FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre


After a design competition held in parallel with a similar competition for Brock University’s St. Paul Street building, this brand new downtown performing arts centre completes a $94M arts hub for the City of St. Catharines. The long-planned “town and gown” approach to this project means that the two arts centres will share program space, allowing for interdisciplinary work to emerge organically among the city’s music, drama, and visual arts communities.

At 110,000 square feet, the new Performing Arts Centre features an 800-seat concert hall that will suit both acoustic and amplified events. A flexible theatre and dance venue seats up to 150 patrons, and is planned to serve local theatre arts groups in St. Catharines. A 250-seat recital and rehearsal hall is programmed for orchestral and new music performances, and will double as a lab for music students at Brock University. Other spaces include a 180-seat space for independent films, whose retractable curtains allow it to double as a naturally-lit lecture hall during the day, and a full suite of support spaces optimized to be shared among the performance venues.

  • Client: City of St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Completion Year: 2015
  • Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Acoustician: Jaffe Holden Acoustics

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