At the heart of our community, on 1 Paul Shaffer Drive, stands the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium an impressive 1,500 seat performing arts centre. Since its grand opening on October 16, 1985, the TBCA has been host to countless events and millions of patrons.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2002, Paul Shaffer came home to Thunder Bay for a celebration of his tremendous career and success in show business. Fans lined up outside the Community Auditorium to catch a glimpse of the famed musician who is best known as the bandleader on The Late Show With David Letterman .
The evening included a series of very special moments. It all began with a troupe of kilted bag pipers leading Paul down a red carpet as local dignitaries paid tribute to him and officially dedicated Paul Shaffer Drive. The evening ended with a sold-out three-and-a-half hour musical extravaganza that many still consider one of the best shows to grace the Auditorium's Stage.
The vestibule of the Auditorium proudly features a display of memorabilia from the event along with memorabilia from Paul's amazing career.
Pride of the Community
Considered to be one of the finest concert halls in North America, the Community Auditorium offers some of the best acoustics in the world... The architects and designers created a warm and intimate environment that is both technologically advanced and versatile. The concert ceiling canopy may be raised or lowered, the orchestra pit lifts may be used to extend the stage into the audience chamber, lowered to accommodate additional seats, or dropped down to create an orchestra or dance pit. Fourteen large rolling panels may be used to create an orchestra shell, and larger banners and draperies covering the inner walls can be moved and adjusted to soften or liven the sound.
In addition to these theatre configurations and acoustic variables, the TBCA maintains state-of-the-art sound, lighting and theatre systems equipment to fulfill the range of requirements large touring companies and local performers alike. The stage can also be set up as its own cabaret style venue for more intimate performances with tables and chairs on stage around a smaller stage set-up. The TBCA's Marketing and Development Department and Box Office are also available to assist in promoting and selling any event or performance.
In addition to more than 100 live performances each year, the TBCA also hosts many non-performance events either on stage or in our three lobby spaces. The flexibility of the Auditorium is perfect for events such as graduations, meetings, conventions, presentations, conferences, weddings, socials, banquets, trade shows and exhibitions to name a few&
The TBCA is also home to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, which presents a full season of Masterworks and Pops Programs. On occasion, the Auditorium has been host to visiting orchestras including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Calgary Symphony Orchestra, and the USSR State Orchestra.
A Few Quotes
I always feel like we are performing in a magnificent church or cathedral when we play at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. It is a beautiful hall and the sound is amazing! You should be very proud to have this here where you live.
- Alan Doyle/Great Big Sea
Why do you call this a Community Auditorium? This is a MAGNIFICENT THEATRE!
From the state of the art theater to the excellent catering, the well thought out back stage and dressing rooms, it was a great experience for us and our crew. The Thunder Bay fans certainly know how to enjoy themselves and we had a lot of fun performing for them. Congratulations on your amazing venue!
The Thunder Bay Community Auditorium ranks with the very finest halls that I have experienced both in North America and in Europe. To rehearse and perform in it is a great privilege.
-Glenn Mossop, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra 1994