Larry and Marnie Paikin have been avid supporters of the Canadian Brass throughout the ensemble’s career. The Paikins have also been instrumental in establishing the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra as one of Canada’s top regional professional orchestras.
In the early 1960s, Larry and Marnie took a music appreciation class at the local YMCA, taught by Victor DiBello, HPO’s Music Director between 1958 and 1962. After the class the couple would take DiBello out for a cup of coffee or a meal and continue their conversations about Hamilton’s orchestra. The couple were already orchestral music fans – Larry had attended many HPO performances at Memorial School with his parents growing up and played the saxophone in the University of Western Ontario’s marching band.
Before the Paikins came along, the HPO’s leadership was much older than the average Hamiltonian and the Board of Directors knew they needed someone younger to help reach a wider audience. It wasn’t long before Larry, in his late 20s, was recruited to join the Board of Directors and Marnie joined the Women’s Committee where she was the writer of the newsletter, The Philharmonotes. Between 1963 and 1965 Larry was President of the Board of Directors. Just a few years later, Marnie was tapped for the role which she held between 1969 and 1971.
At the time the HPO was still finding its footing as a professional orchestra, previously having been comprised of primarily amateur musicians. Marnie, the first female President of the Board, was part of the committee responsible for hiring long-time HPO Music Director Boris Brott, who would help shape the orchestra artistically throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The Paikins also worked closely with the HPO’s first executive director Betty Webster, who transformed the orchestra and built its robust education program during her tenure. Larry and Marnie were also early champions of Hamilton Place (now FirstOntario Concert Hall) and when it opened in 1973 Marnie became the Chair of the Hamilton Place Board of Directors.
Both Larry and Marnie have both been inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction for their immense contributions to our city and the wider community. The Paikins continue to be some of the HPO’s most dedicated supporters. Their impact on the arts community in Hamilton is indelible and we are so grateful for their patronage.