The vision of a world-class teaching and performance venue for students, faculty, artists and members of the wider community will soon be a reality at Queen’s.
Construction is scheduled to begin this spring on the university’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
The $63 million capital funding for the waterfront project is now in place as a result of a fundraising challenge by benefactors Alfred and Isabel Bader. The Baders had already given the university $18 million for the new complex, along with $15 million each from the federal and provincial governments and $6 million from the City of Kingston.
With $9 million left, the Baders pledged another $4 million if the university could raise the remaining $5 million by December 2010. The university did so, and the Baders recently provided the promised balance, bringing their total contribution to $22 million.
“Isabel and I are delighted to be part of this wonderful project, which will bring members of the community together – now and for generations to come – to enjoy world-class artistic performances in an incomparable setting,” says Dr. Alfred Bader.
“We are grateful to all of our funders – all three levels of government, the Baders’ exceptional generosity and all the other donors who have made this a reality,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts will provide Queen’s with a truly world-class venue that will attract, nurture and inspire the brightest students and the best faculty in Canada.”
The complex, designed by the internationally-renowned architectural firm Snohetta, will include an acoustically-superior concert hall, a ‘black box’ theatre, screening room and rehearsal space. It’s scheduled to open in Fall 2013. The City is refurbishing the neighbouing JK Tett Creativity Centre for local artists and arts group.
“An important part of the Centre’s vision is to enhance creative collaboration between Queen’s and the City of Kingston,” says music professor and associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Gordon Smith, who chairs the Centre’s new operations and planning committee. Representatives from each of the university’s creative arts departments, the Performing Arts Office, Operations and Finance, Advancement, and the City of Kingston sit on the committee.
“We are now working with consultants who specialize in planning, strategy and operations for this kind of arts centre,” says Dr. Smith. “They are in Kingston this week to meet with Queen’s and the City, and will be doing group and individual interviews with key stakeholders of the new Centre.”
A final report, expected by summer, will propose a sustainable model for a cultural arts facilities plan for both Queen’s and the City.
An endowment fund for the Centre is being established to support academic programming, operations and community collaborations.
Article and image source: Queen’s University News Centre
Caption: Architects’ rendering of Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts