New Construction

University of Manitoba Begins Concert Hall Construction

The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, recently announced that construction has begun on a new performance venue. The Desautels Concert Hall is the last stage of the multi-year Taché Arts Project, a modernization effort meant to unite the school’s art, music and theater programs in one facility. The 409-seat venue will serve not just the university but the Winnipeg community, as well. The $24-million facility is scheduled to open its doors to the public by fall 2023.

“I am excited about this new space, which will be unlike any other in Winnipeg,” said Michael Benarroch, president and Vice-Chancellor at UM. “It will enable opportunities for new performances to move and inspire us, fostering connections between communities in ways only performance pieces allow.”

The space’s design is set to maximize both acoustics and sightlines. One notable feature is that the venue will be configurable in three different ways: a large stage for orchestra groups, a small stage for smaller ensembles and voice recitals, and a proscenium for theater and dance performances. It will also include new, well-lit rehearsal spaces. The space was designed by Cibinel Architecture.

“With state-of-the-art acoustics, adjustable proscenium and orchestral pit, the concert hall will provide an outstanding performance experience for our students, faculty and community musicians,” said Edward Jurkowski, Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Music. “It is flexible enough to accommodate a range of musical activities, from the solo performer, to our various small ensembles, to large ensembles such as our opera productions and University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra. The concert hall will be not just an important feature of the Desautels Faculty of Music and the University of Manitoba, but also a vital contribution to Winnipeg’s musical life.”

Funding for the project has come primarily through private donations, including a $10-million gift from Marcel Desautels, $2.5 million from Dr. Michael F. B. Nesbitt, $2.5 million from Gail Asper and many others. Fundraising is still ongoing through the “Your Seat Awaits” campaign.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].