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The Burlington Performing Arts Centre

World-class entertaining

Set your scene at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre – just steps from Lake Ontario on Burlington’s beautiful waterfront.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) is a charitable, not-for-profit organization (Charitable Registration Number 82461 3020 RR0001). It is a vibrant, Gold LEED Certified venue, a presenter, a cultural developer, an educator and a community hub. The facility features a 720-seat Main Stage; a 165-seat Community Studio Theatre; a bright and spacious Family Lobby and an outdoor Plaza. BPAC presents a diverse season of professional entertainment, featuring over 70 performances each year in every genre, as well an Education Series, festivals, workshops and community engagement events. BPAC is also a rental facility, working with local community groups, promoters, dance competitions, corporate events and more.

The Main Theatre

BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre
BPAC Main Theatre

The Main Theatre is a multi-purpose performance venue. Audience members enjoy excellent sight lines and proximity to the stage, world-class acoustics and an intimate connection to the performers on stage. This theatre includes a six-storey fly tower and an orchestra pit to accommodate more elaborate theatrical and musical productions.

Seating 718 guests, this world-class theatre will delight your performers and audiences alike.

The Community Studio Theatre

Community Studio Theatre
Community Studio Theatre
Community Studio Theatre

The Community Studio Theatre hosts smaller-scale theatre performances for audiences up to 225 people or dinner theatre up to 150. The Community Studio Theatre was designed as a flexible “black box” space. With 2,500 square feet of floor space to accommodate rehearsals, small receptions, meetings, recitals and rotating exhibits. The space can also be used as a holding area for large stage productions.

The Family Lobby

The Family Lobby
The Family Lobby
The Family Lobby

The Family Lobby is a unique venue for receptions, exhibitions, corporate functions and civic events. The 5,000 square foot lobby is open with a glass roof and is encircled by a balcony level lobby above, creating a unique social setting.

Building a History

For years, the people of Burlington have dreamed of a performing arts centre. The City undertook a very rigorous planning and evaluation process for The Burlington Performing Arts Centre and numerous technical and feasibility studies were completed between 2003 and 2008. The results of these studies indicated that Burlington has a substantial performing arts community that is reaching its creative and productive capacity in terms of scope, quality and volume of programmes and performances it can deliver to the community. Today there are more than 60 commercial and community groups that provide arts experiences to thousands of participants and tens of thousands of patrons.

The Plan

The City of Burlington stated its vision for increased cultural vibrancy for Burlington in its 10-year Cultural Strategy of 2006. In the City of Burlington Strategic Plan, “Future Focus Seven 2007-2010”, the seeds for The Burlington Performing Arts Centre were sown.

The Build

In March of 2007, the City of Burlington purchased the site of a former Halton Region Police Station at the corner of Locust and Elgin Streets. In September 2007, the City of Burlington retained Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. to design The Centre. March 2009 saw the official groundbreaking. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre opened its doors in the autumn of 2011.

LEED Certification

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre received LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for New Construction from the Canada Green Building Council, CaGBC. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre project is the first city project to achieve LEED certification of any level and the only performing arts centre in Ontario to achieve LEED Gold certification and second in the country.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a holistic approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, which includes sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Message from the Board Chair

Rick Burgess

Once again, a look back shows a successful year of performances in both the Main Theatre and Studio Theatre. We continue to attract first rate performers to our stages, giving our patrons the chance to enjoy the magic they bring to Burlington. Music of all genres, dance, drama – we offered it all, and you responded. Attendance levels at our programs continues strong.

At the same time, our rentals – the use of BPAC by other cultural groups to showcase either their talents, or those of performers they seek opportunities to present – have grown, and provide both economic support for BPAC and exposure to significant, and often new, audiences for those performers.

Our educational support for the community also blossoms, including our matinee student programming, and our mentorship for secondary students considering a career in the backstage aspects of the theatre world. Our staff work closely with the local Boards of Education, and individual schools and teachers, to conduct this program, and our Golden Ticket initiative provides access to those otherwise challenged to participate.

Your Board of Directors hopes this Report offers useful information about our activities and achievements throughout 2019. We strive to maintain a position of leadership in the cultural mosaic of the Burlington community.

Rick Burgess
Past Board Chair

Message from the Executive Director

Tammy Fox

Reflecting back on 2019 I am reminded of a series of very special moments of BPAC as a presenter, a cultural developer, an educator and a public place.

As a presenter, we featured over 70 incredible artists on our stages, shining a spotlight – literally – on the very best entertainers in their respective fields of music, comedy, dance and theatre. We supported national artistic excellence with performances from the likes of Jesse Cook and Holly Cole and fostered local artistic excellence with performances from homegrown talents like Tom Wilson and Tim Park. Internationally, we played host to the fierce and funny Hot Brown Honey women from ‘down under’ Australia, and the magical men of SNAP, all the way from South Korea.

Thanks to hard work, community support and team effort, 2019 was BPAC’s most financially successful year to date. However it’s the diversity of programming, the powerful shared experiences, the creative exchange of ideas and the coming together as a community of which I am most proud over the course of the year.

The performing arts is an industry that brings people together as a community to provide a sense of belonging and share intimate experiences, together. For me, if there was a ‘theme’ to 2019 it was one of partnership and community collaboration. Members of the community came together to participate in a choreographed ‘Ball-Passing Competition’, our Live & Local Artist Development Initiative provided a number of opportunities for local musicians to entertain captive audiences in our Community Studio Theatre, in our Lobby and throughout our outdoor ‘Jazz on the Plaza’; our Cultural Diversity Festival started with a showcase of local colour, coordinated by the Halton Multi-Cultural Council and culminated in a collaboration between the Burlington Symphony Orchestra and the Sultans of String, featuring local musician Chris McKhool; we presented ‘Haircuts by Children’, where local youth expressed their creativity by offering free haircuts to some very brave citizens; and we partnered with the Burlington Public Library in providing ‘Book Nooks’ prior to our Family Series performances.

It was an honour and pleasure to share space and time in 2019 with all of our staff, Board members, volunteers and patrons. I look forward to sharing ideas and experiences together in 2020!

Tammy Fox
Executive Director

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