About Us

Since its opening in spring 1997, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has earned an international reputation for its striking design, stellar acoustics and exceptional programming. Artists, critics and audiences alike are unanimous in their praise of this multi-faceted facility, winning it a place among North America’s premier performing arts centres.

From classical, jazz, theatre, and opera to world music, the Chan Centre is a vital part of UBC campus life where artistic and academic disciplines merge to inspire new perspectives on life and culture. Past performers and guest speakers include Wynton Marsalis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Renée Fleming, Dan Savage, Yo-Yo Ma, Mariza, Sigur Rós, Mavis Staples, Lila Downs, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock.

The Chan Centre is part of UBC’s Arts and Culture District, and hosts rehearsals and performances by the UBC School of Music and the UBC Department of Theatre and Film throughout the year.

History

Thanks to the skilled design team of Bing Thom Architects, ARTEC Consultants of New York and Theatre Projects Consultants, today the Chan Centre is one of Vancouver’s prime rental locations for lively arts productions, conferences, and film and television shoots. On the academic front, UBC music, theatre, and film students have access to high quality venues throughout the school year, be it for rehearsals, performances, or film screenings.

The development and construction of the Chan Centre, started in 1995 and completed in 1997, was funded through the generous support of the Chan Foundation of Canada, Telus, and the Royal Bank Financial Group, with matching funds provided by the Government of British Columbia.

Chan Shun Concert Hall

Named after the patriarch of the Chan family, the Chan Shun Concert Hall’s acoustics and intimate surroundings are second to none. The shape of the hall takes its inspiration from the cello. Its blond maple curved walls, which resemble the contours of the musical instrument, assist in providing an even distribution of sound. Within this “reverberation chamber,” the subtlest change in musical colour or volume can be heard. Concrete walls oriented in a reverse fan reflect the sound without echo.

The Chan Shun’s jewel in the crown is a sparkling 22.7-tonne acoustic canopy, a chandelier-like mechanism that reflects sound back to the performers and to the audience. Suspended on cables, the canopy is adjustable in height to accommodate a variety of groups and musical styles. Simple architectural finishes extend the musical motif: cables and frets grace the upper walls, complemented by white maple soffits and balcony fronts.

Learn more about the Chan Shun Concert Hall and submit a booking request.

Chan Shun Concert Hall Features

  • ~1185 seats, plus 180 seats available in choral loft
  • Adjustable 22.7-tonne chandelier-like acoustic canopy designed to accommodate a variety of different types of performances
  • Orchestra pit with mechanical lift
  • Motorized, sound-absorbent fabric banners to further enhance acoustic adaptability
  • Two grand pianos: a 9’ Steinway and 7’6” Yamaha

Telus Studio Theatre

Designed as an experimental venue, the Telus Studio Theatre accommodates several stage configurations, which can be adjusted to meet specific production needs. Seating is arranged on three levels of twelve towers, placed in a horseshoe shape. Thanks to its unique features, this innovative space is an attractive venue for theatre productions, performances by small music ensembles, speaker/lecture events, and receptions.

Learn more about the Telus Studio Theatre and submit a booking request.

Telus Studio Theatre Features

  • Up to a maximum of 275 seats, depending on stage configuration
  • Flexible theatre with 12 tri-level seating towers
  • Suitable acoustics for a variety of musical and spoken word events
  • Comprehensive catwalk system for lighting and rigging access

Royal Bank Cinema

Furnished with cushioned seats complete with collapsing desk trays, the Royal Bank Cinema is well suited for classes, lectures and conference workshops. Please note the cinema is currently undergoing equipment upgrades and is not available to be booked for commercial screenings at this time.

Learn more about the Royal Bank Cinema and submit a booking request.

Royal Bank Cinema Features

  • 160 seats with folding desk trays
  • DVD and Blu-Ray video playback
  • VGA connection onstage for laptop video output
  • Digital Projection, 16mm and 35mm film projection, 35mm slide projection
  • Separate entrance and lobby area
  • UBC Wi-Fi / internet access / wired network access
  • Wired network access by special arrangement

Glass Lobby

Airy and bright with soaring windows, the Chan Centre’s elegant glass lobby captures the tranquility of the forested outdoors and sets the tone for an engaging performance experience. Whether the hub of intermission mingling or the spot for a post-show reception, its spacious ambience provides the perfect complement to the artistic activity taking place within the venues.

Learn more about the Glass Lobby and submit a booking request.

Glass Lobby Features

  • 18 foot-high canted glass windows to maximize views of adjacent forest
  • Fully equipped bar and espresso counter
  • Cushioned benches
  • Adjacent outdoor licensed patio area

Great Performers Lounge

With ample floor space, the Great Performers Lounge is a natural spot for meetings and receptions. This room is accessible to all the Chan Centre venues and to the backstage area.

Learn more about the Great Performers Lounge and submit a booking request.

Great Performers Lounge Features

  • Bar and tables for receptions
  • Sound links to Chan Shun Concert Hall and Telus Studio Theatre
  • Adjacent to Royal Bank Cinema
UBC Arts and Culture District

From visual art to opera to theatre and beyond, there’s a world of arts and culture to experience at UBC.