January 13, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Bob and Marian Cumming – Patrons par excellence!

Marian and Bob Cumming

“We’d be absolutely lost without the National Arts Centre!” And when you speak with Marian and Bob Cumming, you know they mean exactly what they say.

The Cummings’ association with the NAC goes back 50 years to its very first performance. Eagerly anticipated, they were delighted by the NAC’s launch and the positive impact they knew it would have on the Ottawa and Canadian cultural scene. Soon they considered the National Arts Centre their “home away from home.” They still do.

Both Bob and Marian come from musical families and were introduced to classical music at a young age.  Bob grew up in London, Ontario, and Marian is originally from Malta. They met in Italy through work. After their marriage in Milan—in a fourth-century mausoleum built by the Emperor Constantine no less—they moved to Ottawa in 1967, which remains their home to this day. Bob was a career public servant in trade policy and exports. Marian worked in human resources in the Department of Justice. Much of their free time was devoted to the National Arts Centre.

The Cummings have subscribed to the English Theatre, the NAC Orchestra, and have served on the Board of the Friends of the NAC Orchestra. Over the years, they have also attended many educational programs and special events. They have long supported the NAC Foundation with annual gifts, so it’s no surprise that they have also remembered the Foundation with gifts in their Wills.

Their desire to leave a legacy gift evolved gradually. They wanted to give back after so many years of memorable performances. What confirmed their decision was seeing the impact that the NAC’s educational and music programs was having in schools. As Marian says “It’s just so important to introduce younger generations to the beauty and wonder of the arts. And the NAC offers the very best.” Accordingly, their future legacy gifts will be directed to the Foundation’s National Youth and Education Trust.

For the Cummings, life is richly satisfying. Both are now retired, and they travel extensively. Bob continues to research and collect 19th century Minton porcelain. Marian is an avid tennis player. Their devotion to the National Arts Centre continues unabated.

The Cummings encourage everyone to consider leaving a legacy gift to the NAC Foundation. It’s a way of saying thank you, and enable Canadian arts and artists to grow and thrive long into the future. Marian is clear:

“Thanks to our parents, we were both exposed to the arts at a young age. But not everyone is so fortunate, and so it’s up to us.”

Won’t you join Bob and Marian Cumming and remember the National Arts Centre Foundation with your own legacy gift? You may leave it undesignated to be used where the need is greatest or you may direct your legacy to a specific area of the NAC’s work. Should you wish to designate, we ask that you contact us so we can ensure your gift is used as you wish. Also, if you have already remembered the Foundation with a legacy gift, we would be grateful if you let us know.

Thank you, Bob and Marian Cumming, for your years of loyal and devoted support of the National Arts Centre. You are patrons par excellence!

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.


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