We plan to establish an incubator to promote and support creativity and artistic entrepreneurship and collaboration across sectors. Community involvement, public access for education, presentation and observation, live/work, gallery, retail and recreation space are all cornerstones of our vision. As Saskatoon grows, so too will its need for new cultural amenities. The concept of ArtSpace is inspired by other communities who faced very similar challenges and found creative and effective solutions to overcome them.
ARTSPACE will provide exhibition spaces and performance venues for artists to showcase their works. Retail spaces will include coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops and art supply stores.
ARTSPACE will provide administrative homes and meeting spaces for cultural organizations. New synergies will develop between creative industries to stimulate exploration, collaboration and growth.
ARTSPACE will house a collection of creative groups and businesses that will offer studio space to artists and classes to the general public. Everything from glassworking, jewelry making, painting and pottery.
Many industries have experienced the synergy that comes from clustering or co-locating. A Saskatoon success story is Innovation Place and the biotechnology cluster that it has created. By offering a place where creative industries can come together ArtSpace will create new opportunities for collaboration and growth.
ArtSpace will provide an environment to incubate new and established artists, from both a creative perspective and the business side of art, including exporting their products to outside markets. Programing will be available to any artist working in any medium – something that will only be feasible with a critical mass of end users.
An important key outcome for artSpace will be to provide a space for the general public to create art. This will include programing for preschool, students (both primary and secondary), seniors and socioeconomic underprivileged people. By creating an arts civic centre, artSpace plans to not only make art more accessible but also provide the education system with additional educational resource. Hands-on learning as a great way to keep kids engaged in a positive way. Our goal is to maximize use of our classroom space throughout the entire day, creating programing for students and seniors during the day and for the general public in the evenings.
Projects similar to artSpace have retrofitted and renovated derelict historical buildings in older neighbourhoods. The results have been remarkable and have contributed to neighbourhood revitalization, increased property values and the preservation of historical community character.
The old decommissioned bus barns located in Caswell Hill is similar to that used in a successful conversion in Toronto – Artscape’s Wychwood Barns facility. The proven success of this facility and the positive effect that it has had upon its neighbourhood, makes the Saskatoon bus barns an extremely appealing option for ArtSpace.
Beyond economic factors, the cultural sector is also associated with citizen’s social engagement, including connections to volunteering, donating, helping neighbours, and better health. This new cultural amenity will not only enhance the lives of every day citizens, but also help protect an industry that adds to the vitality and attractiveness of a community. A great selection of recreational activities is a key part of any healthy city and art is an important part of that mix. Making art more accessible to the public and creating a space for art and artists to flourish is at the heart of ArtSpace.
Arts and culture play an important role in wealth creation, as well as creating a more desirable community in which to live. An hub would attract new workers and businesses. As Saskatoon looks to grow its local economy, different sectors require individualized incentives. While a manufacturer may require a tax abatement to help spur growth, the art and culture industry requires something quite different. One of the major challenges for the arts/culture industry is the lack of affordable space making it difficult for the arts industry to grow and flourish. By creating a long term dedicated space to serve as a cultural hub, ArtSpace aims to overcome this obstacle as so many other North American cities have.
One interesting benefit for a project of this size is its draw as a tourist attraction. Not only will it have a significant local and provincial draw, this space will serve as educational conference and workshop space for visiting tourists and artists, such as seen on Granville Island in Vancouver.
ARTSPACE is exploring a number of development opportunities within Saskatoon. The focus so far has been on the former city bus barns, located in Caswell Hill.
When ArtSpace first formed, it did so to address the increasing lack of affordable studio space for artists in Saskatoon. To tackle this problem, ArtSpace looked to other cities to see how they overcame this very same issue. Many created dedicated artistic hubs that rent out studio space below the market rate by offering programing to the public offsetting the cost of running the facility. In many cases, these facilities are financially self sustaining, needing no public funding to operate. Many of these examples also retrofitted and renovated derelict historical buildings in core neighbourhoods. The impact from these projects has been remarkable and led to neighbourhood revitalization, increased property values and the preservation of historical community character.
