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Authority record

Mount Royal University Conservatory

  • MRUASC-AR0051
  • Corporate body
  • 1910-

The Mount Royal University Conservatory was originally known as the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music and Speech Arts until the early 1990s, and then named the Mount Royal College Conservatory until 2009 when Mount Royal College earned its status as a university institution. The music school of Mount Royal College (now located on its Lincoln Park campus in Calgary, Alberta), was established in Calgary in 1910 by the Methodist (later United) Church as a residential high school. In 1931 the college became affiliated with the University of Alberta and began offering two-year undergraduate courses leading to a diploma, a practice that continues in the 21st century. Graduates of the music performance program received a diploma and credits for two years at the University of Calgary (later expanded to include all Alberta universities). The Alberta Department of Education grants high school credits for the completion of certain examinations.

Though the conservatory's speech arts department was established only in 1945, the music department has been part of the college from the outset. It opened with a faculty of five under the direction of Wilfred V. Oaten and a student enrolment of less than 100. By 1990 there were approximately 100 teachers on campus and another 40 affiliated teachers working out of their homes (referred to as 'Branch Teachers'). By 2005, the conservatory had 240 teachers on campus and another 50 affiliated teachers teaching from their homes, reaching 5,000 Calgary area students.

The conservatory provides instruction and training in music (classical or jazz), speech arts and theatre arts. Instructional programs include Suzuki and Kodály and an extensive range of music and drama courses in its summer camps and workshops. The conservatory offers both credit and non-credit programs. It also has an extensive visiting artist program and a successful professional training program.

The Academy of Music program for gifted students under the age of 18, started in 1980, is offered for all orchestral instruments and piano; in addition there are a two-year post-secondary performance program established in 1981 with classical and jazz streams, a choral program directed by David Ferguson, and general interest programs for the public. Graduates of the music performance program receive a diploma and credit for two years at any Alberta university. The conservatory began to sponsor the Summer Strings Academy in 1982. Until 1988 this was a joint project of Alberta Culture and the University of Calgary. Alberta Culture continues to provide scholarship funds. Starting in 1984 the Summer Suzuki Piano Institute has offered courses with an emphasis on teacher training.

Videoconferencing began in 2004, to enable Mount Royal College Conservatory instructors to teach students across the country. In 2005 the technology was upgraded to offer three-way videoconferencing, to allow music students in two different Canadian locations to connect with their instructor.

Paul Dornian became director in 1992. Other directors of the conservatory have been J.E. Hodgson, Frederic Rogers, P.L. Newcombe, Jascha Galperin (1940-1944), Cyril Mossop (1944-1951), Harold Ramsay (1951-1962), John Garden (1962-1963), Peter Hodgson (1963-1964), J.S. Peter Bach (1964-1974), Leona Flegal Paterson (1974-1977), and Norman Burgess (1978-1992). The teaching faculty has included, in addition to the directors, Gladys Egbert, Clayton Hare, Leonard Leacock (for whom the Leacock Music Theatre, opened on campus in 1972, was named), Mary Munn, Lise Elson, John Kadz, John Thompson, Nicholas Pulos, Joan Barrett, and Peter Turner.

The conservatory is especially known for its orchestras. The Mount Royal College Symphony Orchestra, organized in 1937 by Jascha Galperin, became the basis of the Calgary Symphony Orchestra under Clayton Hare in 1949. Frank Simpson, then music co-ordinator of the college's Community Services department, founded in 1968 the Calgary Youth Orchestra, under the auspices of the conservatory. The conservatory's ensembles have also included string orchestras, wind symphonies, a flute choir, the Calgary Fiddlers, the MRC Jazz Big Band, the Mount Royal Youth Choir, the Children's Choir, and the Junior Children's Choir. The Lyric Chamber Players and the Palenai Piano Duo also have been affiliated with the college. In 1995, the Mount Royal Kantorei Choir was formed. This is a mixed chorus of auditioned adult voices under the direction of David Ferguson. The choir released its first CD, Canadian Choral Gems, in 2001.

Some of the conservatory's prominent students include Yuri Hooker, principal cello, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; Tanya Kalmonovitch, violist; Rhian Kenny, flutist, Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra; Martha Baldwin, cellist, Cleveland Orchestra; Katherine Chi, pianist, winner of the 2000 Honens Competition; and Alan Van Sprang, TV/film actor

School of Nursing and Midwifery (Mount Royal University)

  • MRUASC-AR0052
  • Corporate body
  • 1967-

The School of Nursing and Midwifery is part of Mount Royal University's Faculty of Health, Community, and Education, and as of 2019 offers the following programs: Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Midwifery, the Bridge to Canadian Nursing, and the Advanced Studies in Critical Care Nursing Certificate.

Mount Royal’s nursing program was launched in 1967 as a two-year diploma program under the directorship of Jean Mackie. At the time, the College's Diploma Nursing Program was controversial because previously most nursing education had consisted of either apprenticeship programs run by hospitals or four-year degree programs taught in universities. However, the program grew and gained acceptance over several decades, eventually expanding to include certificate programs in specialty areas of nursing including: operating room and intensive care nursing, post-basic mental health nursing, occupational health nursing, extended care nursing, and gerontological nursing. The Diploma Nursing Program continued until 1993, with the last cohort graduating in 1995.

