• James Parry

Sheldon Kagan donates extensive music collection of past 50 years to Vanier College


PHOTO COURTESY LINDA KAGAN

Sheldon and Linda Kagan, their son Barry, daughter Marlene, and grandson Turner in front of one of the showcases around Vanier College filled with the now-retired impresario’s classic collection of posters and memorabilia.

Just turned 65 and having decided to retire after 50 years in the entertainment business, West Islander Sheldon Kagan, says he feels it is really important for him to give back to the community.

And Vanier College could not be more pleased.

For Kagan has donated his entire extensive collection of records, CDs, cassettes, music paintings and posters, as well as his prized musical memorabilia all collected over the decades to the college which will house them all in a newly-created Linda & Sheldon Kagan Music Library.

Said Kagan, in an exclusive interview with Your Local Journal this week, ‘’After extensive research, I decided that Vanier College, with its excelleny Music Department, was the best place for me to make this donation. And while it was a very difficult decision for me to make – parting with my collection after all these years - I am 100 per cent confident that this was the right one.’’

Said Glen Ethier, Coordinator of the Music Department, ‘’Vanier College is very pleased to acquire this wonderful collection and his generous donation is especially appreciated by the Department of Music. Its value in providing us with a thorough and wonderful history of his life and work as a well-respected Montreal promoter, DJ, businessman, and entertainer, is only the beginning for music students and teachers, and for the college as a whole.

‘’The stunning collection of recordings‚ somewhere in the range of 10,000 LPs, 45-rpm singles, CDs, and cassettes is peppered not only with a wide variety of popular music and dance hits from the 1940s until today, but with obscure artists and jazz, classical, and world music. The historical significance of the full collection cannot be overstated, and its worth as a source of study material for students and faculty in all areas of the music program is inestimable.’’

Added Normand W. Bernier, Director General of Vanier College, ‘’Music is one of our most popular programs and has produced many successful graduates including Patrick Watson, one of the headliners of the 2015 Osheaga Festival this past summer. Sheldon Kagan’s generous donation will give our students the opportunity to use materials and hear music that will enrich their training and knowledge not only of music history but also of the entertainment business in Montreal.’’

The material that will be available through the library will be used by students from all five Vanier Music programs: Music, Double DCS programs in Science and Music, Social Science and Music, or Languages and Cultures and Music, and Professional Music and Song Techniques, a three-year program that focusses on composition and arrangement or performance.

Said Kagan, who has provided entertainment for weddings, corporate and special events since 1965 and who has produced over 75 major concerts showcasing internationally-renowned artists such as Dionne Warwick, Dizzy Gillespie and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, ‘’I am so pleased to know that my music library, sound equipment and music memorabilia will be enjoyed by Vanier students for years to come.’’

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