Darke Hall | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Darke Hall

Performance hall for the Conservatory of Performing Arts (formerly the Regina Conservatory of Music) at the University of Regina, as well as the Regina Symphony Orchestra (1929–70) and the Regina Musical Club (until 2007).

The 578-seat auditorium (later expanded to 610 seats), was gifted to the City of Regina by businessman Francis N. Darke. It was designed by J.H. Puntin and for many years was the city's main concert hall. The building opened 6 January 1929, "dedicated to music and arts and the enrichment of the lives of the people of the city." Ambrose C. Froom donated a Casavant pipe organ and Dr. Hugh MacLean a large art collection, which was housed in the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery.

The hall has undergone a series of major renovations. In 1963 extra rehearsal, recording, storage, and dressing rooms were added. In 1986–87, following a period of closure beginning in 1983, the building's basement and foundations were rebuilt.

Darke Hall has housed performances by a variety of community groups and visiting performers, including The Barra MacNeils, Jorge Bolet, Jane Coop, Denise Djokic, Marjorie Lawrence, Nino Martini, Nan Merriman, Jan Peerce, Sarah Slean, Teresa Stratas, Jean Watson, Hawksley Workman, and Efrem Zimbalist, among others.