In a media release, Arts Umbrella has announced its theatre and music department will be named after the late Robert (Bob) Ledingham following a $2 million contribution to its building campaign by Ledingham’s partner Robert Lemon.
In the release, Arts Umbrella says the naming and donation by the architect and heritage planner are in celebration of Ledingham’s appreciation of theatre and passion for education. The Robert M. Ledingham School of Theatre & Music will provide youth with access to training opportunities, led by Artistic Director Paul Moniz de Sá.
“Arts Umbrella has been serving young people through arts education for 40 years,” says Arts Umbrella president & CEO Paul Larocque in the release. “We are thrilled to expand our theatre and music department when we open the doors to our new building on Granville Island in 2020. To do so in Bob Ledingham’s name is such an honour, and we cannot wait to introduce more young people to the joy of theatre.”
Originally from Saskatoon, Ledingham attended the University of Manitoba’s School of Interior Design in the 1960s. Moving to Vancouver in 1968, he would eventually open a furniture store in Gastown before starting his own interior design firm.
Ledingham’s love for theatre began at an early age while growing up in Saskatchewan and he has since been an avid supporter of the arts, including time on the boards of the Canadian Craft Museum and Cantata Singers.
“Bob has always been invested in education, the arts, and live performance,” says Lemon. “When I heard about the Arts Umbrella building project, I knew this was a unique opportunity to create a legacy in Bob’s name and provide young people with access to the programs and performances that he so loved.”
The endowment will provide operational sustainability to Arts Umbrella as the theatre and music department will expand to include programs for young people interested in all aspects of theatre, including stage, set, and costume design as well as acting, cinematography, and writing.
“Arts Umbrella is beyond grateful to Robert Lemon for this incredible opportunity,” says Moniz de Sá. “The studios, workshop, and performance spaces in this new building represent the next chapter of enriching our programs for young people interested in theatre, film, and music. We look forward to inviting the next generation of artists into this space.”
The Arts Umbrella’s new 50,000 square-foot building is located directly across from its current core facility on Granville Island. The new facility will feature studios, a professional theatre, a public exhibition gallery, and new workshop spaces. It is scheduled to begin operations in late 2020.
For more information, visit artsumbrella.com.