Khyber celebrates 125 years

The Khyber Centre For The Arts is running an exhibit in honour of the building’s milestone achievement. The building has been helping artists for 125 years.

By Dylan McAteer

The Khyber Centre For The Arts is running an exhibition in honour of helping artists for 125 years.

Khyber members hosted an opening celebration over the weekend, with snacks and beer readily available.

Some Khyber Centre Cookies decorated for the occasion. (Dylan McAteer photo)

“We wanted to create a special exhibition for the anniversary by inviting our members to contribute pieces that illustrated history, legacy and lineage,” said Artistic Director Dan Joyce.

Portraits, poems and posters made up the exhibit to celebrate the Khyber and its impact on Halifax.

“The Khyber is a connection for so many people over various generations,” says Joyce. “The fact that the building has and is affecting people in countless ways is why it deserves honouring.”

The Khyber Through Time

Built in 1888 and used by The Church of England Institute, the Khyber building has always been a multipurpose facility. It has hosted council meetings, recording artists and the city’s first gay social space, the Turret Club.

There’s a piece in the exhibit about the Turret Club and its future in the building.

“If these walls could talk, the stories they would tell would surely wow, amaze and bore,” said building expert Dusty Keheler.

Famous recording artists such as Classified, Buck 65 and Joel Plaskett have all spent time at the Khyber Centre.

The building got its current name from the Khyber Café that was located on the ground floor during the 1970’s.

“The Khyber Café was the place to be back in the day, it was a great hangout with great food,” said Joyce.

The building has undergone numerous changes in its lifetime and will undoubtedly keep changing as years go by.

Maintaining the building

“The survival of the building has given numerous people a connection in the city,” says Keheler. “Luckily it has endured the freezing winters and blazing fires since its construction.”

A large burn mark can still be seen on the side of the building where it was damaged by a fire in 1914.

A signup sheet is posted on the wall in the exhibit for people willing to help rejuvenate the building.

The exhibition runs from March 12 to 29.

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Dusty Kehler on the constantly changing Khyber Building
Dusty Keheler Giving a tour of the building