Place des Arts reveals its bold architectural design

Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury has unveiled the exterior design of its future multidisciplinary arts centre of excellence. The building, which will be home to eight French-language cultural organizations at the corner of Elgin and Larch north of Medina Lane in Sudbury, has bold, dynamic lines in a design that is both modern and airy, with reflections of Northern Ontario’s past and industrial present.

“This is a flagship building with a long story to tell,” said Stéphane Gauthier, President of Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury. “It was inspired by the driving force of the Nouvel-Ontario cultural movement and carried along by a whole generation’s will to make it happen. Nouvel-Ontario was the birthplace of French Ontario’s oldest cultural centre, first creation theatre, first publishing house, first provincial music festival and first art gallery. So we had to imagine an edifice emerging from the landscape as if certain shapes had always been there, naturally, forming part of the urban panorama. It is a memorial, a shared space, contemporary and open to great hopes for the future,” explained Mr. Gauthier.

The outside of the building will be made of a rich material with colours typical of ore from Northern Ontario: corten steel. When exposed to the elements, it oxidizes naturally and stabilizes to form a patina that ranges from golden yellow to orangey brown. This unique patina protects the material and makes it durable and strong.

“Corten was almost an unavoidable choice, inspired by the 300 years of existence and creation shared by the seven founding members of Place des Arts. It heralds a new building with unique architecture, but with an external façade that pays tribute to a celebrated past that will continue to support the vitality of the Franco-Ontarian community,” said Louis Bélanger, a Sudburian and senior architect at Yallowega Bélanger Salach Architecture.

The consortium of Yallowega Bélanger Salach Architecture and Moriyama Teshima Architects designed the future four-storey multidisciplinary arts centre, whose 40,000 square feet will house a concert hall, a multifunction studio, a contemporary art gallery, a bistro with a seasonal sidewalk terrace, a gift and book shop, an early childhood arts centre with a playground, and office space. “We are proud of the result and the challenge of optimizing spaces in more than one way without losing anything in the process. It is a great honour to design this inviting, shared space for the entire community, a space that blends seamlessly into the urban dynamic of the downtown area,” added Jason Philippe, a native from Sturgeon Falls and the senior architect at Moriyama Teshima Architects.

The Place des Arts project will cost a total of $30 million to complete. Phase 2 of the construction work will begin in late spring, with the official opening expected during the 2020-2021 performance season.

Place des Arts will house the seven founding arts and culture organizations: the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury (1950), the Centre franco-ontarien de folklore (1960), Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (1971), Éditions Prise de parole (1973),  Concerts La Nuit sur l’étang (1973),  Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario (1995) and the Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury (2004).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Place des Arts will provide Greater Sudbury with Northern Ontario’s first multidisciplinary arts and culture centre.
  • The building will have four storeys and 40,000 square feet of floor space.
  • A western façade with laser-frosted, low-solar-gain glass to keep the building’s energy costs down.
  • An early childhood arts centre accommodating 15 children per day, with an outside terrace and playground on the west side of the building, facing Elgin.
  • The bistro’s seasonal terrace extending out onto the Elgin Street sidewalk.
  • More than 10,000 square feet of office space for the founding organizations.
  • A creative space for kids.
  • A 120-seat, black-box style multifunction studio.
  • A concert hall with nearly 300 seats.
  • A contemporary art gallery and gift and book shop with windows overlooking Larch Street.
  • 850 activities expected annually.
  • 50,000 visitor admissions per year.
  • The $30 million project is supported by funding providers such as Canadian Heritage, FedNor, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport of Ontario, and the City of Greater Sudbury.

Reading between the northern lines

An accompanying text by Sylvie Mainville on Pascaline Knight, Mariana Lafrance and Julie Lassonde’s VIENS

Viens is an invitation to delve into the familiar ― to drift along the thin blue lines of our time‑honoured Canada brand workbooks, the oh-so intimate card games and rituals of our childhood, the snowy expanses of our shared landscapes. Of this we are often and rightfully reminded: we come from somewhere. Three artists have invited us back.

First instruction upon entering the GNO’s public space: please remove your footwear.

But Viens is also an invitation to dive into the unfamiliar, where the workbook’s red margins become oddly faded, yet creep in here and there like a wallop of doubt that never could cross our minds until now, where new rules emerge and compel us, as if by intuitive magic, to play in new ways, where steadiness of movement is all it takes to provoke the birth of novel relationships.

