Capital Campaign for Construction Project

Share Our Sense of Place

Place des Arts is a community centre in development since 2010. Now is the time to bring the project to fruition!

The group of seven organizations leading the project needs to raise $30 M before construction of the centre can begin. The 5-storey building will provide many facilities to serve the region’s cultural sector.

The City of Greater Sudbury has confirmed its $5.5 M contribution to the project in December 2016. Last April, the Government of Ontario announced that it will invest $3.25 M. In June, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund of Ontario confirmed an additional $5 M. It is anticipated the Government of Canada will confirm its funding in the fall of 2017, which would enable the construction to start in the summer of 2018.

Place des Arts must also demonstrate to all three levels of government that the community is behind the project and supports it. The organization is set to accomplish this by fundraising $3.25 M with the support of generous donors from the private sector and the community at large.

Following the planning of its Capital Campaign in 2016 with the support and expertise of KCI Ketchum Canada, Place des Arts has recruited a strong group of community leaders to form the campaign’s cabinet. This impressive team is leading the “Share our sense of PLACE” campaign, which is now in its silent phase and gaining momentum.

“We are very grateful to each and every member of this impressive group of personalities that have taken on the challenge with us” stated Stéphane Gauthier, Chair of the Board of Place des Arts. “Our Major Campaign goal is ambitious but with such a skilled and determined cabinet, we are confident we will succeed.”

Since April 1st 2017, Place des Arts is a registered Charity, No 79222 6698 RR0001.

Honorary Patrons

The Hon. Marie-P. Charette-Poulin

The Honourable Marie-P. Charette-Poulin was the Founding Director of CBC/SRC (CBON) services in northern Ontario. She was then appointed as the corporation’s assistant vice-president for all French language regional radio and television operations across Canada, then Secretary General to the Board, then VP Human Resources and Industrial Relations. After being Secretary to the Cabinet for Communications and Consultations at the Privy Council Office, Poulin became the founding president of the first federal quasi-judicial tribunal for the self-employed. In 1995, she was called to the Senate, thus becoming the first Franco-Ontarian woman appointed to the Upper Chamber. In the private sector, she was a partner at Gowling WLG after being counsel at Heenan Blaikie.

A member of several local, regional and national boards over the years, Poulin became the first Francophone woman elected president of the Liberal Party of Canada. Currently, she is a governor for the Actra Fraternal Benefits Society, a member of the Advisory Council for Canada’s CEO of the Year and a board member of the Foundation of the Canadian Museum of Broadcasting and the Baxter & Alma Ricard Foundation.

Among her many awards, Poulin holds a distinction awarded by France, Officier de la Légion d’honneur, and a distinction awarded by La Francophonie, Officier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade, and she is a member of the Upper Canada Law Society.

Leo W. Gerard

International President, United Steelworkers

The international executive of the union appointed Leo W. Gerard international president of the United Steelworkers Union on February 28, 2001. In November 2001, he was elected by acclamation in an election held throughout the union and re-elected in successive elections since.

No labour leader has fought as hard to preserve and create union jobs that support middle class families and their communities here in Canada and around the world. He is currently leading the union’s efforts to prepare for new industrial fabrication processes based on clean energy which represent the future of the industry.

The son of a union miner and activist, Gerard went to work at a nickel smelter in his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario, at age 18. He studied economics and political science at Laurentian University, where he later received an honorary doctorate of law degree. Gerard was awarded a second honorary doctorate of law degree, this one from the University of Guelph in Canada, in recognition of his contributions to social justice.

To advance the fight for good, safe jobs, Gerard has focused the United Steelworkers (USW) on strategic contract bargaining in paper, steel, rubber and other key sectors, while at the same time fighting unfair trade.

Brigitte Haentjens

Director, Artistic Director – French Theatre, National Arts Centre of Canada, Artistic Director and Executive Director, Sibyllines

Brigitte Haentjens studied theatre in Paris at the Jacques Lecoq Institute before coming to Ontario in 1977. She quickly became a leader of the Franco-Ontarian artistic community in the 1980s, first in Ottawa, then in Sudbury, where she became the artistic director of Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario. During her eight-year tenure at the TNO, she gained national and international recognition with her productions of original theatrical works touring Canada, Québec and France.

