New Fort Hill Performing Arts Center to open in Canandaigua

By: Atyia Collins 

Posted: May 30, 2019 06:14 PM EDT Updated: May 30, 2019 06:14 PM EDT

Canandaigua, NY (WROC) – Construction is underway at the new Fort Hill Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua. The 5.8 million dollar project will transform the century-old Canandaigua academy into a theater, art gallery, and multi-purpose event space.

“This facility is gonna change the way Upstate New York can look at the arts,” said Holger Stave, Executive Director of For Hill Performing Arts Center Inc..

Renovations include adding a stage lift in the basement, as well as upgrades to the mezzanine balcony seating and upgraded stage equipment.

The space was built in the 1920s as an addition to the Canandaigua Academy. After renovations about 400 seats will fill this space, making it one of Rochester’s only mid-size theater.

“By now putting a space back together we’re gonna hope to revive more of these community efforts,” said Stave. 

The facility will be available for a variety of events and performances from weddings to plays. Pictures in the lobby show the layout for the final design.

Some arts organizations have already booked the space for the upcoming year.  

“When any facility comes online we’re very excited to know about it. We try to visit these communities and perform wherever we can. So this would be a perfect addition to our schedule,” Eric Townell, Artist Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society

“We’re a community youth chorus program and so to have a community theatre like this available to us is going to be very instrumental in oru growth and our ability to be in the community,” said Kristy Ingersoll, Director of Youth Chorus of the Finger Lakes.

The Fort Hill Performing Arts Center still needs to raise $800,000 to finish renovations. They will begin phase two of their fundraising campaign this summer.

The Fort Hill Performing Arts Center is planning a grand opening gala-performance weekend in December.