Canadian Film Centre presents The Northern Dancer Pavilion By Staff
Photos by Tom Sandler & Trevor Haldenby
(June 23, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario) It`s quite possible you need to be of a certain age to remember the wonder horse, Northern Dancer. Bred by the Canadian business mogul E. P. Taylor, its name now graces a new student pavilion in a landmark building that sits on E.P. Taylor’s historic Windfields Estate, the home of the Canadian Film Centre for the past few decades.
Designed by architect Ken Fukushima, the Northern Dancer Pavilion is a new addition to CFC’s campus that will house its multi-discipline programs. The structure highlights the generosity of like-minded philanthropists who wished to enshrine the greatest Canadian racehorse of the 20th century, as well as pay homage to the heritage of E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Estate.
The unveiling of the Northern Dancer Pavilion was timed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Northern Dancer’s 1964 wins at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and the Queen’s Plate. “Generous contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario , the City of Toronto , the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and benevolent philanthropists enabled us to build the Northern Dancer Pavilion and complete the final stage of The Windfields Campus Improvement Project,” said Slawko Klymkiw, CEO, CFC. “The pavilion will enhance CFC’s ability to deliver multi-discipline programs, and grow our contributions to the screen-based entertainment, acting, music, and digital media industries.”
Highlights of the event, which took place on June 17, included a scheduled appearance by equine superstar, Ada Storm – a direct descendant of Northern Dancer, as well as a special performance by Canadian actor Michael Therriault of the song “The Ride” from the new musical “Dancer”, produced by John McKellar and Ginger Cat Productions.
In a letter read by Klymkiw, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also extended his greetings, “Since its launch more than 25 years ago, CFC has earned a well-deserved reputation as a leading centre for developing Canadian cinematic talent,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “It has continued to grow over the years and now offers 16 innovative programs in film, television, and digital media to its more than 100 residents. The Pavilion will significantly increase studio and rehearsal space and will serve as a premier event venue, thus enabling CFC to continue to be a centre of excellence for many years to come.”
The continued growth of CFC, as represented by the Northern Dancer Pavilion, will enhance the organization’s ability to support industries that drive production spending and stimulate economic activity both within and across related sectors, building capacity and demand for Canadian film, television, onscreen acting, music, and digital media content. Inspired by Windfields Estate’s original architecture and landscape, architect Ken Fukushima designed a welcoming pavilion that is nestled at the foot of the formal gardens, complementing the existing heritage buildings and landscape. The Northern Dancer Pavilion is constructed of steel, with the north and south exteriors clad in Western red cedar and Credit Valley limestone, while the transparent east and west glass walls offer a view through the structure to the orchard beyond. The significant west-side sliding glass wall, when opened, integrates the courtyard and trellis creating a generous gathering space.
“The Northern Dancer Pavilion is intended to be a place to embrace, encourage and enable the creativity of the people and programs at CFC,” said Ken Fukushima, Design Architect of the Northern Dancer Pavilion. “It’s designed to respectfully integrate into CFC’s magnificent campus and hopefully, like its namesake, the pavilion will be part of programs that produce unprecedented generations of talent.”
The heritage aesthetic and design captured by Fukushima was translated into architectural plans by Drummond Hassan and the IBI Group Inc. The completion and unveiling of the Northern Dancer Pavilion marked the full restoration of the CFC heritage campus and the preservation of the estate as a cultural landmark and Ontario Heritage Site.
The $12 million Windfields Campus Improvement Project was generously funded by the Government of Canada ($3.25 million), the Government of Ontario ($3.25 million), the City of Toronto ($1.5 million), the Ontario Trillium Foundation ($500,000), along with private sector companies and individuals ($3.5 million).