The Yilan County Cultural Affair Bureau has motivated and nurtured the spiritual lives of many Yilan citizens with the Yilan County Cultural Center. The cultural center is a large yellow building found in the western part of Yilan City. In May of 1979, plans were made to promote community education and the cultural industry of the Lanyang region. The government then decided to construct a building that covers about 4.9 hectares. The building was then completed and opened to the public on May 20, 1984. The center’s core mission is to promote social education and cultural activities in the Lanyang region. By 1990, the cultural volunteer group was put up to make it easier for the Cultural Bureau to uphold Lanyang’s cultural development. In year 2000, the Yilan County Cultural Affairs Bureau was restructured into five divisions the Culture Development, Library Information, Cultural Heritage, Visual Arts and Performing Arts.
The Institute of Yilan County History and the Taiwan Opera Museum are both under the cultural center as both institutes work at collecting comprehensive information about Yilan’s natural and cultural resources. The purpose of their extensive collection is to illustrate the evolution, demonstrate the preservation and study and promote Taiwanese folk opera and indigenous music. Local, modern and traditional Taiwanese opera stages are all on display at the Taiwan Opera Museum. Furthermore, an audio-visual room gives visitors a better understanding of this major aspect of the traditional culture of Taiwan.
Because one of the aims of the Yilan County Cultural Center is to promote cultural arts of the Yilan region, the Yilan Performing Arts Center was established and then became Taiwan’s first three- sided stage to hold various activities related to music, dance and theater. With a unique Yilan-style architecture, the Performance Hall was opened in April of 1998 after eight years of construction and then quickly became the focal point for artistic and cultural performances in Yilan.
The Performance Hall was built from red bricks, washed rocks and wood with spatial characteristics that easily blend in with the local environment. The green steep rooks and grayish-purple rocks that decorate the entire structure makes it look like the famed Turtle Island of the Yilan County.
Unique to the hall is a semi-outdoor area that is found nestled into the main structure. The open performance hall is then a continuation of the inside turning into an interactive space. Two of its hallways then wrap around the hall that much reflect the characteristic of Yilan being nestled between mountains. The pillars that surround the structure are then laid with hundreds of pieces of ceramic tiles that show the strong colors of the Yilan local opera. Indeed, not only is the architectural design of the performance hall fit for the needs of traditional opera and other cultural activities but it also represents the Yilan County itself. Aside from the main indoor stage, there is a large rehearsal room, an amphitheatre, and a shaded pavilion.
The Lanyang region is undoubtedly rich when it comes to its cultural aspect, which is why it is no surprise that an entire center was established solely dedicated to the arts. The extensive collection of the Yilan County Cultural Center is undoubtedly a great place to witness the natural and cultural resources that Yilan has to offer.