Accolade: hoarding the glory

On Monday, the curtain will rise and York University’s $90-million dream will take centre stage. For the past year, the rumble and din of construction machinery has been sweet music to the ears of students, faculty and staff in the heart of the campus. Behind another curtain of hoarding, construction is progressing on two buildings known as The Accolade Project, rising up on either side of the Fine Arts complex. When it opens its doors in 2005-06, Accolade will provide 330,000 square feet of outstanding new academic, exhibition and performance facilities for the Faculty of Fine Arts and York University.

Right: An artist’s rendition of York’s new Accolade Project

For an entertaining and informative glimpse of things to come, faculty and staff are invited to join President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden and Phillip Silver, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, at a reception on Nov. 15. Follow the sound of music and let stilt walkers and jugglers lead you to the Joseph G. Green Theatre in the lobby of the Centre for Film & Theatre, from 4 to 6pm. The formal performance starts at 4:45pm, with musical, theatrical and edible treats.

The event will give the York community a preview of what’s going on behind the construction hoardings and how Accolade will transform the University and its cultural life. And if hoarding the glory isn’t enough, guests will be treated to a demonstration of the kind of talent that the Faculty of Fine Arts educates and nurtures. Jazz, classical and world music, plus the stilt walkers and jugglers, are all part of the festivities.

Alongside extensive lecture halls, classrooms and computer facilities for students from across the University, Accolade will provide a long-awaited new home with dedicated facilities for the departments of Music and Dance and the Fine Arts Cultural Studies program. The new buildings will boast a chorus line of state-of-the-art amenities, including a 325-seat recital hall, a 325-seat proscenium theatre and a cutting-edge 500-seat cinema/lecture hall. The celebrated Art Gallery of York University, currently located in the Ross Building, will also move into a prominent new location in Accolade.

Left: A new recital hall will be part of the Accolade facility

“Accolade will not only help accommodate York’s growing student body, it will provide a wonderful new platform for the visual and performing arts on campus,” Silver says.

By bringing together all the Fine Arts programs in one accessible, dynamic cluster integrated within the larger academic community, Accolade will enrich the experience of all students, staff and faculty.

To find out more about how the Accolade Project will transform the University and its cultural life, plan to attend the reception on Nov. 15. The curtain rises at 4:45pm, previews start at 4pm.