Queen's University

University-city cultural collaboration continues

Architect's rendering of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

Cultural collaboration continues between Queen’s and the City of Kingston, with site preparation now under way for the university’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

“We’re delighted to see pre-construction beginning, and to have university approval of our final design plans,” says music professor and associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Gordon Smith, who chairs the Centre’s operations and planning committee. Representatives from each of the university’s creative arts departments, the Performing Arts Office, Operations and Finance, the Office of Advancement, and the City of Kingston sit on the operations and planning committee.

“Continuing cooperation from the city has helped to move this exciting project forward,” adds Dr. Smith. The neighbouring J.K Tett Creativity Centre will also be refurbished for use by the city for local artists and arts groups.

Earlier this month Queen’s Campus Planning Committee approved an updated version of the centre’s design plan, presented by architects from the internationally-renowned Norwegian firm Snohetta and Ottawa-based ema. Minor changes to the cladding (exterior layer) of the Stella Buck building and materials on the concert hall interior will improve the centre’s overall appearance without substantially changing it, says Dr. Smith.

Consultants from AMS, an arts management, planning and research company headquartered in Connecticut, are now completing interviews with key stakeholders of the new centre. They will propose a sustainable operations and programming model for the centre, and a cultural arts facilities plan that will support all arts programming and audience generation for both Queen’s and Kingston.

On Monday April 4, Dr. Smith and committee member Brian McCurdy, City of Kingston cultural director, will speak at a public forum organized by the Retirees’ Association of Queen’s (RAQ). Their topic is: “The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts: A Bonanza for Queen’s and Kingston.” The forum begins at 7:30pm in the Biosciences Building, room 1103.

The $63-million complex, which will include an acoustically-superior concert hall, a ‘black box’ theatre, screening room and rehearsal space, is scheduled to open in Fall 2013. Capital funding is now in place, with support coming from all three levels of government and generous donations from private benefactors, including $22 million from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader.

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Last updated at 9:45 pm EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
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