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Sudbury Arts Council moves office to heart of downtown

BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN Thanks to a few noisy youth concerts that provoked complaints from neighbours, the Sudbury Arts Council (SAC) has been forced to move from its location at 124 Cedar St. to a different part of the downtown.

BY HEIDI ULRICHSEN

Thanks to a few noisy youth concerts that provoked complaints from neighbours, the Sudbury Arts Council (SAC) has been forced to move from its location at 124 Cedar St. to a different part of the downtown.

"We were running these youth events at least once a week, and sometimes twice, and basically we were faced with a situation where the events became very popular," says SAC board president Derek Young.

"There were some concerns about the level of noise (from other building tenants) and the amount of youth that were in the space...Basically, the landlord decided not to renew the lease."

Luckily, they were able to find a suitable space at 154 Durham St., next to the YMCA.
 
The rent there is comparable to the $12,000 a year they were paying in their old location, says Young. They were due to move in on Friday, and expect to be set up on Monday.

The council will no longer host youth concerts, although they will continue to promote them for other people on their website, www.sudburyartscouncil.com .

Materials bought 10 years ago with Trillium Foundation money, such as stage curtains, lighting and sound equipment, will be installed in the new location.
 
Young believes they did the right thing by moving to Durham St. because the area has a thriving arts community. Stores like Black Cat Too and Village International are nearby, as well as the Older Adult Centre and the headquarters for Cinefest Sudbury.

"It was important for us that when we did have to make the move, it had to be strategic. Being along Durham St. is very strategic," says Young.

"There's lots of new opportunities for us to form partnerships...and to help us facilitate and promote different arts activities along Durham St., whether it be street fairs, street art or street painting."

The arts council will continue to use its office as a community arts space, displaying the work of artists, and hosting small poetry readings and acoustic concerts.

Young thinks the new location is ideal for showing off artwork.

"We've actually got more gallery wall space that we'll be able to use, and there's a nice storefront picture window area where artists may be able to do demonstrations right in the window, or display various sculptures," he says.

"From an art gallery perspective, it may be more practical in this space."

But he wants SAC to move away from hosting so many events, and instead act as an arts advocacy group and umbrella organization for smaller arts groups.

In that role, Young wants to push for the creation of a multi-use arts centre in the city, as well as more arts funding.

"That's the ultimate role of an arts organization, is to communicate, facilitate and lobby on behalf of the arts community."

For more information, contact SAC at info@sudburyartscouncil.com .