Dalhousie performance

When the Dalhousie Arts Centre opened its doors in 1971, it attracted attention from far and wide as the premier performing arts venue in Halifax, wowing visitors with its Brutalist concrete architecture, large auditorium, art gallery and sculpture court. Those who spearheaded the development of the arts centre envisioned it as a place where both ballet and rock music would be at home; where high culture would blend with popular culture – a vision that continues to be realized today, more than four decades later.

The performing arts are an important aspect of a rich student experience and the Centre is well used by our 19,000 students as well as the wider population. A community icon, it draws talented performers from around the province, the country and the world.

In economic terms, the programs delivered through the Dalhousie Arts Centre comprise a vibrant arts scene that has nourished our creative economy for 45 years.

Three years ago, Dal’s Departments of Music and Theatre came together to form the Fountain School of Performing Arts, a merger fuelled by a transformative $10 million gift from the Fountain family.

It’s a change that’s meant increased collaboration and new intersections for Dal’s Music, Theatre and Costume Studies programs, not to mention new scholarships, artist-in-residence programs and more. And it’s poised to expand the impact of academic programs and community space that play vital roles in Halifax and Nova Scotia’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

That’s why the university is in the midst of planning and fundraising for an expansion to the Dalhousie Arts Centre, a $27.7-million community-based capital project to accommodate the new scope of the Fountain School and address some of the operational challenges posed by its aging facilities.