Longstanding Supporter Dedicates Studio to The Dance Centre’s Mirna Zagar
Longstanding Dance Centre supporter Louise Cecil has dedicated Studio 7 at Scotiabank Dance Centre to our Executive Director Mirna Zagar, in an inspiring act of great generosity:
Ever since she can remember, Louise Cecil held a strong appreciation for the arts. In fact, she can’t recall a time when dance was not an integral part of her life. She demonstrates her passion for dance as an enthusiastic patron and ambassador.
Louise first became involved with The Dance Centre through a friend who thought Louise was a good fit for the Board of Directors. During her seven-year tenure on the Board, one of her greatest accomplishments was the formation of the Choreographer’s Circle, a group of philanthropists who provide sustainable funding to The Dance Centre through multi-year pledge commitments. Louise recalls, “It always seemed ineffective to me to ask for small amounts of money here and there. To be a significant organization, you need to attract lead supporters. You can only plan your programming if you are able to guarantee your money, and that is how the idea of the three-year pledge commitment evolved. I wanted to ensure secure and additional funding for The Dance Centre.” The Choreographer’s Circle began with five members and has grown today to a membership of over fifty. Through Louise’s original vision of giving back to donors, members are intimately involved in The Dance Centre through special invitations to performances and receptions.
Now Louise has made a transformational gift through the naming of the Mirna Zagar Studio. Previously known as Studio 7, this studio was created in 2011 to accommodate the increasing demand for space at Scotiabank Dance Centre. Most importantly for Louise, she wished to honour Mirna Zagar, The Dance Centre’s long-serving Executive Director. “Mirna has contributed greatly to the organization and the dance community. A tireless leader, dance is her life. I feel she does not always get the recognition deserved. I am constantly impressed with what Mirna is doing and have a great respect for her”, Louise explains.
It is Louise’s wish that her support will inspire other donors to join her and demonstrate significant commitment by supporting The Dance Centre. “I believe in the value of supporting the arts. I do consider dance life-saving. Dance keeps a pulse on society and makes changes in the world. Dancers tell important stories and bring matters to our attention that can serve as an impetus for change. The time dancers and choreographers take to perfect their skill takes years of dedication and hard work and that artistic effort should be supported.”
Mirna describes herself as feeling “honoured and humbled” by Louise’s gift: “With this naming, my contribution to The Dance Centre’s development, and its presence in the history of dance, becomes literally carved into the physical memory of the building that I saw grow into Scotiabank Dance Centre. It is a huge acknowledgement of not only my efforts for The Dance Centre, but also a recognition of all of us who work behind the scenes to ensure that dance has not only a home and space to flourish but also the means. Louise has changed the way The Dance Centre seeks support and leaves a tremendous legacy.”
We thank Louise for her extraordinary legacy and its impact in making The Dance Centre a stronger organization for years to come.
- May 13, 2015
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Photo: Louise Cecil (left) and Mirna Zagar (right) by Chris Randle.