The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario features 110,000-square-feet of space that houses:
Partridge Hall: an 800-seat performance venue with adjustable acoustical characteristics capable of serving natural acoustics as well as amplified events; Film House, a 180-seat theatre exhibiting independent art films for the public (functioning as a lecture theatre by day); Robertson Theatre: a modified black box performance venue suitable for audiences of up to 150 as well as receptions and events; Cairns Recital Hall: a 250-seat venue and rehearsal space primarily used for musical performances (a lab for music students); Ancillary / Circulation Space: support space for the centre.
Situated on a prime downtown intersection, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is adjacent to Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (also by Diamond Schmitt Architects) which together form a new $94M performing arts complex. Sharing program space provides a unified approach to these two distinct facilities, creating opportunities for creative intersections of dramatic, music and visual arts, not just spatially but also both intellectually and physically. The centre features frontage on the city’s main thoroughfare, St. Paul Street, and has been a catalyst for rejuvenating downtown St. Catharines.