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Remai Modern celebrates grand opening in Saskatoon

Saskatoon, Canada — With fanfare that included traditional Indigenous and Métis performances, Remai Modern, Canada’s museum of modern art, proudly celebrated its grand opening today at River Landing in Saskatoon.

The official opening of the stunning new 130,000-square-foot, four-storey museum began with a civic ceremony outside the building.

“Today’s events culminate a visionary, multi-year process, and we’re delighted to reveal the building and our exciting inaugural exhibition, Field Guide, to the public and our eminent guests from across Canada and around the world,” said Gregory Burke, Remai Modern Executive Director & CEO.

“This beautiful, accessible museum has arisen on the riverbank over the past four years, and now we can share with everyone its creativity and potential.”

Designed by leading Canadian architect Bruce Kuwabara, of Toronto-based KPMB, Remai Modern is an art museum and much more. It is envisioned as a community gathering space, with main-floor amenities—including a welcoming atrium with fireplace, restaurant and bar, art and design store, and gallery space—that will be free of charge.

Remai Modern also boasts 11 gallery spaces, a learning studio, 150-seat theatre, outdoor terraces, and varied spaces available for rent. The beautiful spaces, flooded with natural light, overlook breathtaking riverbank vistas and feature art throughout. The facility has a two-level underground parkade owned by the City of Saskatoon, and a main-floor link to neighbouring Persephone Theatre.

“We are extremely grateful to our federal, provincial and city partners, as well as many private and corporate donors, and the staff, board members and volunteers who have worked so hard to get us to the finish line today,” Burke said.

Remai Modern has received just over $16 million from the Government of Canada. An initial grant of $13 million went toward capital construction costs of the $84.63-million building. A further federal grant of $3,082,044 million was announced in March of this year. The latter grant, issued through Heritage Canada’s Cultural Spaces Fund, supported the construction and completion of the Marquee and Feature galleries and the purchase of specialized vault systems and other equipment.

The Government of Saskatchewan contributed $17 million to the project, and the City of Saskatoon contributed $30.29 million. Private donors have covered about 30% of the capital costs, or nearly $25 million.

“Cultural institutions like Remai Modern are critical to developing dynamic communities that celebrate Canada’s diverse heritage and creativity. I’m proud that the Government of Canada helped make this exciting centre for contemporary art and community engagement a reality,” said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to have played a significant role in making Remai Modern a reality, which will be an artistic and cultural beacon for Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, and a facility that will enhance the quality of life of our great province and will help make the Bridge City an even greater tourist destination, said the Honourable Don Morgan, Deputy Premier and Saskatoon Southeast MLA, who attended the grand opening.

“Our community has been waiting for the opportunity to step in this building and experience it,” said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark. “I am excited that the day has come to open the doors. Remai Modern will become the Living Room of our city, where people from all parts of our community and around the world will gather, build our imagination, and shape the future of our community.

“I’d like to thank all of the government and private donors who have provided the support to build this building and all of the staff from the City and the gallery, and volunteers who have worked so hard to get us to this opening day,” Clark said.

Quick Facts

  • Remai Modern is a 130,000-square-foot museum with 11 exhibition galleries, a 150-seat theatre, a learning studio and 68-seat restaurant.
  • Leading Canadian architect Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB created the award-winning design for the building, which is in the Prairie Modern style.
  • Multi-use spaces abound on every level of the building.
  • The ground floor of the museum is free to the public. It features large-scale art installations, a changing gallery space, a restaurant, art and design store, and a welcoming atrium with a gas fireplace.

About Remai Modern
Remai Modern aims to be a vibrant, imaginative and prescient museum, fulfilling a role as Canada’s modern art museum. Its vision is to collect, develop, present and interpret the art of our time, and to enable transformative experiences by connect art with local and global communities. It embraces the powerful role played by art and artists in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era, from 1905 to the present. Keeping in close dialogue with Indigenous artists and communities, the museum strives to be a leading centre for contemporary Indigenous art and discourse.

For further information, contact:
Sheila Robertson
Communications Manager
Ph +1 306 975-2242

Remai Modern is made possible thanks to contributions from the Government of Canada, the Province of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, and many private and corporate donors. We are also grateful for program support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, the Frank & Ellen Remai Foundation, and TD Bank Group.