The Venue: Performance Works

The Venue is a profile series from Laura Murray Public Relations that ventures behind the scenes of Metro Vancouver’s foremost arts and culture venues, diving into the past and unveiling the unique stories and events that have made an indelible impact on our city’s creative community. 

This week we spoke with Jim Travis, Theatre Services Manager of the Granville Island Cultural Society.

Drawing more than 10 million visitors a year, Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s beloved gems. Home to the Granville Island Public Market, Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver International Fringe Festival, and countless artists and artisans, the area is inextricably linked with the city’s arts and culture community.

One of the Island’s most frequently used spaces is the multifunctional, flexible black box theatre space, Performance Works. Renovated from an old warehouse in 1992, the venue has a long history, originally starting out as a machine shop nearly a century ago.

Designed by architect Barbara Dalrymple, a stalwart supporter of Vancouver culture, the space reflects its industrial past, with open beams and corrugated metal accents. But the space’s most important feature is its ability to take on a new life and form with each rental.

“Performance Works is such a versatile space,” notes Jim Travis, Theatre Services Manager. “It morphs from theatre to wedding hall, from night club to art gallery and back to theatre again – sometimes on a daily basis. We’ve seen it all!”

A strong supporter of Vancouver’s small and innovative theatre companies, the venue also regularly opens its doors to visual arts and music events as well. This Canada Day, Performance Works will feature free jazz concerts throughout the day and evening for guests celebrating the country’s birthday on July 1.

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