It’s with enthusiasm that the founding members of Place des Arts have received the vote of confidence the City Council has extended to the Place des Arts’ construction on December 14th, more than one year after the initiation of the “Major Projects” process launched by the City in the fall of 2015.
The City’s financial commitment will reach five million dollars, as well as the transfer of the downtown lot at the corner of Elgin and Larch Streets, a “cultural opportunity site” of the Downtown Master Plan. The cultural complex to be built over the next few years will include a number of professional facilities for the arts, culture and heritage sector, along with all patrons of culture who will want to join this great sociocultural adventure rooted in contemporary artistic creation.
For its part, Place des Arts undertook this fall its campaign for private and community funding for the project. Initiated on November 3, the Members’ Campaign, directed at the “immediate family”, aimed to raise $325,000. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the board members and staff of the seven founding members, Place des Arts has raised $338,795 in only 40 days, as of December 14. This campaign’s success, along with the City’s contribution ($5.5M including the land) already ensures 19.5% of the project’s required funds.
The campaign’s efforts will now focus on major donors and several endeavours are underway to raise $2.6M by April 2018. “The objective is ambitious,” says Martin Lajeunesse, treasurer, “but we are well supported. The recruitment of our cabinet and patrons is well underway. We are confident that with the help and advice of KCI Ketchum Canada, with whom we have partnered, the support of numerous ambassadors who have endorsed the project over the past five years and the leaders of our community who have come on board, as City Council did on December 14th, Place des Arts will be a welcome reality in Sudbury in a few short years.”
“We are extremely proud of all that has been accomplished so far,” said the Board’s vice-president Alain Richard. Place des Arts will now pursue its efforts in order to secure funding from the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada and major donors. “The City’s decision gives us a green light and the leverage we needed to initiate the final phase and convince other partners to become involved in a project which will accelerate development in downtown Sudbury and create a destination worthy of our productions and artistic aspirations in Greater Sudbury,” he added.
“It is really encouraging to see that our City Council fully understands the role a cultural institution like Place des Arts can play in our community. I thank Mayor Bigger and Councillors for believing in this uniting venue where people will be in close contact with art, with our artists, and where they will be able to express themselves creatively and engage in collective art projects to discover their own voice and the voice of others. And for cultural organizations, Place des Arts will create closer ties with our Anglophone colleagues as well as colleagues from other cultural communities, with whom we will share the facilities,” Stéphane Gauthier, Chair of the Board, concluded.