by Steven

About Presentation House Theatre

Our roles

Presentation House Cultural Society
Presentation House Cultural Society operates Presentation House Theatre, and oversees the maintenance of the Presentation House Arts Centre for all facility users and tenants.

We actively recognize that our work and art takes place on Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories.

Presentation House Theatre (PHT)
Nestled in the heart of North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale, Presentation House Theatre has become a neighbourhood creative hub, providing the community with a dynamic mix of professional theatre, music, and dance productions — all just a Seabus away from downtown Vancouver. We are the North Shore’s professional theatre company. For more than 40 years, we’ve entertained audiences with innovative programming and quality professional productions in our wonderfully welcoming space. We are committed to presenting and producing shows of the highest standard, and appealing to the diversity of North Shore audiences. We proudly offer programming for children and youth, adults young and old.

Why we’re here

PHT Mandate
Presentation House Theatre believes that professional theatre is for everyone. Every show we present or produce will be of the highest professional standard while also appealing to the diversity of the North Shore. We are proud to offer programming for children and youth, adults young and old, the music aficionado and the innovative and emerging dancers. We are the cultural hub in your own backyard.

PHT Objectives

  • To produce & develop work that is accessible, engaging and entertaining
  • To provide a home for new and innovative emerging artists
  • To bring a world of culturally diverse  playwrights, choreographers, performers and producers to the North Shore
  • To always be inclusive and reflect North Vancouver in the work we produce and present
  • To engage with North Shore culture by inviting other companies to become partners and/or resident companies at Presentation House Theatre
  • To encourage a life long love of the arts through artist-in-residence programs and educational programs for North Shore youth

Our story

Presentation House Theatre is housed in the historic Presentation House Arts Centre, which has acted in many roles over its lifetime. Originally built as a school in 1902, the building became a “temporary” North Vancouver City Hall in 1913 — for 62 years. It has been a Police Station, a Justice building and housed the City’s Engineering Department until 1975. When the City of North Vancouver announced they would build a new City Hall, the North Vancouver Community Arts Council asked that the building be given to the community as an art centre for the North Shore.

The adjacent Anne MacDonald Studio was formerly St. Johns Anglican Church built in 1899. In 1973, the congregation decided to replace its original church and offered the building as a gift to the City, if it was moved to a new site. The Arts Council again recognized the benefits of the building, both for its historical value and as a character space for the arts and asked that it be added to the arts centre.  It was moved to its current home at 3rd and Chesterfield.

Executive Director, Anne MacDonald, was the driving force behind the North Vancouver Community Arts Council.  She was honoured for her tireless commitment by having the church building named the Anne MacDonald Hall. The City of North Vancouver donated the building, and capital funds were raised from the National Museums Program, the BC Community Recreational Facilities Fund, BC Ministry of Recreation and Conservation, Vancouver Foundation, District of North Vancouver, a fire insurance claim and private donations.

The Presentation House Cultural Society was created to manage the operation of the buildings, the programs of the theatre and gallery. The North Vancouver Museum and the Archives Commission were created to operate the museum.

Renovations to the gallery space and museum were completed and officially opened on September 12, 1976.

The completion of the theatre, however, posed a challenge. Funds had been exhausted. Chris Tyrell was hired with support from a Canada Council Explorations Grant and, with the added assistance of Labour Grants, and much scrounging of materials from the community, the theatre opened in July 1977 to much fanfare and excitement. After its move and careful restoration, the Anne MacDonald Hall was opened on December 11, 1978.

To this day, management of these buildings is administered by the theatre society, Presentation House Cultural Society.  Presentation House Theatre takes pride in caring for these spaces, home to our staff, and the many connections, programs, and performances we create for our North Shore communities.

Learn more about the history of this land from Squamish knowledge keeper Rebecca Duncan

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