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Place des Arts reports sound management and tremendous volunteer work in 2018-2019

October 7, 2019

Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury had healthy finances, sound management, and tremendous volunteer work in 2018-2019. That is the conclusion the organization reached at the close of its Annual General Meeting on September 30, 2019.

The year 2018-2019 was marked by some 20 media events and announcements surrounding the $30-million project’s major milestones, including those of the capital fundraising campaign. As of March 31, 2019, in addition to the grants and contributions previously pledged by federal, provincial and municipal agencies, 388 foundations, companies and individuals had made confirmed donations totalling $1.4 million to the campaign. With further announcements to come over the next few months, Place des Arts is now at 98% of its $30 million goal.

“We are in an excellent financial position, and we are on track with our construction schedule. We ended 2018-2019 with a sound management record thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteers and board members, whose collective expertise is keeping the execution of our project on point in every respect,” said Executive Director Léo Therrien.

Some 150 volunteers gave more than 10,600 hours of their time over the past year, including nearly 3,000 hours of work on more than 15 committees and working groups dedicated to bringing the many facets of this major project to fruition.

A productive year

In addition to finalizing the construction plans and their unveiling in the spring of 2018, the major milestones in the project’s development were as follows: awarding the site preparation contract to the local firm Bélanger Construction in the fall of 2018; launching the Project Manifesto artist residencies; kicking off the community fundraising campaign; obtaining the building permit; starting the construction work; confirming 2019-2020 operating funding from the City of Greater Sudbury; recruiting an executive director; and unveiling the bold architectural design in late March 2019.

“What we have accomplished over the past year is extremely impressive, almost mind-boggling. We have done so much to make this dream a reality. We laid the groundwork with sound governance, and then we built alliances and partnerships, forged ties with the entire community, and designed and developed the artistic dimension of the building and the site. And on top of all that, we started planning the services that will soon become central to a wide range of activities offered in both official languages,” said Stéphane Gauthier, re-elected Chair of the Place des Arts Board of Directors.

The Annual General Meeting was a time to celebrate our achievements and also an opportunity to galvanize all of our partners and volunteers as we begin a pivotal year. In particular, the members elected their 2019-2020 Board of Directors, a group of 11 people with diverse expertise.

About the Board of Directors of Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury

Stéphane Gauthier, Chair

Mr. Gauthier has been the executive and cultural director of the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury for 11 years where he leads a team of 100 employees. Before that, he was the Carrefour’s artistic director and a culture reporter for the Northern Ontario branch of Radio-Canada. Driven by his passion for the arts and literature, he co-founded the Radio-Canada readers award and the Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury, and in 2009, he revived La Slague, which has more than once been referred to as the best presenter in French Ontario. He has a B.A. in French Studies (Literature) from Laurentian University and an M.A. in French Studies from the University of Sherbrooke.

Alain Richard, Vice-Chair

Mr. Richard has been at BESTECH for nearly 10 years and is now Manager, Electrical Engineering Services and a partner in the firm. Recipient of a 40 Under Forty Award, he is known for his innovative approach to mining operations, resulting in greater efficiency, lower energy costs and enhanced worker safety. In addition to his membership on the Place des Arts board, he serves on the Board of the Copper Cliff Community Action Network.

Martin Lajeunesse, Treasurer

After working for the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne and the Canadian International Development Agency, Mr. Lajeunesse became executive assistant to former Sudbury mayor John Rodriguez in 2009. He later joined Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario as administrative director and subsequently co-executive director. He was a founding member of the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts and has served on many boards of directors, including those of the Greater Sudbury Public Library, the Fondation du Collège Boréal and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.

Danielle Braney

Ms. Braney worked for the City of Greater Sudbury for 20 years, retiring from her position as Director of Asset Services in 2016. An amateur cellist and pianist, she was instrumental in the founding of the City of Lakes Music Society. She has an Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute designation and a B.A. Hon. In Economics.

Daniel Champagne

For the past 20 years, Mr. Champagne has been a financial controller in the forestry and mining industries and in basic and applied research. At MacIsaac Industries, he is currently responsible for strategic planning and business opportunity analysis. Previously, he managed complex, large-scale multidisciplinary and multicultural projects with post-secondary, private-sector and government partners. He regards arts and culture and sports as essential components of our society.

René Lapierre

Mr. Lapierre has been a paramedic for nearly 25 years and a paramedical care instructor and program coordinator at Collège Boréal since 2002. In 2014, he was elected to the Greater Sudbury City Council. In 2019, he completed a professional administrator certificate program so that he could contribute more effectively to the boards of directors on which he serves, such as Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Greater Sudbury Utilities, the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin, and the Greater Sudbury Police Service.

Diane Leblanc

A high school teacher by trade, Ms. Leblanc is an active member and former chair of the board of Éditions Prise de parole, president of the Sudbury and District Weavers and Spinners Guild, and an active member of the volunteer committee of the City of Greater Sudbury Arts and Culture Jury.

Geneviève LeBlanc

A project manager, Ms. LeBlanc has more than 20 years of experience in event management, communications and marketing, and media and public relations. She has been head of the Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury since April 2017. A passionate French language and arts and culture communicator, she is a dedicated cultural worker at various levels in her community.

Pierre Paul Mongeon

With 37 years of experience in the performing arts and television, Mr. Mongeon has worked in the industry in a number of capacities. Currently the director of Concerts La Nuit sur l’étang, he previously worked there as a producer and artistic, technical and logistics manager. In addition to serving as a stage manager, a designer and a play director, he has been an author and a performing arts production project manager.

Marie-Pierre Proulx

A theatre artist, set designer and author, Ms. Proulx is currently the artistic director at Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario. She has a master’s degree in Theatre from the University of Ottawa and has worked on the production of various shows with many Franco-Ontarian theatre companies. She received Théâtre Action’s Jeanne Sabourin professional award in 2018 and the RBC Emerging Artist Award of the Fondation pour l’avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada (FATFC) in 2015.

Danielle Tremblay

Ms. Tremblay has been the director of the Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario since it was established as an artist-run centre in 1996. With the support of a programming committee, she has mounted about 100 exhibitions, erected two permanent installations and initiated some 20 public art projects. Every edition, she brings together about 50 artists and partners for the Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury. She has also contributed to the development of visual arts service organizations. She is a founding member of the Bureau des regroupements en arts visuels de l’Ontario (BRAVO), Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO) and the Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF).

About Place des Arts

Place des Arts will provide Greater Sudbury with Northern Ontario’s first multidisciplinary arts and culture centre. It will house its seven founding arts and culture organizations: the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury (1950), the Centre franco-ontarien de folklore (1960), Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (1971), Éditions Prise de parole (1973), Concerts La Nuit sur l’étang (1973), Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario (1995) and the Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury (2004).

Place des Arts is supported by major funding providers such as Canadian Heritage, FedNor, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the City of Greater Sudbury, and many community partners.