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Massey Hall Celebrates 130th Anniversary

Massey Hall opened on June 14, 1894.

By: Jun. 14, 2024
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June 14th marks Massey Hall's 130th anniversary and Mayor Olivia Chow and Toronto City Council honoured the National Historic Site's immeasurable cultural impact with a celebratory scroll to commemorate this milestone occasion.

Massey Hall opened on June 14, 1894, when prominent industrialist and philanthropist Hart Massey commissioned architect Sidney R. Badgley to design a memorial to his music-loving son, Charles Albert Massey as a gift to the citizens of Toronto.

Massey Hall continues to honour Hart Massey's vision and operates as a charitable not-for-profit organization and supports the arts through its programming, Education & Community Outreach and Artist Development initiatives.

These Massey Hall mission-driven initiatives are generously supported by the contribution of live music fans, corporations and foundations throughout Canada. For more information about Massey Hall supporters or how to donate, visit the Massey Hall supporters web page.

As part of Massey Hall's 130th anniversary celebrations, live music fans have a chance to be part of music history and leave their mark in the legendary Allan Slaight Auditorium with a seat dedication for a loved one or themselves. A limited number of seat dedications are still available. Visit the Seat Dedication Campaign webpage for more information.

For those Massey Hall fans who want a piece of history to take home, past favourites and new 130th merchandise are now available in the Massey Hall merch shop. All proceeds support Massey Hall's Education & Community Outreach and Artist Development programs.

From its inaugural concert in 1894 featuring The Grand Festival Orchestra under the baton of esteemed conductor Frederick Torrington to the present day, Massey Hall has remained a pinnacle of excellence in the global music scene. Over the past 130 years, this iconic venue has hosted a galaxy of musical luminaries, including Enrico Caruso, Oscar Petersen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, RUSH, Ella Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Marley, U2, The Tragically Hip, Aretha Franklin, and Neil Young, among many others.

Continuing its tradition of showcasing both the world's biggest names and Canada's brightest talents, Massey Hall remains at the forefront of live music. Recent performances by acclaimed artists such as The Weeknd, Olivia Rodrigo, Feist, Nick Cave, Jon Batiste, Diana Krall, Blue Rodeo, Buddy Guy, Harry Styles, Mustafa, Janelle Monáe, Wilco, Barenaked Ladies, Herbie Hancock, Charlotte Day Wilson, and countless others have solidified its status as a premier destination for unforgettable live experiences.

Just last month, Massey Hall played host to one such magical live event with Celebrating Gordon Lightfoot, a multi-artist tribute in honour of the legend who performed at the historic hall over 170 times. The evening featured an incredible all-star cast of musicians backed by The Lightfoot Band and Blue Rodeo. The evening was capped with a surprise and rare appearance by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson from RUSH who brought the house down and made international headlines with a rendition of one of Lightfoot's classics, “The Way I Feel”. 

Music fans should stay tuned to Massey Hall social accounts as 130th anniversary celebrations continue over the next year with incredible Massey Hall Moments that will be revealed, featuring exclusive live photos, concert posters, artifacts and more. Follow Massey Hall on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date on all the celebrations.

Photo Credit: Simon Tanenbaum


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