Joshua Bates Centre
Owned and maintained by the municipality, the Joshua Bates Centre sits on the second floor of the Township of Athens Municipal Building, referred to locally as the Town Hall, and at the only flashing traffic light in town. Built in 1904 and officially opened by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the centre boasts beautiful hardwood floors, a brass-railed balcony, impressive acoustics, and friendly village audiences, making it a popular performing arts centre for local and visiting performers. Over the years, it has hosted school concerts, band recitals, singers, plays, seminars, historical lectures, and dinner shows. Magicians, comedians, and hypnotists have also delighted audiences from its stage.
More than a performing arts centre, The Joshua Bates Centre hosts community celebrations of all kinds, from birthday and anniversary parties to wedding showers and receptions. The centre’s historic beauty has also made it one of Doors Open Ontario’s hidden treasures.
In 1994, community-driven restoration efforts added an elevator, four washrooms, a kitchenette, state-of- the-art lighting equipment, and a new sound booth. That year also saw the creation of the Joshua Bates Centre Performing Arts Committee, a group of individuals dedicated to bringing professional entertainment to this cherished hall.
1 Main Street. Athens, Ontario