Slaight foundation donates $500,000 to NAC Presents

Toronto’s Slaight Family Foundation has put $500,000 into helping the National Arts Centre develop the careers of young Canadian performers through its NAC Presents concert series.

NAC Presents has featured many up and coming performers over its years including Lisa Leblanc, The Once, Lindi Ortega and Alejandra Ribera.

In 2017-18, artists will appear on what will be called Slaight Music Saturdays. This year’s lineup includes performers such as Her Harbour, Erin Costelo, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Pierre Kwenders and Maude Audet & Catherine Leduc.

The foundation was started by the media mogul, Canadian rock and roll pioneer and philanthropist, Allan Slaight who is, among other things, the president and CEO of Standard Broadcasting Corporation Ltd.

“Our family has a long history of supporting young artists in music and the arts that goes back to my father’s early years in broadcasting in the 1960s through to today with Slaight Music,” said Allan’s son Gary Slaight, president and CEO of The Family Foundation, in a media release Tuesday afternoon. “NAC Presents perfectly fulfills our commitment to the next generation by giving these artists the opportunity to showcase their talents in perhaps the most prestigious performance centre in Canada.”

This season NAC Presents will showcase more than 85 artists. Many of these shows will be in the renovated Fourth Stage venue which will now seat 162 patrons in a lounge style setting. The new Fourth Stage opens Oct. 6 with a performance by the Ottawa soul funk band BLAKDENIM.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.