Readers may be aware the city and the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation, with the encouragement of Mayor Brian Bigger, are asking citizens to dream about Sudbury 2025.
Community consultations took place from mid-February to mid-March. There is also an online questionnaire. The results of the consultations are expected to be published in June.
What’s new in Greater Sudbury in 2025? Here’s my five cents. The city has become a centre of the arts in Canada with a particular emphasis on what makes Northern Ontario different from other regions.
Tourists from Quebec and French-speaking countries love the Franco-Ontarian Performing Arts Centre. The First Nations Heritage Centre is very popular with European visitors. These attractions complement Science North and Dynamic Earth which tell our mining story so well. Down the road, the French River Visitors’ Centre illuminates the story of Canada’s earliest explorers and the industries which led to the development and settlement
of central Canada.
Tourists are also enticed to visit Sudbury because the city is always featured in Hello magazine. So many movies are filmed here, it’s not unusual to see movie stars and other artists in the coffee shops.
For the first time in decades, more people under the age of 30 are moving to Sudbury than are moving away. Students from everywhere enrol at the School of Performing and Creative Arts and the country’s best artists all want to teach there. They enjoy the affordability of a small city and
the quality of life.
Arts students study a northern curriculum that never looks south of the border for inspiration. Students take courses at Laurentian, Cambrian and Boréal. Artists-in-residence write novels and plays set in Northern Ontario.
The School of Architecture is thriving and plans to build a residence downtown. There is a Walk of Fame that celebrates our famous exports. Near Sudbury Arena, there is an NHL museum that pays tribute to all the players Northern Ontario contributed to the game.
A Festival of Nations takes place at Tom Davies Square and the Nickel Centre of the Performing Arts every June. This week-long event features ethnic performances and international food.
Where do we begin? The artists, the organizations, the ideas and the drive to succeed are already here. Community leaders and politicians need to start thinking creatively.
The city should set up an arts development office to promote arts and culture and to encourage arts organizations to work together for a common goal.
If the sleepy former railroad town of Stratford can become the centre of theatre in Canada, and the beautiful but remote community of Banff can brand itself as a centre for arts education, why can’t Sudbury dare to dream?