Mission & History

Grand Theatre Restoration 2004-2008
Since opening in 1879, the Grand Theatre has provided local residents with a wealth of cultural opportunities. Performances by such noted artists as Tommy Hunter, Chantal Kreviazuk, Rita McNeil, Michael Burgess, Sarah Harmer and Randy Bachman have graced its stage. In addition, many local arts organizations — such as the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, the Kinsmen Club, Queens Musical Theatre, Kingston Meistersingers, Rogue and Peasant Theatre and Dramatic Impact have staged productions at the Grand.

As Kingston's premier performing arts facility, the Grand has undergone four major renovations, the latest being a significant restoration from 2004-2008. Diamond and Schmitt Architects, in joint venture with Shoalts and Zaback Architects, carefully restored and expanded this cultural gem.

The City of Kingston, along with public funders, corporate donors and personal contributors raised more than $17.1 million that was required for the restoration. In addition to the funding provided by the City of Kingston, the Grand Theatre received close to $1 million in financial support from the Province through the Rural Economic Development program and $2.75 million through the federal Cultural Spaces program.

The "Let's Make Her Grand Again Campaign" raised $3.35 million towards the overall goal. The Campaign was headed by honorary Co-Chairs Britton Smith and Michael Davies and Co-Chairs Walter Fenlon and Fred Laflamme. The Campaign had about 40 volunteers working on its various committees. The improvements to the Grand Theatre during this restoration included:

  • Newly expanded Baby Grand a Black Box Theatre has various seating options up to 105 comfortable seats.
  • New Davies lounge.
  • Newly Enhanced Springer Lounge.
  • 35 Moveable Seats in the Main Auditorium.
  • New HVAC System
  • Improved Sightlines from the Balcony
  • Full Orchestra Pit with Mechanical Pit Lift
  • State of the art Rigging System
  • Acoustic Towers and Orchestra Shell
  • Stage Scrim Drapery
  • Dimmer Panels
  • Overhead Reflectors
  • Improved Air Handling Equipment
  • Structural Reinforcing of Auditorium, Roof and Walls
  • Remedial Foundation Underpinning
  • Life Safety Systems Enhancements
  • Backup Power Inverter
  • Substantial Electrical Upgrades and Outlets
  • Mechanical Sprinkler Systems throughout the entire building
  • New Multipurpose Room under the Stage Area complete with 2 single Cubicle Washroom Facilities
  • Enhanced Princess Street Façade
  • Extended Vestibule in former Court Yard
  • New Carpet
  • New Administrative Office
Share