Best Museums in Saskatoon
In 1948, Saskatchewan pushed the growth of its arts, music and literary scene. The push was led by then-Prime Minister Tommy Douglas. Today, this art initiative continues to thrive. Its abundance of culture activities is part of the reason it's such a great place to invest in real estate.
If you’re visiting Saskatoon or you're new to the area, take some time to explore its museums and galleries and gain some cultural appreciation.
Here are some of the finest Saskatoon museums you can find in this charming area:
If you pass by the River Landing, you’ll find the exquisite public art museum, Remai Modern. Designed by Bruce Kuwabara, the museum was opened in October 2017.
Remai Modern offers a collection over more than 8,000 artworks from both Canadian and international artists. The community often gathers here for cultural engagement. You can find 11 gallery spaces, outdoor terraces, and a theater housing a hundred and fifty seats. There are also rooms that provide a magnificent view of the South Saskatchewan River.
Permanent Collections in Remai Modern
Active art collection started here in 2014 with a prime focus on acquiring contemporary works of art, the bulk of which were donated, while some were purchased straight from the creators. You’ll find artworks by Georges Braque, Brian Jungen, Rebecca Belmore and Haegue Yang in Remai Modern.
A famed permanent collection is from the former Mendel Art Gallery, which was passed along to Remai Modern. The collection includes early 20th century artworks reaching around 7,700.
Another highly sought-after collection is the 405 ceramics and 23 linocuts created by the art master, Pablo Picasso. Remai Modern owns the largest collection of Picasso linocuts, donated by Ellen Remai. For the ceramics, the donor was Frederick Mulder.
Hours of operation
The museum is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and weekends from 10AM to 5PM. On Fridays, it’s open from 10AM to 9PM.
Diefenbaker Canada Centre
After enjoying a stroll on one of Saskatoon's best walking trails, you can always explore the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. Another distinctive museum is the renowned Diefenbaker Canada Center, named after the 13th Prime Minister, John G. Diefenbaker.
Back in 1969, he donated his estate when he became Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. The Diefenbaker Canada Center opened to the public in June 1980.
Permanent Collections in Diefenbaker Canada Center
Diefenbaker Archival Collection
The museum showcases a display on the life and career of Diefenbaker. His office and Privy Council Chambers were replicated. You can also see traveling exhibits featuring his career pursuits.
The Archival Collections is made up of personal and professional papers, including the Prime Ministerial papers, books, and audio-visual items. There have also been acquisitions of more documents and photos in recent years.
Gallery visits currently feature 'One Canada: Diefenbaker’s Vision' centering on nationalism and identity. Another interesting thing you can expect to find are two replica rooms that depict the political life in Canada back in the 1950s and early 1960s. Personal items of Diefenbaker as well as his original furniture are also on display.
One can have an immersive experience seeing the cabinet meeting room, designed with replicas of furniture from that period. You can also check out original signed photos of 12 Canadian Prime Ministers.
It’s worth exploring Diefenbaker Canada Center, given its frequently fascinating exhibits. In the past, they’ve displayed interactive exhibits such as Cipher Decipher, featuring a real Enigma cipher machine.
Another was an exhibition highlighting Fakes & Forgeries, where you get an idea of how to tell authentic items from fraudulent objects.
Upcoming exhibits are Iron Willed: Women in STEM and Canola: A Story of Canadian Innovation. But don’t miss out on the current exhibit, Amati Quartet: The Legacy of the University of Saskatchewan. It unveils very rare Amati instruments as part of the university’s collection.
Hours of operation
The museum is open on Wednesdays to Saturdays from 12PM to 4:30PM. Check their website for schedule updates.
Ukrainian Museum of Canada
If you like learning about other cultures, you can head to the Ukrainian Museum of Canada where artifacts connected to the Ukrainian tradition are showcased. It specifically concentrates on history and ethnographic arts.
The collections are diverse, ranging from books and photos to clothing and documents brought by Ukrainian immigrants. The museum’s library contains Ukrainian and English books, newspapers, and journals as well.
Galleries in the Ukrainian Museum of Canada
The Main Gallery
This houses cultural, religious, and heritage artifacts against the backdrop of the Canada immigration.
William Kurelek Special Collections Gallery
William Kurelek’s original paintings are on display here. The series depicts the artist’ mother’s Ukrainian heritage, and also promotes the women pioneers of Ukraine.
This gallery is regularly updated, showcasing 3-4 new exhibits every year. Currently, you can learn more about the maps of Ukraine from the 17th to 21st century from the present exhibit titled, Terra Cossacorum II.
Hours of operation
The museum is open on Wednesdays to Fridays from 10AM to 4:30PM. It’s closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and weekends. Check the website schedule for updates.
Western Development Museum - Saskatoon
The Western Development Museum is a worthwhile visit. You can learn more about the economic unfolding of Saskatchewan, dating back to the turn of the century to the early 20th when Western towns flourished.
The museum portrays a permanent exhibit of 1910 Boomtown. Living in Saskatoon today is great, but life in the city looked different not too long ago. This exhibit captures the regular town in Saskatchewan, embodying the vibe of the busy era. Enjoy replicas of over 40 buildings where community life is on display.
It’s fascinating to see a general store and blacksmith shop from that vibrant age. You can even hear the relaxing sound of the horses’ clopping on cobblestone! Don’t miss seeing the exhibits 'A Saskatchewan Story' and 'Transportation Gallery'.
To make it even more memorable, dine at the Boomtown Cafe and head to the gift shop for souvenirs.
Hours of operation
Galleries and the gift shop are open daily from 9AM to 5PM. The Boomtown Cafe welcomes the public daily from 8:30AM to 4PM.
Always check the schedule during Special Holidays since the museum may close early or remain closed for the day.
Make museum hopping around Saskatoon part of your itinerary for a unique adventure!