Home Confederation Centre of the Arts to host public open house and share plans for former library space

Confederation Centre of the Arts to host public open house and share plans for former library space

March 1, 2023 – An upcoming open house will give Islanders an opportunity to provide feedback on plans for the former provincial library space at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

“We have been working with all stakeholders since 2018 to determine what should be in the space, and we are excited about how these plans reflect those conversations,” says Steve Bellamy, CEO of the Centre. “We engaged with Islanders, members of the cultural sector, Indigenous communities, business partners, and Centre staff early in the process and at various points throughout, and we believe these plans incorporate much of what we heard, and more.”

View from Richmond Street. Rendering courtesy of Abbott Brown Architects.

The Centre retained the services of Abbott Brown Architects to assist in the redesign of the south pavilion, which housed the library for 57 years. The design has prioritized environmental stewardship and accessibility, with features like solar panels, increased insulation, and energy efficient retrofits to all systems to reduce the carbon footprint of the building. It also includes new rehearsal and arts education spaces, a cultural pavilion and interpretive area, and a street level entrance, which, along with other features, will make the space more accessible and welcoming.

At the heart of the $65 million construction project is the creation of a National Culture Leadership Institute, a first in Canada that blends the creation of new artistic works with discussion of national identities, and community and professional learning. The Institute will include three areas of programming:
• The Arts Innovation Hub, which supports new works in theatre and visual arts,
• The Arts Academy, which delivers training for artists and industry professionals,
• The Charlottetown Forum, which provides a dedicated space for events and discussion on Canadian Confederation and national identities, such as the Symons Medal Presentation and Lecture

These designs are for Phase I of the revitalization project, with a Phase II planned to focus on the north entries off Grafton Street for Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Sobey Family Theatre.

View from Queen Street. Rendering courtesy of Abbott Brown Architects.

“This landmark project will expand the Centre and its positive impact on Prince Edward Island, providing more spaces for diverse cultural experiences and learning, while removing barriers to participation for all communities,” says Robert Sear, board chair. “The plans not only increase the programs and spaces available to the community, but they do so in a way that helps the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and significant carbon reduction.”

The public open house will take place in the former library space on Tuesday, March 14 from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information about the revitalization project can be found at confederationcentre.com/southpavilion.


Photos: Renderings courtesy of Abbott Brown Architects

Media Contact:
Emily McMahon
Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
[email protected] | 902-628-6135