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Summer Music Institute Donor Profile: Marg Campbell

 “It is great knowing that you’ve contributed to something really wonderful.” © Photo: Marg Campbell (centre) with SMI participants Mehdi Ghazi (left) and Xin Ben Yu (right). Photo Mike Pinder.

The following is a conversation with Marg Campbell, a long-time NAC Foundation donor and dedicated supporter of the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute (SMI). The Summer Music Institute offers the opportunity of a lifetime to promising young musicians from across Canada and around the globe. With access to world-class training given by an internationally renowned faculty and valuable performance opportunities, this program fine-tunes the skills and dedication of its participants to the highest standard of excellence.

Q: How long have you been supporting the NAC’s Summer Music Institute?

MC: I’ve been supporting the National Arts Centre for a long time [since 1993] and first designated my support to the SMI in 2006. 

Q:  Why do you support the Summer Music Institute?

MC: Music is what’s most important to me and it’s what I’m most involved in as a musician myself [piano]. My support of the SMI was really a fluke in that I was speaking with Barry Bloom of the NAC Foundation who told me about the program and how it trains talented young musicians. As a former teacher, the educational aspect resonated with me and even more so as I have a great love of music. I have no regrets in choosing to support the SMI.

Q:  What are your thoughts about the program?

MC: My appreciation of the SMI has grown over the years as I have become more involved both as a donor and audience member.  In the beginning I simply attended the final concerts, but gradually started going to the mid-program concerts and masterclasses  By listening to the students perform closer to the start of the program, then again at the end, you can really hear how they have improved through their course of study.  I now understand and really enjoy what the program is doing for these young artists and the excellent training they are receiving. 

Q: Do you have any particular highlights from the Summer Music Institute?

MC: There are so many to choose from. I loved the performances of Chopin's Cello Sonata in 2009 by Jan Lisiecki (piano) and Oliver Aldort (cello) both in Frieman Hall and Tabaret Hall - they were incredible. Another standout was hearing Chad Hoopes and Kerson Leong perform a duet at a reception hosted by the US Ambassador in honour of the SMI at his residence in June 2010 and then again on the Southam Hall stage at the NAC Gala in September 2010. Such talent! I also really like being introduced to the students, having a chance to get to know them a little bit and then having the opportunity to hear them perform. I have even had the chance to follow some of their studies and careers beyond the SMI. 

Q: What would you say to other potential supports of the Summer Music Institute? Would you encourage them to support the program?

MC: I would most definitely encourage them to support the SMI as it’s a program where you can actually see it in action every step of the way and you can hear the improvements in the young musicians’ performances.  It is great knowing that you’ve contributed to something really wonderful. 

To support the NAC’s Summer Music Institute, call the NAC Foundation at 613-947-7000 ext.315 or visit