News & Stories

From a Friendship to a Legacy

Wade Dawe

When The Honourable Don Oliver (LLB ‘64), retired Senator, met Wade Dawe at a business conference in 2009, he could not have imagined it would lead to a lifelong friendship, much less a gift made by Dawe to the Dalhousie Performing Arts Campaign in Senator Oliver’s name.  Read more.

Kurt Streit and Jane Archibald

Kurt & Jane

“Imagine going from a small community to singing at Carnegie Hall or the Musikverein in Vienna. It can happen. That is why supporting the Performing Arts Campaign is vital. It creates more opportunities for young people to think big and take on the world.” – Kurt Streit  Read more.

Gillian Clark


Gillian Clark (BA (Theatre)’13) had never considered the arts as a career path until a grade 12 drama teacher recognized her theatrical talent. Realizing it was an opportunity to encourage empathy and understanding among audiences, Clark decided to become a theatre artist and moved from Calgary to Halifax to study at the Fountain School of the Performing Arts. Read more.

Isabelle Riche


The daughter of a writer and a musician who can play any song by ear, Isabelle Riche grew up in a household where artistic expression was encouraged. The Newfoundland and Labrador native began learning the piano at the age of four and her passion for the instrument was such that she went on to enroll at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of Performing Arts to study music and composition. Read more.

Lesley Brechin


When Lesley Brechin (BA (Theatre)’90) decided to complete her Dalhousie University degree after joining the staff in 1983, she knew she would not continue her initial focus on commerce. Instead, she followed her heart and majored in theatre. Read more.

Gina Burgess


The first time Gina Burgess saw her grandparents play Beethoven trios, she found herself captivated by the violinist who accompanied them.  “That’s when I knew I wanted to play violin,” she says. “I was really intrigued by the sound of the music.” Read more.

Julia Beke

Julia Beke_Website Photo

Julia Beke was just 12 years old when she discovered her passion. Travelling across North America with her family, she was transfixed by the historical costumes she saw at the museums they visited and she soon began researching how to replicate those designs. Read more.

Nathan Simmons

Natahan Simmons performing on stage

For Nathan Simmons (BA(Theatre)’17), the plan was to major in science and take a few acting classes on the side. But it soon became clear to him, and everyone who saw him, that he could deliver a riveting performance. Read more.

Breaking ground with glorious sound. Celebrating the future of performing arts at Dalhousie

Rolling Stones

A Mozart opera selection. A movement from Chopin. A Rolling Stones classic.

It was an eclectic mix of performances for an eclectic audience: students, staff/faculty and others from the Fountain School of Performing Arts, accompanied by some of the most prominent donors and supporters of the university’s Performing Arts CampaignRead more.

Lyn Estuye

Lyn Estuye_Web Photo

When Lyn Estuye was very young, she often pretended she was a famous actor. But it never felt like something she could pursue as a career. "I did sing on stage and act in high school plays, but I was never sure I was good enough," she recalls.  Read more

Tiffany Jay


From joining school orchestras to singing in church choirs, Tiffany Jay (BMus’95) was passionate about the arts from an early age. The Dalhousie Arts Centre helped nourish that and inspired her to study voice at Dalhousie. The critical thinking, planning, and leadership skills she learned through the performing arts program have proven vital over the years, particularly as she transitioned into a successful career in health care in Toronto. Read more

Jonathan MacArthur

Jonathan MacArthur_Web Photo

Jonathan MacArthur (BMus’12) believes the arts are the lifeblood of any community. “Having spaces where we can meet, create, and share in artistic expression is vital,” he says. “I didn’t really have access to that growing up in a small town in PEI. But I knew Dalhousie was a hub for creativity and I wanted to be part of it, so I could explore my passion for music and opera.”  Read more

Van Penick


Van Penick (LLB’76, MA’14) admits he has no talent for performing music, but the successful Halifax lawyer and Dalhousie alumnus finally found an outlet for his lifelong passion when he enrolled in the university’s Master of Arts in musicology program in 2012.  Read more

Chelsey Hardy


A lot of work goes into theatrical productions at the Dalhousie Arts Centre, particularly a sensory friendly performance of L’Étoile. But for third-year Stage Design and Technical Theatre student Chelsey Hardy and her classmates, it was a chance to apply the skills they have learned to bring the classic opera to a whole new audience.  Read more

Alex Kavanagh

Alex Kavanagh

Whether creating doll clothing or her own items to wear as a teenager in St. John’s, NL, Alex Kavanagh was certain she was going to be a fashion designer. But a chance encounter with a Dalhousie costume studies alumna who showed Kavanagh her portfolio changed that.  Read more

Emmanuel Solomon


Emmanuel Solomon is grateful that so many people have helped him pursue his dream of becoming an operatic singer. The Nigerian-born Fountain School of Performing Arts student received a scholarship for his first year of music studies and held a successful fundraising concert in fall 2018 that has helped cover his second year.   Read more


Barbara Hannigan

In her public talk at Dalhousie in November, world-renowned vocalist and conductor Barbara Hannigan reflected on what it means to pursue music as a career.   Read more

Fred & Elizabeth Fountain


For philanthropists Fred (1948 – present) and Elizabeth (1958 – present) Fountain, their support of Dalhousie — and of the performing arts, in particular — combines elements of all the causes they are passionate about.   Read more

Igniting Dal's Third Century


It was a night that began with Mayor Mike Savage proclaiming the day (Friday, September 28) to be “Dalhousie Alumni and Friends Day” in Halifax. It ended with Dal President Richard Florizone announcing that the Dalhousie Arts Centre expansion was set to begin construction on Monday morning, having raised $33.6 million out of its $38.5 million budget.  Read more

Province joins cast for Dal’s performing arts campaign


The Province of Nova Scotia has signed on to play a leading role in the $38.5-million expansion and revitalization of the Dalhousie Arts Centre — a project partners say will pay cultural dividends well into the future. Read more.

Canadian opera icon supports a new generation of artists


Sheila Piercey’s gift to Dalhousie’s Performing Arts Campaign will support students while honouring her former voice instructors. Read more.

Rob Steele steps up as chair for Dal’s Performing Arts Campaign


Rob Steele, president and CEO of Newcap Broadcasting Ltd, has been announced as campaign chair for the Performing Arts Campaign, helping set a new standard of excellence in performing arts education at the Fountain School. Read more.

Setting the stage for the future


Under the leadership of Honorary Chair Sarah McLachlan, a stellar group of performing artists from across Canada have come together to support the $27.7-million expansion to the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Read more.

A joyful noise: Morris Strug donates $5M for new concert hall

Last Friday, members of the Dal community gathered to celebrate Halifax businessman Morris Strug and his donation of $5 million to create the Joseph Strug Concert Hall. The hall, named in honour of his late son Joseph (a Dal alumnus), will be part of the planned expansion of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Read more.