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Mission & Mandate

Burnaby Cultural Services 

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (SCA) is an award-winning, multi-purpose community arts facility located in Burnaby's Arts Precinct, picturesque Deer Lake Park. Owned and operated by the City of Burnaby, the municipal building is named for internationally acclaimed painter Jack Shadbolt and his wife, Doris Shadbolt, curator, author and art educator. Both were Burnaby residents during their lifetimes. The SCA is a dynamic facility and the largest of the cultural resources within the city’s Cultural Services division. The stunning wood and stone 35,000 square foot centre received an Award of Merit for its creative design. Designed by the international firm of Hotson Bakker Architects in 1995, the Shadbolt Centre fits harmoniously into the natural landscape of Deer Lake Park and offers spectacular natural views from its windowed studios, Atrium and exterior raised terrace. In 2010 a BC Spirits Square was built adjacent to the centre and the city’s first piece of public art now adorns the square.

Continuing the tradition of excellence long established by the Burnaby Art Centre in 1967, the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, which celebrated 15 years in 2010, facilitates a year-round schedule of performances, festivals, exhibitions and special events that cover the arts spectrum from theatre and music to dance, literature and the visual arts. The centre also acts as a community resource, supporting artists through the Artist in Residence Program with access to studio space and rehearsal rooms, and providing the public and dedicated students or community group’s access to supplies, kilns, and studio and exhibition spaces. On average, the total visitation to the centre is over 250,000 annually.


 The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is a centre for excellence in the fine and performing arts.  The Centre endeavours to serve the citizens of Burnaby by offering multiple opportunities for participation, observation and involvement in direct educational opportunities and presentations of professional performing arts events.

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts responds to the needs of the community in the following ways:

  • Offering professional arts presentations to the city of Burnaby and the Metro Vancouver region.
  • Offering educational opportunities exploring all aspects of the fine arts.
  • Creating opportunities for established and emerging artists to develop and present their work.
  • Making available the services of its professionally trained teachers, technicians and administrators to provide a high calibre, accessible rental facility for community-based groups.
  • Presenting a varied program of events and opportunities for the entire family, with free festivals, classes, art events and volunteer opportunities marketed and promoted in an effective and innovative fashion, of the highest industry standard.
  • Promoting and managing the facility as a friendly and nurturing place where all are welcome to explore all aspects of the fine arts.

At its core, the SCA provides three areas of programming: theatre services, program services, and special events. The Centre produces a subscription theatre season in two theatres – the James Cowan Theatre, a traditional proscenium theatre with a capacity of 285 seats and the multi-purposed black box Studio Theatre with flexible seating up to 160 seats – featuring local and national talent in music, dance, comedy, drama, musicals and film. Generally twenty or so individual performers or groups are presented over single or multiple days in a program from September to June.

In program services the facility offers visual and performing arts programs for children through to adult.  Special workshops, adjunct program activities and weekly classes are offered in music, dance, visual arts, ceramics, theatre and literary arts. In any given week, the centre offers 225 classes plus another 220 private or semi-private lessons in music and speech arts at the Shadbolt and facilitates another 45 programs in the community – either at other city recreation centres or community schools.

In addition to the indoor activities each year, the Shadbolt Centre annually hosts popular outdoor special events on behalf of the City such as the Burnaby Blooms Festival in May,  Symphony in the Park in July and the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival each August in its 10,000 seat natural amphitheatre.

Shadbolt Volunteer Opportunities
Season Brochure
Shadbolt Arts Guide Pagelet