About Our Building
Scotiabank Dance Centre opened in September 2001 in the heart of downtown Vancouver, a $10.5 million (CAN) state-of-the-art project designed by Architectura in collaboration with the renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, and a major development in the history of dance in Canada. The 32,000 sq ft, seven storey, glass-enclosed building is believed to be unique in North America: a purpose-built, shared use facility, which provides a diverse dance community with a new home and raises the profile of dance in the city and beyond.
In 1986, The Dance Centre was established as a not-for-profit resource centre for dance in BC. Its objectives included developing a project to provide a creation centre including high-quality rehearsal and some administrative space for Vancouver's dance community, and it secured Federal and Provincial government funds for this initiative. The Dance Centre created The Dance Foundation in 1995, an independent not-for-profit society to fundraise for, construct and own the building now named after its major sponsor, Scotiabank.
Construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 11, 2000. On August 17, 2001, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson unveiled a plaque dedicating Scotiabank Dance Centre to the dance artists of Canada. Shortly afterwards, on September 6, the building was officially opened by Bruce Birmingham, President of Scotiabank, at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by hundreds of sponsors and supporters. This was followed by a week-long public celebration September 17-23, Let's Dance!, in which thousands of spectators enjoyed performances, demonstrations, workshops and spectacular aerial dances on the exterior.
Today the facility houses classes, performances, workshops and events year-round, and attracts an estimated 60,000+ visits a year.