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David and Joan Oille

A father’s passion for music, a family’s legacy to Laurier

The Oille Family Music Bursary, awarded to students in the Community Music program at Laurier, was established by Dave and Joan Oille, their daughter Cathy Baer, her husband Ron and their daughters, Carolyn and Angela Baer.

My father, David Oille, wanted to give back to this community that gave so much to my family over the years. He worked as a personnel manager at Dominion Life Assurance Company and outside of work Dad supported the arts community as an audience member, donor and board member. He loved to play the piano and would often play for meetings and celebrations.

I share my father’s passion for music. Like Dad, outside of my working hours as a principal with the Waterloo Region District School Board, I support the arts. My husband and I play in local community ensembles as did our two daughters. My parents came to almost all of our performances over the years.

During the final weeks of my father’s long and vibrant life, I asked him if he wanted to leave a gift to a particular organization in his will. After giving it a lot of thought, Dad chose to leave a legacy to Laurier to encourage students to pursue musical education. Even though my father and I both have degrees from the University of Western Ontario, we wanted to support our local community’s rich musical tradition and honour our family’s involvement with Laurier Music, which has included many years of enjoying concerts and organizing musical education events.

Dad passed away two weeks after making this decision. There has not been a day that goes by that I do not think of him. Reading a thank you letter from our first recipient, Maia Coates, I am impressed with how passionate she is about music and the role that music can have in enriching the lives of all members of our community. It means a lot to me that my Dad’s generosity supports students like Maia.

- by Cathy Baer

A special message from Maia Coates, first-year student, Honours Bachelor in Community Music, recipient of The Oille Family Music Bursary

My name is Maia Coates and I am in the Community Music program at Laurier. Laurier has always been my dream school as I spent my time throughout high school participating in extracurricular activities such as band, school musicals and organizing coffee houses. I have met so many incredible musicians who will help me become better myself and explore new music. In the future I hope to pursue teaching, likely post-secondary, specializing in Music and English. I would also love to do something that promotes the integration of those with developmental disabilities into music programs, as I am very passionate about the importance of equality and accessibility. I am so thankful that I have been awarded this scholarship.

Unknown Spif - $key