The contribution will fund the architect and design team for a new performing arts center.
[Sarasota] – Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation (also known as the Van Wezel Foundation) announced a $10M contribution from the Paul Seed Fund at KBF CANADA to the Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation to support the architect and design team in building a world class contemporary performing arts center.
“Paul is a role model by believing and investing in making a major philanthropic inspirational gift,” said Jim Travers, Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation Board Chair. “We are deeply grateful for Paul’s vision and generous commitment to our community and the Foundation’s mission to build a new performing arts center on the bay.”
Paul Seed founded StarTech.com, a company specializing in connectivity accessories for IT professionals, in 1985 in London, Ontario and is responsible for the strategic direction of the company as well as leading the executive leadership team. An amateur guitarist and lover of live music, Seed purchased a seasonal home in Longboat Key in February of 2021. He soon became friendly with local musicians who have played at some of Seed’s own backyard parties. He also sought out opportunities to engage with the city’s performing arts community, regularly attending music performances at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Now, he wants to give back to the arts community and the future of performing arts in Sarasota.
“Paul took the initiative to set up a donor-advised fund at KBF CANADA, a world-renowned international foundation, to support this initiative and we are proud to be part of this journey,” said Benoit Fontaine, Executive Director of KBF CANADA. “The arts inspire the human spirit in ways that are hard to articulate,” said Paul Seed. “This project will be transformational for our community and live long past this contribution. I’m honored to have the opportunity to make this early leadership investment to catapult the project forward. I encourage everyone to get involved.”
Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation is committed to leading a multimillion-dollar capital fundraising campaign for a new performing arts center at the heart of the Bay Park, envisioned in the Master Plan approved by the City Commission in 2018. The architect selection process to design the new performing arts center is currently underway, using an open public procurement process with community engagement and collaboration. Forty-three world-renowned architect firms submitted their qualifications to design the new center and 18 have been invited to submit proposals.
“On behalf of the Sarasota City Commission, we are beyond grateful to Mr. Seed for the endorsement of this private philanthropic investment in our future,” said Kyle Battie, City of Sarasota Mayor.