Behind the Scenes: The Butt Stops Here

We have fielded many questions about seating at the new Performing Arts Centre. When you think about it, seats are a big factor in whether a patron enjoys a performance. The question then becomes, “how many seats?” To tackle that question, here is the breakdown of seating in the new PAC.

The main Concert Hall has a main floor and balcony section of 743 fixed seats. Fixed seating is just like it sounds, affixed to the floor with a structural system that supports an entire row. Our fixed seating is being manufactured by SEDA. SEDA brings together partners and associates with extensive experience in developing, manufacturing and assembling seats for cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, telescopic platforms, as well as observatories. These high-quality seats are sure to please patrons enjoying a show.

Complementing the fixed seating in the Concert Hall is a selection of loose seats that are located in the side boxes. These seats have a large seat pan, high sides and a wraparound feel. All of the seating will be wrapped in the fabric selections that were selected by our designers, Diamond Schmitt Architects. The Recital Hall has 284 fixed seats and 16 loose seats and the Film Venue has 200 fixed seats. The convertible Black Box Room has open seating configurations that can accommodate live performance, receptions and private events for sit down dinners. This room will create an exciting new option for patrons attending shows, as we will be able to set the room in a traditional Cabaret style, allowing different seating options throughout the room.

Executive Director Steve Solski has reviewed many different chairs for the loose seating options and will finalize that decision with the interior design group and the PAC’s User Group […]

Construction Update: PAC talks to Bird Construction


Bird Construction Group was hired by the City of St. Catharines to build the new PAC. As a leading general contractor in Canada, building and supporting local community growth is all part of the company’s mission. We asked Project Manager, Mike Pyne a few questions about the PAC construction experience so far.

Q: The crew has been busy on site since June 2013. Already we’re seeing the downtown landscape transform. In general, what’s the experience on site been like to date?

A: The experience on site to date has been great. Working on a project such as this, which is both complex and high profile generates a lot of excitement for all workers involved, as at the end of the day they get to point out the finished building to families and friends and say “I had a part in building that”. The workforce has been increasing month to month as we progress and currently we are averaging about 37 workers per day.

Q: Considering Bird Construction’s portfolio, what makes the PAC project unique?

A: What makes this project unique is the complex constructability of the concrete structure. On most typical projects, building foundations are constructed in a linear fashion, moving from one side of the building to the other. As a result of the various levels within the PAC, this building requires much more foresight and planning, as the concrete structure needs to be installed in a very precise manner to allow backfilling to progress and the next part of the structure to be built.

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