Executive Summary

The Isabel envisions a university and community transformed through the power of the performing arts and their creators. Our common purpose, the arts with heart, drives us to program and support social and cultural engagement in the performing arts. 

We prioritize diverse arts presentation, engagement, and innovation, quality facility management, and support for arts education and exposure. 

We commit to creativity that engages with culture, seeks a relationship with diverse audiences and artists, and aims to influence socially difficult issues. 

We are an accelerator for artistic development and an incubator for new technologies and multi-disciplinary creation. 

We will work to amplify arts participation and grow our technical abilities. We will be an arts creation incubator and grow our audience loyalty and donor family. We will strive to increase public programming in our facility and engage sustainability best practices. We will continue to evolve our staffing model to meet the emergent demands and support the goals of the Isabel. 

The Isabel is a world-class university performing arts centre, supporting the mission of Queen’s University by offering an exceptional experience to artists and patrons alike, attracting and cultivating excellence in arts presentation, and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and societal education through the arts—all in service to an inclusive, diverse and sustainable society. 

Land Acknowledgement

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is situated on Indigenous lands that have been inhabited by Indigenous peoples for thousands of years. To acknowledge this traditional territory is to recognize its longer history, one predating the establishment of the earliest European colonies. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and create here, and thank the generations of Indigenous peoples who have taken care of this land for thousands of years. In particular, we acknowledge this territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. 

We strive to acknowledge this territory’s significance for the Indigenous Peoples who lived, and continue to live, upon it and whose practices and spiritualities were tied to the land and continue to develop in relationship to the territory and its other inhabitants today. 

Acknowledging the contributions and historic importance of Indigenous peoples are clearly and overtly connected to our collective commitment to make real the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation in every aspect of the performing arts. 

Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway): 

Gimaakwe Gchi-gkinoomaagegamig atemagad Naadowe miinwaa Anishinaabe aking. 

Kanyen’keha (Mohawk): 

Ne Queen’s University e’tho nońwe nikanónhsote tsi nońwe ne Haudenosaunee 

Statement of Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, and Accessibility

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University is committed to Indigenization, and fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in and across its operations and programming. The Isabel recognizes the power of these critical areas in the arts and puts them at the centre of its decision-making. 

  • The Isabel welcomes and supports students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and audience members from all backgrounds and lived experiences. 
  • We value diverse perspectives as they strengthen our campus and artistic community. 
  • We support Indigenization in the arts, the support of Indigenous artists, and the creation and performance of Indigenous works. Indigenization is a process and the action that focusses on incorporating Indigenous knowledges into approaches in recognition of the value and importance of including in the university and arts and culture ecosystems. 
  • We will continue to educate ourselves on Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Accessibility and removing systemic barriers. 
  • We will continue to initiate and support artistic and equity initiatives that create a vibrant, diverse, safe, and inclusive performance environment and actively seek out culturally diverse performers and art forms. 
  • We will not tolerate any form of harassment and discrimination and will work together to remove and challenge systemic barriers that impede inclusivity and access. 

The Isabel's Vision, Mission, and Goals

The VISION of the Isabel is to be a cultural nexus that unlocks the potential of our university and our diverse society through the power and creativity of the arts and its creators. 


  • Quality Artistic and Technical Innovation 
  • Audience: Returning and New Audiences, Student Engagement 
  • Team Development and Growth 
  • Sustainable operations of the Isabel 
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility 
  • Indigenization 

Our COMMON PURPOSE is THE ARTS WITH HEART. Together, we inspire social and cultural engagement through the arts. 


  • Diverse arts presentation, engagement, and innovation - We spark inspiration and bring joy through the multi-platform presentation of outstanding artists for Queen’s and Kingston community members and beyond of diverse interests, ages, and cultural backgrounds, and champion socially engaged arts such as the Ka’tarohkwi Festival of Indigenous Arts and the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival. 
  • Facility management - We are the caretakers of our world-class venue, establish and develop systems, standards, and procedures, and provide excellent venue management services. 
  • Arts education - We support educational activities throughout Queen’s University. We foster emerging talent through local and national competitions and the Imagine program. 


