The Legacy Circle exists to recognize the following patrons whose foresight ensures that the WSO plays on for all Manitobans for generations to come. The WSO gratefully acknowledges Legacy Circle members for their planned future gift.
|Siana Attwell, PhD|
Greg Doyle and Carol Bellringer
Mrs. Lucienne Blouw
Dolores P. Brommell
Lorraine and Gerry Cairns
Mrs. Audrey F. Hubbard
Richard & Carol Jones
Kevin & Els Kavanagh
Erwin W. Kitsch
Michel D. Lagacé
Gail E. Loewen
S. E. Loewen
W. H. Loewen
|Dr. Brendan MacDougall|
Margaret Kellermann McCulloch
Nathan & Carolyn Mitchell
Beth M. Proven
Edward Fisher & Lyse Rémillard
Olga & Bill Runnalls
Mrs. Elizabeth Szirom
Edith A. Toews & Dr. Helen A. Toews
Robin Wiens and Emilie Lagacé-Wiens
Donn K. Yuen
6 Anonymous Donors
We gratefully acknowledge and remember these thoughtful individuals whose legacy gifts have been received. Most of these gifts are managed as part of the WSO Endowment Fund at the Winnipeg Foundation and provide disbursements that sustain the orchestra each year in perpetuity.
|Dorothy Mildred Armstrong|
Daphne Florence Bolton
L R Buggey
Ethel Marjorie Colpitts
Edith Kathleen Crowston
Vera Elizabeth De Wet
Esther May Dempsey
Margaret Allison Doak
Doris K. Elliott
Gertrude Louise Elliott
Robert Ross Forrester
Madeleine Suzanne Gauvin
Doris May Hall
Nora Jean Hansell
Philip Carson Huntley
Donald Winkler Hurd
Leroy Montgomery Johnson
Florence May Kelley
Lois M. Kendall
Mavis Cass Levins
Gordon P. Linney
Margaret Ann MacKenzie
Gertrude Caroline Mueller
Harold Edgar Shiells
Kathleen Elisabeth Sinclair
Jean Pierre Soulodre
Ronald George Spencer
Margaret Eileen Weir
Dr. Siana Attwell
Siana Attwell is a fixture at WSO concerts. The team at the Centennial Centre know her by name, and at a concert, she always stops by for a catch-up chat at the subscription tables. For the past 24 years, Siana has been a WSO subscriber. The arts play a huge part in her life – starting with learning the ubiquitous recorder as a child, music has blossomed into a fulfilling balance to her professional career.
“I did sing in choir at elementary school, and play clarinet in the school band”, she recalls. And although she recognizes as an adult that she did not have the gift of playing music, “I am grateful I have the opportunity at WSO concerts to see and hear those who do”. Siana’s talents may have led her into another realm professionally, but her heart has always connected to the arts and the thrill of watching a live performance.
Truthfully, Siana’s gift does tie her deeply to the WSO. She has pledged a gift in her will; a legacy donation to the orchestra that means so much to her.
“Music helps me through challenging times and makes great time joyous. I can’t imagine life without music”, she says. When the WSO was faced with financial difficulties in the past, Siana recognized the significance of the orchestra in her own life, and the depth of loss to Winnipeg’s wider arts community if the WSO were to perish. She became a member of the WSO’s Legacy Circle. She stood up and became a sustaining force for the performance of the composers she loves, Mahler, Ravel, and Mozart. Siana’s philanthropy ensures that their works will be lifting the hearts and soothing the minds of Winnipeggers for years to come.
We are so grateful for the thoughtful generosity of Siana, and her fellow Legacy Circle members, who have decided to remember the symphony in their will. Siana says, “The fact that we have a very strong and thriving arts community in Winnipeg is one of the things that has influenced my decision to remain here.” Siana herself is one of the reasons we are so eager to play beautiful music for the people of Manitoba, and she is also one of the reasons we will continue to be able to do so.
Stephen and Elizabeth Szirom
Stephen and Elizabeth Szirom happily call themselves music lovers. The couple arrived in Canada in 1957 and became subscribers to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra right away. They continue to enjoy attending concerts, especially the symphonies of their favourite composer, Mozart.
Music has always been a part of Elizabeth and Stephen’s lives. As a child growing up in the Hungarian countryside, Elizabeth recalls choir lessons with the nuns in school and the voice of her mother singing at home. Exposure to a variety of music was limited in the country, and when she moved to Budapest to attend school as a teenager she began attending classical music concerts. For the first time, she experienced the passion of a live orchestra. “The music touches you,” she says, when she recalls the concerts in Budapest.
Stephen also loved classical music as a boy. Although he never took formal lessons, he still has the old balalaika that he used to pluck out songs, and he enjoyed playing the piano at home. When listening to the classical radio stations, he is fond of singing along with the melodies of his familiar favourites. Even when the couple come to the Concert Hall to listen to the orchestra, Elizabeth notes that Stephen starts humming along with his well-loved pieces as the beautiful music carries him away.
As new arrivals to Canada, Elizabeth and Stephen formed long-lasting friendships with the Hungarian members of the orchestra and a close relationship with former WSO Music Director Piero Gamba. “We used to have him over for dinner quite often,” says Elizabeth.
Luciano Pavarotti was in Winnipeg to perform with the WSO one night when they asked their friend, Maestro Gamba, if they might be able to meet the world’s most famous tenor. At the concert later on, Gamba introduced them to Pavarotti and he signed their program, “with Love to Betty and Stephen,” which Elizabeth fondly recalls with a laugh.
