Historic doesn’t have to mean outdated – far from it! Interview with Winne Jacobs, Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS)

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Historic doesn’t have to mean outdated – far from it!

Zoom in on a not-so classical heritage venue! 

Interview with Winne Jacobs, Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS) 

We recently exchanged views with Winne Jacobs, who is in charge of events at the heritage Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS). This is a gorgeous historical building in neo-renaissance style located alongside the former docks. Naturally, our conversation turned towards heritage buildings and the way they can add elegance to a function and enable delegates to travel through time, and to dream!


BSV: Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg has a rich history and has lived through turbulent as well as prosperous times. 

Winne: Yes, it has! The Royal Flemish Theatre building was built in 1852 and the Theatre itself is over 131 years old. It could tell some exciting stories and time has left our venue unscathed. However, over the last few decades, it has undergone extensive renovations and has been completely refurbished. The Renaissance Revival architecture mixed with the contemporary and modern part of our venue blend in style. We can now offer more rooms, state-of-the-art equipment and modern amenities every bit as efficient as a new, purpose-built venue. 

BSV: So not as classical as we have been led to believe?

Winne: That’s right! KVS aims to be a place of mental and physical activity, an urban artery running from tradition to the future. We are an intercultural, intergenerational, and gender-diverse city theatre. Our style is known to be more radical and less classical than in other theatres. Choosing KVS is a different sort of theatre experience. Plurality is our watchword that is reflected from our walls and in the events that are held here. 

BSV: Interesting. Your venue lends itself to themed events and provides intellectual stimulus. Besides cultural programmes, what kind of corporate events can be organised within your walls?

Winne: Just about any! You can rent our rooms for exceptional presentations, for inspiring workshops or to hold really glittering receptions and more – lectures, exhibitions or performances: anything’s possible. And all located in this historical theatre (in the BOL, FOYER, BAR or TOP), or in our modern building on Arduinkaai (in the BOX or BRAZZA). We host events of 10 to 700 participants for the largest ones.

We very recently hosted major events for P&V, Accenture and Redbull to name just a few.  

BSV: There is an atmosphere that radiates from your walls. How would you describe that? 

Winne: I would say that the walls radiate an electric atmosphere of innovation and energy. When people enter the KVS, they are immersed in both history and the future. There is a cultural shift that definitely inspires and focuses delegates!  


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Classical reception in the Foyer


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Contemporary dance performance 


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Reception for P&V


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Reception for P&V


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Red Bull BC One Belgium Cypher


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A conference


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