In 1991, she moved to Montreal where she quickly distinguished herself with her powerful and original style. She was up until 1994 the artistic director of the Nouvelle Compagnie théâtrale, where she directed memorable productions and seasons, such as her 1993 production of Caligula, a play by Albert Camus.

In 1997, Brigitte founded her own theatre company, Sibyllines, giving her full artistic freedom to create many resounding plays such as La nuit juste avant les forêts, Hamlet-machine, La Cloche de verre, Tout comme elle, Blasté, Woyzeck, L’opéra de quat’sous, Molly Bloom and Richard III.

Since 2012, Brigitte Haentjens is artistic director of the French Theatre of the National Arts Centre.

Donald Obonsawin

President, DIRECTIONS 

Born in Sudbury, Donald Obonsawin studied at Laurentian and Laval universities. In 1976, his passion for theatre and music lead him to resign from his position of secretary of the board of governors of Laurentian University to become the executive director of La Slague.

In 1977, he joined Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Affairs and began his career in federal and provincial public service, which would span more than twenty-five years. From 1987 to 2002, he held the position of deputy minister in seven provincial ministries.

Donald is president of the management firm DIRECTIONS, which he founded in 2008. He is a member of the board of regents of the University of Sudbury, the board of directors of Groupe Média TFO (Ontario’s French language public television network) and the advisory council of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Donald Obonsawin has always promoted Francophones and First Nations across our country and especially in northern Ontario. A member of the Abénakis Odanak First Nation, he has supported many important projects and initiatives for the First Nations in the fields of health, social services, public safety, tourism and economic development.

Bernard Aimé Poulin

Painter, sculptor, portraitist, muralist and author

Bernard Poulin is an international painter of official, corporate and private portraits whose career began in Sudbury. His clients include the governments of Canada, Bermuda and Ontario as well as corporations and institutions such as CPR, the National Research Council and the Royal Collections of both the Windsor Castle and the St. James Palace. Over the years, Poulin has been commissioned to create exhibitions on Tuscany, Venice, Provence, Jerusalem and Paris. Poulin sculpts in bronze and his three-dimensional murals grace the lobbies of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society and the Solange Karsh Center for Medical Research.

He has collaborated in the creation of a dozen books on drawing and is the author of The Complete Colored Pencil Book, published in Paris in 1995, Beyond Discouragement, Creativity in 2010, Please Daddy, Hold my Hand in 2014 and On Life, Death and Nude Painting in 2015.

In 2011, the Assemblée parlementaire de la francophonie internationale awarded Poulin the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade.

Bob Rae

Senior partner, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP

Bob Rae is a senior partner at OKL, where he works with First Nations as legal counsel, advisor and negotiator. He served as Ontario’s 21st premier from 1990 to 1995 and as interim leader of the federal Liberal Party in 2011-2013.

He was named Queen’s Counsel in 1984, appointed to the Privy Council of Canada in 1998 and named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. In 2004, he received the Order of Ontario and he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015.‎

In addition to his legal practice, Bob teaches at the University of Toronto as a distinguished senior fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG), and as distinguished professor at Victoria College. He is also a fellow of the Forum of Federations and consults internationally on governance issues. He has written five books, most recently “What’s Happened to Politics”. He writes and speaks regularly on public issues and also does alternative dispute resolution work with ADR Chambers.

The Cabinet

Stéphan C. Plante, co-chair

Director – Retail Banking, Caisse populaire Voyageurs

Stéphan C. Plante is director of Retail Banking at Desjardins’ Caisse populaire Voyageurs, which has its headquarters in Sudbury and several offices throughout Ontario. Under his leadership, the caisse’s assets have grown from $70 M in 2000 to over $950 M at present, with a total business volume under management of $2.2 billion, the largest of the Desjardins network in Ontario.

