Odisha origin entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan Mishra donated $5 million to Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum to expand its South Asian section and said – it is a “big thank you” to his adopted homeland.
Mishra, the chair & CEO of software company CSDC Systems Inc., came to Canada from India as a student in 1969. “We all came here for a better life. I’ve lived in this country now for 48 years and every moment, every day, I’m so proud of Canada,” said Mishra during a news conference to announce the donation at the museum.
The donation is the largest given to the museum’s South Asian section and will establish the Dan Mishra South Asian Initiative. The initiative establishes a newly endowed curatorial position and sustainable funding for exhibitions, public engagement, research and learning activities that will support and enhance the museum’s commitment to South Asian art and culture, the museum said in a news release.
“Throughout its long history, South Asian art and culture has had an important influence on shaping our modern world,” Dan Mishra said in a statement. “I am thrilled to support the ROM’s commitment to bringing a greater public understanding and appreciation of South Asian culture, and broadening the institution’s stewardship and expertise in this area.”
Already boasting one of the larger South Asian collections in the Western world with 10,000 objects from over the past 5,000-plus years, the new curatorship and funding will allow the museum to expand its current presentation of South Asian artifacts to more fully represent the diverse range of the region’s visual culture, develop thought-provoking exhibitions, public programs and learning activities, as well as engage in outreach within and beyond the South Asian communities.