The historic Old Auditorium is one of the early building on campus (from the 1920's). Until recently, this 600-seat facility was used for large-ensemble concerts and opera productions. For many students, alumni and members of the community, the Old Auditorium occupies a special place. One of UBC’s oldest buildings, the Auditorium is located at the heart of the University’s arts precinct. It has, over the past 80-plus years, hosted countless dignitaries and festive occasions, been a training ground for generations of musicians and performers, and served as a valued social space for student activity and assembly.
The UBC School of Music is delighted to announce the $20 million renovation of the historic 1925 Old Auditorium. After the completed renewal, The Old Auditorium will be the only 530-seat concert hall in Vancouver with a 60-seat orchestra pit, stunning collegial gothic architecture, a shoebox design for exceptional acoustics, excellent site lines and an intimate grandeur rarely found in North American concert halls. The Old Auditorium’s new future will continue to serve its historic purpose as a dedicated performance centre, perfect for classical music and opera, and an outstanding facility for students, alumni, and the entire community, which will help ensure that the School of Music continues to lead the way in developing young performers of the highest calibre such as former graduates opera stars Ben Heppner and Judith Forst.
The Old Auditorium will continue to be the home of the Voice & Opera Division, and will take its place on campus as a sister theatre to the world-class Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. The Chan Centre, with its 1,200-seat Chan Shun Concert Hall, will continue to provide students with a venue reflecting the larger sized North American theatres; the renovated 580-seat Auditorium will complement the Chan by offering the experience of a smaller sized European opera house.
Richard Kurth, Director of the School of Music, views the renovation as “an exciting way to simultaneously improve the School’s facilities and to rekindle the historical memory of the University and the achievements of its alumni. The revitalized Old Auditorium will play an important role in the growing UBC Arts Precinct, and the fundraising campaign—our biggest yet—will help us boost our profile in the community.”
Nancy Hermiston, Head of the Voice & Opera Division, notes “the facility is perfect for opera. A renewed Old Aud will provide students with a fully professional environment in which to perfect their craft, helping them to succeed in the highly competitive world of classical music.”
The Old Auditorium will officially open in Fall 2010. To help support the Old Auditorium Renewal Project or for more information visit our Major Gifts site,
Dr. Richard Kurth, B.Sc. (Tor.), M.Mus. (Hartford), Ph.D. (Harv.)
Director, UBC School of Music
Christopher Whitney, BMus, MBA
Major Gifts Officer, UBC Faculty of Arts