State of the Arts: Like yogurt, Sudbury (in fact) has lots of culture

City’s arts and entertainment scene getting busy

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You know the joke. Sudbury has two seasons: winter and construction. Well, Sudbury now has three seasons with the addition of patio season. In just a few weeks, patios will be opening up at area restaurants and bars.

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Downtown Sudbury comes alive in late spring and summer with numerous welcoming outdoor venues.

If you missed patio season last year, come downtown and get ready to be pleasantly surprised.

And how about the other old joke, which was actually an advertisement for a brand of yogurt: What’s the difference between Sudbury and yogurt? Yogurt has culture!

Well, here is another surprise. Our city is bursting with arts and culture.

– YES Theater Company and artistic director Alessandro Costantini have a creative idea for the vacant space on Durham Street across from the YMCA/Parkside Centre. They plan to turn it into an outdoor theatre. The provincial government is writing a check for $750,000 to help build Refettorio – a 180-seat performance venue.

YES has plans for a summer festival 2023 and several ambitious projects to be announced shortly.

YES Theater announced in March it had been able to press on during the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of a $100,000 provincial Community Building Fund Grant. The grant, from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, has allowed the theater company to present live performances since the beginning of the pandemic.

– Monday, April 18, the Canadian acclaimed film Scarborough, which came out on top with three awards in the Canadian Screen Awards on April 10, will be screened at Sudbury Indie Cinema at 5:30 pm. Adapted from a novel by Catherine Hernandez, Scarborough is a portrait of three low-income families. It shows the love and perseverance communities can foster, lifting up families to overcome obstacles. Critical darling Scarborough won best motion picture, achievement in direction and performance by an actor in a leading role. Hernandez’s book won second place in Canada Reads in March.

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– Wednesday, April 20, is National Canadian Film Day. Sudbury Indie Cinema on MacKenzie Street is celebrating with screenings of Night Raiders at 5:30 pm and “CRAZY” at 7:45 pm

Night Raiders is a sci-fi thriller, which mines the darkest chapters of Canadian history to tell a dystopian tale of near-future terror.

Jean-Marc Vallée’s CRAZY is an entertaining cinematic homage to the pop-culture-saturated Montreal middle-class of the 1970s.

Tickets are $15 for a single feature and $25 for a double bill.

– April 22, Celtic Illusion, the Irish dance and magic stage show, is coming to Sudbury Community Arena. Reserved tickets are priced from $58.75 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 705-671-3000 or in person at 240 Elgin St. Created, choreographed, and starring Anthony Street (Lord of the Dance), Celtic Illusion is performing 27 tour dates across Canada.

– April 24, enjoy Diane Tell’s musical presentation at Collège Boréal. Now based out of Europe, Diane Tell is one of Québec’s pioneering female singer-songwriters, with a career spanning more than 25 years, more than 12 albums and numerous creative collaborations here and abroad. Her work includes mega-hits that live on. Her latest album, Haïku, beats a new musical path: it’s practically a new genre, where rock has jazz-like freedom and inventiveness. The concert takes place on April 24 at 7:30 pm

– April 25 at 7 pm Eastlink (Channel 10) presents The Case of the Missing AY Jackson. This true 1974 heist at Sudbury Secondary School was presented at Sudbury Theater Center in November 2020. The staged radio drama is performed by a cast of Sudburians who bring this incredible break-in to life. Theft and murder are all part of this complicated set of events. The presentation is part of the CKLU Pledge Week running from April 25 to May 1. Watch, enjoy and pledge in support of CKLU 96.7 radio, your local community station.

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– Running until April 30, First Sign of Spring: Inuit Prints from the Collections from 1959 to 1970 is a fascinating exhibit at the Art Gallery of Sudbury featuring 60 prints by 27 Inuit artists. It features works by artists such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Pitseolak Ashoona, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Kananginak Pootoogook and Helen Kalvak. Pre-book visits to the gallery at 251 John St. online at or phone 705-675-4871. The gallery conforms to all health recommendations regarding public visitations including masks, social distancing, and hand-sanitizing stations.

– May 1, rock ‘n’ rollers will undoubtedly be ecstatic as The Stampeders take to the stage at Fraser Auditorium. The Stampeders were one of the top touring bands in Canada during the 1970s with hits such as “Sweet City Woman,” “Wild Eyes” and as “Oh My Lady.” Tickets are available at the Sudbury Theater Center box office (705-674-8381).

– May 11, enjoy An Evening with Sarah Harmer on her Are You Gone Tour at Collège Boréal. Are You Gone, the first new album in a decade from Harmer, is a deeply personal and momentous collection of rock-infused folk songs. It highlights the great strengths of a singer, musician, and songwriter and promises to be an outstanding evening of entertainment. Tickets are $61.54 and are available on

– Sudbury Arts Council’s board is looking ahead optimistically to 2023 and is working with Journal Printing to produce the Naturally Sudbury 2023 calendar.

The calendar will be distributed free and will feature the photographs of our beautiful community. We ask people to submit photographs before June 1. Details of the promotion are available at the arts council website.

Our volunteers maintain the website to promote arts and entertainment events. If you want to know what’s going on in Sudbury, visit

State of the Arts is supplied by the Sudbury Arts Council.


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