We inspire and transform communities through innovative cultural and intercultural experiences. 

We are an accelerator for artistic development and an incubator for new technologies and multi-disciplinary creation. 


The Isabel’s goals are to unlock the creative potential of artists, students, faculty, staff, and communities as follows. 

  1. We will continue to build and amplify participation through multi-platform delivery and collaborations. We will grow our technical abilities: artistic (VR/AR), box office (conversion to a higher capacity CRM system) and digitize our venue operations via venue management software. 
  2. We will be an arts creation incubator and accelerator. Diversity, inclusion, and accessibility will be embedded in all aspects of our programming. 
  3. We will grow our Isabel audience loyalty and donor family. We will focus on philanthropy including major gifts and endowments. 
  4. We will increase public programming in our facility, activating unused space, increasing rental revenues, and building our external clientele. 
  5. We will continue to follow Queen’s direction and focus and engage measures to address sustainability best practices. 
  6. We will evolve our staffing model to meet the emergent demands at the Isabel. 

Queen's University Vision, Mission, and Goals


The Queen’s community—our people—will solve the world’s most significant and urgent challenges with their intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaborate. 


Queen’s is the university for the future. We stand on a history of strength but are unafraid to challenge assumptions of the past. 

We offer an exceptional student experience, attract and cultivate excellence and leadership, and push the boundaries of knowledge through research—in service to an inclusive, diverse and sustainable society. 


Queen’s priorities include exemplary research, leading edge pedagogies, interdependence of the research and teaching missions, strengthening Queen’s position globally, and strengthening Queen’s involvement locally


  1. TRUTH: We stand for truth, integrity, creativity, and the power of the mind to understand problems and find solutions. 
  2. RESPONSIBILITY: We accept our responsibility to build a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist community for our people, to indigenize and decolonize the academy, and in all that we do, to observe the interests of the planet and the life it sustains.
  3. RESPECT: We believe in collegiality, civility, generosity, trust, equity, inclusion, and respect for all, and in the relevance and potential of all the disciplines and professions, especially in their intersections and synergies. 
  4. FREEDOM: We uphold the principles of academic freedom and defend university autonomy. 
  5. WELL-BEING: We nurture the health, safety and well-being of our people and community. 


We will achieve our vision and our commitment to making a global impact by: 

  1. RESEARCH: Increasing the intensity and volume of exemplary, ground-breaking and interdisciplinary research, whether fundamental, applied, or driven through community partnership. 
  2. PEDAGOGY: Advancing highly effective pedagogies, leveraging new technologies, and reconceiving educational programs of all levels and types so as better to prepare students to have impact in their chosen careers and throughout their lives. 
  3. RESEARCH + TEACHING: Enhancing the interdependence of research and teaching, with emphasis on greater integration of research in the undergraduate experience, an increase in the ratio of graduate to undergraduate students, and a program to attract, support, and more effectively integrate postdoctoral fellows. 
  4. GLOBAL PRESENCE: Strengthening Queen’s presence globally: developing and implementing a comprehensive, equity-focused and integrated program of global engagement that includes active, strategic partnerships, enhanced student and faculty mobility, and teaching and learning reform oriented toward a pluralistic and culturally relevant global environment. 
  5. COMMUNITY: Embedding Queen’s in the community: building deliberate, strategic, respectful and mutually beneficial engagement with communities outside the University, including Kingston, the region, other organizations and institutions, and national and global networks that share our goals. 
  6. QUEEN’s CULTURE: Ensuring that in the workplace we live our values, and that our human resources, organizational structure, processes and culture are properly aligned to fulfil our mission. 

About the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

The Isabel is an artistically ambitious, world class university arts centre that inspires and strengthens the Queen’s and Kingston community with the artists and programming we present, the academic programming we support, the artistic innovation we inspired, and everything that we do to make the Isabel experience the best experience. Fueled by an innovative and visionary spirit, the Isabel has demonstrated national leadership in its initiatives and generosity in its actions. 

