Sudbury’s Place des Arts set to open its doors soon

Despite setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction of the $30-million Place des Arts in downtown Sudbury is nearing completion.

Construction of the 40,000 square foot building has been ongoing since 2018.

The centre, which will be home to seven francophone organizations, was scheduled to open in December 2020 but due to the pandemic, organizers faced several challenges in the past two years.

"Some of the materials coming from the states were delayed, sometimes just worker availability was not there as people had to isolate because they were close contact with somebody," said board chair Alain Richard.

"Accessing building materials was a big hurdle, especially early 2021."

 Place des Arts organizers are excited to finally open and said there’s something for everyone.

"We hope it will attract a lot of tourists and newcomers to the downtown, and bring back life to the downtown," said executive director Léo Therrien.

"Inside, they will see a lot because there’s a big theatre of 300 seats, a black box -- like the TNO -- which is about 130 seats, there’s a daycare, there’s an art gallery, bistro, bookshop, gift shop."

And, with construction coming to an end, Therrien has decided it’s time to retire.

"It’s the right time for me right now to have somebody take over. We will be finishing construction, we’re opening to the public, it’s time to have some new energy, some new blood," he said.

"I’m turning 62 next month, I’m thinking of the other part of my life."

Therrien said he plans on volunteering at Place des Arts in the future.

Officials are hoping to open the doors sometime next month, and will be hiring a new executive director within the next couple weeks.