M985.230.5021 | Montreal: Interior View of the New Academy of Music.
Montreal: Interior View of the New Academy of Music.
1875, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
24.1 x 23 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Print (10661)
Keys to History
The growth of Canadian cities during the 19th century led to more frequent and more varied concerts, recitals and musical performances. Music soothes the soul, we're told, but someone has to make the music! In those days, most performances were given by local choirs and military and civil bands. From time to time, international artists touring the United States deigned to honour Canadian audiences with their presence, but a lack of proper concert and performance halls limited these opportunities. The halls in cities like Toronto, Montreal, Kingston and Quebec City were generally small and less than luxurious, precluding the staging of large-scale productions. But over the years the public developed the habit of attending concerts, and this prompted the construction of more appropriate installations.
Concerts, recitals, plays and vaudeville shows were all presented in the same venues, since there were no specialized halls at the time.
Until the first sumptuous performance venues opened in the 1870s, audiences had to settle for small multipurpose halls used to stage both musical and theatrical productions.
Concerts were given with growing frequency in 19th century. However, hall owners often had to close their doors while waiting for a new show to come along.
Stage performances were generally attended only by the wealthy, although ticket prices varied.