Unique spaces showcase Saskatchewan art and culture in the prairies

Scattered across the Saskatchewan prairie are a colourful collection of galleries displaying the work of local and visiting artists alike.

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This article is part of a Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post series called ‘The road less travelled,’ exploring rural art and artists in Saskatchewan. Read more in the paper or online at thestarphoenix.com and leaderpost.com.


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Where there is art and artists, there are galleries to showcase the work.

Scattered across Saskatchewan is a colourful collection of galleries displaying the work of local and visiting artists alike. Many of the buildings housing them are creative by design, and others are creative by necessity — transforming old and otherwise unused structures into art spaces.

Here are a few unique art galleries in rural Saskatchewan:

And Art Gallery, Davidson

It’s not too often you see a bank vault full of paintings — or at least, not one that’s regularly open to the public.

When Gail Prpick had the opportunity, she transformed the century-old brick building in downtown Davidson into an artistic haven for local artists.

Prpick’s And Art Gallery hosts local and regional artists on its walls and in the old bank vault. She said works produced by about seven other artists from the area are currently on display.

A lot of people are surprised to find a gallery of this scope in a place as small as Davidson, which is just one more reason she’s happy to keep the place running smoothly, she said.

“I’m proud, because a lot of these artists wouldn’t be showing otherwise. People don’t realize how much talent is out there, and they can come take a look and it doesn’t cost anything.”

Happy Chance Treasures, Hawarden

Shawna Mitchell was looking for a place to start her own art venture with her partner when they stumbled on the old, unused church in the village of Hawarden.


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They bought the building, refurbished it, and launched Happy Chance Treasures art gallery.

Mitchell said as a young ar
tist, she knew she was among a select few who owned and ran galleries. Hawarden is fairly remote, but enough traffic passes through the town that they still get their fair share of visitors, she said.

The old church building has been entirely converted as a space for Mitchell and her partner to continue creating and invite people in to a unique gallery space in Saskatchewan.

“It was a building designed for people to feel glorified, to feel peaceful,” Mitchell said. “It was meant for people to … feel at home, and I think even though we’ve changed a couple of things, that feeling is still there.”

Artists Shawna Mitchell and Michael Ferguson opened the Happy Chance Treasures art gallery in the old church building in Hawarden, Sask. Photo taken in Hawarden on Thursday, June 17, 2021.
Artists Shawna Mitchell and Michael Ferguson opened the Happy Chance Treasures art gallery in the old church building in Hawarden, Sask. Photo taken in Hawarden on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Station Arts Centre, Rosthern

It’s an art gallery, a theatre performance venue, a small “tea room” café, a train caboose museum — the list goes on and on for the Station Arts Centre.

As an artistic space built in an old train station building in Rosthern, Sask., the centre is most certainly unique.

The Station Arts Centre is based in a renovated CN Railway station, re-using a building with strong ties to Saskatchewan’s settler history that might have otherwise fallen into disrepair.

Executive director Nicole Thiessen said the centre is an artistic hub for much of the neighbouring community and most of Saskatchewan, despite its rural setting.


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“People are very loyal to the arts in this area,” she said. “They take a lot of pride in the communities in this area … there are wonderful supporters right here, close to us.”

Thiessen said she enjoys seeing visitors’ expressions when they walk through the door. Like Prpick, she said most people don’t expect to find something like this in small-town Saskatchewan.

Prairie Wind & Silver Sage, Val Marie

Far in the south of Saskatchewan, there’s a schoolhouse in Val Marie that’s nearly a century old.

Instead of hosting classes, the “little brick schoolhouse” is now an art gallery, coffee shop, “ecomuseum” and more.

Prairie Wind & Silver Sage is a non-profit organization that runs the various branches housed in the old schoolhouse. It was built in 1927 — one year after the incorporation of the village of Val Marie, according to the PWSS website — and ultimately saved from demolition when the non-profit refurbished it into a multipurpose artistic and heritage space.

Despite its remote location, the PWSS hosts art and exhibitions in two small separate galleries, and has hosted artists in an artist-in-residence program.

Little Manitou Art Gallery, Manitou Beach

Most people visit Manitou Beach for the beautiful mineral waters, but it’s almost impossible for the Little Manitou Art Gallery not to catch their eyes.

The gallery, built in the heart of the village, started as one small building to house the artwork of Sarah McKen and her partner.


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That first small building is still there — at the heart of a series of showcases, stages, and gardens that fill out the Little Manitou Art Gallery.

“It has organically grown and come together,” McKen said. “Artists have joined us, friends have given suggestions … it is so much more than we ever thought it could be.”

McKen said the gallery grew by word of mouth, starting with just a handful of artists to more than 180 from across the province and beyond.

The colourful array of buildings hold gallery and work spaces, as well as a stage for musical performances. The space may have started as a small gallery in rural Saskatchewan, but it has grown to be another destination in the tourist town.

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