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Concordia Receives $5.6-Million Gift to Spark Creative Minds; Largest Gift Ever to Quebec-Based Fine Arts Faculty

Concordia has received the largest gift in Quebec history towards a university-based fine arts faculty. The Peter N. Thomson Family Trust has given $5.6-million to Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts to support students in three key areas: graduate scholarships, field school awards and an art innovation fund.

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Before his death in 2011, Montreal native and Bahamas resident Peter N. Thomson began discussing a bequest with his family. He wanted to donate a substantial part of his wealth towards deserving students, emerging artists and young entrepreneurs. He entrusted each of his children with the honor of recommending the institutions and programs they thought best matched his wishes.

His stepdaughter, Leslie Raenden, chose Concordia ’s Faculty of Fine Arts as beneficiary. “I think Peter would have taken great pride in knowing that we now have a home for his ideas,” says Raenden. “Concordia felt like a good place to connect what he wanted. How better can you promote and help an artist other than through a place like Concordia? I hope students will remember that they benefited from this gift and one day themselves give back.”

This exceptional gift to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen. Now will allow the creation of:

  • 7 annual Peter N. Thomson Family Graduate Scholarships , for master’s or doctorate-level students, valued at $20,000 each.
  • 30 Peter N. Thomson Family Field School Awards to allow students to embark on cultural immersion experiences around the world.
  • A Peter N. Thomson Family Innovation Fund to help initiate large-scale, signature projects that allow students and faculty to push their ideas beyond the classroom or studio into the cultural landscape of Montreal, Canada and the world.

“This gift from the Peter N. Thomson Family Trust is an extraordinary gesture,” says Concordia President Alan Shepard. “We are deeply grateful to the family trust for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students, and to create amazing and wonderful artistic experiences for our community.”

“A very important aspect of this gift is that it gives us autonomy, mobility and responsiveness,” says Rebecca Duclos, dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts. “Support from the Peter N. Thomson Family Trust offers a clear signal that what is happening in Fine Arts right now matters enormously to people both inside and outside our university.”

About Peter N. Thomson:

In the late 1950s, Peter N. Thomson inherited the original Power Corporation of Canada (POW-T). The Montreal-based diversified international management and holding company was co-founded by his father; Peter N. Thomson became president and chairman in 1962. Thomson remained at the helm of Power Corporation of Canada until it was sold in 1968. Throughout his lifetime, he sat on more than 80 corporate boards, including at RBC and Caribbean Utilities. Thomson moved to the Bahamas with his wife, Linda Grace Thomson, in 1977, and spent most of his remaining life there, although he often returned to Montreal.

About Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts:

Concordia is among the world’s top 100 universities in the Art and Design category, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject . Our alumni and professors have earned almost every important arts distinction: Tonys, Pulitzers, Junos, Prix Iris, Grammys, Sobeys, Prix du Québec and Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Our Faculty of Fine Arts features:

  • 9 departments
  • 60 programs
  • 117 full-time faculty
  • 200 part-time faculty
  • 3,100 undergraduate students
  • 500 graduate students
  • 17,600 alumni worldwide

Contact:

Media contacts: Fiona Downey Senior Advisor, Public Affairs and Deputy Spokesperson Concordia University Tel.: 514-848-2424, ext. 2518 Cell: 514-518-3336 Email: fiona.downey@concordia.ca

Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins Director of communications Advancement and Alumni Relations Concordia University Tel: 514-848-2424, ext. 4977 Cell phone: 514-710-7819 Email: s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca

@Concordia @ConcordiaAlumni @CU_FineArts

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