Harmony Works - Developing a heritage asset for community use

A new home for music education in Sheffield is the vision for the Harmony Works project, supported by Sheffield City Council as part of the Government's Levelling Up fund project to transform the Castlegate area, and by the University of Sheffield, as part of its Made Together programme.

Students work from Harmony Works Live Project

Harmony Works is a visionary project which will repurpose Canada House, a Grade II* listed building in the heart of Sheffield, to make a new cultural/education centre for young musicians. It is led by the Sheffield Music Academy and Sheffield Music Hub, working with their partners Music in the Round and Brass Bands England.  As part of Sheffield City Council’s city centre vision, it aligns with the University's current partnership with the Council on the successful Future High Streets Fund bid to rejuvenate Sheffield’s historic high street and put culture at the centre of the continuing transformation of the city centre. Harmony Works has recently received development support from National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Canada House

“From bringing a heritage building back into public use to providing opportunities for young people in the region to pursue their musical journeys, this is such good news for the city in so many different ways and we are delighted to be part of this wonderful story.  Our colleagues in the Department of Music are excited about the opportunities it will provide for our students and for our research community to collaborate with this unrivalled centre for music education in the north.” 

Professor Gill Valentine 

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2017 - 2023), University of Sheffield.

Group of young musicians at Harmony Works
Young Musicians at Canada House, Harmony Works

How is the University of Sheffield supporting Harmony Works?

  • The Department of Music is engaged with Harmony Works to determine future collaboration opportunities such as student’s utilising the space and potential daytime/weekday occupancy. 
  • The School of Architecture’s masters students have been involved with Harmony Works through Live Projects. Preliminary drawings from a 2017 LiveProject formed the basis for the project’s pre-application for planning permission and, in 2022,  another LiveProject  looked at how the vision for Canada House can link into the public realm beyond the building eg. Castlegate and the Grey-to-Green scheme.  This important work  contributed to a revised project funding bid in November 2022. 
  • The Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, is using the Harmony Works project as a case study for Creative Re-use of Heritage Buildings. 
  • The University’s Head of Cultural Engagement sits on the Sheffield Music Academy Board to support the Harmony Works project developments 
Harmony Works ground floor artistic impression
Harmony Works ground floor artistic impression

Why Harmony Works is important to the University of Sheffield?

  • The project is part of our Made Together programme of activities with our partners to contribute to make the region healthier, greener, more culturally vibrant and innovative for all. The Harmony Works development and the regeneration of Castlegate, Sheffield's most historic quarter are aligned to our ‘Developing infrastructure’ strand of activity. 
  • One of the key conclusions of the snapshot of Sheffield’s classical music sector report funded by the University of Sheffield was the opportunities for talent development in the city.   Harmony Works will give partners unprecedented opportunities to collaborate and to grow the benefits they offer the young people of the region as well as demonstrate the importance of sustainable music education.
  • Another recommendation of the report was the need for a permanent home with a variety of spaces that have been specifically designed for teaching, practising and performing music. Canada House provides this variety: from the lofty, ornate, glass domed main hall to the brick vaulted basement rooms, it has spaces of various sizes and characters to suit all musical genres and sizes of groups.
  • Together Harmony Works strengthens the University’s ongoing work to present Sheffield as a Music City destination. 

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