City delays decision on Queen's performing arts centre and collaborative arts campus
Kingston City Council has deferred its final approval of municipal funding for Queen’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
At the last minute, city staff recommended that Council postpone its vote on a $6 million contribution pending further discussions with Queen’s about financing for the development of the waterfront site, which also houses the city’s J.K. Tett building.
“We are disappointed,” said Principal Daniel Woolf, who attended the Council meeting and made a presentation about the building, along with Ann Browne, Associate V-P (Facilities), and project architect Craig Dykers of Snøhetta.
“The City’s $6 million funding pledge is critical to securing $30 million from the federal and provincial governments for this important project. From discussions with our federal partners, we know we have to show progress soon. We hope to be back before Council for a vote as soon as possible.”
Under an arrangement negotiated a year ago, Queen’s agreed to make an $8.5 million contribution toward the development of the King Street west property. Some of the contribution will be cash for the renovation of the Tett, and part of it will cover utilities installations and roadwork that is needed for both buildings – infrastructure work that can be more cost-efficient if done at the same time.
“We’re almost there,” said Principal Woolf. “I’m optimistic that we can finalize the agreement very soon.”
Queen’s $63 million Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts will enhance the teaching of the creative arts, promote collaborations among Queen’s and Kingston-area arts groups and encourage regional cultural tourism.
A significant improvement in facilities for students, faculty and staff, it will include instructional space for the departments of music, art, film and media and drama, a world-class concert hall, sound studio and recording facilities, a large lobby with exhibition space for local and regional artists, a climate controlled art gallery, a waterfront café, studio theatre, screening room and rehearsal hall.