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Marianne McKenna Honoured With Fellowship Of The Royal Conservatory
October 21, 2011 | The Royal Conservatory
Marianne McKenna, founding partner of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) and the design architect of The Royal Conservatory’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, was named an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory at a gala event held at The Conservatory on Friday, October 21.

“Marianne’s vision and passion for The Royal Conservatory created a vibrant cultural jewel for the city of Toronto, instrumental in broadening the capacity of our organization to foster creativity among our students in communities across Canada,” said Dr. Peter Simon, President of The Royal Conservatory.

Ms. McKenna has devoted her career to designing architecture that animates public spaces and enriches its surrounding community. Ms. McKenna spent over twenty years, from conception to completion, to deliver the design for The Royal Conservatory’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, including its stunning centrepiece, Koerner Hall.

The Royal Conservatory renewal project has earned national and international recognition with prestigious architectural awards including the 2011 American Institute of Architects/CAE Educational Facility Design Award of Excellence, the 2010 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, and the 2010 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award.

““This Fellowship and Tribute Fund reinforces my ongoing commitment to the Royal Conservatory. It is a great privilege to contribute to the brilliant renewal of The Conservatory, and I am grateful for the passionate embrace of the new building by students, artists, our community and increasingly the world,” said Ms. McKenna upon receiving her Honorary Fellowship from Dr. Simon. “This honour also recognizes the essential role that architecture can have in inspiring learning and creativity.”

Born in Montréal, Ms. McKenna has woven a fabric of educational, social, and cultural projects across Canada, including the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Torys LLP offices in downtown Toronto, and most recently Montréal’s Le Quartier Concordia. She has taught at McGill University, L'Université de Montréal, and the University of Toronto, and has been an invited speaker and guest critic at Yale University. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Contemporary Culture (ICC) for the Royal Ontario Museum.

With the Fellowship, Ms. McKenna joins a distinguished group including: Oscar Peterson, Aline Chrétien, Adrienne Clarkson, Maureen Forrester, Teresa Stratas, A. Charles Baillie, Leon Fleisher, Tomson Highway, and Robertson Davies.

The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, 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 music and the arts, 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

Watch the tribute video to Marianne McKenna below


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