Xicotencatl

Vancouver’s First Music Center is On Its Way

Unlike other major cities in the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver has never had a substantial venue for music education, performance, and creation… until now. The City of Vancouver recently unveiled plans to construct a Center for Music in the Plaza of Nations on the city’s shoreline. The venue will be in a high-visibility area of the plaza, providing easy access for patrons and artists.

The effort to build the hall has been spearheaded by the Vancouver Independent Music Center Society, which lobbied and researched the prospective hall for years. The city’s artistic community and several organizations, such as the BC Alliance, have voiced strong support for the preliminary plans for the music center. The building plans to include two performances areas; the larger hall will hold approximately 325 attendees, while the smaller hall estimates to hold only 150.

Upon approval, the center received approval for $400,000 in development costs. The approval indicates the city government’s recognition of the essential role music plays in enhancing the local community. Though primarily intended for performances within the classical genre, the venue certainly has the potential to expand opportunities for artists in all genres.

The plans for the music center evolved amidst a general push throughout the region to increase access to musical resources and education. Recently, the Seattle Symphony also announced plans to renovate the Soundbridge venue attached to Benaroya Hall into Octave 9, “an immersive musical experience” for performers and audiences alike.

How has music played a role in the development of your community? What else can cities do to stimulate artistic growth?