It was just over two years ago—November 6, 2015—that a fire consumed the Centre Culturel La Ronde building on Mountjoy North.

That building had stood in that spot since the 1920’s, when it was Holy Family School. La Ronde officials moved in back in 1971 but have been in the old St. Charles School on Kent Avenue the last couple years.

In 2018, Centre Culturel La Ronde will celebrate 50 years. And they are hoping with the right amount of support, they can celebrate at least part of the year in a brand new building on the same spot.

They are $2.5-million dollars from achieving their goal after La Caisse populaire de Timmins made a generous $500,000 donation Monday afternoon.

(The new 10,000 square foot building is estimated to cost $4.5-million dollars. La Ronde already had $1.6-million of it from their general funds and insurance.)

It is with that shortfall that La Ronde is launching a fundraising campaign, to raise the remaining dollars necessary.

Project Leader Ludger Cloutier says this is the first time they’ve ever looked for fundraising, adding they will also look for federal and/or provincial grants and showed some optimism that things will pan out.

“Sudbury’s getting big bucks for their Cultural Centre (Places des Arts),” he said, referencing the $12.5-million dollar announcement from the federal government in mid-October.

“We’re not looking for that much.”

As for the new building, Cloutier says it’s considerably smaller—going from 37,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet—but will be “just as multi-functional.”

“We’ll have a main hall for 300 (people) instead of 400,” he said, “We seldom filled the hall at 400 so 300 is basically what the other halls in Timmins are.”

He says the building will also have a workshop for a dance studio for all ages.

“We have the dancing studio, we have the older people dancing, we have courses. It would all be in that workshop,” Cloutier noted, “Something we’ll have that’ll be very nice is…a foyer, it’s the entrance. There will be a fireplace, TV, so people can before they get in the hall or they’re tired of being in the hall, they can step out and relax on the couches and all that.”

The building will also have an administration office, an art gallery, kitchen and a 3,600 square foot bar. The main hall, Cloutier adds, is also getting a professional stage.

“Not as big as Theriault, but we’ll have a stage that we can accomodate all the artists coming,” he said, “We also have a group called Maringouins du Nord, they’re a local theatre group so we’re building to make sure that they’re well set up too.”

Filed under: Local News