Opening Manitoba’s newest music space
Desautels Faculty of Music unveils premier space, receives a major donation
The University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music officially opened its new, 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art facilities attached to Taché Hall at an evening celebration on Sept. 14.
It is a space the faculty has been eagerly awaiting for years: prior to Music moving into Taché Hall in 2015, it was common to find students in the old building practicing in stairwells, or closets, and occasionally even in the washrooms. The former Music Building opened in 1966 with capacity of just 60 students when today, 260 are enrolled in Music.
“For generations we have been running a vibrant and tremendously successful music program thanks to our talented students and outstanding faculty, sessional instructors and support staff. We have superb talent, but until now we have lacked the spaces they deserve,” said Edmund Dawe, Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Music.
And joining the Faculty at its auspicious opening ceremony was philanthropist and arts supporter, Dr. Bonnie Buhler, who announced, to a standing ovation, a $1 million gift to create an endowment fund to support outstanding graduate students in music.
“The idea that I can support young musicians by freeing them from some financial burdens so they can focus on fulfilling their creative potential is an opportunity I couldn’t let pass,” Buhler, a U of M honorary degree recipient, said. “It is a privilege to help these students who have spent their lives sacrificing so much to develop their musical talents. It’s an honour to play a part in their journey.”
The new state-of-the-art centre is part of the larger Taché Arts Project, which sees the former residence building take on a new life as the part of a new visual and performing arts hub for the University’s innovators, creators, and visionaries.
“To develop our talents and achieve our goals, students need outstanding teachers, exceptional spaces to study and perform, and generous financial support. Tonight we celebrate all of these at this historic occasion,” said Emma Johnson, a vocal performance graduate student.
Giving his own vocal performance, was the Faculty’s namesake and honorary degree recipient, Marcel Desautels, who performed ‘O Sole Mio and received a standing ovation.
The next phase of the construction encompasses the Desautels Concert Hall, a custom-designed performance space that will become one of Winnipeg’s premier venues.
“This is a very exciting time for the Desautels Faculty of Music,” Dawe says. “And thanks to the generous gift from Bonnie Buhler, our level of support for talented graduate students makes the Desautels Faculty of Music a very attractive destination for Canadian and international students.”
The donation from Bonnie Buhler supports a strategic pillar of Front and Centre, the campaign for the University of Manitoba: Graduate Student Support.
Scholarships are critical to the success of our students, our university and our province. They eliminate financial barriers, are a catalyst for student success, and ensure that the university attracts and retains top students.
With the support of visionaries like Dr. Buhler, the University of Manitoba will increase our graduate student population by offering more competitive fellowship opportunities, bolstering our research output in areas where we have established excellence, increasing our expertise in new and emerging areas, and producing the future leaders of our cultural sector, businesses, communities, and government.