Ann was among the first Canadian industry leaders I met when I started as artist manager in 1983. During my 30 years of service, Ann has been an unrelenting force in shaping our industry. She was an inspiration then, and continues to be today.
After 55 years as an artist manager, Ann created and oversaw many innovations in music and the other performing arts. It was in 1957 she was welcomed to the United States and modestly began a career that would see her establishing offices in New York, Rome and Toronto, producing concerts and managing the careers of such well-known artists as Metropolitan Opera singers George Shirley, Clarice Carson, Shirley Love and Louis Quilico, Dorian Woodwind Quintet, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Claremont String Quartet, and most recently pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and clarinetist Kornel Wolak.
Among her accomplishments was initiating the Extended Engagement Plan in New York to develop and create full-time employment for chamber music artists, and at the same time stimulate the interest of concertgoers. Now known as the Artist in Residence program, it is funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and Chamber Music America.
Ann produced the first series of concerts presented by Carnegie Hall after it was saved from the wrecking ball. These included the Visiting Orchestra series, which still remains today.
She created the Concert Party series of informal concerts that developed audience-building and marketing techniques now traditional in many cities. She produced the first professional music tours to East and West Africa by the Dorian Quintet and Claremont Quartet for the American State Department, resulting in a reception in Washington with President Johnson and the signing into law of the National Endowment.
In 1969, Concert Party extended to Rome, Italy where Summers Dossena worked as a presenter and producer of many high profile arts events, including a performance in Rome of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta as part of their State Department European tour, the three-week Music and Architecture Festival featuring over 200 Canadian artists in L'Aquila, a tour of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to Israel, and two tours of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Italy.
Returning to Toronto in 1977, Ms. Summers Dossena established Ann Summers International, with a focus on serving both artists and audiences internationally. In 1983, she founded the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, which was incorporated in 1985.
Ann Summers Dossena was awarded the first NAPAMA Manager of the Year Award presented in New York at the 2012 annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon of APAP - the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.
Ms. Summers Dossena is an Honorary Life Member of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), founding member of the North American Association of Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA), and a member of the American Orchestra League, Orchestras Canada, Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA), the CCI Network (Ontario Presenting Network), Canadian Italian Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, Team Italia Canada, and the Canadian Club of Rome.
Now retired from artist management, Ann will devote herself to fulfilling her vision for the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA), the non-profit, charitable organization she founded in the 1980s to help singers, dancers and other performing artists develop their full potential.
The NAPAMA Board and Membership wish Ann happiness and relaxation in her retirement and continued success in her endeavors.
-by Laurelle Favreau