New Sudbury Indie Cinema space could leverage more arts and culture

The Sudbury Indie Cinema is one step closer to reality thanks to money from the province.

Sudbury Indie Cinema receives $292,825 from the provincial government

The gymnasium in an old school on MacKenzie Street in Sudbury's downtown will be the new theatre for the Sudbury Indie Cinema. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

The Sudbury Indie Cinema is one step closer to reality thanks to money from the province.

The Ontario government says the project is receiving $292,825 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).

The project has been in the works for a number of years. It will be located at the former St. Louis de Gonzague School, across from Sudbury Secondary School on Mackenzie Street.

The cinema's managing director, Beth Mairs, says her organization and the building's owner hope other creative groups will follow suit and move in.

"We've had a lot of bumps and a lot of hiccups and false starts," she said.

"Now, this assurance that we have is also some leverage for other art organizations to start taking a serious look at repurposing of that school as a public asset for arts and culture."

Mairs says she's pleased the province is helping out.

"They are very committed to the film and television industry in northern Ontario," she said.

"Even though what we are is an exhibitor [of films and documentaries], they see this as connected to the larger picture of the film industry in the north, enhancing it."

Beth Mairs is the managing director of the Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-op. (Hugo Duchaine/Radio-Canada)

The province says the money will "help to modernize the new venue with new amenities, including lighting, an air and heating system, theatre seating and digital projection equipment."

Mairs says the best-case scenario will see the Sudbury Indie Cinema's new home open next fall.


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