Here is a selection from the Griffin Quarterly.
by Michael Tavares
Artistry in Wood and Glass Contributes to the Maritime
Conservatory for the Performing Arts
In the fall of 2006 I was introduced to Ian Williams, Director of the Maritime Conservatory for the Performing Arts (MCPA) , while he was on a concert tour in Yarmouth and a guest at the MacKinnon Cann Inn. During dinner, Mr. Williams told me of the adaptive re-use of an elementary school in Halifax. This ongoing project deals with the restoration and conversion of the school into the Maritime Conservatory for the Performing Arts. I was invited to visit the school the following month and noticed that the main entrance hall was incomplete. I learned that projects were on an as-needed basis, depending on finances and priorities. The main entrance was not an income-generating area and was low on the list.
This seemed to be an opportunity for the Trust to give support. The Communities Committee agreed that the project was worthy of our involvement and, after meeting with the Director, we decided that the main entrance should be restored.
(click on photo to enlarge)
The Board approved the purchase of a new set of entrance doors in the fall of 2006; E&J Millworks of Yarmouth manufactured them. The Conservatory agreed to purchase the appropriate hardware and to remove the drop ceilings, panelling and carpeting. Troy Wood of The Wooden Window & Door Company rebuilt the six foot-wide transom window and installed it as a donation.
Students of the Conservatory were invited to design a stained glass window for the transom. My partner, stained glass artist Neil Hisgen, fabricated the winning design, with help from Acadian Glass Arts of Yarmouth; I puchased the glass in partnership with the Trust. The Buildings at Risk Committee provided funds for the purchase and installation of shatterproof material, to protect the window from possible vandalism. The stained glass window was installed shortly afterwards, in the summer of 2009.
Recently, the Board of Directors invited benefactors to a donor appreciation night at the Conservatory, to mark the late Lilian Piercey’s centenary in November. I invited eight individuals, all of whom contributed to this project, to accompany me to the event, where I had an opportunity to address the assembly and tell our story. It is a wonderful gift – a tribute to the Conservatory and an inspiration to all future students who enter this facility. Total value of this project is estimated to be $40,000.
Photos: Sue Hutchins
The Griffin, Volume 34 #4, December 2009