More visitors, art and creativity coming to the heart of Saskatoon

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Today, officials from all levels of government celebrated the start of construction of the much anticipated Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. The Gallery will be a vibrant community gathering place and will distinguish Saskatoon as an important international art destination. It will also be a key element at Saskatoon’s River Landing and important to the ongoing revitalization of south downtown.

“Our Government’s investment in the Remai Art Gallery demonstrates our commitment to improving cultural infrastructure in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) and Member of Parliament for Blackstrap. “I am proud that our Government is supporting this project that will create jobs and provide residents and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy various art collections and exhibitions in this exciting new location.”

“The Remai Art Gallery will be a significant cultural landmark for Saskatoon and Saskatchewan and our government is proud to support it,” said Paul Merriman, MLA for Saskatoon Sutherland, on behalf of Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan Government Relations Minister. “Through our Saskatchewan Plan for Growth, we recognize how vital infrastructure investment is to the quality of life in our communities, and special projects like this one showcase both the inspirations and the aspirations of Saskatchewan people.”

When complete, the Remai Gallery will have three times the area for exhibition space and two times the area for art education than the current gallery. In addition, it will have a café, gallery shop, and a 150-seat lecture theatre. The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan is planned to be open to visitors in the spring of 2016.

"Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many community-minded people," said Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison. "Yet it is just the beginning of what will be a landmark destination on the river in Saskatoon. One of the goals of our strategic plan is to improve the quality of life for everyone. The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan will add to our quality of life and provide cultural opportunities we have never seen before."

“This is an important moment for both the gallery and community,” said Jason Aebig, President and Chair of the Remai’s Board of Trustees. “Thanks to the extraordinary contributions of our donors, volunteers and gallery staff, the vision of the new Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan will be realized and Saskatoon will have a gallery that matches the creativity, ambition and energy of our growing city.”

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $13,020,000 for this project from the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component. The Government of Saskatchewan also committed $13,020,000 plus an additional $3,724,000 from the provincial Building Communities Program. The City of Saskatoon contributed $23,487,000 and nearly $21,000,000 was raised through private donations for a total project cost of $74,237,000. Furthermore, the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation donated $30,000,000 and an extensive collection of Picasso linocut prints unlike any other Picasso print collection worldwide. 

Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 is delivering a New Building Canada Plan to build roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail, and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories, and municipalities. Thanks to the Government of Canada’s leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 1 million net new jobs created since July 2009. The New Building Canada Plan, combined with other federal infrastructure investments, will support Canada’s infrastructure advantage, a key enabler of economic growth and job creation.

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Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan

The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan will be a world-class civic art museum and signature destination centre which will symbolize Saskatoon’s cultural diversity, engage the community, and celebrate the river valley.

The Gallery is collaborating with its neighbour, the Remai Arts Centre, creating a significant cluster of cultural infrastructure in downtown Saskatoon.

A wide-variety of gallery and exhibition programming will take place throughout the Gallery spaces, including the community gallery, Mendel Salon, Permanent Collection gallery, the Picasso Room, and the third floor Changing Gallery.

The third floor Changing Gallery is the largest gallery in the building. It is approximately 7,500 square feet and will house exhibitions that will change more frequently than permanent gallery exhibitions. It is also where visiting exhibitions will be presented.

Public amenities of the building will include a generous river-front atrium which will house a café, gift shop and outdoor terrace. 

Community spaces include art education studio classrooms, a 150-seat lecture theatre, and a multipurpose room.

Construction on the Remai Art Gallery has recently started. It is expected to be substantially completed by November 2015, and open to visitors in the spring of 2016.

Remai Gallery Construction Tender Funding

•           Provincial government            $16.744M

•           Federal government               $13.020M

•           Private fundraising                  $20.986M

•           City contribution                      $23.487M

Total Project                            $74.237M