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Year in review: Place des arts made its debut in 2022

The Francophone arts centre is the home, and dream, of its seven founding organizations
Place des arts in downtown Sudbury.

After more than a decade of planning, fundraising and a little something called the pandemic, Place des arts greeted its first visitors in April of this year, and since that moment, has hosted shows, festivals and so much more . 

It is the culmination of a dream that came to fruition on April 29, that of the seven founding organizations: Carrefour francophone, Centre franco-ontarien de folklore, Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, Éditions Prise de parole, Nuit sur l'étang, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario and Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury

The co-founders came together to find a place that could serve as the heart of the francophone arts community in Sudbury, as well as a place for collaboration with the Anglophone arts community.

And though it faced challenges, from construction delays, to the pandemic, to fundraising, and even the loss of founding director Paulette Gagnon, who is said to have seen the vision clearest of all. 

And since opening, not only has it hosted shows from local musicians and national stars, but also festivals like Up Here, Culture Matrix, the inaugural Black Lives Matter Black arts festival, and the return of Jazz Sudbury

It’s also an award winner. Nominated by Sudbury MPP, Jamie West, Place des Arts has been selected among eight other Ontario buildings for this year’s Queen’s Park Picks exhibit program. An event to mark World Architecture Day, the Ontario Association of Architects teams up with MPPs to highlight outstanding Ontario buildings. 

This year was also the debut of the new executive director, Jean-Gilles Pelletier, who took over for Léo Therrien on April 25, just ahead of the grand opening. 

Pelletier is the former executive director of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario. He had previously worked as the executive director of the Société Santé en Français, and as executive director of the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner of Ontario. 

“It’s crazy beautiful; what a feeling after 12 years in the making,” said Gauthier, at the April 29 grand opening. “It has been a rollercoaster of a ride and a real collaborative effort to bring the idea to reality.”


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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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