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Multicultural group vacate longtime downtown headquarters

The Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association has taken temporary residence within the Economic Development offices at Greater Sudbury city hall
Board members and staff from the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association gathered outside their building on Tuesday to mark their last day at 196 Van Horne St., where they have been since 1984. They are now housed at a temporary location at city hall and are expected to receive a permanent space in the building when the planned Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square opens.

The Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association has left the building they’ve called home since 1984 to take residence at a temporary space in Tom Davies Square (city hall). 

“We’ve been there for so long,” association president Bela Ravi told on Tuesday, their last day at the building before the city took ownership. “It’s hard, but I think the move is good for us.”

The City of Greater Sudbury was cleared to buy/demolish 196 Van Horne St. earlier this year at a budgeted cost of $500,000. 

The deal had been in the works for “a number of years,” Mayor Paul Lefebvre said at the time, tying the project into a broader downtown land purchase effort.

Including 196 Van Horne St., the city has spent approximately $13.5 million to date on the downtown land purchase effort, which is aimed to accommodate an as-yet undefined downtown arena/events centre project. 

The property at 196 Van Horne St. was purchased by the City of Greater Sudbury earlier this year for $500,000. Tyler Clarke /

City council is slated to make a decision this month on whether to proceed with a renewal of the existing downtown arena or the construction of a new arena/events centre, also downtown. Whatever land remains is slated to be held by the city to accommodate ancillary services to the centre.

Meanwhile, the city is also inching toward the Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square project, through which Tom Davies Square (200 Brady St.) will be renovated to accommodate a new central library and various municipal services will shift to the upper floors of 199 Larch St. — an attached building the city also owns.

A new Art Gallery of Sudbury would fill out the bottom two floors of 199 Larch St.

Included in the retooling of Tom Davies Square will be 2,000 square feet of space on the main floor for the Sudbury Multicultural-Folk Arts Association, behind the one-stop municipal service centre (which will remain in place).

Their future home is currently filled by municipal services, so the association has shifted to a temporary location within the building’s nearby economic development offices.

“We’ve been solo for so long and there are so many synergies in the (proposed Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square,” Ravi told “I’m really looking forward to being part of that whole community.”

The association offers newcomers to Canada various programming and services, which she said will blend in nicely with municipal, library and art gallery efforts taking place in the same building.

Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association president Bela Ravi speaks at a city council meeting last year, at a meeting where the $65-million Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square project was approved. Tyler Clarke /

“We’re going to work off each other and bounce ideas off each other, because our aim is all the same, to attract newcomers and retain them in the city.”

Despite being in their previous building for 40 years, Ravi said the association’s relocation was fairly straightforward, with some further sold and other pieces donated to other socially minded local organizations. The city has surplus furniture, so they didn’t have too much stuff to move.

For now, she said they’re just looking forward to shifting across the building to their permanent space.

At latest update, the city had received eight bids for the cultural hub’s engineering work, a tender which as of the late afternoon of April 2 had not yet been awarded.

The approved timeline anticipates work on a schematic design to begin in the second quarter of 2024. A tender is to be awarded by the second quarter of 2025 and construction is to begin during the third quarter of 2025. Municipal operations are slated to relocate to 199 Larch St. throughout 2026, and the Cultural Hub is expected to open by the end of 2026.

The Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association’s new contact information is: 

PO BOX 5000, Station 'A',
200 Brady Street
Sudbury, Ontario Canada P3A 5P3

  • Contact Number: 705-674-4455 or 311
    • Maria Carreon extension:  1242
    • Vicky Smoke extension: 1241

SMFAA General Email Address: [email protected]
Vicky Smoke (Newcomers Settlement Coordinator): [email protected]

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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