He presently serves as chair of the board of directors of Collège Boréal and is a past board president of Carrefour francophone and the Fondation du Collège Boréal. Laurentian University recognized his dedication as a community leader at its 50th anniversary award ceremonies. He has received the “40 under 40” Award from Northern Ontario Business and was recently named as one of Sudbury’s Movers and Shakers.

Daniel Gingras, co-chair

Chair of Major Donations

After 25 years in senior management positions in the and public and parapublic sectors, Daniel Gingras founded a management consulting firm specialized in strategic and business planning for public sector and not‑for‑profit organizations and fundraising for charitable organizations in northern Ontario.

His new passion is promoting wine as a partner in Noble Estates Wines and Spirits. Recently retired, he enjoys quality time with family and traveling. Place des Arts is an important project for the Francophone community, which is why Daniel decided to join as co-chair of the Capital Campaign and share his philanthropic expertise with the project leaders.

France Bélanger-Houle

Now retired, France Bélanger-Houle has led a career in business administration, initially with Radio-Canada, then in the family business, Bélanger Ford Lincoln Centre. In the 2000s, she took on a new challenge as the director of Employment Services at Collège Boréal.

France has always been involved in the community and she has volunteered for many organizations, including the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario as co-chair of its board for many years. She is also a founding member of the Nickel Basin Development Corporation and the Centre pivot du Triangle magique.

France has completed her MBA at Laurentian University and BA in communications and literature at the University of Ottawa.

Robert Blais, CPA, CA

Partner, Collins Barrow SNT LLP 

As the professional standards leader and audit/assurance partner of the firm, Robert is driven to succeed. His knowledge of financial reporting standards (IFRS), accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE) and reporting requirements for non-profit organizations has allowed him to serve a diverse clientele, including small and medium sized businesses, non-profit entities and Caisses populaires. Having offered annual compliance services and special services, such as advisory, transaction and tax, he has guided the growth of many local businesses, and further helped manage their wealth.

Outside of work, Robert is enthusiastic about developing, preserving and promoting community and culture within the City of Greater Sudbury. He is involved with the Sudbury Jazz Festival, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and participates in a variety of Francophone and Anglophone community events.

Ginette Bonin

Born in Cornwall and raised in Eastern Ontario, Ginette Bonin earned a master’s degree in applied criminology at the University of Ottawa and pursued her career in the field of rehabilitation of young offenders as a counsellor and a probation officer. She moved to the Sudbury area the 1990s and launched a business called If the Shoe Fits. She was also a professor at Cambrian College.

Ginette’ career also included the Centre Victoria as Coordinator of volunteers, as well as the Sudbury Counselling Centre as Coordinator of the witness children program. She has volunteered with many local institutions over the years, including the board of governors of Collège Boréal, the board of the Francophone Business Association, the YMCA and as vice-president of the Family Association of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota). Now retired, Ginette pursues her community contribution with Place des Arts.

Marie Desmarais-Santi

After over 30 years in planning, policy and program development with various departments and agencies of the governments of Canada and Ontario, Marie recently retired. During her time in Ottawa, Timmins and Sudbury, Marie served on volunteer boards that included the Community Care Access Centre, Child Care Resources, Garderie Touche-à-tout and the Victorian Order of Nurses.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa, Marie holds a master’s degree in business administration, an honours bachelor of arts in geography, as well as a certificate in economic development from the University of Waterloo.

Nicole Everest

Nicole Everest is the former senior vice-president, Corporate Operations, at Zurich Financial Services. A native of Sudbury, Nicole is a seasoned senior executive with a strong international background in operations, mergers and acquisitions as well as managing large-scale projects.

She has served as a school board trustee and on the board of a not-for-profit child care operator providing care to over 8,000 children in the Region of Peel, including two terms as board chair. Nicole holds an executive MBA from the University of Western Ontario as well as a certificate in human resources management from York University.

Guy Jolicoeur

Executive Vice-President, PBL Insurance Ltd.

Guy Jolicoeur began his career in 1981 with Tomenson Saunders Whitehead, one of many predecessor companies of PBL Insurance Limited. In many of these transitionary firms, Guy has served as a leading member on a number of national and North American practices such as power and nuclear, mining and forestry.

