Queen’s University announced today the naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music, in honour of Aubrey and Marla Dan and their donation of $5 million to the school.
“Queen’s is delighted to receive this remarkable gift from such a distinguished supporter of the performing arts in Canada,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University. “On behalf of Queen’s, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Aubrey and Marla Dan for their vision and generosity. This gift will help accelerate the momentum within the school and strengthen Queen’s position as a leading university for study in the performing arts.”
The donation will be endowed to allow investments in visiting professional instructors, scholarships and research. It also builds on the momentum within the Dan School of Drama and Music, following the opening of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the ongoing development of exciting new programs since the merger of the Department of Drama and School of Music last year.
The benefactors, Marla and Aubrey Dan, are Queen’s parents whose daughter is a graduate of the drama program. Mr. Dan is a highly-accomplished Canadian businessman and philanthropist, with a passion for the performing arts. He is also the founder of Dancap Productions Inc., a Tony Award-winning commercial theatre company with international and Broadway production and investment credits, including Jersey Boys, The Drowsy Chaperone, West Side Story and A Streetcar Named Desire.
“As the father of a Queen’s Drama graduate, I saw first-hand the value of the education my daughter received at Queen’s,” says Mr. Dan. “More importantly, I saw that there’s tremendous potential in the School of Drama and Music. It is my hope that this donation will allow the school to reach new levels and become the pre-eminent school for performance arts education in Canada.”
In celebration of the naming, a special concert will be held this evening at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Distinguished Queen’s Drama and Music alumni will take the stage to perform works from South Pacific, Smash, and The Drowsy Chaperone. The celebration can be watched via livestream, starting at 7 pm.
“Our plan is to create the pre-eminent School of Drama and Music in Canada and one of the leading such schools in the world,” says Craig Walker, Head of the Dan School of Drama and Music. “Moreover, we hope to lay down new paths for scholarship in the field of music theatre. This generous donation by the Dan family will help enrich the learning and research environments for students in drama and music at Queen’s and help our students reach new heights.”