Drawing visitors to the city year round, the arts and culture scene in Saskatoon is a central and thriving part the city’s makeup.
Whether exploring Saskatoon’s vibrant First Nation’s culture, attending the symphony, visiting the historic Broadway Theatre, or exploring the many art galleries and trendy shops located throughout the city’s shopping districts, Saskatoon’s wide array of activities and cultural experiences continue to charm and entertain visitors. Here are some highlights:
Combining theatrics with a down-home family feel, the Barn Playhouse (www.barnplayhouse.com) offers one of the most unique artistic experiences in Saskatoon. A family-owned barn-turned-theatre, this homey favourite offers live music, food booths, horse-drawn wagon rides and a craft barn, all located just 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon on Highway 12.
Reopened in 1993 with help from the Friends of the Broadway Theatre (www.broadwaytheatre.ca), this historical Saskatoon venue has been vital in cultivating the city’s arts and cultural scene since the 1940s and is home to both independent films and live events for all ages. For comedy lovers, the Broadway Theatre is also the place to catch the Saskatoon Soaps, an improve comedy group that performs every Friday night, September to April.
Since opening its doors in 1985, La Troupe du Jour (www.latroupedujour.ca) has produced more than 80 plays, more than half of which are original creations or adaptations of original works by authors from Saskatchewan. The only professional French-language theatre company in Saskatchewan, this not-for-profit organization plays an essential role in the Fransaskois cultural landscape.
Located along the Meewasin Valley Trail, the Mendel Art Gallery (www.mendel.ca) is Saskatoon’s premier venue for contemporary and historical art, counting over 5,800 works in their collection. For families with children, the Mendel offers Sunday afternoon art-making activities, led by gallery artists. Bonus: they take care of the supplies!
Founded in 1974, Persephone Theatre (www.persephonetheatre.org) has been keeping guests satisfied with live entertainment for decades. A testament to Saskatoon’s commitment to arts and culture, this permanent fixture in the community continues to put on live theatre today at the Remai Arts Centre.
Part Anglican Church, part neighbourhood haunt, The Refinery (www.stjamesrefinery.org) is considered a staple amongst Saskatonians, and in 2007 celebrated its 100th anniversary. The former stone schoolhouse continues to welcome new and returning visitors, offering guests a place to grow artistically, creatively, and spiritually. The Refinery offers live performances and classes in creative dance, yoga, Lamaze, meditation, creative drama, belly dance, cooking and much more.
With a beautifully crafted interior, patrons of the Roxy Theatre (www.rainbowcinemas.ca/A/Roxy_Theatre) are shown more than films. Opened in 1930 – making it the oldest movie theatre in Saskatoon – the Roxy is best known for its beautiful Spanish courtyard character and intricate murals by artist Fred Harrison. One of the last atmospheric theatres in Canada, the Roxy continues to present audiences with alternative movies, the occasional Hollywood hit, plus live events. Located only a few steps from the downtown core in the up-and-coming revitalized Riversdale neighbourhood, the Roxy is in good company – with The Hollows restaurant and Collective Coffee bistro nearby.
Not just a meeting place for conventions, there is always something exciting happening at TCU Place (www.tcuplace.com). Specializing in conferences of up to 1,500 delegates, gala banquets, and tradeshows of up to 120 booths, this prized Saskatoon facility is also home to a variety of cultural, social and educational experiences. This neighbourhood favourite offers everything from comedy shows, dance shows, wedding locales, concerts and more.
For more information or to plan your Saskatoon getaway, visit www.tourismsaskatoon.com.