Shane Perusse, Ryersonian Staff

Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts (RTA) School of Media is the recipient of a significant donation from a prominent Toronto family. The funding will allow the school to expand infrastructure and promote student-produced broadcast content.

Ryerson announced Friday that a $3-million donation from the Slaight Family Foundation has been finalized.

The donation will be used in two ways: part of the money will be spent on sound suites and recording rooms – renovating their existing infrastructure and building new instalments, as well as buying new equipment for the school. Some of the money is also set to be paid out over an undetermined period of years to support student projects.

“This is going to be a space where students can work and create,” said Charles Falzon, chair of the RTA School of Media. “It will be a place where they can create curricular and extracurricular content.”

“It is an expansion of what we have,” Falzon said. “We’re also planning on improving SpiritLive (a 24-7 Internet broadcaster that features student led content). Right now we’re on one channel, but we’re looking at having several.”

The contribution was led by Gary Slaight, the foundation’s president and trustee.

“My dad was a true trailblazer in Canada,” said Slaight in a recent press release. “The Allan Slaight Radio Institute is a fitting tribute to his contributions and will ensure solid support to students wishing to pursue careers in radio and broadcasting.”

The Slaight family has a long history in radio and broadcast. After selling their business empire Standard Broadcasting to Astral Media in 2007 for $1 billion, the family turned its attention to fundraising.

“The Slaight Foundation has been synonymous with radio and television for a long time,” said Falzon. “Ryerson has been like the father of radio, and we’re in a place where we can reinvigorate radio.”

Charles Forzan, chair of the RTA program, welcomes the Slaight Foundation's donation. Alisha Sawhney / Ryersonian Staff

Charles Forzan, chair of the RTA program, welcomes the Slaight Foundation’s donation.
Alisha Sawhney / Ryersonian Staff

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