Over the years, Dr. Shail Verma has evolved from being an occasional attendee at National Arts Centre performances to a committed patron, generous donor, and a strong advocate for the arts. And the NAC could not be more pleased or grateful!
Shail came to Ottawa with his family from India in 1971. As a teen, he occasionally attended NAC English Theatre performances. Looking back, Shail reflects, “The NAC really mentored me in the arts. It broadened my awareness in so many ways and helped to shape me into the person I am today.”
Graduating from Queen’s University with a degree in medicine in 1979, Shail returned to Ottawa as a Medical Oncologist. His workload and related responsibilities were heavy but, even so, he began to attend NAC English Theatre performances more regularly. His late partner, Glenn Daugherty, was an avid supporter of the arts at the NAC and especially music. Glenn broadened Shail’s experiences in the arts and soon the NAC became an integral part of their lives.
In 2000, Glenn was diagnosed with a serious lung illness. A year before his death in 2007, he and Shail established the Daugherty and Verma Endowment for Young Musicians. They saw this endowment as a way to encourage younger generations of musicians and, at the same time, enable Glenn’s passion for the arts and the NAC to continue. And so it has. Over the years, the endowment has supported many young artists including Julie Rochus, now Principal Horn at the Orquesta Filarmonica de Boca del Rio in Mexico, and Natasha Hall, a violinist who has performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestra musician in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Shail continues to donate to the Daugherty and Verma Endowment for Young Musicians annually. He has also chosen to remember the National Arts Centre Foundation with a gift in his Will, specifically for the endowment. For Shail, it was simply the right thing to do.
“Over the years, the NAC has enriched my life greatly. My legacy gift is a way to give back. It’s also a way to memorialize Glenn and recognize his deep love and respect for the arts. My bequest will also ensure my own support for the NAC continues after I’m gone.”
Today, Shail and his partner Myles Kirvan, have continued to be involved with the performing arts. They are particularly interested in the NAC’s newest discipline, Indigenous Theatre. In addition to supporting Indigenous Theatre themselves, Shail and Myles held a fundraising event to inspire others to give toward its inaugural season.
Won’t you join Shail and remember the National Arts Centre Foundation with your own legacy gift? You may direct your gift to any area of the NAC’s work or leave it undesignated, to be used where the need is greatest at the time. Staff at the Foundation would be happy to speak with you to ensure your future gift is used exactly as you wish.
On behalf of the promising young musicians your gifts will support for years to come, the National Arts Centre extends its deepest thanks to Dr. Shail Verma — arts patron, advocate — and friend.