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Banff Centre Opens Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation

Kelley McKinlay and Nicole Caron of Alberta Ballet, Banff Centre dance alumni, in the Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation dance studio. Photo Credit: Donald Lee, The Banff Centre.

Kelley McKinlay and Nicole Caron of Alberta Ballet, Banff Centre dance alumni, in the Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation dance studio. Photo Credit: Donald Lee, The Banff Centre.

Banff Centre Opens New Facility For Arts, Ideas

Kinnear Centre completes campus revitalization by Diamond and Schmitt Architects

Toronto (Vocus) July 23, 2010

The Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation opens at The Banff Centre on July 24, 2010, capping a six-year, $100-million capital project at the renowned Rocky Mountain arts and conference centre located in Banff National Park, Alberta.

This 21,000 sq. ft. facility will be the new hub of The Banff Centre, with three levels of learning and meeting rooms, innovative rehearsal and performance space, plus informal gallery areas, cafe/lounge and the Paul D. Fleck Library & Archives.

Building in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park has its challenges, and the architecture firm was well prepared, having already done the Banff Centre Master Plan (2004) and the Centre’s Sally Borden Building (2007). “The multi-disciplinary purposes of the Banff Centre and its setting have guided the design to ensure the protection of the natural beauty, wildlife and environment within the park”, said Jack Diamond, principal with Diamond and Schmitt Architects. The Kinnear Centre is a welcoming and inspirational space suffused with natural light that fills the atrium. Classrooms and meeting areas have floor to ceiling windows offering exceptional mountain views with balconies and exterior wood slats to mitigate glare that might otherwise disturb wildlife migration through the park. A zinc cladding resembles the extant weathered cedar of other buildings on campus.

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, one of Canada’s premier arts libraries, is home to thousands of music scores and recordings, a rare collection of art books, and more than 75 years of historical cultural documents accumulated since the inception of The Banff Centre.

The building scheme employs a variety of sustainable initiatives including an efficient exterior building envelope, sun shading to reduce energy use and a storm water management system, all of which meets the requirements for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards.

“The Kinnear Centre is an interdisciplinary crossroads – a meeting place where innovative arts and ideas, and creative leadership will flourish,” said Mary E. Hofstetter, President & CEO, The Banff Centre.

Dignitaries attending the opening ceremony include HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, The Honourable Donald Ethell, Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, Jeff Kovitz, Chair, Banff Centre Board of Governors, Mary E. Hofstetter, President & CEO, The Banff Centre and Jack Diamond and Donald Schmitt, principals at Diamond and Schmitt Architects.

Diamond and Schmitt Architects ( is one of Canada’s leading full-service architectural practices and is the recipient of more than 150 awards, including six Governor General’s Awards for Architecture. The firm is recognized for its experience in the design of award-winning performing arts centres, academic research buildings and health care institutions. Current projects include The New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia and the School of Image Arts at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

For images of The Kinnear Centre and The Banff Centre, please visit

1 Comment

  • Jack Diamond has sullied the Banff Centre with two positively dreadful buildings.

    His most recent creation (not seen above), the so-called Kinnear Centre is perhaps the most disgraceful architecture to ever impose itself upon a National Park; I give it a decade or so–shy of a retrofit– when another legacy-conscious donor takes down this monstrosity.

    Diamond’s works seem insensitivity to the spirit of this special place–Tunnel Mountain (aka Sleeping Buffalo)–a set & setting that does not benefit from his urban sensibility (a poorly conceived one at that).

    The sound, in particular, the psychoacoustics inside Diamond’s airplane-hanger-terminal masquerading as architecture is particularly obnoxioux.