our students, allowing us to offer more services to the population and the people we’re serving in different settings, and certainly to bring the best candidates into our program. We are the only creative arts therapy graduate program in Canada, so we get students from all over North America as well as from Europe, South America and Asia. This momentum will certainly be very attractive for students.”


pk langshaw  Chair, Department of Design and Computation Arts

pk langshaw
Chair, Department of Design and Computation Arts

“I think increasingly we're finding that finances are always a difficult area for our students coming in to graduate studies. Some of them have to work as well as take full-time studies and do their research on top of that. Having any kind of possibility of financial awards is really, really important to all our students. This gift sets a standard for future donors and is a recruitment tool to bring our best students in.”


Leila Sujir  Chair, Department of Studio Arts

Leila Sujir
Chair, Department of Studio Arts

“It is very exciting to see a donor be interested in our Faculty and interested in the long term. The visual arts and the fine arts aren't always the first thought of donors, yet we are thrilled that they are thinking of that. I really appreciate a donor thinking of a school as an investment opportunity, because by investing, they're contributing to the culture. With that, over time, there will be artistic discovery, artistic achievement and artistic innovation.”


Daniel Lalonde Portfolio manager; senior vice-president, National Bank Financial

Daniel Lalonde
Portfolio manager; senior vice-president, National Bank Financial

“Peter was like a second father to me. I’m so happy to see part of his legacy remain here in Montreal, his hometown, at a deserving university with a Faculty that he would have been proud of. To know that one day students and artists would benefit and thrive from his generosity — I think he would have truly appreciated this.”


Peter Kruyt, BComm 78 Senior advisor, Power Corporation of Canada

Peter Kruyt, BComm 78
Senior advisor, Power Corporation of Canada; former chair, Concordia Board of Governors

“Peter N. Thomson came from a very successful and important family in Montreal — one that was generous and thoughtful to the citizens of this city. This gift is very much in the direction that Peter would have wanted, so I think it’s a perfect and wonderful idea and execution. What’s exciting about this gift is that it's preparing new ground for the next generation.”


John Rae  Retired executive, Power Corporation of Canada

John Rae
Retired executive, Power Corporation of Canada

“This gift speaks volumes to the person Peter was — discreet and very generous.The arts are an extremely important and vital part of our society and we need to help a new generation of artists discover their craft and be able to communicate their talent to as many people as possible. We sometimes forget how important the arts are to keeping our society together and to expressing its values.”



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