Articles tagged with: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

  • Art is in the City

    itc-poster-cmMEDIA RELEASE
    R00125
    2 September 2015
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Art is in the City

    As Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opens a new era in its new urban setting, it is launching a performance series to celebrate the bond between the community and the new arts centre of excellence in downtown St. Catharines.

    The series Imagining the City – part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Program, 2015/16 – consists of performances, exhibitions, concerts and conferences, all themed around ideas of the urban, and the relationship between the City and the University.

    “Our goal is to invite the community to engage with us in a series of celebratory events, 40 or more, that run the course of the academic year,” said Derek Knight, MIWSFPA Director. “Formal or improvised, these activities will take place in our dynamic new building and in venues across the City, from the café to the concert hall, the theatre to the gallery, the outdoor environs to the street itself. What a wonderfully immersive way to bridge between our communities and to strengthen our ties.”

    Knight said events will build on the creativity and vision of faculty, students and the professional talents of many sister organizations and collaborators. “The idea that the city is a crucible for creative interaction and collective reflection, is a powerful concept and demonstration of the arts at their most compelling,” he said.

    The series will be dynamic and original and appeal to a variety of people, whether they are fans of theatre, musical performances, exhibitions or discussions.

    Imagining the City will bring Brock, the downtown and the greater Niagara community face-to-face with leading arts professionals and educators, with events occurring at the MIWSFPA, Rodman Hall, and venues within the developing creative arts hub of St. Paul Street.

    “At this crucial moment in the revival of our downtown the vitality of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is manifest in programs such as the Walker Cultural Leader Series,” Knight said.

    The series will consist of more than 40 wide-ranging events, including:

    • performances of First Nations writer Marvin Francis’ epic poem City Treaty, adapted for the St. Catharines setting (September);
    • a Guitar Extravaganza concert featuring faculty, alumni and aficionados of the classical guitar in the local community (November);
    • Confluence, a walking project and virtual reconstruction by acclaimed artist Elizabeth Chitty offering the student community and public an opportunity to explore the environs beyond our new building (January);
    • a collaboration between the Shaw Festival and the Department of Dramatic Arts on a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara, entitled Major Barbara/Major Predictions(February);
    • a concert by the Department of Music’s Wind Ensemble in St. Catharines’ Market Square (March).

    The full program can be found here. Stay connected on social media by following @miwsfpa and #itc.

    All events for Imagining the City are free, and open to the public (the only exception being Poor by Essential Collective Theatre, co-presented by FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre with production assistance by DART).

    For more information or to arrange interviews: Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University mbalsom@brocku.ca, 905.688.5550 x4765

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  • Transportation Options for Students travelling from the MIWSFPA Downtown and Main Campuses

    transportation-options-for-students_thChange is coming, and we are very excited!

    This spring we will begin preparing our new facility at 198 St. Paul in downtown St. Catharines. If you are new to St. Catharines, or are thinking about possible changes to parking and transportation because you will be attending classes at the downtown location, take a look at this information sheet we prepared for the Spring 2015 Open House.

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  • Brock welcomes more community partners to downtown project

    Artist's rendering of the Marilyn I. Walker School for the Fine and Performing Arts

    An artist’s rendering of the Marilyn I. Walker School for the Fine and Performing Arts showing the new theatre for the Department of Dramatic Arts.

    (Source: The Brock News)

    As Brock University prepares to select a contractor for its new arts school in central St. Catharines, community members are coming forward to financially back a project many people see as being a crucial bridge to future economic and cultural health.

    This summer, contractors will be invited to bid on the major job of renovating and expanding the old Canada Hair Cloth textile mill into the new home for Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Work is to begin this fall.

    Besides relocating 500 students, faculty and staff into the downtown, the new school will also complement and share some facilities with a public Performing Arts Centre being built by the City of St. Catharines on an adjacent lot. Both projects are scheduled for completion in 2014.

    Brock’s school has a construction budget of $39.6 million. The Ontario government has given $26.1 million to the project, and the University is continuing efforts to raise more than $10-million to pay its share.

    Important supporters of the Brock project were revealed today when it was announced that three donors with strong ties to the community and Brock University are making gifts totaling more than a quarter-million dollars.

    Peter and Janet Partridge are giving $100,000 to the project. Art and Val Fleming have also committed $100,000. And the St. Catharines law firm of Lancaster Brooks & Welch is donating $75,000 to the new school.

