Two performance spaces are now officially open at the University of Prince Edward Island.
One is brand-new, inside the Charlottetown campus's new residence building, and the other is a revamped space in the Steel Building, home to UPEI's Faculty of Music.
Greg Doran, co-ordinator of theater studies and chair of the English department, says the new spaces mean a lot to both students and faculty.
"It's a huge benefit, certainly when we are looking at recruiting," Doran said Friday. "I'm thrilled."
The Dr. Steel Recital Hall has a fresh coat of paint, new seating and flooring, and a rebuilt stage.
A new Performing Arts Centre inside the residence building, which can seat 400, will serve as a teaching space during the day and a space for musical theatre in the evening. The public can also rent it out.
Coordinator of theatre studies and chair of the English department, Greg Doran, left, and chair of UPEI Music Department Dale Sorensen agree: the performance spaces will be attractive to perspective students. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)
After 19 years at the university, Doran said it's nice to see such an investment in the performing arts.
"We're talking [a] state-of-the-art facility and that's a huge selling point when students are making the decision," he said. "We were lagging a little behind in terms of our infrastructure and I think we're catching up and making us look like an attractive option to students."
I would be over the moon as a student. — Greg Doran
The spaces present students with opportunities to challenge themselves and explore different types of work that require up-to-date technology, he said.
"I would be over the moon as a student," he said. "We can put our students front and centre and say, 'Look, these are talented individuals, let's go out and support them.'"
Now, Doran said he can put on plays that previous spaces couldn't support.
Dale Sorensen, chair of the UPEI Music Department, said upgrades to the Dr. Steel Recital Hall improve the facility while maintaining its "wonderful" acoustics.
"It's incredible," Sorensen said. As a student at UPEI, "I spent all day, every day in the building and practising on this stage whenever I possibly could."
The new UPEI Performing Arts Centre will double as a teaching space during the day. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)
"It's a very attractive place for both the faculty now and our students and future students to perform."
Among other things, he said, the new Performing Arts Centre will let the UPEI Wind Symphony perform in a more comfortable and spacious venue.
About $2 million was raised for the spaces — allowing the music department to buy new percussion equipment and stands for sheet music, said Sorensen. Money also went towards new sound equipment at the Performing Arts Centre.
The first performance inside the refurbished recital hall is Oct. 1.