In the 1980s, the Nursing and Allied Health Department started to explore options for offering a nursing degree program through Mount Royal College. After several years of research and planning, an agreement was reached in 1992 through which the three nursing programs offered in Calgary were merged into one program, the Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program (CCNP), a collaborative baccalaureate program offered by Mount Royal College, the University of Calgary, and the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing. The program launched in 1993 with the first class of students graduating in 1997. The program offered classes at all three institutions and students had the option of completing either a four-year Bachelor of Nursing degree or a two-year nursing diploma. The Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program was initially only approved for a six-year trial period, but the partnership continued for eleven years, with the last students graduating in 2004.

As the Calgary Conjoint Nursing Program wound down and the last intake of students occurred in 2000, the Mount Royal College Centre for Health Studies sought out other partnerships in order to continue to provide a Bachelor of Nursing option without interruption to student enrollment. They eventually reached an agreement with Athabasca University in 2000, which allowed Mount Royal to provide university-level nursing courses at the Lincoln Park campus taught by Mount Royal faculty. The Athabasca University at Mount Royal College (AU @ MRC) Bachelor of Nursing program officially launched in 2001 and ran until 2013, with the last intake of students into the program occurring in 2010.
The partnership with Athabasca University allowed Mount Royal College to continue to provide university-level nursing education while it pursued independent degree-granting status.

In 2007 the nursing program became Mount Royal College’s very first baccalaureate degree program, and in 2011 the School of Nursing launched Alberta's first Bachelor of Midwifery degree.

Gloria Heinzmann

  • MRUASC-AR0053
  • Person
  • [19--]-

Gloria Heinzmann (nee Hodgson) was a nursing student at Mount Royal College, and a member of the nursing program's inaugural graduating class in 1970.

Violet Armstrong

  • MRUASC-AR0054
  • Person
  • 1918-2018

Violet Armstrong was a student from Taber, Alberta who attended Mount Royal College in the early 1940s as part of the Provincial Health and Recreation Youth Training Programme. She "taught youth leadership and recreation classes in communities around the southern region. In 1944 Vi moved to Berkley, California with her husband, Malcolm Taylor. There she worked in Richmond, California's Recreation Department as a youth programmer and counsellor, creating some of the city's first integrated sport and social programs."

Grant Paterson

  • MRUASC-AR0055
  • Person
  • 1956-

Grant Paterson is a teacher, actor, musician, adjudicator, director, and adjudicator specializing in speech arts. Paterson began his teaching career in 1994, giving private lessons in drama and speech arts with his colleague Jim Dobbin. Paterson started teaching at the Mount Royal College Conservatory in 1995 in Speech, Theatre, and Communication Studies, and later served as the Coordinator of the Speech Arts department. Paterson continues to teach as a sessional speech arts instructor in the Conservatory and as a part-time lecturer in the School of Communication Studies.

Paterson is an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and was heavily involved in the merger of the Mount Royal College Conservatory and Royal Conservatory of Music syllabuses and examination criteria. Paterson is also a well-known speech arts adjudicator and has adjudicated at various speech, drama, and performing arts festivals throughout Alberta and Canada.

Paterson has been involved in many theatre productions in the Calgary area. The play Rhyme Rustler: The Ballad of Robert Service was written, directed, and performed by Paterson and was taken up for two seasons by the Vertigo Theatre. Paterson graduated from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, London in 1979 and also holds associate diplomas in speech arts and drama from Mount Royal College and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Paterson graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1980 and a Master of Fine Arts in 1994. Paterson earned associate diploma (1976), licentiate (1985), and fellowship (1988) degrees from Trinity College of Music in London, England.

Grant Paterson is also the son of Dr. Leona Paterson, who founded Mount Royal College's Speech and Drama Department in 1944.

Jim Cameron

  • MRUASC-AR0056
  • Person
  • [19--]

Jim Cameron was a Calgary based photographer. Cameron was hired to photograph the construction of Mount Royal College's Lincoln Park campus in the early 1970s. He also captured images of the original downtown campus, Churchill Park campus, Old Sun College campus, and related ceremonies and events.

Bruce Hunter

  • MRUASC-AR0057
  • Person
  • 1952-

Bruce Hunter is a Canadian author of seven books. The oldest of seven children, Hunter was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and currently lives in Ontario. Hunter worked in Calgary as a gardener, labourer, and nightwatchman for fifteen years before winning a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts in 1978, where he studied creative writing with W.O. Mitchell. Hunter attended York University in his late twenties, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours in 1983.

Hunter went on to teach a wide variety of English, Creative Writing, and Liberal Studies courses at Seneca College from 1986 to 2012, and has also taught at York University and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He has also taught workshops on poetry, spoken word, and creativity, and served as a Writer in Residence at the Calgary Public Library, the Richmond Public Library, and the Banff Centre (for the Writers' Guild of Alberta). Hunter worked as a reviewer for several literature journals, and served as the poetry reviews editor and columnist for Cross Canada Writers' Quarterly in the 1980s. Hunter was deafened as an infant due to a bout of pneumonia, and is an advocate for people with disabilities and a prominent member of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Hunter is the author of: Country Music Country, a collection of short stories published in 1996; In The Bear's House, a novel published in 2009; as well as five books of poetry:
Selected Canadian Rifles (1981), Benchmark (1982), The Beekeeper's Daughter (1986), Coming Home From Home, (2000), and Two O'Clock Creek (2010). In The Bear's House won the 2009 Canadian Rockies Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, and Two O'Clock Creek won the Acorn-Plantos Peoples' Poetry Award. Hunter's poetry has also been published in several anthologies and journals.

Wade Lorenzton

  • MRUASC-AR0059
  • Person
  • [19--]-

Wade Lorenzton was the chaplain for Mount Royal College.

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