History of the
Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium
The Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium was first mentioned during a city council meeting on February 15, 1953. The city's plan was to construct a new auditorium with 1957 (Brandon's 75th Anniversary) as the target date for completion.
However, the issue was not raised again until 1956 when it was suggested that a U-shaped, two storey building be constructed on land offered by Brandon College. A few days later, the north hill was suggested as another possible site. Again, the project was not pursued.
In 1958 architects presented a set of plans for a civic centre. It was to be a two storey building featuring a 1,200-seat auditorium on the main floor and a 600-seat banquet hall and convention centre on the second floor. The proposed cost was $600,000. This project was set aside when city council deferred a money by-law until the next year.
Finally, in 1962, Manitoba's Premier Duff Roblin gave the city permission to proceed with plans to build an auditorium as a 1967 Centennial project. Shortly after this, auditorium chairman R.A. Clement laid down some guidelines at a chamber of commerce meeting. He suggested that the auditorium should be centrally located, seat 800 to 1,000 persons, and most of the funding should come from the federal and provincial governments.
In February of 1964, the Manitoba Centennial Corporation announced a $300,000 grant towards the auditorium project. The project's total estimated cost was $450,000, and it was to be built on the Brandon College campus. On April 28, 1966 Mayor Magnacca unveiled a model, giving residents of Western Manitoba their first glimpse of the new auditorium.
On May 30, 1967 the Centennial Commissioner John Fisher officially unveiled a sign announcing the location of the auditorium on Brandon College campus. Like a beautiful monument, the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium rose on the corner of Twentieth Street and Princess Avenue.