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NEWS RELEASE - Queen’s University announces naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music

Thursday, April 7, 2016

KINGSTON, Ont. – Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, today announced 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 Principal Woolf. “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 to accelerate the momentum within the school and strengthen Queen’s position as a leading university for study in the performing arts.”

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.”

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 the School of Music last year.

“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.”


The Dan School of Drama and Music was formed in 2015, following the merger of the Queen’s School of Music and the Department of Drama, which created possibilities for enhanced collaboration and the development of new and innovative programs. The $5-million donation announced today from Aubrey and Marla Dan will further the momentum within the School of Drama and Music and accelerate the school’s vision of becoming a leader in performing arts education in Canada.

Queen’s University is one of Canada’s leading universities and among its oldest degree-granting institutions. It offers a transformative student learning experience enriched by a research-intensive environment. Established in 1841, Queen’s is home to roughly 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all provinces and more than 100 countries around the world. Its Initiative Campaign, launched in 2012, is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Its goal is to raise $500 million to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people.

Chris Armes
Media Relations, Queen's University