The body serves to discover oneself and to discover others. Whatever the means ― walking, dancing, skating, snowshoeing, skiing ― you open up, despite the risks. Curiosity rules. You need only consent. I ask myself: Am I fit enough? Tall enough? Free enough?

Almost by chance, unawareness here stumbles into awareness there. It’s no longer a game. And we know all too well that nothing ever happens by chance. My all-powerful magic wands have gone silent, at least for now, while other repeated gestures bring new spheres to life. It’s bewildering. The little Canada workbook has morphed into a giant mattress stuffed with very personal vulnerabilities. The intimate self flows into the collective sphere, revealed for all to see. I can only shrink away and stand back to give it all the space it deserves.

In contact with brown kraft paper, snow seems to change colour merrily. I’m snow-oh-oh-oh-shoeing. But no, I’m wrong. It’s not snowshoeing; it’s a red animal in full flight. I have no idea where it’s heading, but I’m following.

In a moment of timeless presence, the nowhere slips into the now here and goes round and round. There’s but one thing to do: I knock back two more glasses of wine. The certainty of being from somewhere blurs away. There is no more North, no more Northern Ontario, no childhood snowshoes, no known instructions or norms… The certainty of being from somewhere becomes a fleeting intuition to pursue at your own risk. Truth be told, some nights, sleep does not come easy.

Duly noted: I can’t find my boots, but in my left pocket I discover an ace of hearts. Lucky me, I tell myself. Lucky me.


 


A first retrospective of the 6th FAAS

Already missing the FAAS ? Us too. Luckily, we can read a first retrospective published in Inter, art actuel’s numéro 131, written by Jean-Michel Quirion. Là où les artistes explorent les intersections entre le territoire et l’identité, an article that gives an idea of the reflexions made possible by this exciting biennal.

To buy the numéro 131

To get a membership of Inter, art actuel


A newcomer to the Galerie

The Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario is proud to welcome Maude Bourassa Francoeur as the new Communication and Development Agent.

Established in Sudbury since January 2018, she has acquired a training with Prise de parole. She has been a coordinator for a movie festival and as always shown interest in the visual arts and literature.

We take this opportunity to wish the best to Chloé Leduc-Bélanger in her new career.


The GNO is under the influence of the Holiday Spirit!

In 2018, we have…

  • Hosted four original exhibitions
  • Successfully organized the sixth edition of the FAAS
  • Repainted the gallery three times and made hundreds of holes for the Nouveau Louvre artwork
  • Broke a hammer, a level, three brooms and some other stuff
  • Carried rocks, chalkboards, tools, furniture and even more rocks
  • Lost our heating system; regained a heating system
  • Eaten approximately 25 liters of chili
  • Said goodbye to three pets
  • Welcomed two new board members
  • Worked with over thirty amazing volunteers
  • Created a festive Christmas video
  • Earned a well-deserved vacation time!

The GNO will be closed from December 23rd to January 7th. We’ll be back at the gallery on January 8th!

Happy Holidays!


CALL FOR ARTISTS : Nouveau Louvre 2018

The GNO invites all artists to show their work and put it up for sale at the 2018 Nouveau Louvre. Whether you work with charcoal, oil paints, clay or stained glass, it doesn’t matter! We’ll be very happy to accept your artwork, show it in our gallery space and make it available for purchase to the many holiday shoppers who make it a point to take in this yearly art sale that has become a real holiday tradition in Sudbury.

The Nouveau Louvre is the GNO’s most important fundraising activity. All works of art at the Nouveau Louvre will be for sale at the single price of 200$, of which 125$ will be paid to the artist, and 75$ to the GNO.

We are accepting, as of today, up to two (2) works of art from each artist. These will be shown at the GNO from Saturday November 24th to Saturday December 22nd.

We encourage participating artists to bring in their work as soon as possible, so that we might document the artwork and make it available on the Nouveau Louvre website.

Artists have until Thursday, November 22nd to bring their artworks to the GNO at 174 Elgin St. The GNO’s hours are from 12 PM to 6 PM, Tuesday to Saturday.

For more information, please contact us.


Jérôme Havre’s artistic residency continues

Over the course of the last week, artist Jérôme Havre, the GNO’s team and happy volunteers have been working on making and installing the daub on the wire mesh. The materials had to be mixed by feet in a large wooden bin. Havre also experimented with the composition of the natural concrete, using sand or saw dust to create textures.

