Federal funding will allow the show to go on for many years to come at the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium.
The auditorium is receiving $359,823 through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. The funding will allow the venue to upgrade existing and purchase new technical equipment and contribute to recent renovations to venues coat check/storage and the UVic Ticket Centre.
“We’re so excited that this funding will help us better serve our community. Audiences will be better served by improvements to our ticket centre, including a wheelchair accessible service counter,” said Farquhar Auditorium director Ian Case. “I’m particularly happy that we’ll be able to better serve the many community clients that choose our venue. More modern and efficient lighting and sound equipment will improve both the artist, presenter and audience experience while reducing energy consumption. A new hearing assist system will improve the performance experience for patrons with hearing issues.”
The second largest performance hall on Vancouver Island, the Farquhar Auditorium attracted more than 140,000 patrons to the 135 events held in 2015. Concerts, films, lectures and ceremonies have all filled the auditorium, which sees more than 2,000 hours of use each year.
There hasn’t been any significant upgrades to Farquhar’s technical equipment in over 15 years, resulting in aging infrastructure being supplemented with rentals for many events. Improvements to lighting, sound and other upgrades will reduce the need for additional rentals, making the venue more attractive and cost-effective for the venue’s wide variety of clients; commercial, professional, community and amateur alike.
“It is through community spaces such as the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium that we continue to ignite creativity among Canadians, as we embed the arts into our local neighbourhoods and the lives of our citizens,” said the Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. “This newly renovated venue allows for experimentation and education, while creating a dynamic environment for artists and citizens of all ages to seek their own creative pathways.”
The auditorium operates as both a road house for rent and as an independent producer of a seasonal performance series. The venue also supplies University of Victoria with space for academic units to host large classrooms, rehearsals and events.