Guy has a collaborative and consultative approach to risk that includes manuscript wording, claims advocacy, settlement negotiations and loss control.

His focus has included complex risk management within heavy industrial, manufacturing and general contracting segments. With advanced understanding of corporate governance and personal involvement with a number of industry and community boards, he is able to provide clients with a unique perspective on expanded directors and officers and associated liability issues.

At PBL, Guy is focused on enhancing our collaborative and integrated services while continuing to build on the overall sustainability of PBL’s Commercial operations in northern Ontario and the rest of Ontario.

Claude F. Lacroix, H.B.A. LL.B

LACROIX Lawyers / Avocats

Currently a partner at Lacroix Lawyers | Avocats, Claude Lacroix practices in the areas of civil litigation, corporate/commercial disputes, construction law, health and safety compliance and commercial liability claims. Fluently bilingual, Claude attended law school at the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick.

Mr. Lacroix is active in the community and serves as a board member for several not-for-profit agencies and professional organizations. He is vice-chair of Laurentian University’s board of governors, as well as trustee and vice-chair of the board of Science North.

In the past, he has held a number of positions, among them president of the Sudbury and District Law Association vice-chair of the Sudbury Economic Development Corporation, president of the Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario, and chair of the board of the Greater Sudbury Airport Development Corporation. Mr. Lacroix previously served as president of the Laurentian University Alumni Association and was also a legal panel member of the Canada Pension Plan Appeals Review Tribunal.

Martin Lajeunesse

Treasurer, Place des Arts; co-executive director, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario

Martin Lajeunesse is a native of Sudbury who left the region to study at the University of Ottawa and thereafter earned his first stripes working for la Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne and the Canadian International Development Agency.

In 2009, he returned to Sudbury and joined the staff of Mayor John Rodriguez as executive assistant. He became the administrative director of the TNO in 2011 and, in 2012, he became co-executive director of the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario alongside Geneviève Pineault, the TNO’s artistic director.

In 2014, Martin was among the founding members of the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, an event that recognizes the exceptional achievements of artists and their contribution to the development of our community. He also sat on several boards of directors, including those of the Greater Sudbury Public Library (which he chaired in 2011-2012), the Fondation du Collège Boréal and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.

Diane Leblanc

President of Place des Arts’ membership campaign

Diane is a native of Sudbury who studied fine arts and anthropology at the University of Ottawa and Laurentian University.

When she returned to northern Ontario, she initially resided in Earlton and was a member of the Timiskaming Arts Council. She worked as a teacher for many years at École secondaire Jeunesse Nord in Blind River, where she taught French, social sciences and theatre and played an active role in cultural promotion activities for students.

Diane returned to Sudbury in 2003 and was a teacher at École secondaire L’Horizon until her retirement. She is a long-time member and the current president of Éditions Prise de parole’s board of directors.

Paul Marleau

Paul Marleau is a well-known businessman and financial advisor in the Sudbury area, where he headed telecommunications enterprises in the 1970s and 1980s, including Northern Cable Services Ltd, Mid-Canada Television (MCTV) and Mid-Canada Radio, which he owned successively along with other area businessmen.

With his wife, the late Diane Marleau, Member of Parliament for Sudbury for 20 years, he was involved with many area organizations, including the board of directors of GSU where he served as president, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, where he is active to this day.

Paul is a chartered accountant and he studied finance and commerce at Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa.

Jean-Marc Spencer, MBA

Executive Director, Desjardins Voyageurs Credit Union

For over 35 years, Jean-Marc Spencer has held various management positions. He is currently the executive director of the Caisse populaire des Voyageurs. Personal development and continuing education have always been one of his priorities.

Jean-Marc has always been actively involved in the community. He is a member of Laurentian University’s audit committee, a board member of the Fédération des Caisses populaires de l’Ontario and a board member of Cinéfest Sudbury. He served for many years on the boards of Health Sciences North, the Fondation du Collège Boréal Foundation, the Coopérative du Collège Boréal, the paroisse de l’Annonciation and the former Laurentian Hospital.

Jean-Marc is accredited with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) since 1997 and holds an MBA from the Université de Moncton.

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