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Dalhousie University thanks Morris Strug for $5‑million donation to create the Joseph Strug Concert Hall
Dalhousie University thanks Morris Strug for $5-million donation to create the Joseph Strug Concert Hall
The first of its kind in Halifax, the concert hall will be part of the $27.7-million expansion of the Dalhousie Arts Centre
Friday, May 5, 2017 (Halifax – NS) - The Dalhousie Arts Centre will become home to the first concert hall of its kind in Halifax, thanks to a generous $5-million donation from businessman and Holocaust survivor Morris Strug. Mr. Strug made the donation in honour of his late son Joseph, who passed away in January 2016, following a lengthy illness.
The new performance space — to be named The Joseph Strug Concert Hall — will seat 300 people and be designed with state-of-the-art acoustics to support the sounds of everything from a solo classical guitar performance, to a chamber orchestra, voice recital, or a jazz ensemble. It will benefit both the Fountain School of Performing Arts and the broader arts community.
For Mr. Strug, the contribution is a way to honour Joseph’s memory, as well as that of his mother, who was well-known for her beautiful singing voice.
“I miss Joe dearly,” says Mr. Strug. “He was a quiet, humble man and brilliant. A truly gifted student, he never sought the limelight but would always help others in any way he could. This gift honours his quiet brilliance, and his deeply generous spirit.”
The Joseph Strug Concert Hall is part of a planned 37,000-square-foot, $27.7-million expansion to the Dalhousie Arts Centre. “This will be a wonderful boost to our music students,” says Jacqueline Warwick, director of the Fountain School of Performing Arts. “For years, we have sought other venues for student recitals and concerts. Now, we can have them rehearse and perform in a hall whose acoustics are specifically designed for that kind of fantastic sound.”
The project will include new practice space as well as private teaching rooms and enable Dal’s Costume Studies program to be fully integrated with the other Fountain School programs. The acoustics will be designed by Rick Talaske of The Talaske Group, Inc., one of the top acoustic engineers in the field. The building’s existing systems will also be upgraded with features including soundproofing and internet accessibility.
“The Arts Centre has been a hub for the performing arts on Canada’s east coast for more than 45 years,” says Dalhousie President Richard Florizone. “When it was built, Dal was half the size it is today. It’s time to expand this vital infrastructure and the generosity of Mr. Strug is helping make that possible.”
For the School’s namesakes, Fred, Elizabeth and Katharine Fountain, the new concert hall and the overall expansion of the Centre is welcome news. “We have watched with pride as Dal’s Theatre and Music programs have come together in a wonderful way,” says Dr. Fountain. “Now it’s time to build the vital infrastructure to support the growing programming.”
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