Stage Door News

Sudbury: Laurentian University has decided to axe its Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Arts Programs

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Laurentian University Faculty Association deeply regrets the decision of Thorneloe University, a federated university of Laurentian, to shut down two of its most popular programs: theatre arts and motion picture arts. The faculty association is calling upon Laurentian University to step in and save both programs.

“We are saddened and dismayed by this announcement,” said Laurentian faculty association president Fabrice Colin. “These two programs contribute greatly not only to the university community, but to the vibrancy of our artistic communities in Sudbury and the Northeastern Ontario region.”

Altogether there are over 50 full-time students in the programs, while hundreds of others take courses as electives. The programs are run by two full-time professors as well as a number of part-time instructors.

“Where will these students go?” asked Colin.  “They were following their dreams and enrolled in good faith, and now the carpet has been pulled out from underneath them.”

The Theatre Arts program was founded in the 1980s, while the Motion Picture Arts program was launched in 2012. The two Laurentian programs are hosted by Thorneloe University as part of the Laurentian federation, which also includes Huntington University and University of Sudbury.

However, Thorneloe’s finances have been crippled since last year when Laurentian unilaterally announced sweeping changes to the funding formula that resulted in a huge shortfall in Thorneloe’s funding.

“This disaster has been in the making for some time, and the Laurentian Board of Governors cannot hide from the fact that it was the prime instigator,” said Colin. “It is imperative for Laurentian to intervene to save these programs, which are of enormous value to the University’s mission.”

Colin indicated that LUFA will be a partner in a community campaign to save the programs.

These are the only programs of their kind in Northern Ontario and this closure deals a devastating blow to the students and faculty of Thorneloe, to the arts and humanities at Laurentian, to the Sudbury community, and to theatre and film in Northern Ontario and Canada. Third and fourth year students in the programs are facing terrible uncertainty, having invested years of tuition and study. All other students will be forced to abandon their studies.

We are asking Laurentian University to step in to save these crucial and popular programs.

A petition to save these programs is HERE.