Sarah McLachlan School of Music to open permanent location

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music will be moving into a new, permanent home. On October 27, the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach (SMMO) program, which has been operating out of a 7,500-square-foot church basement in collaboration with Arts Umbrella, will open the doors of the Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM) at 138 East 7th near Main Street.
The school’s new home comes through the Wolverton Foundation, which, following the city’s approval for a rezoning allowing greater density, converted 16,000 square feet of a 35,000-square-foot former bowling alley into the music centre. The centre includes soundproof studios and lesson rooms, a performance space, storage, lunchroom, and office and staff room. The remainder of the building, purchased by the foundation for $5 million and retrofitted to the tune of $2.5 million, will be leased for general office and other non-industrial uses. The building’s rezoning also allows for the addition of a third storey.
A $100,000 infrastructure grant from the City of Vancouver also contributed to the renovation.
“SoM has been an amazing success,” Sarah McLachlan, the singer-songwriter who established the SMMO program in 2002, said in a news release. “We have been able to reach hundreds of young people and provide them with the space and the tools they need to express themselves. Arts Umbrella has been instrumental in helping us turn our vision into a reality. Now, thanks to the Wolverton Foundation, we have the opportunity to take the school to the next level by having a permanent home that the students can call their own.”

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