Client

Place des Arts

Location

Sudbury, Ontario

Project Scale

$32 Million

A multidisciplinary, cultural arts centre

Place des Arts is a new, multidisciplinary community gathering place for francophones and all art-lovers alike. Located in downtown Sudbury, the Place des Arts project came together as part of an initiative by the Regroupement des organismes culturels de Sudbury (ROCS) – a coalition of seven professional francophone arts organizations from Greater Sudbury focused on work in the arts, culture and heritage sectors.

Place des Arts is a four-storey facility featuring a 299-seat theater, multifunctional studio, contemporary art gallery, youth zone, early childhood artistic centre, bistro, boutique bookstore, office spaces and meeting rooms. The third floor’s design offers the seven coalition members a collaborative office space to plan, manage and organize diverse events including theater performances, concerts, visual art installations, exhibitions, and more.

Bringing these organizations together under one roof was one of ROCS’ main goals, as it envisioned a cultural hub that would blend each organization’s area of expertise, engage the local community, and draw in tourists. Place des Arts and its founding member organisations plan to offer 850 cultural activities each year and expects to attract nearly 50,000 visitors annually as a result.

Inclusive of people of all ages, the new 40,000 sq. ft. building contains a daycare for up to 15 children, as well as space for a specialized after-school program. The building’s bistro, gift shop and meeting rooms are also publicly accessible, enabling community members and tourists to explore the building’s architecture, resources and culinary experience.

Success against all odds

The coalition of organizations for Place des Arts engaged our bilingual team to provide comprehensive project management services for the design and construction of the new facility. The project began in July 2017, with our team providing support services to: validate the functional program and budget; procure the architectural and engineering services; and offer guidance on the evaluation and selection processes. Our role naturally expanded with the project to leading the management of the design and preparation of the final specifications.

In addition, we oversaw preparations to initiate construction – from developing and implementing a procurement policy for construction, to prequalifying contractors, managing the tender process, and developing customer delivery and building start-up plans. As the project progressed through construction, COVID-19 became more prevalent in the region. Like many other construction projects, the site experienced shut-downs, supply chain delays, and scheduling impacts. With the facility well underway, our team was able to mitigate or avoid major changes to the budget and quickly adopted and implemented all required health and safety protocols.

Despite the pandemic-related delays, the resiliency, communication and collaboration of the project team and its stakeholders helped make this project a success. The professionalism, and adaptability of all parties involved supported the transition from in-person to online meetings, changing construction strategies, and the overall priority of delivering a quality project safely.

Enriching downtown Sudbury

Place des Arts held its grand opening ceremony on April 29, 2022, with more than 800 dignitaries and members of the public attending over a two-day period. The centrally-located arts centre will enrich Sudbury’s downtown core, bring foot traffic to local businesses and create more than 180 jobs. The Place des Arts team is also actively working with francophone and anglophone groups to develop exciting events that will generate interest from visitors near and far.

The new facility embodies more than 50 years of Franco-Ontarian history in an engaging and immersive way. Place des Arts is truly a work of art in and of itself. From its architecture and unique building materials to the objects it showcases, this culture-rich facility is sure to bring awareness to the importance of the arts and impacts of Franco-Ontarian culture.

Place des Arts hallway and cafeteria
Industrial-themed room with empty wood shelves
Image of an empty auditorium