William Turner: An Instrumental Legacy

December 2, 2015

On November 20, 2015, Canada lost a generous supporter of the arts with the passing of W.I.M. (William) Turner. Among other contributions, he played a key role, with Denis Brott in developing the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank.

In the 1980s, Brott, who is currently the Founder & Artistic Director of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, approached Mr. Turner for funding to create a Musical Instrument Bank that would lend fine-stringed instruments to professional classical musicans to enhance their careers. 

William Turner
William Turner
Mr. Turner not only donated himself, but he encouraged several of his fellow CEOs to contribute. The Musical Instrument Bank was established in 1985, through the Canada Council, and has grown through donations and loans to include 22 magnificent instruments worth a total of over $41 million. 

According to Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council, “Mr. Turner’s contributions have helped numerous musicians to push their creative boundaries and be competitive on the world stage all while giving audiences the chance to experience great music performed on rare, magnificent instruments.”