When I purchased the Conservatory back in 1997, it was not the space you are familiar with today. It was a derelict building, a shadow of the state-of-the-art music conservatory that was the talk of the town in 1905. When I walked into the building, I could see through the rubble and the cobwebs to its beautiful woodwork and stately architecture. You could feel the history of the space; the arts had lived here! It was then that I knew that I needed to bring it back to life, so we could celebrate its proud past and build an exciting future for the arts in Hamilton. I dreamed of a school where all arts could live together under one roof. A place where artists in diverse disciplines could work together to develop and share a common frontier. I moved my dance school (The Hamilton Ballet School) into the building and spent countless days and nights renovating each of the rooms in-between dance classes.
Fast forward 18 years and the Conservatory has over 100 programs in dance, music, visual art and drama for students of all ages: from babies to adults. We reach out into the community through our concert series, field trips, high school workshops and through the innovative programs of our partner organizations Culture for Kids in the Arts and HCA Dance Theatre. And all while HCA has being a self-sustained arts organization with no government grants. (No easy feat in the arts!) I am proud to say that in 2015 our future looks bright, with many exciting projects planned for the year ahead.
When you come to the Conservatory for lessons, or concerts, or summer camp, you become part of a wider community that comes together through the arts at HCA. This blog, and my posts #VitekSays are a way to share my insights on different topics in the arts, upcoming events and all the many great stories that make HCA so special. Enjoy!
-Vitek Wincza, Artistic Director