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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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Saskatoon in Saskatchewan.

 

Saskatoon is a city in central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. Residents of the city of Saskatoon are called Saskatonians.

Galleries and museums

The Mendel Art Gallery is situated on the bank of the South Saskatchewan River. Its permanent collection exceeds 5,000 works of art. In 2005, it began a major renovation project that will expand the size of the gallery by seventy per cent. In September 2005, however, the City of Saskatoon announced that it had entered discussions with the Mendel to the end of having the Mendel abandon its renovation/expansion project in favor of instead relocating the facility to a new arts and culture centre that is planned for the south downtown area.

The Art Gallery of Saskatchewan was announced in April 2009 as the replacement for the Mendal Art Gallery, which will be constructed at River Landing, around the previously constructed Remai Arts Centre, which houses the Persephone Theatre company. The Art Gallery will be built matching contributions of $13 million from the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. The City of Saskatoon and other key partners have also committed funding in support of this project. The total estimated costs for the Gallery, which will serve as the destination centre for the River Landing project, will be approximately $51 million.

Currently, the City of Saskatoon is waiting for design proposals on the Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. According to the Mendal Art Gallery website, the new Gallery will be a multi-storey building, adjacent to Persephone Theatre, in the range of 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2). The facility will allow up to three times the present available gallery space and will include studio and classroom space for education programs including an adaptive community studio and lecture theatre, meeting rooms and space for administrative functions. Emphasis will be placed on meeting functional requirements while also providing an appropriate signature architectural presence in the city’s south downtown. The atrium that is visualized for the front of the Gallery will provide not only adequate space for Gallery functions and activities and special public events but will also be a gathering place at River landing and will include visitor services and a gift shop. There will also be a bistro, restaurant and catering support and the site will incorporate 250-stall underground parking.[68] The decision to drop the Mendel name has been controversial.

The Ukrainian Museum of Canada is also located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The foremost attraction for Ukrainian culture in Saskatoon, it houses various artifacts such as textiles, tools, musical instruments and clothing, and displays them for public viewing. It has branches in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto.

Saskatoon is also home of the Saskatchewan Western Development Museum. This museum, one of four throughout the province, documents early pioneer life in Saskatchewan. It is noted for its interior recreation of a "Boom Town" main street, including one original building relocated from its original site. The Saskatchewan Railway Museum is located just outside the city and includes displays of rolling stock and historic railway buildings from various parts of the province.

The Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is a National Historic Site situated in the north east region of the city. The Forestry Farm was a historic nursery (dating from 1913) responsible for growing many of the trees planted within the prairie provinces. In 1966 the nursery operations were discontinued and part of the region turned into a municipal park. The city zoo is also housed within the park and features over 80 species of animals. Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a National Historic Site situated five km to the north of Saskatoon. It is an Aboriginal archaeological site and features displays, special events, and activities, recent renovations are on hold due to a lack of funds during the renovations.

Events and festivals

Saskatoon's major arts venue is TCU Place, which is located adjacent to Midtown Plaza downtown. Since opening in 1967, it has hosted scores of concerts, theatrical performances, live events such as the Telemiracle telethon, high school graduation and university convocation ceremonies, and conventions. It is also home to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. It recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to its main theatre (named in honor of former mayor and senator Sidney Buckwold).

For rock concerts and major shows, Credit Union Centre is the main venue. It is Saskatchewan's largest arena, with a capacity of 15,000 for sporting events and 14,000 for concerts. Musical acts from Saskatoon include Joni Mitchell, Kyle Riabko, Wide Mouth Mason, The Northern Pikes, and The Deep Dark Woods, as well as countless others popular at both local and regional levels.

Saskatoon hosts many festivals and events in the summer, including the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Saskatchewan Children's Festival, the Saskatoon Fringe Theatre Festival (a showcase of alternative theatre), Saskatoon Folkfest (a cultural festival), and the Canada Remembers Airshow.

For over 25 years, Saskatoon has hosted a gathering of antique automobiles, (mainly from the 1960s) that has grown into an event called "Cruise Weekend". The event is usually held on the last weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in August. Activities include a poker derby, dances, and a show 'N' shine with over 800 cars from all over western Canada. No admission is charged and everyone is free to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

The city's annual exhibition (now called the Saskatoon Exhibition but also known in previous years as Pioneer Days and "The Ex") is held every August at Prairieland Park. In the late 1990s, the Saskatoon Exhibition was rescheduled to August so that it no longer was in direct competition with the Calgary Stampede, which frequently overlapped the event.

Saskatoon was the 2007 host city for the Juno Awards, Canada's foremost music industry honours.

Live theatre

Live theatre is a central, vibrant part of Saskatoon's culture. Saskatoon is host to a number of live theatre venues such as the Persephone Theatre, which is located in the Remai Arts Centre at River Landing in downtown Saskatoon, The Refinery and the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company. Saskatoon is also home to performance groups such as, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Live Five, Troup du Jour, Saskatoon Gateway Players, Saskatoon Summer Players. Local improv groups such as The No-No's and Saskatoon Soaps have weekly and monthly performances respectively at various venues around the city.

Saskatoon also boasts the only burlesque group in the Prairies, the Rosebud Burlesque.

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