Charitable Choices: Damon Johnston of ProArts @Noon Concert Series

Each week on Wednesday, Calgary locals have the opportunity to enjoy a free concert thanks to the ProArts @Noon Concert Series. Artistic director Damon Johnston continued to recognize the gap between the performing arts community and the people who could not afford to experience it. He has steadily been building this program since 2008. We got a chance to connect with him to learn more.

ProArts@Noon Concert Series

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The ProArts Society presents the ProArts@Noon Concert Series, a weekly free noon-hour performing arts concert series presented in the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer. Mandate: The ProArts Society is a non-profit volunteer organization that brings together artists and audiences in a historic venue in the heart of Calgary’s cultural district.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We imagine the Performing Arts to be an integral part of a community expression – and many people these days can’t afford to attend performing arts concerts. ProArts’ vision is To enhance and enrich the Calgary arts community by actively encouraging and facilitating free weekly arts presentations in the historic Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in downtown Calgary.

When did you start/join it?

Society was founded in June 2002 and I have been Art. Dir. since Sept 2008

What made you want to get involved?

I have a long history of presenting/promoting and producing the Performing Arts in Calgary and felt that this weekly free Concert Series really filled a much-needed niche in Caity’s larger Performing Arts community

What was the situation like when you started?

In the beginning, performers were asked to perform for free and since then there have been incremental increases so that now the Society is able to pay artists a fair fee for their performances. And now, there is an increasing interest in high-quality performing arts concerts presented for free so attendance continues to grow.

How has it changed since?

Now, there are increasingly prestigious and high-quality performers engaged for the Concert Series. And larger audiences.

What more needs to be done?

It’s curious how many people come and enjoy a concert and say “We didn’t know this wonderful Concert Series existed!” So more information (such as your Guardian Article) getting out to the public always has a positive effect

How can our readers help?

They can come out and enjoy a fine concert, support local performing artists and support our Charity’s work in the community!

Do you have any events coming up?

There’s a concert EVERY Wednesday so…50 a year.

Where can we follow you?

Website

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

Food Bank – now more than ever this important Charity requires community support!

 

About Demian Vernieri 561 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.