Darke Hall. Performance hall for the Conservatory of Performing Arts (formerly the Regina Conservatory of Music), University of Regina; the Regina Symphony Orchestra 1929-70; and the Regina Musical Club until 2007. The gift of Regina businessman Francis N. Darke, Darke Hall, with its 578-seat auditorium (later expanded to 610 seats), was designed by J.H. Pontin and for many years was the city's main concert hall. The building opened 6 Jan 1929, "dedicated to music and arts and the enrichment of the lives of the people of the city." Ambrose C. Froom donated a Casavant pipe organ and Dr Hugh MacLean a large art collection, which was housed in the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery. The hall has undergone a series of major renovations; in 1963 extra rehearsal, recording, storage, and dressing rooms were added and in 1986-7, following a period of closure beginning in 1983, the building's basement and foundations were rebuilt.
Darke Hall has housed performances by a variety of community groups and visiting performers, including the Barra MacNeils, Jorge Bolet, Jane Coop, Denise Djokic, Marjorie Lawrence, Nino Martini, Nan Merriman, Jan Peerce, Sarah Slean, Teresa Stratas, Jean Watson, Hawksley Workman, and Efrem Zimbalist, among others.