One example of this is Artscape’s Wychwood Barns facility in Toronto. Similar to Saskatoon's bus barn, it was a large storage and repair facility for the city’s transit department surrounded by neighbourhoods similar to Caswell Hill. Slated to be decommissioned in 2016, the Saskatoon bus barn property is a great option for ArtSpace based on the success of the Wychwood Barns project.
An important concern for the Toronto community was that the property not fall into disrepair and sit vacant, becoming an eye sore and a target for vandalism and crime. Also important for both communities; the incorporation of park space. While a large open green space is always desirable, in both circumstances, this option ran the risk of becoming a needle park. Converting the Bus Barns into a cultural hub creates a safe and exciting amenity for Caswell Hill with the potential to have the same economic effect that the Farmers Market had on rejuvenating Riversdale.
See how similar projects have transformed communities
CSpace Calgary is an arts hub, innovative venue and coworking space. CSpace offers affordable, flexible and inspiring spaces that are responsive to the evolving needs of new artistic practices, missions and enterprises while delivering unique gathering places for all Calgarians
GoggleWorks Center for the Artslocated in Reading, Pennsylvania was a former manufacturing site for safety goggles. Now, it houses galleries, studio artists, studios for the creation of virtual reality, ceramics, hot glass, warm glass, metalsmithing, photography, printmaking and woodworking, as well as a film theatre, a handcraft boutique and launchbox. With over 250,000 visitors a year the project is a major creative center in the USA
The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learningis a redeveloped Morton Brewery & Distillery site located in Kingston, Ontario. It is a city owned facility that houses 9 arts organizations, 8 studio artists, multi-use rental spaces. It offers classes, workshops, exhibitions, open houses and a variety of community activities.
The Convent, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is governed by an Elders Advisory Committee comprised of members of the 5 local Mi'kmaq communities along with an advisory committee of artists, tenants and members of the creative community. It is an inclusive facility hosting 4 large arts organizations, 40+ independent artists/art collectives, 21 private studio spaces, an open lounge/cafe community kitchen and 22 furnished spaces in a large open studio.
External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities (Harcourt) Committee
We must put culture and place at the centre of building Canadian communities
Kelley Jo Burke, President, Past President, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance
The SAA believes that the arts innovative and ARTSPACE's cultural hub would support creativity, artistic entrepreneurship, and collaboration across sectors. It would meet a need of Saskatoon artists and arts organizations and the benefit the city of Saskatoon by developing undervalued buildings as community assets, providing reasonably priced, permanent studio, rehearsal and performance space for working artists and arts organizations.
Frédéric Julien, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition
Canada’s artists and cultural workers have much higher levels of formal education than the overall labour force. Yet, their average income is 32% lower than other workers. Artists are also much more likely to be self-employed and to hold multiple jobs. Economic challenges are particularly significant for retiring artists, most of whom have been unable to save any money for retirement. In spite of these economic challenges, artists are broadly acknowledged as catalysts of revitalization and of place making.
Frédéric Julien, Co-Chair of the Canadian Arts Coalition
The advocacy body Americans for the Arts argues that cultural districts “help strengthen local economies, create an enhanced sense of place, and deepen local cultural capacity.” Canadian studies conducted by the Canadian Arts Presenting Association and Community Foundations of Canada found that cultural spaces and programming contribute to a sense of pride and a sense of belonging in the local community.
Carmen Milenkovic, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Craft Council
In our estimation, ARTSPACE will not only be a hub of creative impulse, creation and exploration but will offer an efficient infrastructure that could reduce duplication, enhance productivity and bring together, under one roof, education, creation, exhibition, and retail. How exciting a place it will be.
Levi Nicholat, MFA, The Gallery/art placement inc.
Because of our close interaction with local artists on a day-to-day basis, we know that finding affordable working space is now a primary concern for many artists. Low availability and high rates for the few available spaces lead many artists to work from their home, thereby missing out on the tremendous creative energy that a vibrant and active shared space can generate. ARTSPACE's objective to provide affordable studio space would greatly contribute the alleviation of this problem.
Funky Artsmiths Art Studio
Craft School YXE
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