F.R. (Dick) Matthews: A Champion of Albertan Artists

In October 2013, the National Arts Centre lost a generous donor and champion of the performing arts. A proud Albertan, F.R. (Dick) Matthews was an avid supporter of the arts – his generosity was exceeded only by his modesty. He was invaluable to the formation of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and made significant contributions to cultural organizations such as the Alberta Ballet, the Banff Centre, Mount Royal College and the National Arts Centre. In 2010, he was awarded the Order of Canada in honour of his philanthropy and for his support of the arts community.

Dick established the F.R. Matthews Alberta Fund with a major donation to the National Arts Centre Foundation in 2008, to be invested over seven years to support the talent development of Alberta artists at Canada’s National Arts Centre. Culminating this year, the F.R. Matthews Alberta Fund supported projects such as the Summer Music Institute, the NAC Orchestra Western Tour, broadband masterclasses between the NAC and Mount Royal College, and many other programs involving Albertan artists.

A great patron and friend of Calgary-born pianist Jan Lisiecki, Dick is credited for helping to launch Jan’s international career through his early support of this gifted musician. In celebration of Dick’s remarkable life, Jan is dedicating his performance with the National Arts Centre Orchestra on June 12th to his memory.

The National Arts Centre Foundation sincerely thanks Mr. Matthews for his generosity and commitment to the performing arts. If you would like to support talented young artists like Jan Lisiecki, donate today and become a catalyst for performance, creation, and learning across Canada.

Patricia Wood

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