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Tett Centre Celebrates First Birthday

tett centre, creativity and learning, kingston, ontario
At one of last year’s daybreaker parties, revellers dance through dawn in the Tett Centre Malting Tower.
Photo by Mark Aidan Bergin.

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to believe that the Tett Centre is already celebrating its first birthday. It feels like just the other day that the arts hub and event space opened its doors and introduced an innovative, co-operative, and synergistic approach to fine arts in Kingston. And yet, more than one year ago on the 30th and 31st of January in 2015, the centre officially had its grand opening after years of preparation and anticipation.

The staff and board members did enjoy a small internal celebration on the 30th of January, but now the Tett Centre is inviting the rest of Kingston to join in the revelry by hosting a daybreaker dance birthday party on Family Day, the 15th of February.

Daybreaker parties are now a huge trend worldwide, and the Tett has been a leader as far as bringing the phenomenon to Kingston. According to Shannon Brown, the centre’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Family Day will mark the Tett’s third daybreaker event. (The first two took place during the Skeleton Park Arts Festival and the fall Culture Days celebration). For the uninitiated, a daybreaker party is a rousing, fully deejayed dance event that takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 in the morning, right as the sun is set to rise. “They really took off in New York City and have now spread all across the world,” says Brown. “We thought, let’s put Kingston on that map.” The turnout continues to grow with each party; last fall, 150 people danced through dawn in the centre’s 2000-square foot Malting Tower, and Brown expects at least that many for the birthday party. “We have a lot of die-hard people that are going to come back!” she says.

As well as being a unique way to enjoy a dance party, the event is also a chance for the community to reflect on the past year and some of the Tett’s triumphs. “What I think is really wonderful about the Tett Centre is that when people walk in, it broadens their creative experience,” says Brown. “Someone who has spent most of their life doing one particular art might be able to try something new. It helps people who are curious get even more creative.” Other staff and board members also shared their favourite memories at the internal event: the Arts by the Lake summer camp, the Kingston Arts Council’s “KAC in Conversation” series, and the success of Joe’s M.I.L.L., to name a few.

“We thought that Family Day would be a really wonderful day for the public to celebrate,” says Brown. “DJ Chico is really great at getting everyone dancing. There will be some contemporary pop, some funky tunes, a little something for everyone.” The Tett has also partnered with Juicy Kik to provide refreshments such as juice, smoothies, coffee, and light breakfast snacks. The centre is also hosting a drop-in Kids Creativity Club on the morning of February 13, where kids are invited to make decorations for the party, which they can then see in place if they attend the dance party. Shannon Brown and the rest of the Tett crew invite everyone to come check out this unique celebration in honour of the first birthday. “Everyone is just thrilled, and really, it’s just spectacular watching that sun break through the windows,” she says. “It’s inspiring.”

The event will take place February 15th from 6:30 to 8:30 am. The event is all ages and admission is by donation. For more information, visit the Tett Centre online.

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Kelly Reid

Kelly Reid has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. Kelly was one of our arts and culture contributors. Her column for Kingstonist explored the city's art galleries, as well as live music, theatre and performance art venues.

One thought on “Tett Centre Celebrates First Birthday

  • February 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm
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    I was at the last Daybreaker. And it's true. There's something about dancing while the sun rises which is amazing.
    This will be guaranteed fun.

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