This project responded to the recommendations of a larger master plan vision to forge a more connected, sustainable campus for the Banff Centre that inspires new levels of artistic activities and productions.
Planned in two phases: Phase 1 – the recently completed renovation of the Eric Harvie Theatre, renamed in honor of the major donor as the Jenny Belzberg Theatre, and the subsequent Phase 2 – additions and renovations to the Laszlo Funtek Wing to create the new Performing Arts and Learning Complex.
As a place in Canada where creative boldness is expected, and which is described as a place where artists have the ‘freedom to be fearless’, the new expanded Performing Arts and Learning Complex will provide a flexible, supportive platform from which artists will be inspired to create innovative, courageous artistic practices and performances ‘made in Banff’.
Banff Centre is renowned for providing an environment that supports all stages of the creation cycle – from incubation to presentation. As before, this venue will continue to welcome the participation of all artists on campus, creating a platform for the cross-disciplinary integration of the arts, now within a dramatically transformed and improved environment. While the theatre performance spaces remain at the heart, they are also reimagined as both performance and incubation spaces to support traditional, new and experimental art forms and audience experiences.
The new Jenny Belzberg Theatre creates an intimate performance environment with refined acoustics to support dance, popular music, cinema, and classical recital/competition, and opera events as well as talks and lectures. Updated AV systems supported by a robust cabling infrastructure and prolific input/output points provide opportunities for innovative audio and video capture throughout the revitalized auditorium.
The shaped wood liner of salvaged solid timber that defines the new space, enhances the acoustics of the room, conceals theatrical equipment and connects artist and audience to the natural beauty of the Banff landscape that is essential to the experience and creative process of ‘made in Banff’.