The Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts is located at 126 James Street South in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Students of all ages can immerse themselves in over 100 arts programs including music, dance, visual arts, acting and more.
The historic Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts features; 18 sound proof music rooms, inspiring visual arts studios, spacious dance studios, an acoustically perfect recital hall and an art gallery.
At HCA we pride ourselves on the quality of our programming, the professional credentials of our instructors and the wide selection of classes within each discipline which our customers can choose from. We offer dance classes in ballet, jazz, modern dance, hip hop and creative movement. Music students can choose from private lessons in; piano, strings, woodwind, guitar, drums and vocal music. We also offer group music classes such as Yamaha Keyboard classes, Theory, group violin classes and Orff. HCA’s Triple Threat program allows students to train in singing, acting and dancing. Our acting classes for children encourage imagination and self-expression. For students interested in visual arts, we offer arts classes for children and teens and courses in Classical Realism and Photography for adults.
All potential students are able to attend one free group class or a free 15-minute private music assessment to find a class or teacher that is the perfect fit. When registering for classes we have payment options to suit a wide variety of budgets. Please feel free to come in, call, or e-mail. Our friendly administrative staff will be happy to assist you.
A Rich History
Hamilton’s oldest school of music opened its doors to the public in 1897. First housed in the home of its principal, Dr. C.L.M Harris, The Hamilton Conservatory of Music quickly expanded beyond expectations and moved to rented facilities at what would become the Stafford House Hotel (Main and Charles St). The Conservatory continued to expand and soon outgrew its second home. It was clear that the school would need its own home, a specialized facility which would accommodate the ever increasing student body and be a focal point for music in Hamilton.
“The formal opening of the Conservatory of Music took place yesterday afternoon in a manner befitting one of the finest conservatories in the Dominion. The building was thronged from 3 o’clock to 5 o’clock, and in all over 1,000 people took advantage of the occasion to have a look through” Hamilton Spectator, March 1905
In 1904 the Hamilton Conservatory of Music moved to its present site at 126 James Street South, with an official opening in the spring of 1905. Over 1,000 people attended the opening ceremonies to see the building which was considered state of the art for that time period. Built by the architect A.W.Peene the Conservatory was steam heated, lit by electricity, with electric time bells and double doors and thick walls and floors to dampen the sound coming out of each of the practice rooms.
In its heyday the Conservatory boasted a faculty of 60 and a student enrolment of more than 1,000. In the late 1970`s the Hamilton Conservatory of Music experienced severe financial problems. Despite the concerted efforts of the community the HCM closed in 1980. The building was converted to other uses and then abandoned; losing its connection as a cultural center.
In 1997 the building was purchased by Vitek Wincza. It was re-opened as the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts with a vision of a place where music, dance and the visual arts could exist, intermingle and flourish together. In so doing he hoped to put the arts community back in touch with its proud past while creating a cornerstone of an exciting future. Since it’s re-opening the Hamilton Conservatory for the Art has become a vibrant, all arts educational facility that offers over 100 arts programs for people of all ages. In addition to the school, HCA’s charitable arm Culture for Kids in the Arts is dedicated to providing arts education to young people across Hamilton, regardless of their financial circumstances. HCA is also home to a variety of professional arts activities including the HCA Piano Concert Series, HCA Gallery and HCA Dance Theatre and hosts Guitar Hamilton and other guest events year-round.