Town Hall Gets New Lease on Life as Multi-Use Community Arts Facility
Liverpool, Nova Scotia – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Nearly 114 years have passed since the former Liverpool Town Hall opened its doors as the epicentre of civic life in the community. Today, the Region of Queens is celebrating the completion of a project which gives this National Historic Site a new lease on life as a year-round, multi-use arts and culture centre.
The Classical Revival-style building was modernized over the past year to create a dedicated space to serve as a hub of cultural and artistic activities in the area. The modernization includes the creation of an Acadia First Nation art gallery, the establishment of a box office and concession area, lighting and flooring work, and restroom improvements.
The new Acadia First Nation Sipuke’l Gallery will work to share the stories and rich history of the Mi’kmaq people who lived along the banks and watersheds of the Mersey River in southwestern Nova Scotia. The Gallery displays many Mi’kmaw artefacts—some 4,000 years old—and features work of First Nations artists including Leonard Paul who was on hand to celebrate the occasion. The official opening of the gallery, which means “beside the River”, also coincides with National Aboriginal Day. The building is also home to the Astor Theatre. The Astor is the oldest performing arts venue in Nova Scotia—celebrating 100 years of entertainment on the South Shore in 2002.
The completed Town Hall also features space for community programming, workshops, exhibits and offices, and is expected to be a popular venue for musical performances, poetry readings, book launches and other artistic showcases.
In September 2014, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $129,820 in this project through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund.
- The Liverpool Town Hall opened in 1902. This included the opening of the Liverpool Opera House (which become the Astor Theatre in 1930).
- The building served as the office for Municipal Government until 1996, when the Region of Queens was created.
- The Region of Queens Municipality will soon launch a contest to formally name the newly modernized facility.
- The Winds of Change Theatre Society is currently staging a revue of the music from various productions at the Astor Theatre from over the last 40 years.
- A wealth of Mi’kmaw artefacts including spear points, stone knives, stone fish weirs, and pottery remnants—many on display at the Sipuke’l Gallery—were recovered in 2004 when Nova Scotia Power lowered water levels along the Mersey River to conduct repairs on its generating stations in that area.
“The venerable old town hall’s renaissance is a cause for celebration within the arts community and beyond. Long known in the Maritimes as a performing arts venue, Liverpool’s former town hall will now accommodate workshops, performance and exhibition space including the Sipuke’l Art Gallery. The new year-round facility represents a foundation on which to build strong, culturally-based economic success for Liverpool and surrounding communities throughout the Region of Queens.”
– Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (ACOA)
“This new Town Hall is the result of the hard work and dedication of a passionate community who had the foresight to an envision a facility that could become a social, cultural and tourism boon for the area. I am proud of what has been accomplished and eager to welcome all the opportunity, events and business a building like this can inspire.”
– Christopher Clarke, Mayor, Region of Queens Municipality
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Mayor Christopher Clarke
Region of Queens Municipality
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)