Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation donates $500,000 to the National Music Centre

November 30, 2015

Ron Casat_Credit Debby Sereda for Calgary International Blues Festival_Image 2_840px
The Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation’s gift will be in memory of Calgary music legend Ron Casat. Credit: Debby Sereda.

The National Music Centre (NMC) has received a gift of $500,000 from the Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation towards the construction of Studio Bell, the new home for NMC, which will open next year.

The investment will be used towards naming a third-floor exhibition space, dedicated to celebrating key Canadian songs that have had a social impact. The space will be known as Speak Up presented by the Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation—In Memory of Ron Casat.

The Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation is making the gift in memory of the late Ron Casat, a stalwart of the Calgary music scene for 40-plus years that was a member of Amos Garrett’s Eh Team, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival House Band, and both Ian Tyson and Tim Williams’ bands.

Ron Casat_Credit Debby Sereda for Calgary International Blues Festival_Image 1_840pxThe late Ron Casat performing at the Calgary International Blues Festival. Credit: Debby Sereda.

“Ron was a trailblazer who left a mark on Calgary’s music scene that will not be forgotten,” said Sam Switzer of the Sam and Betty Switzer Foundation. “We are committed to supporting projects that will have an impact on future generations, and believe that the National Music Centre will inspire and contribute to the future of music in Calgary.”

“Ron Casat supported the National Music Centre in the early days, helping to launch our awareness in Calgary. He played NMC’s stage with many artists over the years,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of NMC. “NMC is all about celebrating the legacy of music in Canada, and we are proud to honour Ron’s contribution to the local Calgary music scene.”

Construction of Studio Bell began in early 2013 and it will open in summer 2016. The project will cost $191 million, and NMC has raised over $125 million to construct the 160,000 square foot cultural space.

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