The Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts officially opens at Mount Allison University

16 Sep 2021
New investment builds on important history of Canada’s oldest Bachelor of Fine Arts program, educating practicing artists and arts professionals

SACKVILLE, NB – Mount Allison University’s Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts was officially celebrated today, September 16 with members of the Lassonde family visiting campus for the event. First announced in February 2021, the School, housed in the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, builds on and enriches student artist opportunities in Canada’s first Bachelor of Fine Arts program, which marked its 80th anniversary this year.

The new naming was made in recognition and appreciation of one of Canada’s most notable patrons of the arts — Toronto businessman and philanthropist Pierre Lassonde (LLD ’21), who donated $5-million in support of arts education and artistic practice at Mount Allison.

Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau, Julie Lassonde, Pierre Lassonde, and Michael Gibbens at the announcement of the Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts, held on the Mount Allison campus, Sept 16, 2021.

“Mount Allison’s long-standing history in Canadian art and education is remarkable,” says Pierre Lassonde. “Our family is very proud to be supporting the Fine Arts students of Mount Allison as they shape their artistic vision and we look forward to seeing the creative impacts of future and current students and faculty in Canada and globally.”

From left to right: Nasya Owens (Gibbens Lassonde First-Year Performance Award); Laika Pollock (Gibbens Lassonde Performance Award: Art History and Museum and Curatorial Studies Award); Annabel Carnero (Claudette MacKay Lassonde Scholarship); Evelynne Marchand (Gibbens Lassonde Entrance Scholarship); Pierre Lassonde; Nora Livesey (Gibbens Lassonde Third-Year Performance Award); Jasmine Vautour (Gibbens Lassonde Third-Year Performance Award); Elizabeth Farrell (Gibbens Lassonde Second-Year Performance Award.

The support has enabled several new academic awards and internships for Fine Arts students as well as an Artist-in-Residence program, slated to begin in January. 2021-22 recipients include:

Claudette MacKay Lassonde Scholarship  

  • Annabel Carnero

A $15,000 entrance award named in honour of the late Claudette MacKay-Lassonde — an accomplished engineer, a trailblazer, a philanthropist, an advocate for opportunities for women in engineering, and both a lover of fine arts and a painter herself.

Gibbens Lassonde Entrance Scholarships  

  • Olivia Haill        
  • Evelynne Marchand     

Gibbens Lassonde Performance Awards

  • Nasya Owens (First-Year Performance Award)        
  • Elizabeth Farrell (Second-Year Performance Award)        
  • Nora Livesey (Third-Year Performance Award)        
  • Jasmine Vautour (Third-Year Performance Award)        
  • Laika Pollock (Performance Award and Art History and Museum and Curatorial Studies Award)

Named in honour of Julie Lassonde and Michael Gibbens (Class of ’93), the entrance scholarships and performance awards, valued at $5,000 and $7,000 support both new and returning Fine Arts students.  

2021 Lassonde Summer Internships

  • Daisy Graham    (Research Intern)
  • Sophia Patrell    (Owens Leadership Intern)

“The Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts allows and encourages innovation in education and training for the next generation of professional artists and arts professionals,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Building on Mount Allison’s long-standing program and the talent and dedication of our faculty members, this investment will attract students from across the country and beyond, garner national attention from within the arts community, and has already enabled a number of new opportunities for our students including scholarships, internships, and increased access to practising artists through the new Artist-in-Residence program. On behalf of the entire Mount Allison community, un grand merci to the Lassonde family for this impactful and transformative gift.”  

“This year, thanks to the Lassonde family’s generous donation, 10 students received substantial scholarships in the Fine Arts program, providing essential financial support as well as internship and professional opportunities,” says Leah Garnett, department head of Fine Arts at Mount Allison. “We welcomed an outstanding group of first year students in this year’s inaugural class and look forward to continuing to develop additional educational and creative opportunities for emerging arts professionals.”

The Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts is focused on the research, creation, histories, and practices of the visual arts. Study in the School of Fine Arts is led by practicing artists and art historians in courses designed and coordinated to establish a strong foundation in all facets of the visual arts (



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