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THE SCOOP | Two Multimillion-Dollar Donations Lead To The Renaming Of RCM's Conservatory Theatre

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The Royal Conservatory of Music has announced two large donations by longtime RCM supporters Michael and Sonja Koerner and James and Louise Temerty. The two gifts mark the success of an unprecedented four-year goal of raising a total of $40 million towards RCM’s Growing Greatness campaign.

RCM Chancellor Michael Koerner and his wife Sonja, who offered the first and last gifts, donated a total of $6 million. RCM board member James Temerty and his wife Louise together, donated $5.5 million.

“These important gifts strengthen the position of the organization and will be instrumental in helping us expand the delivery of the transformative benefits of music and arts education to hundreds of communities across Canada,” said Dr. Peter Simon, the inaugural Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO at The Royal Conservatory in a press release statement.

In a show of thanks, RCM has named the position of President and CEO (currently held by Dr. Peter Simon) in Michael Koerner’s honour.

In homage of James and Louise Temerty’s gift, RCM’s 180 seat Conservatory Theatre above Bloor St. has officially been renamed the Temerty Theatre. The professional training program of The Glenn Gould School for exceptionally gifted orchestral musicians will also be named the Temerty Orchestral Program.

The additional $6 million gift from Michael and Sonja Koerner establishes them as one of the country’s leading arts and culture philanthropists. Over the past eight years, the Koerner family have been instrumental in providing funding for the construction of Koerner Hall, as well as  the donation of the extensive Koerner Early Instrument Collection. The Koerners also fund the Alexandra Koerner Yeo Chair in Cello and have committed to partially funding RCM’s 21C Music Festival for five years through to the 2018–19 season.

Besides donating to RCM, The Koerner family also oversee The Michael and Sonja Koerner Foundation, which actively donates to many different endeavours, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Soulpepper Theatre Company, the Women’s Musical Club Of Toronto, and others.

James Temerty is the founder of Canada’s Northland Power, a natural gas, wind, and solar power company established in 1987. As a philanthropist, Temerty has contributed to The Royal Conservatory Glenn Gould School’s scholarship program, the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation, and Royal Ontario Museum Foundation.

The Koerners’ and the Temertys’ donations will go towards the full range of Royal Conservatory programs.


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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Editor at Musical Toronto
Michael Vincent has worked as a senior editor for La Scena Musicale and web editor for Norman Lebrecht. On January 21, 2014, he went to lunch and left as the publisher of Musical Toronto. Later that year he found himself as a freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star, the former employer of his favourite author Ernest Hemingway. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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