MONTREAL—The Segal Centre for Performing Arts, which has been closed to normal operations for a year, is receiving a welcome financial boost from the federal government.
The Segal is one of four local professional arts organizations getting additional money for their endowment funds through the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal (JCF), Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather announced on March 22.
These are matching grants worth a total of more than $1.2 million.
“Our government believes it is essential to continue supporting the Canadian cultural community, which is facing huge challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Housefather stated. “These organizations and the entire cultural community have had a difficult year but will soon come roaring back full steam and this funding will assist them to do so.”
The Segal is getting $664,309. The other recipients are: Ensemble Caprice ($177,149), Vox Aeterna ($18,242), and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal ($381,977).
The matching funds, from the Endowment Incentives component of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Investment Fund, aim to encourage the private sector to contribute to endowment funds for non-profit professional arts organizations.
The goal is to give these organizations a measure of financial security through the annual revenue generated by a professionally managed endowment fund.
Nearly 130 organizations applied to the Endowment Incentives program this year, Housefather said.
“The particularly high overall demand demonstrates that private donors continue to support professional arts organizations across the country.”
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault commented: “Ensemble Caprice, Vox Aeterna, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and the Segal Centre for Performing Arts have a special connection with audiences as they showcase our homegrown arts. They also enrich the cultural life of the community and help strengthen the economy.”
The Orchestre, conducted by Metropolitan Opera music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Ensemble Caprice are well-established classical music groups, while Vox Aeterna organizes an annual voice competition for young people.
The JCF administers the four organizations’ endowment funds.
Its executive director Kathy Assayag said, “These funds enable organizations to become more sustainable, thus allowing for rich artistic programming in perpetuity. We are proud to steward these funds and promote philanthropy.”
In 2020‒2021, the government contributed 66.4 cents for every dollar raised through private donations. Applications to the program must be submitted jointly by a non-profit professional arts organization and an associated foundation.
To date, the JCF has received $15.5 million in matching funds, leveraging $20 million in private donations. The income from this $35.5 million endowment is distributed to the arts organizations.