NEW ALLIANCE BRINGS IN OPERATIONS AND BOOKING EXPERTISE AND SUPPORT
FOR BRONSON CENTRE'S ARTS AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
OTTAWA, April 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Beginning this October, the Bronson Centre, in partnership with the owners of the legendary Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, will become a major new player in Ottawa's music and cultural scene. This exciting new alliance will garner a significant increase in the number of shows in the Bronson Centre's concert venue and support major improvements to the facility. Booking management will be operated by Collective Concerts, one of Canada's largest independent concert promoters.
This alliance will contribute substantially to Bronson Centre's sustainable operating revenues, which in turn support 40 charities and not-for-profit tenant organizations that are housed in its 45,000 ft2 facility. Services offered by these organizations directly benefit 20,000 Ottawa residents who walk through the Centre's doors every month. Improvements to the venue will allow for a greater frequency of events, enhanced concert experiences for audiences and performers, and versatility, with new, removable seating.
Bronson Centre is a registered charitable corporation that provides affordable rental space and hub services to not-for-profits, charities, professional artists, cultural associations, and the community at large. The building was originally owned by the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and operated as Immaculata High School beginning in 1928. When a new school was built on another property in 1996, the Sisters repurposed the old building as Bronson Centre. Bronson Centre Inc. purchased the building outright in 2017. At present, the building provides studio and office space, an 850-seat concert theatre, and a spacious 300-seat hall for cultural and community events.
The Bronson Centre's mission is to provide hub services as well as studio, office, community, performance, and conference space that are affordable to everyone in the community. "Support from the public and philanthropic sectors, such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Heritage Canada, and the Ottawa Community Foundation is essential," says Bronson Centre Executive Director Corey Mayville. "This new partnership enhances our mission in many creative ways, especially as a dynamic social enterprise. For all of us in the social sector, partnerships like this are the way to go."
"An all-new Bronson Centre Music Theatre will be an amazing addition to a music market that has been largely underserved with venues of this size," says Lisa Zbitnew, co-owner of The Phoenix Concert Theatre. "We are thrilled to be part of it and even more thrilled that we are supporting the music community, and the public at large with this new partnership. Social enterprise that serves community and offers great music? We are all in!"
Amy Hersenhoren, partner with Collective Concerts adds, "This is great news for a city that has historically lacked spaces to book shows in mid-sized venues with 800-1100 audience capacity. Collective Concerts sees a wonderful opportunity to bring many artists to the Ottawa market that might otherwise not visit the Nation's Capital. The positive response to this news in the music industry has been unanimous."
More and more cities across Canada and around the world have been making strategic investments in becoming Music Cities. In 2015, the City of Ottawa embarked on a study to review its potential to develop its music assets, and better cultivate the potential of its music industry. One of the challenges identified in this report was the lack of mid-size venues. The new Bronson Centre Music Theatre supports Ottawa's music strategy to make Ottawa a "must stop" city on touring calendars.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson applauded the announcement, saying ''I am very pleased with this important investment in the Bronson Centre. The revitalization of the facility will help us deliver on a Music Strategy objective of creating an appropriate mid-sized venue in our city – one that will encourage more musical acts to make a stop in Ottawa.''
Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper, who sat on the task force that led to Ottawa's music strategy, says, "With its unique offering of social enterprise and diverse and active cultural communities from all walks of life, Bronson Centre is a treasure to Ottawa. This new live music initiative also anchors Ottawa's thriving music scene and its cultural economy. We see jobs, enhanced tourism experiences, and lots of spin-off investment coming out of this partnership."
"It's incredible to see this expert team building on the momentum here," says Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association, based in Ottawa. "Be it the live music industry, stakeholders, artists and fans, or local business, we will all benefit from this increased activity. Ottawa is getting ready to become a world class music city, and the "new" Bronson Centre Music Theatre is a giant step in the right direction."
SOURCE Bronson Centre
For further information: For media inquiries or more information contact: Lisa Zbitnew, Phoenix Music Concert Theatre, [email protected], 1-416-305-1264; Corey Mayville, Executive Director Bronson Centre, [email protected], 613-878-2673; Amy Hersenhoren, Collective Concerts, [email protected], 416-598-0720