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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vancouver Opera is hip!

Jeff Sodowsky
Chief Development Officer
Vancouver Opera
At a recent open house of The Michael & Inna O’Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera for subscribers, I had several guests comment to me how intrigued and impressed they were with the space. 

These 30,000 square feet seem to ooze creativity. It houses where we rehearse, make and store costumes, props and some scenic elements, along with our administrative and ticket centre operations. The building located at 1945 McLean Drive has an inspired history as well. This former mattress factory was also the early home for Lululemon.

Our renovations were minimal but effective. Our space planner and designer, Janay Koldingnes of DIALOG, infused the space with punches of the artistry that make us excited about the work that we do. She also helped the company establish a more open and collaborative physical working environment. 

Instead of being spread over six different working locales with lots of walls and doors, we are now all under one roof with many communal spaces to come together in working toward producing the best opera productions possible with our resources. 
Music Library

The look of The O’Brian Centre is contemporary and clean while still being warm and not fussy. Many of our visitors get a big smile when they enter the building and make their way to the front desk. They are greeted by a striking wall papered with a mural of European style opera boxes from one of the world’s grandest opera houses. .

Mural in Reception

Up close

 It was so much fun to open the January 2012 issue of Canadian House & Home to discover on page 50 that this very same design element was featured as one of this year’s “hottest looks”

While the finishing touches for our space continue to evolve, it is a pleasure to welcome people into our new home. We hope that in time many community organizations will have the opportunity to utilize the space; educational groups will be able to come in and enjoy our orchestra, choral and staging rehearsals; and the public may enjoy the resources available in our music library, etc. Opening the door to a few hundred subscribers was an enjoyable way to show this special space and offer a glimpse into life beyond the performances at the theatre. 

- Jeff Sodowsky
Chief Development Officer
Vancouver Opera

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