Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts officially opens at Mount Allison University
10/3/2014 4:03:28 PMSACKVILLE, NB —In the performance of a lifetime, Mount Allison University officially opened its first new academic building in over three decades — the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts — today, Friday, October 3.
The Centre is one of the top arts education facilities in the country, providing specialized facilities for teaching, performance, and creative pursuits in Fine Arts and Drama, drawing on Mount Allison’s long and talented history in these areas. The University is home to the country’s first Bachelor of Fine Arts program, as well as the first University art gallery — the Owens Art Gallery.
Named in honour of the late Purdy Crawford (Class of ’52, LLD ’91) — Mount Allison graduate, chancellor emeritus, and prominent Canadian businessman and philanthropist — the Centre will help Mount Allison define the Canadian cultural experience for future generations of talented students.
“Mount Allison has always been committed to providing students with opportunities to learn and develop both within and outside the classroom. The Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts brings these philosophies together,” says Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. “We want to extend our appreciation and thanks to all our donors for their inspired philanthropy and deep generosity towards this spectacular project.”
“There is immense satisfaction in being able to support a project you believe in, a project one knows will be transformative,” says Margaret McCain, Mount Allison graduate, chancellor emerita, and long-time friend of the Crawford family. “Benefactors were passionate about providing Fine Arts and Drama students and faculty at Mount Allison with the best possible experience. The Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts is a result of that passion.”
Opening events included an alumni Fine Arts exhibition, with works from over 60 graduates spanning close to seven decades (on display until October 9), and the theatre production Curtains: A Celebration of Theatre at Mount Allison featuring drama students, graduates, and faculty members.
The facility brings three buildings together under one roof including specialized studios and classrooms, along with offices, seminar spaces, and a black box professional teaching theatre — the Motyer-Fancy Theatre — named in honour of two alumni and former drama professors, Alex Fancy (Class of ’61) and the late Arthur Motyer (Class of ’45 and Rhodes Scholar).
The $30-million project was funded primarily by private donations with no direct government funding or external debt by Mount Allison. Mount Allison alumni and friends in support of the Centre donated over $23.6-million.
About Purdy Crawford
Purdy Crawford (CC, QC, LLM, LLD) was a Mount Allison alumnus whose remarkable professional career left an indelible mark on Canada's business and philanthropic communities.
He was an outstanding corporate leader and mentor and an important contributor to public policy. He was made a Companion to the Order of Canada in 2008.
Purdy Crawford's impact on the Mount Allison community has been immeasurable. He led several major fund raising campaigns for Mount Allison, served as Chair of the Board of Regents and as University Chancellor, and has been a beacon of leadership and responsible stewardship.
Opened in September 2014, the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts honours him for his outstanding career and extraordinary contributions to Mount Allison University.
Photo caption: Mount Allison University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends celebrated the official opening of the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts on campus on Friday, October 3. The first new academic building on campus in over 30 years, the $30-million facility is home to the Fine Arts and drama programs and was funded primarily by private donations. Alumni and friends donated over $23.6-milllion in support of the project.