Prince Rupert and Region Music Society is the latest beneficiary of Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund. Following a nautical anthem performed by 40 band students, Don Krusel, President and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority announced the donation of $250,000. The funds will be used to construct a new music studio at Prince Rupert’s Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS). The studio will be housed in a freestanding building on the northeast side of the school, fronting Prince Rupert Boulevard.

“We are excited at the prospect of new generations of musicians, vocalists and performers having a dedicated building in which to perfect their craft and establish the future of the arts community in the region,” said Don Krusel. “This rehearsal space not only fills an existing need for the secondary school – its availability to community groups will reinforce Prince Rupert’s reputation as a regional hub for achievement and excellence in the arts.”

The Port Authority donation leverages contributions from other community organizations, including $250,000 from School District 52 Prince Rupert and $100,000 from Ridley Terminals Inc. Financial and in-kind donations from a variety of other businesses, groups, and individuals make up the $762,600 total cost for the project.

“We are excited and grateful for the financial participation of the Prince Rupert Port Authority in this project,” said Tina Last, Board Chair of School District 52 (Prince Rupert). “Music education is more than teaching scales and chords; it’s also about building community. The Port Authority’s commitment to healthy community will be echoed in this facility for generations, as musicians come here to experience teamwork and harmony.”

Both CHSS and Prince Rupert Middle School have been in need of additional space. The music studio will also be a venue for groups like the Prince Rupert Community Band, Prince Rupert Rotary Choir, Port Simpson Concert Band, youth bands and First Nations performing groups, for whom rehearsal facilities are currently in short supply. The space will allow these groups to consolidate their libraries and inventories of equipment, and creates opportunities to collaborate with the School District in the purchase, storage, use and maintenance of major items such as a piano, major percussion equipment, amplifiers, and performance lighting. As the studio will be administered by the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society, it will provide community access on evenings, weekends and holidays. “As the latest partner in the Music Studio project, Prince Rupert Port Authority has made a keystone contribution to an initiative that will benefit literally thousands of youth and adults,” said Zoe Zentner, Vice-President of the Prince Rupert and Region Music Society. “Whether you are an amateur instrumentalist in the community band, or a secondary school student with a passion for singing or playing, this music studio will be the place to be. We’ve witnessed enthusiastic support for this project, and now we are very proud to be working in concert with the Port Authority.”