Anchored by a transformational gift from Drs. Alfred and Isabel Bader, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (‘the Isabel’) was inspired by the Bader’s love – of the arts, of Queen’s, and of each other – and is named in Isabel’s honour. The Baders inspired and supported the creation of The Isabel - a world-class university performing arts centre in Canada. 

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts opened in September 2014. It is a 90,000 square-foot, $72M multi-venue 

arts centre designed by Snøhetta Architects and N45 Architecture, acoustically designed by ARUP with theatrical design by Theatre Projects Consultants. 

The Isabel includes a 567-seat concert hall with exquisite acoustics, a recital hall, studio theatre, film screening room, art and media lab, grand lobby, box office, equipment and post-production workspaces, classrooms, and houses the Department of Film and Media. 

Revenue, Equipment, and Expertise Growth: To fuel the tremendous expansion of its activities and initiatives, the Isabel has grown its audience, subscription and single ticket sales, donations including major gifts, and endowment. The Isabel’s current annual operating budget is $1.8M operating budget and the Centre has close to $4M in endowed funding. The Isabel has grown its theatrical equipment value to $2.5M, including high fidelity audio, video, camera, and lighting equipment for multi-platform and virtual delivery of performances and events. The Isabel remains committed to ongoing staff training and professional development opportunities to position the venue and staff as leaders within the arts industry. 

Philanthropy: The Isabel has a critical need for philanthropy for the sustainability of its operations and the programming we offer the arts community of Kingston and beyond. Ongoing access to the Isabel by community organizations and Isabel community initiatives are made possible through the vision and support of the Ballytobin Foundation. Ongoing support is provided by the Estate of Alexander Murray Jeffery and the Jennifer Velva Bernstein memorial fund. A new Hamburg Steinway Concert Grand Piano was donated by Joan Tobin and the Ballytobin Foundation in 2020, and a new Yves Beaupré harpsichord was donated by Moira Hudgin in 2018. Bader Philanthropies, Inc. provide funding for major initiatives such as national competitions and the IMAGINE Arts Incubator. Support is also provided by the Jennifer Velva Bernstein Memorial Fund, Shelagh and David Williams Music Programming Fund and the Joseph S. Stauffer Foundation Fund for the Arts. 

The Isabel leadership team has begun a review of philanthropic initiatives in hopes of bringing additional funding into the Isabel to aid in offsetting the increasing costs associated with running a world-class, university based performing arts centre. In conjunction with the 10th anniversary season the Isabel will relaunch the Seat Campaign. This campaign looks to increase the number of named seats in the Jennifer Velva Bernstein Performance Hall driving donations to the Isabel Concert Series Fund. The Isabel leadership team in coordination with Queen’s Advancement, will focus on getting individual/corporate sponsorships to single concerts, series, and our season. Like pledges from individual donors, we will also be seeking to secure three-to-five-year commitments from individuals or groups. A strategic philanthropic priority will be applying for grants from various external funding agencies. 

Operations: The Isabel has developed extensive operating policies and procedures to manage the building and ensure the highest level of customer service and health and safety operations throughout the planning and execution of all performances and events. The recently combined operation policy addresses the uses and specific processes for each space within the Isabel, ensuring continuity for all user groups and the efficient, safe, and well-managed operations of each space. Detailed training documents and manuals for all positions and planning processes at the Isabel have been developed and are updated regularly to reflect ongoing procedural advancements. Staff and volunteers receive Health and Safety, Crowd Management, and Customer Service training. Additional role-specific training and certifications are required of all staff to ensure the highest standards of event delivery. 

Community Advisory Board

Founded in February 2024, the Isabel is supported by a Community Advisory Board consisting of 8-10 members who represent University and community stakeholders. The Community Advisory Board serves as a sounding board that supports the Director’s artistic and administrative vision of the Isabel, the awareness of the changing artistic and socio-economic contexts in which the Isabel operates, the Isabel’s capacity to fulfill its mission and mandate, and the vibrancy and relevance of the Isabel’s work as a leading performing arts centre and locus of the arts. 

The Community Advisory Board meets three times during the Fiscal year (May, October, February).