Tribute to Robert Doyle

Heard Museum Guild Community Partner Award
Presented to Robert Doyle, Canyon Records
May 6, 2015Robert Doyle 1

Today we want to honor and say thank-you to Robert Doyle and the Canyon Records team for their sponsorship, partnership and behind the scene support of the Guild’s Indian Fair and Market.

Canyon Records has a rich Arizona history. As a producer and distributor of Native American music it is one of the oldest independent record labels in the music industry, founded in 1951. Marketing their first Native American recording at the Arizona State Fair, a journey began that today remains dedicated to celebrating the diversity and beauty of Native American culture, the richness of the traditions, and the creative explorations of its artists. Robert purchased Canyon Records from founders Ray and Mary Boley in 1992.

A few of Canyon’s artists’ accomplishments include:

  • The only two Gold Records for Native American music, one which reached Platinum status last year (1 million albums sold).
  • 32 GRAMMY nominations (garnering one win for Best Native American Album in 2001)
  • Nearly 40 Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs)
  • Three Canyon Records artists, R. C. Nakai, composer James DeMars, and William Eaton have received the prestigious Arizona Governor’s Arts Award

Canyon Records has won four Indie Awards (the Grammy for independent record labels) – the list goes on and on!

You probably know that Canyon has been a long time sponsor of the Fair – over 15 years, the longest sponsorship of any organization. But did you know that Canyon’s connection to the Heard goes back even farther? In the 50’s and 60’s Ray Boley was involved at the museum. He was a Trustee on the board from 1972-1979, often working with then future Justice Sandra Day O’Connor!

In 2011 Robert, working with Sandy Eiker and Loralee Harris, created a second stage performance venue. This stage area, now called Pavilion Stage, continues to provide world class cultural artistic performances for fair attendees. Canyon bears the entire cost of this venue. They are also a vendor at the fair, selling their artist’s CD’s.

There is more to the story!

In November of 2012, when Sue Pappas became Chair of the Cultural Performances at the fair, Sandy introduced her to Robert and the Canyon team as “people you need to know” – and she was right! The Performance world was new to Sue, and Robert became advisor and mentor. Sue said “From the beginning Robert has always taken my calls, listened to my questions (and maybe a little whining) and offered great advice. His experience and wisdom helped me develop a professional cultural performance program. He has linked us with top notch talent and connected us to the skills of William Eaton (who is also part of that talent group) to create a truly professional sound system in our amphitheater.”

Robert is an active member of the Cultural Performance committee, always showing up for meetings, always willing to share ideas & advice and to help guide us along the way.

  • In 2013, we identified that we needed better sound and lighting for the Best of Show entertainment and podium speakers, Robert said – I can do that, and he did.
  • In 2014, we talked about how we could extend the Best of Show entertainment sound to more guests – could it be brought into the pre-function dining areas? Robert said yes, I have some wireless speakers, and he made it work!
  • 2015 When the fashion show runway was added to the Best of Show evening, we said WOW – we will need lighting and sound there too and we need to balance the fashion show DJ music with entertainment! Robert said I can do that, and he did.

And Robert has done all of this without any expense to the Fair while quietly working countless hours to support our events.

Today is an opportunity to acknowledge Robert Doyle for his generous support of the Guild’s Indian Fair and Market, and his dedication to making it a success. THANK YOU!

–Sue Pappas and the Cultural Performance Committee
–Presented by Pat Kilburn at the Guild Spring Luncheon, May 6, 2015


Robert Doyle 2a              Robert Doyle 3

Left: Robert and Giuli Doyle. Right: William Eaton, Radmilla Cody (both Canyon Records recording artists), Kathy Norris-Wilhelm (Director of Promotions, Canyon Records), Robert Doyle