$ 2 million grant for experiential learning at Concordia: Doggone Foundation supports fine arts internships
MONTREAL – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Cultural and community organizations will soon hire the student interns they need to boost their activities, thanks to a major donation to Concordia University from the Doggone Foundation.
Founded by the late Elspeth McConnell, the Montreal charity is investing in next-generation learning opportunities for students at the Faculty of Fine Arts as part of a $ 2 million donation to the Concordia Campaign: Next-Gen. Now.
Combined with a previously announced 2018 giveaway to create the Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Awards, the association’s support for the campaign now stands at $ 2.5 million.
“Creating experiential learning opportunities for all of our students is a priority for Concordia. The Doggone Foundation has been bold and generous in supporting the learning of fine arts students outside the classroom, ”said Concordia President Graham Carr. “Doggone is a key partner for Concordia by providing paid internships to our students who, in turn, help a variety of arts and cultural organizations thrive. I have to admit that I am a little envious of these opportunities!
Paul Marchand, CEO of the Doggone Foundation, said the charity is pleased to strengthen its partnership with Concordia. “Our initial awards, established in honor of Elspeth McConnell, exceeded our expectations for student and community engagement,” he says. “Providing additional internship support for promising young practitioners is a meaningful tribute to our benefactor. We are also delighted to be able to honor Bill McLennan’s legacy with a new award.
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Over nine years, the Doggone Foundation donation will fund 40 annual Elspeth McConnell Fine Art Awards valued at $ 5,000 each.
An additional $ 10,000 per year will fund the annual Bill McLennan Northwest Coast Travel Award, named after the late Curator Emeritus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Museum of Anthropology. The award will allow a full-time graduate student to venture to British Columbia to develop their knowledge of Northwest Coast artistic creation and Indigenous cultures. The recipient will collaborate with researchers and staff at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, where the Elspeth McConnell Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks opened in 2017, or other organizations.
“Internships and fieldwork are so essential to learning and researching the fine arts,” says Annie Gérin, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia. “We appreciate the increased commitment of the Doggone Foundation to providing our students with hands-on experiences in a range of organizations such as museums, cultural festivals and exhibition spaces.”
Danielle Aimée Miles, BA 16, MA 19, says her Elspeth McConnell Prize gave her the freedom to pursue an internship at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “I bonded with curators and learned first-hand how the conceptualization, development and installation of an exhibition takes place in a large museum,” she says. “It created a whole new world of contacts for me and allowed me to grow as a professional.”
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Other recipients of the Elspeth McConnell Prize for Fine Arts have completed internships with non-profit organizations such as the Center Philou, Rock Camp Montreal, the Museum of Jewish Montreal and the Kanien’kehá: ka Onkwawén: na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center.
Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice president of academic advancement, says this donation to the Campaign for Concordia will help establish new collaborations to benefit Montreal, Quebec and Canada. “We thank the Doggone Foundation for recognizing Concordia’s role in promoting experiential learning for our fine arts students as they seek rewarding careers in their respective disciplines.