ICA Welcome Bliss Center for Performing Arts History of the Bliss Centre

History of the Bliss Center

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The original Bliss Institute was built with funds from Baron Bliss Trust.

This was the legacy to the people of Belize, left by Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, who came to Belize in January of 1926 and died in the Belize Harbor aboard his yacht the "Sea King" on March 9th of that same year. During his short stay, the Baron fell in love with Belize and amended his will, leaving a considerable amount of his fortune to the people of Belize.

The original building was built by contractor Clyde Defoe and opened to the public in 1955. For almost fifty years, the Bliss institute was the venue of choice for Belizean performers (actors, vocalists, musicians, dancers and dramatists). Both local and international guests performed at the Bliss, which was usually packed with an excited audience. The upper flat was designed to hold a library and this served as the head quarters of the National Library Service from 1955 to 1994. The lower level served as the office for the Extramural Department, and then the National Arts Council. A small art gallery was later added for exhibitions. After normal wear and tear, the building needed to be refurbished and expanded to meet the growing number of groups which needed rehearsal and performance space.


The current Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts was refurbished and expanded through an economic cooperation agreement with the Government of Mexico. Financing was provided by BANCOMEX in conjunction with the Government of Belize and design and construction works were carried out by Buffette de Construcciones Delta C.A. de S.V. under the supervision of Structure Architects Ltd. of Belize. Once started, the construction phase of the project lasted exactly one year.

The Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts opened its doors on March 12, 2004 with a grand opening that lasted for three days with performances from both local and international artists and groups such as: Leroy "The Grandmaster" Young, Belize National Dance Company, Ugundani dance group, Son Carib (Quintana Roo, Mexico) and many others.

National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize

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