By Stephanie Drummond
Jan. 16, 2014
The work raising the money for a new performance hall in the gymnasium at Holland College in Charlottetown is almost complete.
The project would see the weight lifting room transformed into a performance hall for performing arts students, said Jo-Ann Campbell-Boutiller, executive director of the college advancement team and Holland College Foundation.
“It’s got an existing structure, a beautiful small space, it will preserve that architecture.”
The renovation will cost $2.6 million. The province is covering $1.3 million and a group of five alumni of the Prince of Wales Campus, is working to raise the rest.
So far, the foundation has raised $1 million, including a donation from an alumni from the Prince of Wales Campus, Florence Simmons. Construction is hoped to start later this year.
Maria Driscoll is the coordinator for the School of Performing Arts. Although the Simmons donation is a huge help, Simmons see’s another donation more valuable, Driscoll said.
“If you asked her it would be the donation of her piano. We didn’t have a piano, and the students use it all the time.”
There will be an interactive exhibit in the 300-seat theatre commemorating the old Prince of Wales Campus.
“It was a pretty special place. It was the only place a women could get an education,” Campbell-Boutiller said.
The performing arts program has a two-night showcase in April, allowing students to demonstrate the skills they have learned this year. With the new hall, they will be able to put on more showcases throughout the year.
The theatre will be used by performing arts students, and by the community. The Welshman Band will be able to use the theatre as well.
“The Welshman Band, already store their instruments in the gymnasium now they won’t have to lug the instruments over into the other gym. It’ll be right there,” Driscoll said.
Local artist wishing to launch a CD will be able to use the theatre. It can also be used for special presentations and lectures.