It took almost 40 years for West Vancouver to have its own performing arts centre. Local groups have long recognized the need, and on several occasions tried to build one.
Perhaps it’s fitting that in a community where so many successful entrepreneurs make their home, our performing arts centre is very much the product of one person’s vision, passion and financial generosity. Mrs. Kay Meek made this building come alive.
Born in England, Kay spent most of her life in West Vancouver. A long time supporter of Lower Mainland arts organizations, Kay had a goal to see a learning-based, performing arts centre built in the community she loved. She wanted to do it, as she said many times, “for the children.”
In 1998, a trust was established and funded by Kay Meek with an initial donation of $1 million to search for a possible location. Things began to move ahead in 2000 when the West Vancouver School District proposed that the new arts centre be built beside West Vancouver Secondary School. In 2002, a Joint Use Agreement was signed between the West Vancouver School District and the West Vancouver Arts Centre Trust, which oversees the Centre’s operations.
Backed by another generous contribution from Kay Meek, construction commenced. During this planning and building process, Kay often commented that the construction of the theatre was what kept her going. Kay Meek died November 6th, 2004 the day of the first public performance at the Centre that now bears her name. She was 98.
We create a home for great arts experiences, gathering our community in an inspiring and inclusive environment, and providing access to cultural expression in its many forms.
We are guided by four core values:
We offer an inviting, inspiring, and inclusive space where all are welcome. We are a home for creative expression, connection, and celebration.
We are a proactive source of engagement and collaboration with community partners across the North Shore. Our relationships extend beyond our walls.
We facilitate life-long learning and strive for continuous improvement in our organization. We encourage curiosity and exploration, and we seek out diverse new ideas.
We set high standards for ourselves, and we aspire to best-in-class performance. Among our peers, we lead by example, and we share what we learn.