Last Friday, Nia Centre for the Arts officially announced construction of its new centre–which is being built by The Dalton Company–at a hybrid live/virtual event at the non-profit organization’s future location in Toronto’s Little Jamaica neighbourhood.
Attendees included members of the Nia Centre organization and local community, as well as several public officials, including Toronto Mayor John Tory. Here is Mayor Tory addressing the audience, flanked by the Centre’s Executive Director, Alica Hall (far left) Nation Cheong, Vice President, Community Opportunities & Mobilization, United Way Toronto and York Region (left), and MP Adam Vaughn (right).
In addition to inspiring words from Ms. Hall, other staff members and artists from Nia Centre, Mayor Tory and MP Adam Vaughan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his congratulations and thoughts on the Nia Centre’s milestone achievement.
His pre-recorded address was livestreamed and played for members of the on-site audience. Watch his speech:
Here is a screen capture of the livestream page where guests could watch the proceedings remotely:
The event also saw members of the Nia Centre, public officials and others take a tour of the project site, which was led by Ms. Hall. As you can see, the project is currently undergoing an interior demolition in several areas.
The excitement surrounding the event was palpable given the fact that, once completed, the new centre will be Canada’s first multi-disciplinary professional arts space dedicated to showcasing art from the African diaspora.
Members of Nia Centre got into the construction spirit following the official ceremony.
The Dalton Company has been hired by Nia Centre for the Arts to act as construction manager to renovate and expand its existing facility. The project will transform their building–which has housed a music and dance venue, banquet hall, medical facility and even a bowling alley over the years–into a 14,000 sq. ft., multi-disciplinary arts facility.
Here is a rendering of the future Centre.
The new art centre will include a 2,500 sq. ft. performance hall and associated front and back of house spaces; artist studio; a small performance studio/rehearsal hall; digital arts/recording studio; offices; and meeting rooms. The facility will have state-of-the-art audio/video and digital capabilities for art performances, events and meetings.