The Living Arts Centre (LAC) officially opened its door on Nov. 14, 1997, and has since entertained more than five million visitors. A not-for-profit, charitable organization, the LAC prides itself as a dynamic and accessible gathering place for creativity.

Serving as a hub for arts, education, community and corporate activities, the LAC boasts two main performing arts venues (Hammerson Hall and The RBC Theatre), plus seven art studios which are home to both professional resident artists and a wide selection of recreational art classes for all ages. An in-house restaurant, catering service, and meeting and conference rooms allow the LAC to meet a multitude of needs while continuing its mission to promote arts for life.

The Living Arts Centre was the result of generous contributions from hundreds of corporations, community organizations, individuals, as well as support from the City of Mississauga and the federal government. “Thanks to the tireless efforts and unwavering support of so many dedicated board members, staff, volunteers, city officials, sponsors, patrons, and audiences … here we are 20 years later, stronger than ever before and on the verge of a new chapter-in-the-making of this preeminent facility,” said Natalie Lue, CEO, LAC.

New branding for the centre was unveiled in conjunction with its 20th anniversary year and was inspired by the facility itself. The vibrant colours represent the beautiful stained glass windows in the atrium which, in turn, symbolize the creative arts and the logo’s shape mimics the shape of the building.

In addition to continuing to host performances of local, national and international artists and entertainers, the centre’s 2017-18 season introduces a variety of new culturally-rich programming lead by CEO Natalie Lue since her appointment in Aug. 2016. Partnership with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra, Mississauga Music and the Aga Khan Museum are some such examples.

A feature concert event to celebrate the LAC’s 20th anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday is Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones: A Celebration. The gala celebration will honour the tremendous contributions of these two Canadian jazz icons and brings together the finest grouping of jazz talent ever on the stage at the LAC.

The program will feature a mix of music written by Peterson and Jones such as The Canadiana Suite along with original material written by the many renowned artists who will be performing, including pianist Monty Alexander, vocalist Dione Taylor, and saxophonist Casey Benjamin.

Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones: A Celebration takes the stage Dec. 9 at 7:30 pm at LAC’s Hammerson Hall, 4141 Living Arts Drive. Tickets start at $75.00. For information: http://tinyurl.com/jazzdec9.

The LAC’s 20-year celebration also presents an opportunity to celebrate visual art in the community. The LAC will host “Here and Now,” a juried exhibition highlighting the work of both emerging and established artists with a connection to Mississauga. The theme of the show is identity – whether it be personal, cultural or community-related, and media may include sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, print media, video, and sound.

“Here and Now” takes place Nov. 4, 2017, to Jan. 7, 2018 in the LAC’s second-floor gallery, 4141 Living Arts Dr.

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