Esplanade Performing Arts and Heritage Centre

“Acoustically, it’s one of the best places to perform in Canada.”

Ben Hepner, Tenor

Situated along the South Saskatchewan River, Medicine Hat is a city in Canada’s Alberta. Several factors make Medicine Hat a gathering place, mainly the surrounding landscape—gently sloping valleys with snaking waterways—and, since 2005, The Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre.

A large multi-purpose cultural centre, The Esplanade has transformed this Canadian city. Steps from the South Saskatchewan River, it occupies an eminent position on downtown’s elegant First Street South. For Medicine Hat, the Esplanade addresses four objectives: offers a distinct public presence, engages with the community, contains world-class exhibition and performance spaces, and, more importantly, enhances the public life of the city through civic pride.

An expression of order, light, materiality, and craftsmanship, the building is reflective of its community, heritage, and a future-forward vision. Inside, visitors are delighted to discover a 700-seat auditorium, a vibrant art gallery, a prized museum, an intimate studio theatre, a dynamic education suite, expansive public archives, a café, and a gift shop.

Acoustic excellence is central to the performance spaces. Ben Heppner, a tenor who has performed in many of the great concert halls of the world, has cited this performing arts centre for having the best acoustics he had ever experienced.

The Esplanade is where arts and heritage come to life in Medicine Hat, where stories of our collective culture are told through music and dance, theatre, painting and sculpture, exhibitions and installations, artifacts, objets d’art, and more. Since its opening as part of the celebration for Alberta’s centennial in 2005, Medicine Hat has been proudly hosting a lively procession of local and global artists and audiences, storytellers, and story-lovers.

Client City of Medicine Hat
Completion 2005

In joint venture with Dialog
Photography Tim Griffith

Awards See all project awards
2009 Alberta Construction Magazine, 30 top projects of the last 30 years
2007 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards, Schreyer Award
2007 Alberta Masonry Awards, Award of Merit
2006 The Brick Industry Association, Brick in Architecture Awards, Silver
Team See full project team