In August 2014, the ROCS undertook the feasibility study of the “Place des Arts”, an arts & culture centre to be built in Greater Sudbury’s downtown. This important planning process of the capital project was conducted by three specialized firms experienced in such facilities: Gagné Leclerc Groupe Conseil, Atelier Pierre Thibault and Go MultiMedia. The study was completed one year later, in August 2015, and the final report deems the project to be not only financially sustainable, but strategically important for the Greater Sudbury community as a whole.
Here is an overview of the main results:
- A site has been identified as ideal for the centre: a municipal lot located at the corner of Larch and Elgin Streets.
- The business model is sustainable because of the numerous cultural organizations interested in the planned facilities.
- Preliminary plans and drawings conceptualize a five-storey building of just over 60,000 sq. ft. Planned facilities include a bistro with a small stage, dedicated to our local artists; a multifunctional black-box studio which will host post-secondary classes, rehearsals and local productions; a contemporary art gallery; a traditional theatre for audiences of up to 300; several workshops for production purposes as well as community arts; artist studios and administrative offices for eight resident organizations.
- Construction is estimated at $30M: $23M for the construction itself, $4.3M for the technical and multimedia equipment, as well as management costs and contingencies.
- The economic impacts of the capital project and future centre are considerable: close to $19M on the local GDP and 180 jobs at construction time; once in operation, 30 FTE jobs and an annual impact on the GDP estimated at $9M are projected.
- A fundraising campaign will be undertaken in 2016, with the goal of raising $3.25M through private donations, or just over 10% of the required capital. The City of Greater Sudbury is being asked to contribute $5M and the property, while the Ontario Government’s projected contribution is at $8.75 and the Federal Government’s at $12.5M. With all level of governments pursuing investments in infrastructures, the project’s timing promises to bring much needed investments to our region.
- The Place des Arts project will be submitted to City Council this fall in the hope that the City will commit now towards the project. This early support will provide leverage as we work to recruit major donors and the other two level of governments.
- Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2018. This will depend on the success of fundraising efforts over the next two years.
Seven founding members
Following the final results of the feasibility study last August, the Boards of the seven ROCS members confirmed their decision to pursue their collaboration to undertake Phase III of the project, its actual completion.
In early October, they jointly submitted a provincial incorporation request for a new not-for-profit organization, La Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury, of which they are the founding members and future residents. The Founding AGM will be held next February.
We plan to visit you soon!
Over the next several months, Place des Arts will undertake a community outreach campaign to inform citizens about the project and its projected outcomes, as well as to engage community members in making it a reality for our City. These outcomes include increased quality of life, economic and social impacts, as well as an enriched cultural life. The newly created professional facilities will also strengthen the cultural sector as a whole.
Public information sessions will be organized in different neighbourhoods and communities of Greater Sudbury. Presentations will be offered to clubs, associations and all interested groups. Please contact Paulette Gagnon at (705) 929-7254 or [email protected] if you wish to host such a presentation.
A new tourism network of Cities
Stéphane Gauthier, Executive Director of Carrefour francophone and Mayor Brian Bigger, attending the foundation of a new network bringing together francophone and francophile cities throughout North America. More than seventy mayors attended the creation of what could become a vast touristic circuit.
ArtsBuild Ontario workshop in Sudbury
Last October 6th and 7th, ArstBuild Ontario, a provincial organization dedicated to artistic capital projects, offered a 4-parts workshop on planning, funding and managing such centres. The 20 or so participants from our region appreciated the knowledge and know-how of all four invited facilitators, who brought a wide scope of expertise and experience.
With the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, following a call for submissions in 2014, ArtsBuild selected cities where these workshops would be presented. Greater Sudbury was chosen through a partnership between the GS Development Corporation, the GS Association of Public Libraries and the ROCS.
For the second time in three years, the publishing house Prise de parole was a finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. These awards recognize outstanding achievements of artists and arts organizations and their contributions to arts and culture in Ontario over a significant period of time. In 2014,Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, another ROCS member, won this prestigious Award having been shortlisted three times.
September 25th 2015 was a memorable date for the Franco-Ontarian community: 40th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag created in Sudbury in 1975, 5th Franco-Ontario day as proclaimed by the Ontario Government in 2010 and 1st edition of the French Fest, produced byLa Slague to commemorate the 400th anniversary of French presence in Ontario.
The event was a success, with over 4,000 participants; several secondary schools attended the day-concert while some 2,000 people attended the evening event. This wonderful response from the community invites La Slague to pursue the event in the future, in close collaboration with several institutions and organizations of the region that wish to celebrate September 25th, the Franco-Ontario day.
September marked the nomination of two new Executive Directors at the helm of ROCS member organizations. Patrick Breton, well known in the francophone community, is the new ED at the Centre franco-ontarien de folklore, while Pierre Paul Mongeon has accepted a new mandate with the Concerts La Nuit sur l’étang, a position he held from 2008 to 2011.
The ROCS also wishes to welcome three other new Directors in the GS cultural sector: Jennifer McGillivray took on the ED position of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra last June, Demetra Christakos was nominated as ED and Curator at the Art Gallery of Sudbury last August and Scott Florence joined the Sudbury Theatre Centre team as General Manager in October. Congratulations and welcome to Greater Sudbury!