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Photo of William Prince standing in front of church.

JUNO-award-winning artist William Prince.

5 reasons to attend the Grand Opening Concert at the new Desautels Concert Hall

You’re invited! Tickets go on sale June 19

June 18, 2024 — 

As we inch closer to the grand opening of the new Desautels Concert Hall, we are sharing this special invitation to attend the exciting premiere concert in the new venue on Sept. 5.

Don’t miss out! Tickets are $50 plus taxes and fees and go on sale Wednesday, June 19. 

NOTE: The concert is sold out as of June 20, but tickets do become available based on purchased returns – check back frequently.


5 reasons to get your ticket now:

1. Be the very first to experience Winnipeg’s newest and most spectacular concert venue.

A creative hub in the heart of UM campus, Desautels Concert Hall is a world-class showpiece unlike any other in Winnipeg, featuring stunning architecture, superior acoustics, optimal sightlines and a configurable stage for a variety of performances.

Outside, check out the iconic Forever Bicycles sculpture by celebrated Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, then enter through the impressive glass-wrapped lobby that overlooks a lovely, landscaped courtyard.

Inside, you can mingle with friends in the reception area with a food and beverage concession, and then proceed to the main hall to be awed by the beauty of the curved wooden walls and an adjustable concert shell system of moveable towers, pivoting panels and ceiling reflectors — all seamlessly flowing from audience to the stage and performers. The venue offers 407 audience seats, a stage ensemble capacity of 96 musicians and an orchestra pit capacity for opera and musical theatre of 48 musicians.

The concert hall’s award-winning, inspired design is the work of Winnipeg’s Cibinel Architecture and Toronto’s Teeple Architects. Both Cibinel partners, George Cibinel [BES/77] and Michael Robertson [BA/98, MArch/04], are UM graduates, as is Tomer Diamant [BEnvD/04] of Teeple.


Artistic rendering of the new Desautels Concert Hall

Artistic rendering of the new Desautels Concert Hall // Image: Cibinel Architecture

2. Hear headliner, multiple JUNO-winning artist William Prince!

The excitement has been palpable since the announcement that UM alum William Prince [BSc/18] will take the stage with a 45-minute set.

JUNO-award-winning artist William Prince.

William Prince.

The Indigenous singer-songwriter, who’s opened for country music icon Willie Nelson and played at the Grand Ole Opry, has propelled himself onto the world stage with his soulful baritone voice, heartfelt lyrics and blend of folk and country. Since his JUNO Award win in 2017, Prince’s momentum has continued to build, with each new album adding depth and dimension to an exceptional body of work that has received international acclaim. With additional JUNO wins in 2021 and 2024, national network television appearances, top-tier media coverage and performances at major international festivals, William Prince has become one of the country’s most respected and celebrated songwriters.

UM is proud to present William Prince in concert for the grand opening of the new concert hall.


3. Enjoy the entire star-studded lineup.

The evening also features performances by a stellar group of artists including Canada’s premier coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl, together with renowned soprano Andriana Chuchman [BMus(Perf)/04] and collaborative pianist Laura Loewen, along with The Borealis Piano Trio and the Desautels Jazz Faculty Sextet.

The Borealis Piano Trio is comprised of three brilliant musicians who teach at the Desautels Faculty of Music:  Russian-born Violinist Oleg Pokhanovski, Cellist Minna Rose Chung, and Pianist Judy Kehler Siebert bring sparkling virtuosity and a deep musical understanding to all their music-making as chamber musicians and soloists. The Desautels Jazz Faculty Sextet is a formidable force with years of international touring and recording to their credit. It includes Will Bonness (Piano – 2022 Juno Award Winner), Jon Gordon (Alto Saxophone – 2022 Juno Nominee), Jon Challoner (Trumpet – 2011 Juno Award Winner), Fabio Ragnelli (Drums – 2016 Juno Award Winner), Karl Kohut (Bass) and Karly Epp (Vocals).


4. Be part of Winnipeg’s growing music and culture scene.

This new venue for the arts in our city can accommodate a range of UM and external musical needs — from the solo performer to small ensembles to large opera productions and symphonies — creating expanded performance opportunities in a beautiful setting. The Desautels Concert Hall will have an immense, positive impact on the music and theatre scene in Winnipeg.

“The concert hall is completely unique in the city. It will be an important feature of the Desautels Faculty of Music and UM, as well as a vital contribution to Winnipeg’s wider musical life, fostering connections between various artistic communities,” says Edward Jurkowski, Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Music.

The premiere concert is the first in a series of exciting concerts that will take place in the venue throughout fall 2024.


5. Support the bright future of the Desautels Faculty of Music and its students, faculty and alumni.

Alum Evan Chan [BMus/23] calls the new venue “a dream come true” for music students and faculty.

The concert hall will create an outstanding performance experience for UM students, faculty and community artists, along with their audiences — enhancing the faculty and UM nationally and internationally as a university that nurtures world-class musicians.

“So many artists will have the opportunity to flourish, as the concert hall bridges the off-stage rehearsal experience to the on-stage practical experience,” says Chan.

Funding for the Desautels Concert Hall has come from its benefactor, the late Marcel Desautels, with his $10 million gift, and through the major gifts and generosity of donors such as Gail Asper and Michael Nesbitt.

You can be a part of this legacy by owning a seat and having your name engraved on it. Seats named by July 2 will have their plaques in place at the Grand Opening.

Take your seat with a financial contribution to the new venue.


Grand Opening Concert tickets on sale Wednesday, June 19.

NOTE: The concert is sold out as of June 20, but tickets do become available based on purchased returns – check back frequently.

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