News Release

REF NO.: 116

SUBJECT: Exhibition and concert honours generosity of Edwin Procunier

DATE: February 25, 2015

Memorial University and The Rooms are celebrating the single largest bequest to the university’s School of Music and an extraordinary donation of fine art to this province with a series of special events.

On Friday, Feb. 27, a special Faculty Gala Concert at the D.F. Cook Recital Hall will pay tribute to the late Edwin Procunier, a Newfoundlander and long-time supporter of the arts who passed away in 2011 at the age of 83. The Procunier Family Scholarships in Music – four full-tuition undergraduate scholarships – were created last year through an endowment from Mr. Procunier’s estate. The gala concert will honour his legacy at Memorial.

“Edwin Procunier was a true champion of the arts,” said Dr. Ellen Waterman, dean, School of Music. “Through this transformative gift for training in music, our students will be better able to focus on academic excellence while honing their artistry. Memorial is forever grateful for Mr. Procunier’s vision to support the arts, emerging artists and post-secondary education in his home province.”

In addition to the concert, The Rooms will present The Edwin R. Procunier Collection: A Gift of Canada opening on Saturday, Feb. 28. This exhibition features pieces from Mr. Procunier’s personal collection by artists such as Emily Carr, Maurice Cullen and Sir Frederick Banting.

The artwork is among 372 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures donated to this province by Mr. Procunier. He began giving art to Memorial University’s Art Gallery

in 1985. When management of the gallery was transferred to The Rooms in 2003, his donations continued.

“We are extraordinarily proud and honoured to present an important selection of Canadian landscape paintings from the Edwin R. Procunier collection at The Rooms,” said Vicky Chainey Gagnon, director/chief curator, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery Division. “The Procunier donation is an integral cornerstone of our collection and we are enthusiastic to share it with our audiences.”

Born in Lamaline, N.L., in 1927, Mr. Procunier was raised in Harbour Grace before moving to Ontario where he worked as a high school teacher and professor of English and theatre at his alma mater, the University of Western Ontario. He was also a celebrated playwright, theatre director, opera aficionado and art enthusiast whose collection primarily focused on landscapes but also included still life and portraits. When he died, the remaining pieces in his collection were bequeathed to The Rooms and the scholarships were set up at Memorial.

Memorial’s Faculty Gala Concert takes place Friday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the D.F. Cook Recital Hall. Tickets are on sale at the door, ticketpro.ca, the Travel Bug on Water Street and at The Attic in the University Centre. A reception will be held afterward.

The Edwin R. Procunier Collection: A Gift of Canada runs until Oct. 18 at The Rooms. For more information, visit therooms.ca.


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