Tett Centre celebrates fifth anniversary

The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning opened after massive renovations on January 31, 2015. Photo via City of Kingston.

It’s almost hard to believe that one of Kingston’s most beloved and busy hubs didn’t exist just years ago, but today marks a milestone for the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning.

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 is the fifth anniversary of the place where dancers practice, artists learn and work, musicians pick up new instruments to try, people meet for coffee to share and explore ideas, and ingenuity thrives. More commonly referred to as ‘the Tett,’ it truly is a place full of ‘Creativity and Learning.’

On January 31, 2015, the Tett Centre opened its doors after undergoing extensive renovations by the City of Kingston. The result of that project was the re-establishment of the J.K. Tett Centre, located at 370 King Street West – now an accessible, community-led arts hub. An independent, charitable organization operating in a City-owned facility, the ground-breaking new concept has garnered love and recognition, both locally and across the country, for its innovative operational model.

The building was first set up in the 1970s as a creative complex, and was home to local theatre groups, artisans, and more. Today, the facility offers arts-based programming for residents, ranging from the interested or amateur, to the seasoned professional artists.

“This is a proud occasion for us as a community and an organization. We’re grateful to our staff, tenants, partner organizations and the entire Kingston community for making the Tett Centre the crucible of creation that it has become,” said Dave Kerr, Chair of the Board for the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning.

In short, the Tett Centre is the result of a unique collaboration between the City of Kingston, Queen’s University, and the community to establish an arts campus that supports creativity and learning for people of all ages and abilities. The Tett Centre and its staff are housed in the building, along with eight anchor arts organizations, eight resident artist studios, and four multi-use spaces that are available to rent.

“We’re really fortunate to have a resource like the Tett Centre in Kingston and it has been incredible to see it grow and flourish since it opened five years ago,” said Colin Wiginton, Cultural Director for the City of Kingston. “The City of Kingston is committed to history and innovation and the Tett Centre is one of a handful of examples from across Canada of a highly successful municipal/community partnership that supports the development of the arts sector on a local scale.”

While the Tett Centre is open every day with a wide range of programming, it will be hosting its annual Family Day Open House on Monday, Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a variety of family-friendly, hands-on, interactive art experiences for all ages – the perfect time to check it out if you haven’t already, or re-visit the facility to see what’s new.

To mark the fifth anniversary, the City has created the video below all about the concept behind the new the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, which is housed within the historical J.K. Tett Centre on the waterfront. Check back to the City’s YouTube channel for more videos on the Tett Centre throughout the coming month.

Video via the City of Kingston YouTube channel.

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