The sculpture will be completed this week. Contact us if you want to give us a hand (or a foot!).

In parallel, the artist keeps working on the ceramic pieces. The sculptures will go to the oven this week, thanks to Sudbury Basin Potters, our exhibition sponsor.

See you at the opening on October 23rd, at 6 pm!


Did you say FAAS?

This year, our almost-forty guest artists will settle in another emblematic building in Sudbury: the Village on Mackenzie, former St. Louis de Gonzague elementary school, who is gracefully provided for free by our event partner Autumnwood. The theme, À qui? (To whom?), positions the artists at the intersection of identity and territory, and invites the spectators to reflect on this contemporary issue.

This sixth edition of the Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury is happening from October 24 to October 28, 2018. As always, conferences, a night of performing art and the presentation of the new work will be among the many activities that will take place.

You don’t want to miss out on anything, don’t you? Then download our mobile app, or visit the FAAS’ web page.

We’re always looking for handy hands (and the people who are connected to them). If you want to be a volunteer, please fill out this form.

See you soon!


Artist-in-residency Jérôme Havre working on new exhibition

Since September 20, the GNO is hosting Jérôme Havre, our newest artist-in-residency. The gallery has been transformed into a workshop, where the pieces of the Interior exhibition are slowly taking shape. The main piece will consist in a large architecture-inspired structure that will look like a wattle and daub hut. Wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material, usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, and straw.

Gérald working on the structure of the architecture-inspired piece

The structure in a glance

In addition to this structure, the artist will also present some ceramic sculptures that that will inhabit the space. The surface of the walls will also be put to contribution.

A sculpture taking shape

The installation should be completed on October 12.

To be continued!


Childhood Scribbles are the Future Healers

An accompanying text by Sarah Blondin on Florence Yee’s exhibition But really, where are you from?

There are moments when entering a space curated by someone can feel like a revelation. In that instant, we have an idea of what their childhood was like. The way our eyes scan a room, we have a stereotypical mindset that brings us to pre-assuming their memories. For example, I was a young girl full of drama, trapped in the suburbs; therefore my walls were obviously covered in Backstreet Boys posters. Even now in my adult years, I find myself covering every inch of my walls, expressing my likes and dislikes in my bedroom.

After studying visual arts, I began to notice that artists are truly captivated by their childhood memories. There is forever a sense of looking back and turning their story into a current visual component to document and remember their formative years: I would often ask myself, why? Our childhood is full of embarrassing and traumatizing moments—some more than others. However, after spending many years thinking, and staring at my Backstreet Boys wall, I realized that our growth as human beings is the reason for our creativity. Art is shaped by our experiences and the place they subjectively hold in our personal narrative. So that time you thought that tripping down the stairs in high school was the worst, that time you’ll likely never forget about, will spark a future creative project that will heal something within you by expressing it through your own life.

Walking into the GNO for Florence Yee’s exhibition “But really, where are you from?”, I felt strings from my heart being pulled. The way the show was curated, I felt as if I was walking into someone’s life experiences, as if I was sitting in the artist’s home and experiencing the deeper inside the womb of the home; absorbing the joy, struggles and outcomes of this life. When I stepped into the gallery, Florence’s life story easily came through and was attached to me. Her work also serves as a powerful source that speaks to a large community: one that tends to be socially looked down on, but has and forever deserves its voice to be heard. There is a balance of innocence and maturity to her exhibition. We can see the child within Florence protecting and holding on to her traditions, yet we also understand the pressure of Western culture seeping in. She is an artist speaking from her child-self, creating in hopes of sparking human connection: something we all want and strive for. As people, we are all just searching for a sense of community, and Florence’s art truly encapsulates that ideal.

Something about Florence Yee that also completely struck me was her age. For someone this young to have such a strong connection and love for her community—and additionally for possessing the courage and bravery to express her memories in the public eye—is in itself a work of art to be remembered for. She ultimately speaks for the many youth today who are struggling with their own identities; a subject quite pertinent in our country and today’s society. Always remember your childhood, be close to your story and create from you.

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Sarah Blondin is a local mixed media artist who is still 16 at heart. Her inspiration comes from being a young woman and growing up in a smaller community where the internet was the way for over dramatic expression, a time when every MySpace page was a way too personal diary, however shared with many. Her work explores collage, illustration and sculpture. She hopes to bring joy, curiosity, humour and memories to her audience.