Category | HCA History
Our Historical Building
In the third video of the series Mohawk delves deep into our building. HCA Historical Building - Artistic Director Vitek explains the history of our beautiful building.  
Building on the past at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts – The influence of HCA and the building that it calls home.
Hamilton is renewing itself around an arts and culture movement centred on James Street North. But the arts have been at home on James South for over a hundred years, and the building that today houses the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (HCA) has been a hub of creativity for a long time.   For the full story please click here.
Vitek Wincza: Founder of the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

When Vitek Wincza was on a tour of North America with his dance troupe in 1982, he had no idea of the journey ahead as he made a fateful decision to defect from the oppression of martial law in Poland.

But for Wincza, the recollection is clear; as the company packed up to head back into the United States, he chose Canada. And he found himself in Hamilton. Like really found himself.

For the full story please click here.

Dancing around the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts – A feature on our Assistant to the Artistic Director, Outreach Manager for the Conservatory, and Administrative Manager for the Dance Theatre

Laura Kappel has found her rhythm at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (HCA).

“It’s interesting, there’s got to be something that pulls me back here,” smiles Kappel. “There’s a big sense of full circle – to have sort of ‘come back’ to the HCA at different times in my own career trajectory- it’s a very special place…really unique and dynamic.”

When the HCA first opened in 1997 Kappel indulged her love of ballet in a year of lessons before leaving for university.

For the full story please click here.

Helping the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts out the door – Laura Kappel on the changing Hamilton Arts scene and HCA’s very own Dance Theatre.  
It’s been 14 years since the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (HCA) opened its dance company. But Outreach Manager Laura Kappel has been dancing around the HCA for longer than that, rotating back through the multi-arts organization three times in the last 18 years.  She’s seen a lot of transformation, both in the building and in the business. To read the full story, please click here.
#VitekSays: We’ve come a long way!
The Recital Hall Stage  circa 1997

The Recital Hall Stage circa 1997

When I purchased the Conservatory back in 1997, it was not the space you are familiar with today. It was a derelict building, a shadow of the state-of-the-art music conservatory that was the talk of the town in 1905. When I walked into the building, I could see through the rubble and the cobwebs to its beautiful woodwork and stately architecture. You could feel the history of the space; the arts had lived here! It was then that I knew that I needed to bring it back to life, so we could celebrate its proud past and build an exciting future for the arts in Hamilton. I dreamed of a school where all arts could live together under one roof. A place where artists in diverse disciplines could work together to develop and share a common frontier. I moved my dance school (The Hamilton Ballet School) into the building and spent countless days and nights renovating each of the rooms in-between dance classes. Fast forward 18 years and the Conservatory has over 100 programs in dance, music, visual art and drama for students of all ages: from babies to adults. We reach out into the community through our concert series, field trips, high school workshops and through the innovative programs of our partner organizations Culture for Kids in the Arts and HCA Dance Theatre. And all while HCA has being a self-sustained arts organization with no government grants. (No easy feat in the arts!) I am proud to say that in 2015 our future looks bright, with many exciting projects planned for the year ahead. When you come to the Conservatory for lessons, or concerts, or summer camp, you become part of a wider community that comes together through the arts at HCA. This blog, and my posts #VitekSays are a way to share my insights on different topics in the arts, upcoming events and all the many great stories that make HCA so special. Enjoy!   -Vitek Wincza, Artistic Director