The historic Brockville Arts Centre is intriguing and inviting from the outside, but as soon as the doors sweep open, visitors get drawn into a welcoming feast for the cultural senses.
A large, stained glass demi-lune window beautifully adorns a far wall in the lobby, and warm ambiance envelopes patrons inside the theatre. Elevated ceilings give way to a large stage and rehearsal space, an incredible fly tower, more than 700 custom-designed seats, and even an intricate hand-painted glass medallion above the proscenium arch signifying the year the theatre was constructed: 1858.
If these walls could talk, they would have a lot to say. The Brockville Arts Centre is deeply rooted in the vibrant Brockville arts and music scene. In fact, Administrative Coordinator, Jonathan Hanna, said in a previous interview that it’s at the core of the cultural fabric in Brockville and is recognized as one of the finest mid-sized theatres in Canada. It’s an iconic testament to resilience and attracting top talent.
Within its historic brick walls are countless memories of grand shows, standing ovations, goose-bump-inducing singers, young stage talent raising the rafters, awe-inspiring dancers, as well as world-class musicians and entertainers; lifetimes intertwined and reimagined by the common bond of the stage.
Through a long and colourful history, the Brockville Arts Centre’s dedication to continually providing a cultural experience in the city is ever-present. The unique building on King Street West radiates heritage. It has served as a town hall, marketplace, motion picture theatre, fire engine house and civic space, dating back to the mid-1800s. These days, it expertly marries its history with modern amenities and equipment to roll out the red carpet for everything from professional concert tours to local theatrical performances.
As such, it’s known for its excellent acoustics, fabulous sightlines, and comfortable seating in a venue that also serves as an educational space for St. Lawrence College, neighbouring high schools and amateur theatre groups.
Investing In Community Culture
A $2 million renovation about a decade ago further solidified its focus on hosting quality entertainment. Information from the Brockville Arts Centre alludes to the seating being duplicated from Washington’s Lincoln Centre and the chandeliers being rehomed from the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. The sound system is known to be equivalent to the system that Celine Dion used in Las Vegas.
Indeed, the Brockville Arts Centre has worked with many of Canada’s top performing artists, from rock music to legendary comedians, with Harry Connick Jr., The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Jann Arden, Randy Bachman, Michelle Wright, and more gracing the stage in past years,
Hanna noted that the arts community holds the theatre close to its heart as countless organizations such as the Brockville Theatre Guild, the Brockville Operatic Society, the Brockville Concert Association and more have a long history woven together with that of the arts centre.
In recent years, hand-picked feature films have been added to the bill, becoming a wildly popular option at the Brockville Arts Centre. Prior to the pandemic, the theatre saw 14,000 movie tickets sold annually for film screenings.
BAC On Stage
The Brockville Arts Centre’s summer schedule is in full swing combining big music with the excitement of the return to performances for the 2022 season:
Tribute to Bruce Springsteen: August 10-11
Tommy Youngsteen is the premier North American Bruce Springsteen tribute act featuring members & alumni from top Juno-winning Canadian acts: The Sam Roberts Band, The Stills, Stars, The Dears, The Trews, Sloan, Serena Ryder Band, and The Arkells. Over the last 10 years, its members have logged well over 5,000 shows with their respective groups, from Canada all the way to Japan. Part of the Pricedex Summer Series 2022.
The Best of American Graffiti: August 13
The iconic movie American Graffiti from the early 1970s was a pioneer in reviving the Rock ‘n’ Roll music of the 50s. Now for the first time Booking House Inc. presents a tribute concert The Best of American Graffiti featuring Johnny and the Gem Tones. The show brings back every major hit from every major artist, from 1955 to 1965. Get ready to rock!
Country Legends: Music of Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Shania Twain: August 24-25
Country Legends Tribute Tour is now firmly established as North America’s #1 Country Music Tribute show featuring the music of the biggest names on the American scene including Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban. The show includes well-known musicians hand-picked by the performers who between them have a wealth of experience and glittering careers that span over 30 years. Part of the Pricedex Summer Series 2022
Matt Dusk Sings Sinatra: Friday, September 16
All that cool, classy style and energy from the Rat Pack shows of yesterday are right here, right now. Take a journey with award-winning, multi-platinum selling crooner Matt Dusk as he whisks audiences away to Las Vegas in 1966 where he pays homage to his hero, Frank Sinatra.
October is also shaping up to be a banner month for Brockville Arts Centre entertainment with Men of the Deeps, The Comic Strippers and Forever Seger taking the stage this fall!
For more information about the Brockville Arts Centre, tickets or upcoming events, visit www.brockvilleartscentre.com or call 613-342-7122. Please keep in mind that the events held at the Brockville Arts Centre are subject to all provincial and public health guidelines in place at the time of the scheduled performance.