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Celebration puts spotlight on city's arts community

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 11, 2014 - 4:23 PM |
Mayor Marianne Matichuk (centre) has lent her name to a May 1 Sudbury Arts Council event called the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts. Also in the photo are arts council president Vicki Gilhula and Regroupment des organismes culturels de Sudbury (ROCS) member Martin Lajeunesse. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Mayor Marianne Matichuk (centre) has lent her name to a May 1 Sudbury Arts Council event called the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts. Also in the photo are arts council president Vicki Gilhula and Regroupment des organismes culturels de Sudbury (ROCS) member Martin Lajeunesse. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Mayor's Celebration of the Arts takes place May 1

A little-known fact about Mayor Marianne Matichuk is she's been known to dabble in painting from time to time. Hence the abstract painting hanging on her living room wall.

“It's something I did because I didn't have anything hanging on that wall,” she said. “I thought 'I'll just throw some paint on a canvas,' and everybody says it's really nice. It was just a day of inspiration.”

While Matichuk said she wouldn't exactly call herself an artist, she said she has nothing but respect for the city's arts community.

“We know the creative energy and talents of citizens of Greater Sudbury enrichens the fabric of a healthy city,” she said.

Matichuk said she was thrilled when she was approached by the Sudbury Arts Council and asked to lend her name to a gala honouring the arts community.

The first annual Mayor's Celebration of the Arts is set to take place starting at 5:30 p.m. on May 1 at the Laurentian University School of Architecture. The event puts the spotlight on the city's growing professional arts and culture sector.

Two special awards, both of which will be accompanied by bursaries, will be presented to local artists who have demonstrated outstanding creativity and advancement in their chosen artistic field.
One of them will be presented to an artist that already has an extensive body of work, while the other will be presented to an emerging artist.

Sudbury Arts Council president Vicki Gilhula, who is also managing editor of Sudbury Living Magazine, one of Northern Life's sister publications, said the city's arts community is seeing a resurgence.

She said this is partly because of the young people in their 20s and 30s who have been bringing their talents to the sector in recent years. There's also the more mature artists, who have been making contributions for years.

“I think it was just a good time for a celebration,” Gilhula said, speaking at the event's March 11 launch.

While the arts community itself knows there's a lot of great things happening here, the wider community doesn't necessarily realize this, she said.

The Mayor's Celebration of the Arts puts a spotlight on these types of achievements, Gilhula said.

Many members of the local arts community attended the event's launch, including Paul Loewenberg, a local musician and the manager of The Townehouse Tavern.

“We should have more accredited acknowledgements of the arts in our community, and when it comes from the city offices, it's great,” he said.

“It acknowledges that there are a lot of hard-working people in the arts community who need help getting the attention of the rest of the community.”

Local artist Gordon Drysdale said he thinks the celebration is long overdue.

“I think it was just the right people came together and it was a good meeting of minds,” he said.

“It's kind of a cohesive event for all the arts genres in the city. Both the anglophone and francophone portions of our arts community have come together and created this wonderful new event.”

Tickets to the event, which cost $50, are available through the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario box office at 705-525-5606 or online at www.letno.ca/billetterie.

 
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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