A Niagara Cultural Institution

The Centre for the Arts at Brock University has been a cultural institution in the Niagara Region since the very first show 45 years ago. The Centre For the Arts originally operated as the Thistle Theatre and served as an extension of the Drama/Film Studies Department. Eventually the Thistle Theatre, along with the Faculty of Education Theatre were put under the title, “Brock Centre for the Arts”. Thistle Theatre became known as simply “The Theatre” and the Faculty of Education Theatre was named the Playhouse Theatre, and then later changed to the David S. Howes Theatre. 1992 saw The Theatre being renamed the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre after Father Sean O’Sullivan, who in 1972, became Canada’s youngest mentor of parliament, and then in 1977, left politics and joined the priesthood. In 1993/94, the Centre’s 25th anniversary, it was officially renamed Centre for the Arts, Brock University.
The mandate of Centre for the Arts is to “present, promote and nurture new and emerging artists in addition to presenting world class established artists in all genres.”
Debbie Slade, director at Centre for the Arts, notes, “for 45 years, we’ve been the heart and soul of culture and entertainment, presenting all genres of music, Canadian and international dance companies, touring theatre, family and young audience shows, comedy, variety and circus-definitely a diverse lineup and something for everyone. The community has been very supportive of the CFA and the programming we have given to them.”
This current season at Centre for the Arts will mark the last one in the current location at Brock University, before the Centre for the Arts Hot Ticket season will be moved to downtown St. Catharines with the opening of the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.
The St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre is set to be open sometime in the Fall of 2015 and will be a 95,000 square foot academic and cultural complex, which will include four different performance venues. It will hold over 600 events per year and double as a learning environment for students at Brock University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts.
Slade shares, “it’s hard not to see the wonderful change in the landscape and the positive mindset that the new PAC is having on downtown. People are excited, and you can see that reflected in the number of stores being renovated and the level of activity taking place during the day and evening.” She continues on to say, “I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by the building itself-it’s fantastic-and there is no reason for them not to continue to embrace and support the arts organizations who will find a new home in the building and to continue supporting the Hot Ticket presentations.”
Tickets for Hot Ticket shows at the Centre for the Arts tend to sell out quickly, especially for this last season in their current location. Tickets to the Centre’s shows will make a wonderful Christmas gift for that hard to shop for person!
For a full listing of upcoming Hot Ticket shows, visit arts.brocku.ca

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