The National Arts Centre has landed a record breaking donation as part of its latest $25-million fundraising campaign.

The NAC’s ‘Creation Campaign’ was given a big boost by a $5-million donation from business woman and lover of the arts, Gail Asper of Winnipeg. Asper’s donation stands at the largest single donation in the NAC’s history.

“I was encouraged to go into laws school because frankly, it’s a lot easier to make a living as a lawyer than as an artist… but I imagine how bleak my life would without the arts,” she said.

The goal of the NAC’s campaign is to provide funding for new works of music, theatre and dance.Organizers said it will allow artists and art organizations the time and resources to create great performances.  

“It allows us, over the course of a longer period of time, to workshop with them, to develop works of art that have really been thought through,” said Alexander Shelley, the NAC’s Musical Director.

The donation by Asper, who is Chair of the NAC Foundation Board of Directors, brings the campaign total to $23 million.

The announcement of this campaign comes at the NAC undergoes massive renovations, with phase one nearly complete.

Peter Hernndorf, the President of the NAC said Southam Hall is nearly complete. It features new hard wood floors that are both atheistically pleasing, and help improve sound quality.  The space also features newly added aisles and new seats.

As for the rest of the building, Herrndorf said there is a long way to go.

“We’re going to do all our performance halls over the next year and a half. It is both a confusing and exciting time for the National Arts Centre – It’s going to be gorgeous when it’s finished,” Herrndoft said.

Exactly how artists and art organizations will receive the funding will be released in the coming months.