    Peter Partridge, Vice President and Portfolio Manager with RBC Dominion Securities and a past member of Brock’s Board of Trustees, said their gift is a way of giving back to the community.

    “To have a cultural campus strategically positioned in the heart of the downtown is very important,” he said. “This is going to bring a whole new level of artistic experience not only to young performers but to an audience here in Niagara.”

    The Flemings are also eager to see the Walker School flourish.

    “We really believe in Brock,” said Val, a Brock graduate and past member of the Board of Trustees. “We especially want the Walker project to succeed. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and we believe the downtown will definitely be rejuvenated because of it.”

    At the offices of Lancaster Brooks Welch, senior partner Dave Edwards said the law firm believes the benefits of the new school will be more than economic.

    “This will change the culture of the city centre for the better by bringing students into the downtown during normal working hours,” said Edwards, a former member and chair of the Brock Board of Trustees. “It will provide an integration that’s entirely different compared to when they’re only downtown at nighttime.

    “It makes you think of Kingston, and how students there are often in the downtown during the day. This will help our restaurants, stores, coffee shops, and bring a new vibrancy to the downtown throughout the day.”

    Douglas Kneale, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Brock and a member of the committee overseeing the University’s downtown project, said the support is very heartening and much-needed.

    “The truth is, we really are all in this together, this strengthening of the community,” said Kneale. “And when you have partners like these marvelous people, it is this kind of support that helps make these dreams come true for everybody.”

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  • Work to begin on Brock’s downtown arts school

    The new home of the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    After more than a year of planning and design, construction will soon begin at the future home of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in a vacant factory in downtown St. Catharines.

    Following a tendering process, a contract has been awarded to JMX Environmental Inc. to conduct preliminary work this spring at the site of the former Canada Hair Cloth textile mill at 198 St. Paul Street.

    This “Early Works” phase involves clearing interior space and abatement of hazardous materials within the building. Work should begin in late March and take about three months to complete.

    Crews will remove some interior non-load-bearing walls and redundant services, and deal with hazardous materials that are common in older buildings. Asbestos floor and ceiling tiles will be removed, as will asbestos insulation on water pipes. Workers will also remove or seal surfaces containing lead-based or chromium-based paints. All environmental abatement work must pass inspections and meet regulatory requirements.

    The Walker School will put about 500 students, faculty and staff into the city’s downtown when the facility relocates from the main Brock campus in 2014. It is part of a collaboration that includes a new Performing Arts Centre being built on adjacent land by the City of St. Catharines.

    from University Marketing & Communications
    March 20, 2012

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  • Rotary Club makes donation to Brock’s downtown arts project

    The effort to move Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts into downtown St. Catharines received a major boost today when the Rotary Club of St Catharines donated $100,000 to the project, the largest single gift in the club’s 91-year history.

    The announcement came at a ceremony at the vacant textile mill that will be extensively renovated and expanded to house the new school. The project is a key piece of one of the most important redevelopment initiatives ever to take place in downtown St. Catharines.

    Rotary Club President John Crossingham said his colleagues realize the Brock downtown project is a critical opportunity to invest in the city’s future.

    “Our members come from all across the community,” said Crossingham. “We’re here today to show that Brock’s project is something the community can get behind, and we hope Rotary’s decision prompts others to step up and help make this opportunity a reality.”

    Crossingham said gifts like this are possible because of the support Rotary receives for fundraising efforts such as Ribfest or the annual Rotary TV Auction, which takes place this year Nov. 24-26.

    The contribution was warmly welcomed by University officials, who see Rotary’s decision as an important public endorsement of the plan to relocate more than 500 students and faculty into the city centre, revitalizing a downtown that has been in decline for many years.

    “I can tell you that Brock is ecstatic today,” said Douglas Kneale, Dean of Humanities and a member of the team overseeing the project. “This shows the power of partnership. We recognize that this is a huge commitment for Rotary to make, and we are thrilled they are helping to make this project come true for the benefit of the entire community.”

    Due to be open in 2014, the Brock project is half of a major collaboration that will see the Walker School situated adjacent to a public Performing Arts Centre being built by the City of St. Catharines.

    For the University, moving Walker School downtown will enrich the student experience, free up much-needed space on Brock’s main campus and help spark economic and cultural renaissance across the Niagara community.

    Alongside other support, the Brock project is made possible because of $26.2 million provided by the Ontario government’s Open Ontario program to create new jobs and growth.

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