Proposed Holland College performance hall gets big donation

Colin MacLean
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CHARLOTTETOWN – Fundraising efforts for a new performance hall at Holland College got a big boost thanks to a recent $50,000 donation.

John MacDougall has donated $50,000 toward a new performance hall at Holland College. 

John MacDougall, a native Islander and retired president of Vector Aerospace in Summerside and in Vancouver, has contributed $50,000 to the Prince of Wales Campus performance hall fundraising initiative.

MacDougall said he wanted the opportunity to show his support of performing arts and of Holland College’s School of Performing Arts.

“I have always had a strong interest in music and performance, and I feel that creativity brings balance to one’s life,” MacDougall said in a news release announcing the major donation.

A $1.3-million fundraising effort is underway to convert the college's gymnasium into a 300-seat performance hall. Donations are being matched by the province of Prince Edward Island.

The original stage area will be transformed into a theatre space for the college’s School of Performing Arts training and performances. Memorabilia and artifacts from the early Prince of Wales College era will also be on display in a PWC Interpretive Centre.

Including MacDougall’s gift, 70 per cent of the fundraising goal has been raised so far.

Holland College president, Brian McMillan, thanked MacDougall for his leadership.

“We are grateful for John’s tremendous generosity,” McMillan said. “People like John who share the college’s vision and contribute to our strategic priorities provide a strong foundation for our college and our students.”

MacDougall noted he has always had a strong interest in music and theatre performance, having been involved with the production "Don Messer’s Violin," which was performed on the Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre stage in Summerside. 

In his high school years, he acted in the musical play "My Fair Lady" as Henry Higgins and played the trumpet in the school band and the militia band. As an adult, he took part in the Miscouche Community Band and the Community Clash Band.

The Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts, opened its doors in September 2011, welcoming students into its music performance and performing arts foundation programs. A dance performance program was added in September 2012 and a theatre performance program was launched this fall.

The performance hall will provide a venue for rehearsals and performances for students in the school, as well as for the Holland College Welshmen Community Band. It will also be a resource to the school, music, and arts communities.

Organizations: Holland College, Prince of Wales College, Holland College School of Performing Arts School of Performing Arts Vector Aerospace PWC Interpretive Centre Jubilee Theatre Miscouche Community Band Confederation Centre

Geographic location: Summerside, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island

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