Feds pitching in $2.5 million for new La Ronde building

·3 min read

Centre Culturel La Ronde is getting closer to its goal of constructing a new building.

It was announced today that La Ronde is receiving $2.5 million from the federal government. Of this amount, $1.5 million is through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund and $1 million is from the Community Spaces Fund.

La Ronde is planning to construct a new building on the site of its former facility at the corner of Mountjoy and Algonquin Boulevard. The previous building suffered irreparable damage in a 2015 fire and was demolished in 2017. The centre is currently operating out of a building at 120 Kent Ave.

“Since 2015, we have never lost our hopes of promoting our cultural, social and recreational activities in the community,” La Ronde’s president Ernest Plante said at the virtual announcement.

Between now and 2024, the federal government will be also providing $265,000 in funding for the centre's programming and services. Out of this funding, $216,000 will be allocated through the Development of Official Language Communities program and $48,400 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.

Mayor George Pirie, Coun. Michelle Boileau, La Ronde's executive director Lisa Bertrand, Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre and Marie-France Lalonde, parliamentary secretary to the minister of economic development and official languages, were also on hand at the virtual press conference.

Bertrand said the new centre will have different activities and programming highlighting French culture that will be suited for everyone. There will be different cultural activities like yoga classes, sip and paint nights, dancing classes, brunches with traditional French food and more.

"It’s going to be a beautiful building. We're going to have a patio and we're pretty excited," Bertrand said. "There will be conference centres that people can rent for local businesses. We’ll be able to get in caterers, so it's just going to help the economy and we’re really, really excited for this project.”

Plante said there have been setbacks with the fundraising efforts amid the pandemic but the centre is hoping to make an announcement regarding the start of the construction in the next few months.

Institutions like La Ronde are at the heart of the communities, Lalonde said.

“Educational institutions, schools and early childhood services are all pillars of our communities,” Lalonde said. “The reconstruction of the modern, state-of-the-art centre is an exciting project for your community. Francophone leaders in Timmins have put so much energy into this project and our government is proud to have been a partner along the way.”

May 26, La Ronde will announce the fundraising launch and what its campaign will look like, according to Bertrand.

"Because of COVID, prices and everything went up. Our fundraising campaign was late," she said. "This fundraising campaign is crucial to help for the rest of the funds missing for the construction. We're going to reach out to the Timmins community to help us."

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com

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