Signs of the Times

Harmony Centre’s recent rebranding took another step towards completion with the installation of new exterior and interior signage. Made possible by a generous grant delivered by the Community Foundation Grey Bruce from the WindsorEssex Community Foundation via the Investment Readiness Program, the signage is both functional and representative of the new upbeat look Harmony Centre’s been aiming for. The colourful, informal, and organic nature of the of the redesign now extends from our basic print media to our website and social media outreach. It does a great job of reflecting the positive and forward-looking nature of this important cultural hub.

Harmony Centre is a charitable organization run and maintained by volunteers.

Since this grand old building was saved from an uncertain fate more than a decade ago, Harmony Centre has emerged as a cultural nucleus for Owen Sound that stands tall as a testament to the spirit of community life. Yet Harmony Centre remains among the least understood venues of its kind.

“It’s hard to describe the many facets of Harmony Centre,” says board chair Lynda Chiotti. “It’s a performance hall, a community centre, a meeting space; a place to work, to practice, and to network.”

Chiotti explains that, while the building’s centrepiece is the famous 650-seat Greaves Auditorium, it’s other lesser-known spaces give Harmony Centre its driving energy. In fact, many are unaware that the sprawling structure also boasts a large multi-function room, banquet hall, commercial grade kitchen, board room, as well as practice rooms, studios, and office space.

“That’s where the spirit of Harmony Centre lives,” says Chiotti. “Walking into the building on any given day, one is immediately struck by the infectious energy of the place.”

Harmony Centre today is indeed a beacon of creativity that reflects the diverse interests and passions found in southwestern Ontario. It’s home to music and vocal instructors, fitness and wellness groups, small businesses, multi-media artists, and a wide array of community organizations.

As a charitable organization, Harmony Centre’s mandate is to serve the community. Groups and individuals based here enjoy low, and in many cases, subsidized rent. Harmony Centre performances are frequently pay-what-you-can events so they’re accessible to all segments of society.

“We operate as a social enterprise” explains Lynda Chiotti. “Our priority is to remain available and accessible to the whole community. Our mission is to enrich our region by providing a place to share, create, educate, and perform.”

So far, Harmony Centre has enjoyed a good deal of success meeting these objectives. So much so in fact that it has attracted major government and private sector funding to modernise the 150-year-old structure. New windows, high-efficiency heat pumps, ramps, accessible washrooms, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems – all improvements that reflect a real commitment to the place by people whose business it is to find – and fund – well-run and promising ventures.

But according to Lynda Chiotti, Harmony Centre’s most valuable assets are its volunteers. “We’re always delighted to welcome new energy and talent to our organization,” she says, adding that they encourage members of the public to consider volunteering as an usher, join their maintenance crew, enquire about sitting on the board of directors or one of its committees, or explore opportunities for creative collaboration with the organization.

Click here to find out how you can become part of this success story.

Harmony Centre welcomes Essential Cleaning Co as a new member of our Resident Organization program. Essential Cleaning Co provides cleaning services to homes, cottages and businesses. They focus on using Canadian made and natural cleaning products and offer delicately scented and unscented services.
Phone: 226-668-7151
You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Please give Essential Cleaning a warm Harmony Centre welcome!

Please give the Georgian Bay Folk Society a warm Harmony Centre welcome… this prized cultural asset will now call Harmony Centre home, thanks to its vibrant atmosphere, outstanding facilities, and central location.

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