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Queen’s takes centre stage

Queen’s University announces naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music.

  • Aubrey Dan speaks after it was announced that he and his wife, Marla Dan, had donated $5 million to Queen's University. In honour of the donation, the university announced the naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Aubrey Dan speaks after it was announced that he and his wife, Marla Dan, had donated $5 million to Queen's University. In honour of the donation, the university announced the naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Aubrey and Marla Dan stand in front of the donor wall at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts where it was announced that they had donated $5 million to Queen's University. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Aubrey and Marla Dan stand in front of the donor wall at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts where it was announced that they had donated $5 million to Queen's University. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Provost Alan Harrison announces 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. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Provost Alan Harrison announces 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. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Queen's University 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. From left: Ireneus Zuk, Interim Associate Director, Dan School of Drama and Music; Provost Alan Harrison; Marla and Aubrey Dan; and Craig Walker, Head of the Dan School of Drama and Music. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Queen's University 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. From left: Ireneus Zuk, Interim Associate Director, Dan School of Drama and Music; Provost Alan Harrison; Marla and Aubrey Dan; and Craig Walker, Head of the Dan School of Drama and Music. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Aubrey and Marla Dan joke around with Greg Wanless (Drama) and Tim Fort (Drama) following a special concert that featured a short performance involving Aubrey Dan along with a group of faculty, alumni and current students. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Aubrey and Marla Dan joke around with Greg Wanless (Drama) and Tim Fort (Drama) following a special concert that featured a short performance involving Aubrey Dan along with a group of faculty, alumni and current students. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • To celebrate the naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music a special concert was held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, followed by a reception in the lobby area that brought together members of the Queen's and Kingston communities. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    To celebrate the naming of the Dan School of Drama and Music a special concert was held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, followed by a reception in the lobby area that brought together members of the Queen's and Kingston communities. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • Aubrey Dan speaks with Craig Walker, Head of the Dan School of Drama and Music, during a special concert event that was held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, marking the naming of the school. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
    Aubrey Dan speaks with Craig Walker, Head of the Dan School of Drama and Music, during a special concert event that was held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, marking the naming of the school. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Queen’s University 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 Thursday.

“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 was held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Distinguished Queen’s Drama and Music alumni took the stage to perform works from South Pacific, Smash, and The Drowsy Chaperone.

“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.”