A BEACON REIMAGINED
Become part of this exciting vision and bold commitment to protect and renew The Spire for future generations. The vision includes a detailed plan to preserve this heritage building, expand access, enable new uses and invite new users.
The Spire, located in the heart of the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District, has been a gathering place for the people of Kingston since long before Confederation. The land was donated in 1851 by our city’s first mayor, John Counter. The building is well known as a centre for music and the arts, and as a welcoming and affordable haven for assembly, celebration, reflection and social action.
This heritage building is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. Its stone exterior detailing is matched in the interior by ornate plasterwork and delicately carved wood paneling, trim and furnishings. The elegant performance hall is embraced by a gracefully curved balcony, creating a warm space for performance and community events with excellent choral acoustics.
Every week 1,200 Kingstonians use The Spire to create music, plan programs, find counsel, and gather for learning and support. It is home to over 20 community organizations, is a favourite rehearsal and performance venue for local and visiting performances, and is a popular hub for dozens of educational, justice and cultural events each month.
IMPACT ON OUR CITY
A recent study by the Halo Project (using standard assessment development tools) found the “halo effect” of current operations to be more than $1.7 million per year in benefits for the community of Kingston.
A UNIQUE CULTURAL ASSET
There is no facility in the city that offers this combination of accessible space, multi-faceted programing and flexible use – and certainly not at the user fees offered.
The Spire is a unique asset to Kingston by virtue of:
- heritage architecture
- multi-purpose functions
- historic role as a community gathering place
- inclusive, safe space
“I support The Spire in order to preserve an architectural jewel in Kingston, and to improve accessibility of this valuable community hub so it can expand its reach to as many people as possible.”
THE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN GOALS
A three-point plan preserves and expands this resource, which will offer major economic and social benefits to the city at a total cost of $1.5 million.
1) ENSURE ACCESS FOR ALL
Ample corridors, wide door passages, new elevator, improved street access and upgraded washrooms will have made The Spire fully accessible.
2) EXPAND CAPACITY AND COMFORT
Improved washrooms and common spaces meet public standards and the needs of large audiences.
3) ESTABLISH A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Create a $1,000,000 endowment fund to preserve and enhance The Spire into the future.
- About $1.1 million (close to 75% of our initial $1.5M goal) has been raised to date with lead gifts from the Sydenham Street congregation, members of the community and generous grants from the Government of Canada, the Trillium Foundation, the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Churchill Foundation, the James Henderson Foundation and Empire Life, and the Larry Gibson Estate.
- Major construction has been completed:State-of-the art elevator
* Sixteen modern washrooms
* Accessible spaces increased by 60%
* Improved public spaces including upgrades to the conference room, * hallways, ceilings and lighting
* New flooring in lower conference room and lower hallways
- Friends of The Spire Inc., the organization leading The Spire initiative, is incorporated, is recognized as a registered charitable
organization by Canada Revenue Agency and can issue tax receipts for donations.
- Friends of The Spire Inc. created a new management model that includes a building management group involving community members.
HOW YOU CAN BE INVOLVED
NAME AN AREA
Honour someone important in your life / our city:
- Elevator: $300,000
- Upper Hall: $200,000
- Lower Hall: $100,000
- Conference Room: $50,000
- Sydenham Street Entrance: $30,000
- William Street Entrance: $30,000
- Laneway Entrance: $20,000
Make a donation to help maintain this valuable community resource for future generations.
Provide a legacy gift: We would be pleased to work with you and your advisors to arrange a planned gift that best suits your goals.