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D’Arcy Levesque: The man who holds the purse strings for Enbridge’s support for the arts

D'Arcy Levesque oversees a total budget of about $12-million for corporate philanthropy in Canada and the U.S. each year. vice -president Public relations of Enbridge in Calgary, Alberta, July 4, 2012. Photograph by Todd Korol for The Globe and Mail

TODD KOROL/Todd Korol for the Globe and Mai

D'Arcy Levesque

Vice-president of public and government affairs, Enbridge Inc.

Born:Peace River, Alta.

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Moved to Calgary:1997

Age:55

Whatever some artists may think of his company or the energy sector in general, D'Arcy Levesque is popular in the Calgary arts scene. It's not just because he holds the purse strings to Enbridge's philanthropic treasures, but also because he displays an appreciation for the arts (he comes by it honestly; his mother is the painter Isabel Levesque). Levesque oversees a total budget of about $12-million for corporate philanthropy in Canada and the United States each year, with arts and culture getting one of the smaller slices of the pie – but that's still enough, says Levesque, to make a significant difference. (In 2010, $4.5-million of $11.5-million went to "culture and community" projects.) With an emphasis on supporting new works and emerging talent, the company's Calgary efforts include funding for Alberta Theatre Projects, Theatre Calgary, Calgary Opera and Alberta Ballet. Enbridge is out to be a good corporate citizen and to make Calgary a better place to live, but there are other "potential dividends from its investment in arts and culture," Levesque says. "Those dividends include a higher profile; I think they serve to enhance our reputation. I think that our investment in arts and culture has gone a long way to helping establish our organization as a Canadian leader in recognizing the importance of Canadian artists and their art."

Part three in a week-long series on Calgary's movers and shakers in the arts.

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