Golden Anniversary

    The St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre celebrates a significant milestone this year. Fifty years ago on May 22, 1967, the complex was opened by Premier Smallwood and its first performance was held. It was the opening of the 1967 Dominion Drama Festival. The Centre became fully operational on October 1, 1967. The Centre was designed by Cummings, Dove & Whitten of St. John’s and Affeck, Desbarats, Dimakopulos, Lebensold & Sise of Montreal. In a booklet published circa 1970 about the Centre, the following description is given: “the form of the building is conceived as a strong ‘castle-like structure’ which the architects hope will give appropriate expression to the qualities of both the people of the Province and the striking local environment.” John Perlin, the Centre’s first Director, gives an overview of the building from its conception to reality in his article “Our great Arts and Culture Centres” (The Book of Newfoundland (1975), v. 5, pp. 396-399). Here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, we also have a set of microfilm reels (Micro Film 684) which hold a “Scrapbook” of every newspaper clipping concerning the Arts and Culture Centre and the many performers who have graced its stage from 1967 to 1989. A wonderful trip down memory lane. CNS also holds published materials such as art exhibition catalogues and annual performance listings.