Darke Hall: Building and Restoring a Temple to the Arts

darke-hall-intDarke Hall, April 2021

Darke Hall, originally known as the F.N. Darke Building for Music and Art, opened in 1929 as a gift to the University of Regina (formerly Regina College), and an expression of benefactor Francis N. Darke’s vision “to build a temple to the arts, and a centre for cultural activity” for the city.

Before long, Darke Hall became the premier concert hall in southern Saskatchewan. Designed by architect J.H. Puntin in the Collegiate Gothic Revival style, it was home to the Regina Symphony Orchestra until 1970, and renowned for both its acoustic and aesthetic qualities. The concert hall has undergone several renovations over the decades: extra rehearsal, recording, and storage rooms designed by architect Clifford Wiens were added in 1962; the building’s foundation was rebuilt starting in 1983; and new dressing areas were added in time for a long-awaited reopening in 1986.

By September of 2015 though, Darke Hall had been closed for several years, and in response to impassioned calls from community groups to reopen the venue, the University of Regina announced intentions to begin a massive revitalization project with accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of its mission.

In partnership with Conexus, through the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project, work on the exterior of the building began in 2015. In 2019, following a successful College Avenue Renewal Project community fundraising campaign, that included $1 million from the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Grant, along with many private donations, the University announced that it was ready to complete the restoration of Darke Hall. Now in 2022, following a six-year renovation and restoration process under the guidance of P3A Architecture and Ledcor Construction, the doors of Darke Hall are, once again, open and ready to receive the community – now and for generations to come.

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Booking Darke Hall

For more information on booking Darke Hall, visit www.darkehall.ca.

To make a donation to the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project in support of Darke Hall and the College Building, please use the Donate Now button and type 'College Avenue' in the Fund Description box.

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For more information about how you can donate, please contact:

Marc Butikofer, Director of Advancement