Coming to the National Arts Centre to see the Orchestra play wasn’t always easy in those early years. After all, during the 1980’s, Jean Gauthier and Danielle Fortin were raising four children. “Family expenses were the prime outlay for any funds coming in,” Danielle admits. “But there was always money for a performance here and there.”
That’s because music was a passion – especially for Jean who grew up in a musical family. Jean began learning the piano when he was seven and at one time even considered making it his career. “Music and the piano have always had a calming effect in our house and our lives,” he says.
That same passion is what inspires Jean and Danielle to support the NAC financially, with a special emphasis on the Summer Music Institute (SMI). “We need to develop the artists of tomorrow and give them the opportunity to learn from the masters,” says Danielle. “The SMI offers this with a touch of “internationalism” which allows the student to discover how other cultures shape music interpretation.”
The reward for their generosity is received every time Danielle and Jean take their seats in Southam Hall. “Whenever we attend a NAC Orchestra performance, we feel we’ll be taken out of our seats and shown a new world,” shares Jean. “At the NAC, there have been so many memories, all good but not all easy to accept, like the night my mother cried listening to the Orchestra playing her late husband’s favourite piece. Other evenings are just like a fairytale.”
Jean and Danielle believe education programs like the SMI are critical to the future of the performing arts in Canada. And, like so many of our supporters, they’re committed to giving the artists and audiences of tomorrow the opportunities to embrace the arts just like they have. “Attending a NAC performance allows us to enjoy the great interpreters of today,” Jean explains. “Supporting the SMI provides us with the opportunity to discover and help nurture the great names of tomorrow.”
If you would like to support the next generation of performing artists, please donate to the National Arts Centre Foundation today.