The centre is the permanent home to the Canadian Opera Company (COC) and the performance venue for the National Ballet of Canada. Opening in 2006, the Centre was the first building of its kind in Canada; a theatre built specifically for opera and ballet performances with the finest level of acoustics. The three storey high “Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room” is a glass-enclosed lobby that enjoys a special relationship with the city that surrounds it. The City Room was designed to reflect the open and inclusive nature of the building with specially manufactured low-iron glass walls that allow daylight or the evening glow to create atmosphere in the room. Within the City Room, a free-spanning glass staircase functions as a pre-performance chat area – the “Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre”.

Within the 2,070 seat “R. Fraser Elliot Hall”, the design team focused on creating an intimate space, isolating the space from external sources of city noise and vibration. The hall is based on the horseshoe-shaped plan, modeled after the great opera houses of Europe, complete with full side and rear stages, dressing rooms, wardrobe and instrument storage.

Working within a tight budget, Mulvey & Banani Lighting provided lighting design for all areas of the facility. LED lamp technology was used extensively throughout the facility, making this the first large scale use of LED’s in the city.