Performing arts head for Sir George Campus 

By Karen Herland

Several Fine Arts departments are moving downtown this summer as the Faculty inches towards single-campus status.

“We’ve been wanting to consolidate fine arts for a long time,” said Associate Dean of Planning and Academic Facilities Ana Cappelluto. The vision remains to bring the Faculty under a single roof in the Grey Nuns Mother House.

Recent changes in the available facilities at Loyola have hastened the move downtown for the performing arts departments. Cappelluto, who is also a theatre professor, says the newly planned facilities will be great,” we’re excited and really happy about the move.”

For the last quarter-century, the Departments of Theatre and Contemporary Dance have occupied the TJ Building, an old school across Terrebonne St. from the Loyola Campus. That solution was initially ‘temporary’ but the space became home to generations of students (see story). The university was taken by surprise when the Commission Scolaire de Montréal did not renew their lease last year. The building will revert to a high school to accommodate the growing number of teenagers in the community.

Finding space for those two programs along with the Department of Music, which is ill-served in its current location in the Loyola Refectory, was no small task.

“The three programs combined represent the same number of students as Cinema, the faculty’s second largest department,” said Cappelluto. “And they occupy a very large footprint, it’s not just amphitheatres and desks.”

In addition to faculty offices, and studio spaces for classes and rehearsal, the departments require extensive storage space for props, costumes and equipment along with carpentry workshops to build sets and materials and sewing and dying workshops to produce costumes.

After the university evaluated several options, the brand new JMSB Building seemed like the ideal temporary solution for classrooms and studios since two floors were not slated for immediate occupancy. “The Molson family and the JMSB showed incredible generosity to Fine Arts Faculty and students,” said Cappelluto. “We have been very fortunate to have their support.” The family’s agreement was required since they had donated money towards the construction of a building specifically designated for the business school.

With the TJ Building lease coming due, and construction for the theatre and dance programs on the seventh floor of the JMSB Building stretching to September, materials will be stored in the EV Building. Moving the music department to the eighth floor of the JMSB Building will follow as part of the plan.

Meanwhile, many performing arts faculty and staff will be moved into offices on the fifth floor of the GM Building, vacated as the JMSB professors move into the JMSB Building. Performance students will be using the D.B. Clarke theatre. Costume storage and dyring facilities will be established in the Hall Building basement below the theatre.

The Faculty will retain some presence at Loyola for now including the scenery and prop shops, performance venues (Cazalet and F.C. Smith Theatres and Oscar Peterson Concert Hall) and the Centre for the Arts in Human Development. As for Sir George, the Faculty will have facilities spread across six different buildings. But the Faculty is moving closer together. Cappelluto points out many of the SGW facilities will be connected via tunnels before the end of 2009.


Concordia University