It is because of the way that classical music has connected them throughout their lives with each other, new friends, and their new home country that they felt inspired to make a legacy gift to the symphony in their will. “It keeps the music alive,” says Elizabeth. “We can’t have a symphony without financial support.”
We are grateful for the generosity of people like the Sziroms, whose love of music inspires them to preserve it. Believing that, as Elizabeth says, “Everybody who loves music should think about the financial aspect of it,” and acting to do so will ensure that the orchestra continues to thrive.
Lorraine and Gerry Cairns
Lorraine and Gerry Cairns both love the piano. “It’s our favourite instrument.” They both took lessons when they were younger although neither carried on with it past their teenage years. As Gerry puts it, he has the piano in his head and in his heart, but not in his fingers. But, that doesn’t keep them from loving music and being subscribers to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO).
Gerry’s love of music started when he was a kid living in Pilot Mound. He, his two brothers, and sister sang in Christmas concerts and were called the “Cairns Kids.” Then in 1949 when he was living on a farm in Killarney, he remembers hearing Ilene Farrell singing on the radio from New York City. Lorraine’s earliest memories of music were singing in a choir as a teenager.
They both got to love the WSO when they worked at the Winnipeg Free Press. Gerry was just 17 and was working nights as a copy boy for the paper. In those days the WSO rehearsed in the Free Press board room every Sunday evening. Music would drift down the hallway into the news room. “Walter Kaufmann was the conductor in those days. I would stand in the doorway and listen and he wouldn’t notice me there,” remembers Gerry.
On one Sunday evening Gerry invited Lorraine up to the board room to listen to the orchestra and that’s when she became hooked. “We became subscribers shortly after that,” says Lorraine. “Our seats were on the balcony in the old auditorium and we had to crane our necks to see.” They have been subscribers ever since. “We find the symphony to be very uplifting. It has a calming effect and boosts our spirits,” explains Lorraine.
The Cairns’ love of the orchestra inspired them to become donors, but Gerry and Lorraine have also taken the steps to leave a gift in their wills to the WSO. “The symphony has brought so much pleasure and enjoyment to our lives, we feel it is our duty to give back. Sometimes the funding model for the WSO is difficult so it’s important to give something to keep it going. We wanted to help the symphony in the long-term so other people can enjoy the orchestra long into the future.”
When asked if they had a message for other people who might be thinking of doing a legacy donation in their will to the WSO, Gerry replied, “To me it is an honour to give this money. Even if they made some small contribution in their will, they will really contribute to the life of the symphony. I strongly encourage people to leave a legacy even if it’s a small amount. Every bit helps.”
Michel Lagacé’s first memory of music is of his older sister playing the piano when he was a small boy. There were four children in Michel’s family and they all played the piano. Michel started playing when he was just nine years old.
“Bottom line, my life wouldn’t have been the same without music,” says Michel when asked what music has meant to him in his life. “It starts with listening to many recordings and music on the radio, and later going to a lot of concerts. Also, a big part of my volunteer life has also been connected to music.”
Michel first heard the WSO in 1962 when he was in his second last year of his undergraduate degree. His older brother gave him a subscription and most of the time they attended together because Michel didn’t have a car. That first concert took place in the old auditorium and Michel vividly remembers how impactful it was to hear the sound of live orchestral music. “Even in a hall that wasn’t made for sound, the quality and directness of the music were extraordinary.”
At age 28, after studying to be an economist, Michel dropped everything to attend the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto where he lived at the time. His love of music just couldn’t be contained and he gave himself over to the study of piano performance for an entire year before returning to work in public policy and research.
Michel joined the board of the WSO in 1982 and served until 1994. He chaired the board from 1986 to 1988. He speaks passionately about the exciting people he met during those days like YoYo Ma and Byron Janis. Michel’s face lights up as he talks about having dinner with 13 year old virtuoso violist Midori and her mother. He fondly remembers seeing Isaac Stern play the Brahms Violin Concerto followed by a dinner with him. Stern talked about the famous artists he recruited in New York City to make fundraising calls to save and renovate Carnegie Hall. He talks about becoming friends with artists who came regularly like the Canadians André Laplante
Michel became a donor to the WSO when he was on the board. “There was a culture and an expectation that board members would donate. You can’t be part of a fundraising organization without giving.” Later Michel became the first person to complete a legacy gift confirmation form. “The WSO was already in my will, but forms were handed out at a concert one evening and I filled mine out on the spot and gave it to Trudy.”
When asked why he has chosen to make a legacy gift to the WSO, Michel is quick to respond. “I believe in this orchestra and I believe in endowment funds. I feel very good about leaving a legacy to the WSO because I’ve spent a lot of time with the organization. Giving to endowments is important because it ensures there is a source of revenue that doesn’t depend on political whim or government fads. I hope it will help ensure the orchestra will be there for generations to come.”
The WSO could not survive without the generosity of people like Michel, who not only volunteer but also donate each year and leave legacy gifts in their will. The WSO was built by gifts of all sizes, and every donation is greatly appreciated. Thank you Michel for your lifelong support of the WSO!
Please Seek Expert Advice: The WSO strongly recommends that you seek professional advice to ensure your financial goals are considered, your tax situation reviewed, and that your legacy gift is tailored to your circumstances. The WSO recommends that you consult your lawyer or estate planner regarding the specific wording of any gift in a will.
For further information, please call Beth Proven at (204) 949-3989 or email email@example.com.