Canadian Film Centre unveils new Northern Dancer Pavilion

At a recent grand opening event, the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) unveiled the Northern Dancer Pavilion, a new addition to CFC’s campus that will house its multidisciplinary programs. The structu­­­re, named after the legendary Canadian thoroughbred racehorse, Northern Dancer, highlights the generosity of like-minded philanthropists who wish to enshrine the greatest racehorse of the 20th century, as well as pay homage to the heritage of E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Estate. The Northern Dancer Pavilion unveiling celebrates 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 multidisciplinary programs, and grow our contributions to the screen-based entertainment, acting, music, and digital media industries.”

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 Fukushima. “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), and private sector companies and individuals ($3.5 million).

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