It’s a physical space with such finely engineered acoustics
that it’s been likened to a musical instrument. It’s
versatile and will provide audiences and performers with a
transformative listening and performing experience. One of
the most advanced rehearsal and performance facilities in
the city of St. John’s was opened Thursday, March 17,
and Memorial University’s new Petro-Canada Hall is considered
a technological gem, a blend of art and technology that will
be the latest resource for the university and the wider provincial
Petro-Canada Hall was constructed with $1.2 million in support
provided by Petro-Canada, operator of the Terra Nova offshore
oil development and participant in the White Rose and Hibernia
Petro-Canada Hall is a $1.8 million state-of-the-art facility
that will be used for teaching, research and performances,
in addition to being available for rental to community groups.
Officials from Memorial University, Petro-Canada and the provincial
government gathered at the university to officially open the
new facility which was built as an extension to the M. O.
Morgan (Music) Building.
Petro-Canada’s support of the project arose from a research
and development/education and training expenditure commitment
to the White Rose development.
“We were attracted to this project partly because it
stepped outside the engineering and science realm that normally
draws our support,” said Ron Brenneman, president and
chief executive officer of Petro-Canada. “And we liked
the community concept for Petro-Canada Hall. It is a true
‘community hall’ that broadens the reach of the
university beyond its traditional student and faculty constituency.
When a university becomes accessible in that way, it also
becomes an integral part of the community. Petro-Canada is
proud to be part of the community and we congratulate Memorial
University on the opening of this impressive new facility.”
The new 195 square metre (2,100 square foot) rehearsal and
performance facility adjoins the M.O. Morgan Music Building
near the D. F. Cook Recital Hall, on the east side of the
building. With a performance area of approximately 56 square
metres (600 square feet), an audience capacity of 124 people
and a large rehearsal capacity, the new Petro-Canada Hall
positions the School of Music to expand its performance and
conference capabilities. The new facility also includes a
small suite of offices available for temporary use by university
and community music organizations.
The Petro-Canada Hall enables the School of Music to increase
the range of services it can offer to the music community,
both within the St. John’s metropolitan area and through
the extended reach of electronic communication. Equipped for
both recording and Web-casting, the facility links the School
of Music to global communities for real-time distance instruction
and multi-site rehearsal. Students and professors will be
able to connect with colleagues and mentors from anywhere
and hear and interact almost as if they were in the same room.