Taché Arts Project

Creating Canada’s most advanced facility for artistic study
In the right environment, creative spirits can soar to heights that bring international audiences to their feet. With this goal in mind, the University of Manitoba is creating the nation’s foremost facility for music study, in the heart of central Canada’s most vibrant cultural community. Here, aspiring artists will find all the tools they need to aim high and take flight with confidence.

Through the Taché Arts Project, our music and performing arts campus is being transformed into a modern, connected complex, filled with inspiring spaces where students can learn, create and collaborate. These improvements provide an expanded range of opportunities for students preparing to follow in the footsteps of our accomplished alumni.

Given the concentration of musicians and other performing artists in Manitoba, there is no better home for this exciting development. Winnipeg is home to more than 12% of Canada’s professional musicians, even though just 2.25% of the nation’s population lives here. The transformation on campus will be the catalyst for continued innovation and collaboration in the surrounding arts community. Manitoba will become an even stronger incubator of artistic excellence, with greater influence across the nation and around the world. 

The Taché Arts Project will build on our already-strong reputation for attracting and nurturing the best musical talents, including alumni like soprano Andriana Chuchman, now performing with esteemed companies like the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

The new hub of artistic study and creation on campus

The centrepiece of the project is Taché Hall, the university’s most iconic and historic building. The former student residence has been transformed into the hub and gathering space for studies in music, theatre and visual arts. Once scattered in eight buildings across campus, these programs are being brought together to energize the creative environment and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations.

The century-old character of Taché Hall now intersects with the contemporary architecture of ARTlab and the sleek, light-filled atrium of the newly constructed addition for music studies. This melding of historic and modern reflects the artistic traditions of the past and the pathway to innovations of the future. All new construction meets the LEED Silver standard.

When complete, the new and redeveloped buildings will span 230,000 square feet, including 150,000 square feet devoted to the Desautels Faculty of Music. Patkau Architects and LM Architectural Group have created an inspiring environment for everyone using the space, whether they have come to study, teach or attend performances.

Modern, professional spaces for students to rehearse and create

Faculty and students now work and study in an expanded range of state-of-the spaces for rehearsal, recording and composition.

One of the most exciting features is the new facilities for composition and recording, including sound spaces, digital media labs and multi-media teaching spaces. Using telematics streaming capabilities, artistic trailblazers will be able to perform and exchange ideas in real time with an unlimited number of artists located anywhere in the world. The opportunities for online collaboration are limited only by their imaginations.

The new rehearsal centre has an expanded number of rooms, and each has recording capability. The three largest spaces are acoustically designed to meet the specific needs of choir/opera, symphony orchestra/wind ensemble/concert band, and jazz ensembles. Three other studios are specifically designed for percussionists. In addition, there are 40 general practice rooms in the renovated Taché Hall.

The Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library has nearly tripled in size and now includes a listening room. Developed on the site of the former Taché Oak Room dining hall, it houses more than 10,000 recordings, 7,500 books and 15,000 scores, with plenty of capacity for multimedia storage and up-to-date connections for Macs, PCs and mobile devices.

State-of-the-art performance venue

The next phase of the Taché Arts Project will be construction of the new Desautels Concert Hall. This venue will be custom-designed for acoustic excellence and fully-equipped to provide the best possible experience for both performers and audiences. The performance facility will be conveniently connected to the new music rehearsal and recording centre, as well as the main campus residence.

Features will include professional-grade sound recording equipment, control booth, orchestra pit, and orchestra/choir staging area, box office, dressing rooms and green room. The concert hall will be equipped to mount a variety of live performing arts productions.

In addition to the Desautels Concert Hall, the Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall provides another important venue for dramatic theatre presentations. Anchored by the John J. Conklin Theatre, it includes a full workshop for set design and creation, a prop shop and costume area and professional quality lighting and sound, as well as a box office, reception area, green room and dressing rooms.

A cultural destination in the community

The Taché Arts Project is truly the centre of culture on campus and a valuable new asset for the community. Public funders and donors are helping to make these improvements possible.

To learn more about these facilities and opportunities to provide support, please contact:

Dr. Edward Jurkowski, Dean, Desautels Faculty of Music
Edward.Jurkowski@umanitoba.ca 204.474.7380

Carolyn Basha, Director, Major Gifts

Donor Relations
204.474.9195, toll-free: 1.800.330.8066

You can direct your gift to the Taché Arts Project when donating to the University of Manitoba Front and Centre campaign. Learn more.



Renovation of Taché Hall, including:
• Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library
• John J. Conklin Theatre in the Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall
• Music practice and teaching studios
• Faculty and graduate student offices
• Art studios
• Wet photography labs and darkrooms

Construction of new ARTlab building, including:
• School of Art Gallery and collection vaults
• Studios for painting, drawing, photography and print media
• Digital media labs
• Video soundstage
• Workshops, classrooms and seminar rooms
• 140-seat lecture theatre
• Director’s administration suite

Opening September 2017

State-of-the-art rehearsal, recording, multimedia, composition and teaching spaces for:
• University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensembles, Concert Band
• Jazz Orchestra
• Choirs
• Opera Theatre Ensemble
• Musical Theatre Ensemble
• Multimedia studio

Electroacoustic composition studio

Student art gallery

Next Steps
• Construction of Desautels Concert Hall