Bourgie Hall: A Unique Concert Venue
Preserving the Erskine and American heritage church (designed in 1894 in Neo-Romanesque style by the architect Alexander Cowper Hutchison) lay at the heart of the Museum's plan to create the new Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion. In 1998, the Department of Canadian Heritage designated the church a "national historic site" because of its history and its striking architecture.
The church was restored and transformed to become Bourgie Hall, a 444-seat concert venue with high-quality acoustics and exceptional decor that incorporates 20 remarkable Tiffany stained glass windows. It hosts over 100 concerts a year. The hall's dimensions make it ideal for the needs of chamber-music ensembles and other types of groups, such as string orchestras.With a repertoire ranging from classical to jazz, from world music to now, it offers music lovers experiences that reflect the Museum's encyclopedic diversity.
The MMFA acquired the church in 2008 to restore it and give it a new vocation. This was far from the mos economical solution, as ethical and heritage considerations made it more difficult than the construction of a new building. It is important to emphasize this fact, since it might be assumed that renovating an existing building would be less expensive. ''The Museum's choice of this option was aimed at enhancing the beauty of our city,'' explained MMFA Director Nathalie Bondil. ''It is an architectural conversion that we hope will serve as an example internationally.''