Banff Centre raises record $1.1 million for artist support in single-event fundraiser

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Banff, Alberta, July 25, 2013 -- The Banff Centre recently raised a record-breaking $1.12 million net, thanks to guests and supporters of the 34th annual Banff Midsummer Ball Weekend. Held July 19 to 21, the net amount raised will go fully toward the Midsummer Ball Artists Fund, which supports the development of artists’ projects at the Centre year round.   

Held over three days, with evening performances hosted by ET Canada’s Rick Campanelli and CTV’s Seamus O’Regan, the cultural showcase over two nights featured artists including soprano Measha Brueggergosman, spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, dancer Thomas Fonua, trumpeter Jens Lindemann, Al Spx of the band Cold Specks, and bass-baritone Philippe Sly. Among the special events during the weekend, guests attended a mountainside plein-air painting session, and an onstage interview hosted by Senator Pamela Wallin with former Canadian ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor and his wife Pat.  

The Artists Fund will support work by artists in all disciplines across the Banff Centre, including dance, music, opera, digital film and media, Indigenous arts, and literary and visual arts. “Arts programming is at the core of everything we do here,” says Banff Centre President Jeff Melanson. “It is immensely gratifying to be able to connect our artists with Ball guests, people who love arts and culture as much as we do. Together, we are helping to develop the next generation of great Canadian artists.” Over the past 15 years, Midsummer Ball guests have raised more than $8 million for the Artists Fund. The goal is to move to a model in which tuition fees are eliminated and artists are 100 per cent supported at The Banff Centre.  

The 34th Banff Centre Midsummer Ball Weekend was generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Husky Energy, Showcase Performances Sponsor RBC Capital Markets, and Lead Print Media Sponsor The Globe and Mail.     

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About The Banff Centre: The Banff Centre's mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides the support needed to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. Moving forward, the Centre will disseminate art and ideas developed in Banff through initiatives in digital, web, radio, and broadcast media.