Revitalized Dal Arts Centre opens with a Resounding celebration
On May 27, Resounding: a celebration of the arts heralded the grand re-opening of the revitalized Dalhousie Arts Centre thanks to the largest ever investment in the performing arts in the Maritimes.
Resounding was an electrifying and eclectic display of performing arts. The evening started with a land acknowledgement presented in beautiful dance form by Sarah Prosper (BSc’22).
Dal students, alumni and faculty were the stars of the first act, featuring Roland Grant’s enthralling guitar with the Fountain of Youth Showband, operatic arias, a costume parade and a rousing set by alumni band Hillsburn.
The soulful vocals of Reeny Smith and the infectious energy of Ashley MacIsaac with Scott MacMillan (BA’76) launched the second half of an unforgettable night.
Kiefer Sutherland’s acoustic set paid homage to his love for his hometown of Toronto and his family’s Saskatchewan roots. Polaris prize winner Jeremy Dutcher (BA’12) closed the night with powerful songs sung mostly in the Wolastoqey language.
Throughout the evening Canadian arts icons like Karen Kain, Anne Murray and Sarah McLachlan (Honorary Chair of the campaign’s Performing Artists Cabinet) shared congratulations and personal anecdotes via video message.
Significant investment in the arts
A highlight of the event was when Dalhousie President and Vice-Chancellor Deep Saini announced the successful conclusion of the Dalhousie Performing Arts Campaign. The provincial government, private donors and Dalhousie came together to invest $40 million to transform the 50-year-old Dalhousie Arts Centre into a regional performing arts hub.
“The arts play such a vital role in our individual lives and our shared experiences—tonight we celebrate this revitalized facility that will launch a new era for performing arts in this region,” said President Saini. “We thank everyone who made this project a ‘resounding’ success, including our Campaign Chair, Rob Steele; our honorary co-chairs, Fred and Elizabeth Fountain; the Strug family; the J&W Murphy Foundation; the estates of the late Sheila Piercey and Abe Leventhal; and the Nova Scotia Government.”
Upgrades to Dal Arts Centre include the new 300-seat Joseph Strug Concert Hall, with exceptional acoustics that will rival the best in Canada and beyond; innovative practice, rehearsal and costume studies studios for Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Performing Arts students; and environmental upgrades like improved air quality, energy savings and greater accessibility.
“Where we want to be”
Rob Steele, Chair of the Performing Arts Campaign, spoke about the important role the Dalhousie Arts Centre and the performing arts play in our community.
“By revitalizing the Dalhousie Arts Centre, we’ve created exceptional new venues to experience music, arts and culture, bringing new opportunities for the performing arts and the artists, organizations and audiences that depend on them,” Steele said. “As an audience, we’re proud to be part of this, because it adds so much colour, so much vibrancy. The arts make a community and a city interesting. It makes it a place where we want to go, where we want to be, where we want to live.”
Steele Auto Group was the Presenting Sponsor for Resounding: a celebration of the arts. Leading Role Sponsors AMJ Campbell, Fox Harb’r Resort, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, The Berkeley Retirement Residences and Werkliv; Supporting Role Sponsors Atlantic Road Construction & Paving, Domus Realty and Mariner Partners; Ensemble Cast Sponsors Courtyard by Marriott, Cox & Palmer, Jost Vineyards, MNP, Omega Formwork, Parkridge Properties Inc., Real Estate 360, Southeast Drywall, and Yamaha; and Media Partner CBC were also instrumental in bringing the Resounding to the stage.
Visit the Resounding photo album to see more shots of the spectacular performances!