When businesses come together in a sprit of cooperation, camaraderie and common interest, they can certainly make beautiful music.
Such is the case with Diamond Design and Fishers’ Loft. Established in St. John’s in 1991, Diamond Design is a family jewelry business led by third generation jeweller, goldsmith and designer Pat Thompson. Alternatively, Fishers’ Loft is a collection of rooms/suites and a conference centre established by John and Peggy Fisher in Port Rexton in 1997. While the two businesses are separated by distance and specialty, their love and support for the arts is a commonality that they proudly share. And now, both have united (through their membership in Business & Arts NL) to help spread the music through sponsorship of a free concert series at Terrace on the Square (Churchill Square).
The first performance will see local, soulful songstress and two-time ECMA nominee Brianna Gosse take the stage for a one-hour performance on April 30 at 2pm. A second complimentary one-hour performance will take place on May 28, also at 2pm, featuring members of Opera on the Avalon’s “Ours” (commemorating the 100th anniversary of Beaumont Hamel).
This marks the first time that two businesses in the province, from unrelated business sectors in two distant urban/rural areas, have collaborated on such an initiative, says John Fisher.
“Both businesses recognize the value of harnessing the awesome power of the arts as the best way to reach their respective markets,” Fisher adds.
Fishers’ Loft has a long-standing relationship with the arts. In addition to launching Business & Arts NL (with the help of a group of St. John’s business leaders), as well as the province’s literary journal Riddle Fence, they also exhibit and sell local art in all of their guest rooms and public spaces (with the artists receiving 100 per cent of the proceeds); sponsor a brunch in aid of Opera on the Avalon’s annual visit to the Garrick Theatre in Bonavista; host an artist-in-residence program; and, in partnership with the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador, organize a reading series featuring local writers. In 2012, ArtsNL named John and Peggy Fisher “Patron of the Arts” for their steadfast support.
Diamond Design has also been a strong supporter of arts and cultural groups in the province, including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra; Opera on the Avalon; Tuckamore Festival (by hosting afternoon concerts outside of their store in Churchill Square); Newfoundland & Labrador Drama Festival; Perchance Theatre at Cupids; as well as donations to a variety of theatre, music and dance productions.
“At Diamond Design we have been supporting the arts in various ways for over 25 years. It is simply part of our DNA. We have always believed that the arts are fundamental to our humanity. They inspire us and foster creativity, goodness and beauty,” says owner Pat Thompson.
“Involvement in the arts helps us express our values, build bridges between cultures and bring us together.”
Thompson’s love of the arts stems from his youth when he played trombone with his school orchestra, Kalos (the precursor to the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra), the CLB Band, as well as at music festivals.
“My participation in these groups gave me a sense of belonging and accomplishment and an appreciation for music that was not solely based on pop culture,” he says.
Arts and culture help make the world go round. When people support the arts, they are supporting not just the artists, but the entire community, Thompson says.
“Arts and cultural activities make for a vibrant community and society. Essentially, giving back is good business and arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers and consumers.”