Shenkman Arts Centre Chronology

The lower lobby of the Shenkman Arts Centre in construction

1980-2002 Arts Ottawa East, now Arts Network Ottawa, Ottawa residents, community groups and the arts community advocate for an arts centre in the East end. This centre would provide access to dynamic and bilingual arts programming, nurture artists and provide a space for expression and learning of art in all disciplines.

2002 Momentum for the project takes off when a needs assessment recommended the City of Ottawa build a single, modern, professional arts facility in the East end to provide performing, visual and media arts activities to the public.

2003 Ottawa City Council identifies the Orléans Arts Centre (now the Shenkman Arts Centre) as one of five immediate arts priorities in the City's new Ottawa 2020 Arts and Heritage Plan.

2004 A P3 (public-private partnership) strategy was developed. This strategy was refined with the input of East end arts groups.

2005-2007 Ottawa City Council approves the recommendation for a new facility in June 2005 and launches a search for a private-sector partner. After an extensive process, the partnership agreement between the City of Ottawa and the Orléans Town Centre Partnership concludes in April 2007.

2007 The City of Ottawa, supported by the Government of Ontario, approves the construction of the Shenkman Arts Centre on Centrum Boulevard and constructions starts later that year.

The Harold Shenkman Hall in the Shenkman Arts Centre Under Construction

2007 The centre is officially named the Centre des Arts Shenkman Arts Centre after the Shenkman Family Foundation donates $1 million to the ARTicipate Endowment Fund.

2009 The Shenkman Arts Centre officially opens on June 18, 2009.


Read about the Shenkman Arts Centre.

Related Info

Make Art Accessible

The more it grows, the more it gives

“It’s been a long journey. The Shenkman Arts Centre, twenty years in the making, is a testament to an incredible amount of hard work by a lot of people who never gave up on the vision or the dream. Today, as a result, we have an amazing multidisciplinary arts centre where artists and community can come together. The ARTicipate Endowment Fund is AOE’s way of helping to support innovation and quality arts activities within the Centre for generations to come.”

  • Christine Tremblay, past Executive Director, AOE Arts Council.

Read more about the history of the ARTicipate Endowment Fund.