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Meeting Preview

June 1999

Theatre And Concert Hall Acoustics...Past, Present and Future!

Presented by John O'Keefe of Aercoustics Engineering
Date Tuesday, June 15th, 1999 <--Please note the early meeting date this month!
Time 7:30 pm
Place Harris Institute for the Arts
Address 118 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario
South of Queen and Sherbourne

This month's lecture will be divided into two parts. In the first, our speaker will review the 20th century history of room acoustics, concentrating heavily on the very exciting developments of the past few years. The practice of theatre and concert hall acoustics, once the object of derision and public scorn, has gone through a metamorphosis. Even the popular press seems to have caught on! The reason for this new found success stems from a flurry of research activity centered mostly in the post-war social democratic countries.

In the first half of the evening we will introduce some of these exciting developments, then in the second half we'll describe how there are applied in three recent projects: The Orpheum (Vancouver), Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Vancouver) and the Hummingbird Centre (Toronto).

After the presentation there will be the opportunity to hoist a few with old friends and enjoy our year end social.

JOHN O'KEEFE B.A.Sc.,, M.Sc., P.Eng., MIOA

John O'Keefe has been designing the acoustics of performing arts facilities for over 15 years. He is a partner at AERCOUSTICS Engineering, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture Landscape and Design, at the University of Toronto, and remains active in acoustics research specializing in architectural and room acoustics. Some of his recent work includes the design of a new temporary House of Commons in Ottawa, the Prince Albert Performing Arts Centre, and the acoustical renovation of The Orpheum in Vancouver for which he received the Canadian Consulting Engineers Award of Merit. Local venues that Mr. O'Keefe has been responsible for include the DuMaurier Theatre Centre in Hamilton, the Princess of Wales Theatre and Buddies in Bad Time Theatre in Toronto to name a few. His recent research centres around two areas of study: stage to pit balance in the proscenium arch theatres and the influence of room geometry on acoustical parameters.

Mr. O'Keefe has also published articles in Canadian Acoustics, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and the Canadian Architect and Professional Sound.


AERCOUSTICS Engineering Limited has dedicated itself to providing high quality consulting services in the science and engineering of acoustics, noise and vibration control since its inception in 1971. Their technical staff of ten Professional Engineers and two Technicians has over 100 years of collective experience.

AERCOUSTICS Engineering Limited provides a complete range of consulting services in the fields of acoustics, noise control, seismic activity, and vibration.


Active Noise Cancellation, Aircraft Noise, Architectural Noise Control, Environmental Noise Assessments, Flow Induced Noise, Mechanical Noise Control, Noise Control Design Engineering, Noise Impact Studies, Noise Isolation Measurements, Noise Survey - Worker Noise Exposure, Performance vs. Noise Assessments related to Gas Turbines, Marine & Aircraft Propellers, Fans, and Power Generation, Plant Noise Study & Source Identification, Scale Modelling Studies


Auditorium Design, Cinema Design, Institutional Buildings, Radio-TV Studios, Room Acoustics and Measurements, Scale Modelling Studies


Blasting Design & Analysis, Building Vibration Isolation, Equipment Vibration Isolation, Finite Element Modelling, Floor Vibration Control, Flow Induced Vibration in Structures, Human Response to Vibration, Industrial Vibration Assessment and Control, Machinery Vibration Analysis and Diagnostics, Nodal Analysis, Sensitive Equipment Audits, Subway/Rail Vibration.

For more information please contact:

AERCOUSTICS Engineering Limited 50 Ronson Drive, Suite 127, Toronto, Ontario M9W 1B3 Tel: (416) 249-3361 Fax: (416) 249-3613 e-mail:

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Originally posted: 6 June 1999
Last update: 6 June 1999