Ottawa is going to have a new music community hub in Centretown when Carleton University completes its purchase of Dominion-Chalmers United Church. The parties entered negotiations in December 2017 and recently announced an agreement has been reached.
With 950 seats, the church hall is more than twice the size of any venue on Carleton’s campus. It will provide much-needed space for students and faculty of the university’s music program and serve as a community hub and artistic space for the public.
Frequently used by Chamberfest, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, and other music presenters, the church already hosts upwards of 100 concerts a year, and will continue to host religious services for the church’s congregation.
“For several years now we have been facing a future where we would not be able to keep up this historic building,” said Church Council Chair David Hayman. “This is a sale that is good for the future of the congregation.”
Carleton has plans to renovate the historic building, creating state-of-the art practise and recording studios, exhibition space for the Carleton University Art Gallery, and other improvements intended to make the facility “more attractive as a rental venue for community and arts groups.”
“Our purchase of Dominion-Chalmers United Church is perfectly aligned with the university’s mission to play a central role in the cultural life of Ottawa, and it’s a unique solution that allows the church to maintain its historic presence downtown and a gathering place for its congregation,” said Carleton Interim President Alastair Summerlee. “This beautiful space will not only be an important venue for students and faculty, but will also engage our many collaborators.”
“This beautiful space will not only be an important venue for students and faculty, but will also engage our many collaborators.”
The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra is relocating from Arts Court to Dominion-Chalmers, recently announcing an inaugural performance in the new space slated for January 2019. “This new home offers possibilities for even deeper cultural collaboration in the heart of the city. Bravo to Carleton for this wonderful investment in Ottawa’s cultural future,” said Alain Trudel, Music Director of the OSO.
The OSO will welcome the public to an Open House event at Dominion-Chalmers on Thursday, June 14, where Maestro Trudel will share his vision for the 2018–19 season, including the OSO’s innovative 3D String Theory project and four concerts on the Dominion-Chalmers stage. The presentation will be followed by a brief performance by Trudel—he’s a world-class trombone soloist—and a reception with light refreshments.
There’s an Open House event at Dominion-Chalmers (355 Cooper) on Thursday June 14 from 5–7pm. Admission is free, however attendees are asked to RSVP via Eventbrite.