In downtown, one of the best cultural values around can be found at the Art Gallery of Sudbury, 251 John St. (tel. 705/674-3271; www.artsudbury.org), regarded as one of the finest gallery spaces in the city. Besides the impressive, 1700 works of contemporary Canadian art in its permanent collection, the gallery itself is housed in a mansion of early lumber baron William J. Bell, built in 1902 with the massive stone quarried from the area. The facility has two main display spaces with exhibits that change ten times annually; often, the artist is present at openings, available to meet guests. The gallery also holds art classes, a lecture series and recently acquired the collections of Carl Tacon and Kai Chan. In July and August, they run something called Bell Rock Café, encouraging visitors to bring a brown bag lunch and listen to a lecture or presentation on the veranda. Suggested admission $3; open Tuesday through Sunday.
For an overview of historic museums in the area, contact Greater Sudbury Heritage, 1631 Fourth Ave. N. (tel. 705/671-2489; www.sudburymusuems.ca), which operates a handful of historic museums in the area dedicated to preservation and education of its heritage. One of the sites, the Flour Mill Heritage Museum, Saint Charles St., offers a collection of early hand tools, antique furniture and chronicles the story of the flourmill silos on Notre Dame Avenue. Housed in a 1902 building that was once owned and operated by the Manitoba and Ontario Flour Mill Company. Some of the museum's collection is housed in an adjacent log cabin. The Folklore Franco-Ontario Center, 1169 Dollard St. (tel.705/675-8986; www.cfof.on.ca) is dedicated to the development and conservation of Franco-Ontarian folklore. With over 5,000 works, the center is home to the largest collection of monographs and histories of French Ontario parishes, and has one of the largest collections pertaining to the French oral tradition. Two permanent exhibits, one on pioneer life in Northern Ontario and another on music, complete with old gramophones, round out the space. Those in love of stories could spend hours listening to folk songs, stories, and legends, which archivists all recently transferred to compact discs. Open Monday through Friday and on Saturdays by appointment. Admission by donation.
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