Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)

Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

On April 30, in lieu of a ceremony, City of Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog hand-delivered the 2021 Culture and Heritage Awards to this year’s winners. The city also released online video profiles of the recipients. This is the first in a four-part series on this year’s award winners.

Marianne Turley spent the last 20 years of her life in service to the Vancouver Island Symphony and that support is continuing thanks to a newly established foundation.

Marianne, who died Jan. 7 at the age of 70, is this year’s recipient of a City of Nanaimo Arts and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture. Among her roles with the VIS were president, board member and fundraising chair. She founded the Women of Note, which supports the VIS’s integrated music education program, as well as Symphony of Roses Day, an event which ran for 17 years. She also served on the City of Nanaimo’s culture committee. She’s the city’s first posthumous award recipient since entertainer Ken Gogo in 2014.

“I feel so fortunate that she loved her symphony,” said VIS executive director Margot Holmes, who knew Marianne for 21 years. “Her impact will be lasting, let’s just put it that way. I don’t believe we’d be here today without her drive and dedication to ensure that the symphony is an important part of the community.”

Jim Turley, Marianne’s husband of 46 years, and his family have since set up the Marianne Turley Memorial Fund through the VIS Foundation, which he said will support the symphony’s youth education activities. Another foundation was set up through the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation for use in the cancer clinic.

Jim said at first he was the one approached to join the symphony board, but he already had his hands full volunteering for three other organizations. He suggested they offer the position to Marianne instead.

“I said, ‘I don’t think I can, but Marianne might be interested’ and she got into it,” he said. “And for those who knew my wife and my business partner, when she got into something it wasn’t half-hearted.”

Jim said giving up “wasn’t in [Marianne’s] vocabulary” and when the VIS went through tough financial times she would be the one to push the other board members to find ways to keep the symphony going. Jim said he was involved in many VIS fundraisers, “and I don’t recall any unsuccessful events.”

“I remember one of the fundraisers was something to do with Caesar and so I ended up having to be dressed in a toga at this event,” he said. “And Bill Robinson, who’s a school trustee, he was also conned into being involved but he was lucky. He got the longer toga. I got the short one.”

Another fundraiser with a Mozart theme resulted in Jim dressing up as the composer, “complete with tights and a wig and running around going ‘Te-he-he.’”

Jim said he and Marianne never sought recognition for their community involvement; they did it for the enjoyment. And although Marianne died before this year’s Arts and Heritage Award winners were announced, Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog let her know in advance that she was one of the honourees.

“She knew and I think she was pleased,” Jim said. “But from a broader perspective, I think the people in the community that had worked with her were probably more pleased than she was.”

Holmes said it’s “just lovely” to see Marianne recognized with the Honour in Culture Award.

“I regret it wasn’t given before she passed away,” Holmes said. “But I think she knew how important she was to us.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

Nanaimo RCMP had been seeking help finding a 50-year-old woman who hadn’t been seen for two days. She has since been found safe. (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report that woman who had been missing has been found

50-year-old located and is ‘safe and sound,’ say police

Commercial Street and other areas of Nanaimo’s downtown are now part of a new business improvement area following a petition-against process this spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BIA process wasn’t fair to small business

Mom-and-pop shops will be challenged to pay the levy during hard times, says letter writer

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Most Read