The Isabel hosts first-ever open house for students

The performing arts centre provides food, entertainment and workshops for visitors

Visitors before one of the many performances at the Isabel.
Visitors before one of the many performances at the Isabel.
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The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts held an open house for students this past Saturday celebrating the launch of a number of arts series and performances that the building offers.

The open house started off with a jubilant ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ribbon-cutters were Arts and Science Associate Dean Gordon Smith, Principal Daniel Woolf, ASUS President Adam Grotsky, AMS President Allison Williams and Rector Mike Young. This affair led to the commencement of a number of events occurring throughout the centre for the duration of the day.

Katy Palaic, a box-office employee at the Isabel, said the open house was a success with both Queen’s students and residents of Kingston.

“We’ve had some workshops, and those were fun,” she said. “I’d say over 100 people have showed up so far for the open house.” This was before the kick-off of the biggest performance of the day by alternative indie-rock band Timber Timbre.

Some of the other events included an eccentric Electroacoustic Improvisation Performance by electronic DJ Greg Wilson, a Performing Arts Clubs Fair and a Wood Press Exhibition Workshop.

The centre, directly overlooking the lake, has futuristic elements incorporated through the heavy use of steel and glass. These components are accompanied by rustic touches of exposed brick and wood that point to an immense attention to detail.

Palaic said the centre focuses on being as well-rounded as possible and aims to appeal to all sorts of audiences within the community.

“We’ve had a good response for our classical series from both the Kingston and Queen’s community,” she said. “We’re also hoping that The Isabel Goes Alt series will attract more students.”

The Isabel Goes Alt is a music series that showcases a number of performances by popular Canadian bands, the first of which is Timber Timbre.

Although the centre is open to all audiences, it’ll also hold seminars and classes for Queen’s drama, film and media, fine arts and music students starting this school year.

Marie Edwards, a consultant for The Isabel, said the learning opportunities are unique. They aren’t often seen in performance complexes like The Isabel.

“It’s a rare mix of academia and performance. There’s obviously our academic partners such as Queen’s but also our community partners like the Kingston Symphony,” Edwards said. “We hold seminars and classes for students of all sorts.”

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is open from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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