Samantha Plavins is unequivocal: “I love the NAC and am proud of all it does!” And those heart-felt feelings are based on first-hand experience.
Sam was raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. After graduating from Lakehead University in 1998 with a HBMus. specializing in piano, she moved to Ottawa and got her first job with the development arm of the National Arts Centre. It was a move she never regretted.
Her six years with the NAC was a “coming of age” time for Sam. “The NAC took a chance in hiring me,” shares Sam. “I was young but so passionate about the arts. I just wanted to promote all that the NAC was doing.” She saw as many of the NAC’s performances as she could, while honing her fundraising skills and striving to advance the work of Canada’s leading arts and cultural venue. It was an “unforgettable time.” As corollaries, she developed life-long friendships through the NAC and came away even more passionate for the arts—a passion that continues to this day.
In 2004, and after the birth of her first child, Samantha decided to move back to Thunder Bay to be closer to her family. She worked for 16 years in the family’s financial services business and more recently has established her own company — She Walks the Walk— that provides global walking adventures for women. Because of distance, Sam now attends NAC performances only occasionally when she is visiting friends back in Ottawa.
It was while she was working in Thunder Bay that Samantha took out a life insurance policy making the National Arts Centre Foundation the beneficiary. Sam pays the policy’s annual premiums and receives a tax receipt for every premium she pays. As Sam shares, “I took out this policy when I was young and so the premiums were more than manageable.” In 2005, she also established the Wrenshall Family Fund. It’s a personal endowment fund from which the income is dedicated to helping National Arts Centre Foundation employees advance their fundraising careers through professional development opportunities. Her future legacy gift will go to building the capital of that fund.
Sam established her endowed fund and future legacy gift out of profound gratitude for the many opportunities the NAC provided her, her personal wish to see the arts continue to flourish in Canada, and to honour her father who encouraged her love of music. Specifically, she hopes the NAC continues to enable young artists and to expand its cultural reach across the country. The National Arts Centre Foundation could not be more grateful.
Today, Sam’s busy but satisfying life revolves around her work, her husband and two daughters, and her ongoing love of the piano. Life is good, and Sam is grateful. Sam encourages everyone who is considering remembering the National Arts Centre Foundation with a charitable gift in their estate plans to just do so. Says Sam, “Life is short and the only guarantee we have is today. If you are passionate about the arts and the NAC, act now. You’ll be glad you did.” And so will the NAC.
You, too can remember the National Arts Centre with a charitable gift in your estate plans. Whether it is a gift of insurance, a gift in your Will or an annuity, your future gift can make a real and lasting difference in young artists and future generations of patrons across the country. On their behalf, we say a sincere thank you to Samantha Plavins for her generous and long-standing support.