La Ronde bank­ing on gov’t fund­ing

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - RON GRECH

The Cen­tre cul­turel La Ronde got a big start Mon­day on its fundrais­ing cam­paign to build a new fa­cil­ity.

Timmins’ fran­co­phone cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion started the day with a tar­get of $3 mil­lion to raise in or­der to con­struct a new build­ing to re­place the one de­stroyed in a fire two years ago.

On Mon­day, La Caisse pop­u­laire de Timmins do­nated $500,000 to­wards the cause.

Ludger Cloutier, new build­ing project leader for La Ronde, said the next step for him will be to ap­proach lo­cal in­dus­tries, busi­nesses and ser­vice clubs in hopes to so­licit do­na­tions.

“We’re also lob­by­ing both fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments and we ex­pect ... we should have a good re­sult.”

Cloutier’s op­ti­mism is buoyed by the fact the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­cently com­mit­ted $12.5 mil­lion to­wards a new fran­co­phone arts cen­tre in Sud­bury. The an­nounce­ment was made last month.

“We’re not ask­ing for that much,” said Cloutier, who noted the to­tal cost of the con­struc­tion in Timmins is es­ti­mated to be $4.5 mil­lion. “We never dur­ing the ex­is­tence of La Ronde since 1968 had to do a ma­jor fundraiser. This is the first. We have al­ways fi­nanced our­selves all the time.”

la ronde has $1.6 mil­lion banked from ac­cu­mu­lated rev­enues over the years and money it re­ceived from the in­sur­ance set­tle­ment af­ter the fire.

With the half-a-mil­lion dol­lars do­nated by la Caisse on mon­day, la ronde is now $2.5 mil­lion away from its tar­get.

la ronde hopes to be­gin con­struc­tion next spring on the same site as the old build­ing, at 32 moun­tjoy st. N. and move into a new cen­tre be­fore the end 2018.

The new build­ing will be con­sid­er­ably smaller in size.

The pre­vi­ous la ronde Cen­tre was 37,000 square feet while the new build­ing will be 10,000 square feet, which will al­low for more park­ing on site and re­duce main­te­nance costs.

Cloutier said the la ronde ex­pects to save ap­prox­i­mately $50,000 in op­er­at­ing costs.

“We’ll have a main hall for 300 (peo­ple), in­stead of 400, and we sel­dom filled the hall for 400 so 300 is ba­si­cally what the other halls in Timmins are. We’ll have what you’d call a work­shop. The work­shop is go­ing to be — be­cause we have a danc­ing stu­dio, we have the older peo­ple danc­ing, we have cour­ses — they will all be in that work­shop.

“some­thing we’ll have that will be very nice ... the foyer, it’s the en­trance. There will be a fire­place, Tv ... so if peo­ple are tired of be­ing in the hall, they can step out and just re­lax on the couches and all that. and then we’ll have the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fice which will in­volve the art gallery ... so it will be mul­ti­func­tional.”

in the hall, there will a be a stage ac­com­mo­date mu­si­cal and the­atri­cal acts.

“We have a group called maringouins du Nord,” said Cloutier. “They’re a lo­cal the­atre group so we’re build­ing to make sure they are go­ing to be set up too.”

la ronde has more than 2,000 mem­bers.

since the fire, cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tion has been tem­po­rar­ily housed in the st-charles school build­ing on Kent av­enue.

RON GRECH/TIMMINS Daily Press

Ludger Cloutier, new build­ing project leader for the Cen­tre cul­turel La Ronde, right, chats with Michel Fecteau, chair­man of the board of di­rec­tors of La Caisse pop­u­laire de Timmins, while view­ing a con­cep­tual de­sign for the new cen­tre. On Mon­day, La Caisse do­nated $500,000 to­wards the project.

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