April 25, 2016—Iconic singer-songwriter k.d. lang, the generous and innovative W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and the celebrated concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker will be named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory at the organization’s signature fundraising event, The Royal Occasion, on May 12, 2016. The Honorary Fellowship is the highest designation conferred by The Royal Conservatory.

“k.d. lang, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and Jon Kimura Parker have each made significant and noteworthy contributions to culture and the lives of millions of people. Their considerable achievements have inspired individuals in Canada and around the world. Their Honorary Fellowships are richly deserved,” says Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO of The Royal Conservatory.

Ms. lang and Mr. Parker will each present an intimate performance at The Royal Occasion in breathtaking Koerner Hall. They will perform alongside the gifted students of The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, and The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program.

Described by Tony Bennett as “the best singer of her generation,” k.d. lang has won countless awards and has performed alongside musical luminaries including Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, and Loretta Lynn. Ms. lang has also contributed to numerous soundtracks, appeared in many films, and in 2014 made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-nominated musical After Midnight. Most recently, she united with indie artist Neko Case and folk star Laura Veirs to create case/lang/veirs, a collaborative album to be released June 17, along with a North American tour this summer. In recognition of her numerous musical accomplishments, Ms. lang received the Order of Canada in 1996 and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950s by Willard Garfield Weston, his wife Reta, and their children, with a donation of shares from the family company, George Weston Limited. The founders believed that as the funds are generated through the hard work and success of these Canadian companies, grants should be given in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. Today the Foundation directs the majority of its funds to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, science in Canada’s North, and neuroscience. Through the Weston Foundation’s support of many of Canada’s most esteemed galleries, museums, cultural attractions and performing arts organizations, the Weston name has also become synonymous with excellence in the arts and thus, The Royal Conservatory is delighted to celebrate The W. Garfield Weston Foundation as an Honorary Fellow this year.

Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, internationally acclaimed pianist and Royal Conservatory alumnus Jon Kimura Parker has performed on great stages around the world, from Carnegie Hall and Berlin’s Philharmonie to the Beijing Concert Hall and Sydney Opera House. The winner of the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition has also appeared in Koerner Hall twice before: during the inaugural concert season in 2009 and at the 21C Music Festival in 2015.

As Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory, Ms. lang, Mr. Parker, and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation join a distinguished group that includes Bruce Cockburn, Sir Andrew Davis, Leslie Feist, David Foster, Leon Fleisher, Oscar Peterson, Bramwell Tovey, and The Tragically Hip.

To learn more about The Royal Occasion, please visit rcmusic.ca/theroyaloccasion.

To purchase tickets, contact Taylor LaFontaine at 416.408.2824 x447 or taylor.lafontaine@rcmusic.ca.

The Royal Conservatory thanks event sponsors TELUS, Labatt, D+H, TD Bank, and Aimia as well as our many table sponsors.

The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music and arts education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performances, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. In addition, the organization has helped to train a number of internationally celebrated artists including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt, and Diana Krall. Motivated by its powerful mission to develop human potential through leadership in music and arts education, The Royal Conservatory has emerged over the last two decades as a leader in the development of arts-based programs that address a wide range of social issues. For more information, please visit www.rcmusic.ca.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jeff Embleton
Manager, Public Relations
The Royal Conservatory
416.408.2824 x461
jeff.embleton@rcmusic.ca