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Downtown Hamilton church may transform into live music hall

A proposal has been presented to Hamilton's planning committee that could transform New Vision United Church into a live music hall.
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A proposal has been presented to Hamilton's planning committee that could transform New Vision United Church into a live music hall. . New Vision United Church

There are big plans in the works for a historic church in the heart of downtown Hamilton.

Reverend Ian Sloan of New Vision United Church, which stands at the corner of Main and MacNab streets, has unveiled a plan to transform the structure into a live music hall and social justice centre.

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Sloan is asking the city to accelerate the property’s heritage designation study so that they’ll know what elements of the almost 150-year-old church need to be preserved.

He adds that will lead to the development of a business plan, followed by a capital campaign.

The heritage designation study had been planned for 2021, but Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr presented a notice of motion at Tuesday’s meeting of the planning committee which would instead move it up to this year.

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Sloan adds that the transformation would contribute to Hamilton’s music strategy, by filling the need for a live music hall with seating capacity in the 1,000 range.

In 2016, approximately 800 people gathered in the hall for a Syrian newcomer refugee benefit concert.