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Celebrating 50 Years: 1995

Site Dedication for the Rozsa Centre

The University of Calgary’s Rozsa Centre has been acclaimed as “one of the most outstanding chamber music halls in Canada, if not North America.” Funded entirely by
private donations to the university’s Building on the Vision campaign, the concept and drawings for the education and performance building were unveiled at a site dedication ceremony on November 17, 1995. Ted and Lola Rozsa, philanthropists and long-time supporters of the arts in Calgary, provided a $3.5 million gift towards the construction of the new building which houses a 385 seat concert hall, a 200-person gathering hall for conferences and performances, and several smaller meeting rooms.

Dean of Fine Arts, John Roberts, said the building would provide rehearsal and performance spaces on campus, which were in short supply. “It is no secret that present music and dance facilities leave a great deal to be desired. There is not a single venue on campus that was designed for the performance of music or dance. We lack other essential facilities such as rehearsal and practice rooms, teaching studios and a centre for the arts and technology. The new building will remedy an unsatisfactory situation that has posed problems for faculty and students for many years....It's a dream come true."

A ground breaking ceremony for the Centre took place in June 1996, and an opening festival was held in the newly completed building in November 1997. In 1999 the Rozsa Centre’s concert hall, the Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall, had a $440,000 recording studio installed which is able to produce the highest-possible quality recordings of live performances. “This is the recording studio of the 21st century”, said Michael MacFee, the engineer who designed the studio. “These systems approach as close as possible to reproducing what you hear in the hall”. The construction of the recording studio was delayed for two years while funding was arranged.

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