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Greater Sudbury

Art Gallery and Library

About the Project: Both the main branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library and the Art Gallery of Sudbury are seeking new downtown locations and as a result of their preliminary research, identified a number of synergies. City Council subsequently provided direction to formally investigate the feasibility of a joint facility. The process to investigate the feasibility of a shared facility incorporating the main library branch and the art gallery is now underway. 

Community Partners: A working group of the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury Public Library main branch has been established to explore links between the projects. The boards of the two organizations are also integral to the discussions. 

Budget and Breakdown of Contributions: Concrete costs and budget breakdown will be determined when the feasibility assessment is completed. Based on comparable projects, the proposed facility could cost between $35 to $50 million. 

Anticipated Project Outcomes: A joint library and art gallery location in the downtown and a new public art education centre – the largest in Northern Ontario. 

Anticipated Community Benefits: The Art Gallery of Sudbury serves more than 30,000 people per year and 7,000 people participate in their art classes and workshops. In addition, close to 1 million items were borrowed from the Greater Sudbury Library in 2015 and library use has grown over the last several years. A new shared facility for the two organizations, with a shared vision but discrete mandates, is expected to create a cultural hub in the downtown core. Both the library and art gallery would have more space to collect, conserve and exhibit Sudbury's important collections, archival materials and collections of regional art, including works by First Nations artists, francophone and Anglophone artists. Investing in a purpose-built art gallery would also allow the Art Gallery to develop Sudbury’s connection to Franklin Carmichael, the youngest original member of the Group of Seven, and our dynamic contemporary regional artists. 

Current Status: A project manager has been hired from LORD Cultural Resources to help determine whether there is alignment of vision between the two capital projects and to advance the project as quickly as possible. Meetings have been held with key stakeholders to advance the project.

Next Steps: Staff, the project team, and the project manager will meet with key stakeholders, develop a feasibility and functional program report for the shared project, identify criteria for site selection, and complete a business and capital plan. A report will go to Council mid-2017. 

Contact: ron.henderson@greatersudbury.ca