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The centre is located in the east Ottawa community of Orléans and offers programs and services in both English and French.
We like to say this is “where art comes to life” because behind the doors of our two theatres, seven galleries and 17 studios – in the halls, lobbies and even on the walls – there is plenty of creativity stirring. The centre houses these activities within specialized spaces for hands-on instruction, creation and presentation of the visual, performing, literary and media arts and unique spaces for receptions and special events.
Operated by the City of Ottawa, this diversity of programs and activities is attributed to a unique collaboration with the centre’s Resident Arts Partners: Arts Network Ottawa, Gloucester Pottery School, MIFO (Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans), Ottawa School of Art–Orléans Campus, and Ottawa School of Theatre. The centre is also home to Resident Company Tara Luz Danse and ARTicipate, a one-of-a-kind endowment fund that supports innovative programming at the centre.
To learn more about the Shenkman Arts Centre, view our brochure.
The public expressed a need for an east-end arts facility more than 20 years ago. After several needs assessments and feasibility studies, City of Ottawa staff fine-tuned the community requirements and sought out the right opportunity. The strategy included the development of a P3 (Public-Private Partnership) in 2004 with the Orléans Town Centre Partnership (OTCP) led by Forum Leasehold Partners Inc., Aecon Buildings, Lalande + Doyle Architects, and Johnson Controls/BLJC. The OTCP addressed the design, construction, maintenance, and ownership responsibilities of the Shenkman Arts Centre facility (8,000 square meters). The partnership agreement includes the City operating the facility during a 30-year lease term, until such time the ownership will revert back to the City. The Shenkman Arts Centre opened on June 18, 2009.
Orléans is located minutes east of Parliament Hill, just a 15 km drive from downtown Ottawa. This suburban community of almost 200,000 people is known for its distinctly bilingual mix that brings the best of both French and English cultures to the area. To the south and west is a rapidly growing business and residential community and on its eastern doorstep is rural farmland and small towns and villages.
Known for its sweeping, tree-lined boulevards and friendly hospitality, it soon becomes apparent that Orléans is special—urban amenities with a rural attitude. With thriving sports and arts communities, shopping for every taste and budget—including one of the area’s largest shopping malls—Orléans is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Add in the most beautiful beach in Eastern Ontario, Petrie Island, and there is never a shortage of things to do.
Shenkman Arts Centre is the centrepiece of the Orléans Town Centre, an area being developed as downtown Orléans, a mixed-use sector that will feature high-density residential development, office buildings, parks and a hotel. The project is designed to satisfy demand for arts in the east end of the city, and to build new business opportunities to strengthen the east-end economy.