Guest Blog: The exciting legacy of endowed money

Cast of West Side Story at the McPherson Playhouse, 2019, directed by Matthew Howe. Photo credit: Peter Pokorny.

Mathematically, you get more for your donation dollar if you put it in an endowment fund, a designated pool of donated money that doesn’t get spent. The money lives on and generates more money and the interest fulfils the purpose of the fund. In the moment, it may not feel as personally gratifying as a direct gift but your money literally becomes a legacy, securing a lasting and stable financial base.

The Legacy Scholarship Fund for the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA), formerly the Ives Family Student Endowment, has grown to just under $200,000 with my mother’s initial $5000 gift, and family and other donations. Exciting for me is that the fund is administered by the Victoria Foundation which means donations are eligible for matching grant money through the Department of Canadian Heritage, up to 100%.

Significant contributions will be recognized with named scholarships, like the Ives Family Scholarship and the Ken and Patricia Mariash Scholarship, making the Legacy Scholarship Fund the umbrella for student financial aid donations for the College. By moving the focus away from the Ives family name there are opportunities for others to create their own personal legacy within the fund.

I was a Board member of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society when CCPA was born and am back on the Board now. Why do I care about this College and these students?

Stewart and Effie Ives on their wedding day.

It’s a family story that starts with my parents, born in PEI in the early 1900s and caught up in the global difficulties of the Great Depression and the Second World War. They survived both but had to leave college and their career dreams because they couldn’t afford the luxury of education. There were challenges in post-war Canada too, with food rationing, unemployment, and the displacement of women from jobs in favour of returning soldiers. Through the Depression, WWII, and the post-war era, people lived frugally. Theatre, music, and musical theatre were important diversions in challenging times.

On my first day of school, my father guaranteed that he would pay for my first university degree. I had no idea what he was talking about but my sister and I each have 4 degrees, so we got the message that education matters.

Education matters to CCPA students too. CCPA is a unique, accredited, private, post-secondary college with skill-based training in acting, dance, voice, performance, and career management. Classes are rigorous with very high standards.

Scholarships also matter to CCPA students. As a private not-for-profit college, tuition is expensive at about $10,000 per year. With classes from 9-5 every day, and rehearsals, shows, and extra practices, students can’t manage part-time jobs. They make significant sacrifices to take advantage of this first class training to become the new faces of the performing arts.

Performing Arts is an industry that we all benefit from and financially supporting the students as well as the College means there will be a future.  I am proud of my family’s role in the Legacy Scholarship Fund, supporting that future.

Jean Ives is a member of the Board of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society (which owns and operates the Canadian College of the Performing Arts) and this post is taken from her comments at the 2019 -2020 Season Launch on August 10.