The True North Strong team says it wants to see the current arena in downtown Sudbury converted into a music and arts conference centre.

Dario Zulich, the owner of the Sudbury Wolves hockey club and True North Strong, made the official announcement at the Fromagerie on Thursday.

The plan is to re-purpose the arena into a medium-sized music theatre and art conference centre that would "cater to music tourism, as well as art and culture development in the downtown," a news release stated.

There's also a possibility of hotel investments for Greater Sudbury, according to True North Strong.

Making Sudbury a 'Music City'

Community stakeholders in the project are Music Canada Live, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and Cultural Industries Ontario North also known as Music and Film in Motion.

Music Canada Live executive director Erin Benjamin said she believes Sudbury can be more competitive in live music and should adopt the "Music City" framework.

"Cities are learning that by boosting their music economies, they can bring multiple dividends to communities," Benjamin said.

downtown arena true north mockup

True North Strong wants to convert Sudbury's downtown arena into this arts, music centre. (Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment)

'It's just an idea'

This isn't the first time Zulich has talked about converting the 65-year-old arena. In December, he told CBC News he wanted to develop an arts complex that would include a museum, library, art gallery and performance space.

But Zulich's newest proposal doesn't offer any more detail on how much it will cost to convert the arena, or if the city will still retain ownership. 

"It's just an idea," he said. "It...could be in the Sudbury Arena [or] in another venue."

"I think it would be more economical putting it in the Sudbury Arena — it's a nice building. But the concept is not about the building, it's about bringing music city to Sudbury and downtown."

With files from Robin De Angelis