Thursday, October 8th 2015
An Open Memo to Mayor Don Atchison PDF Print E-mail

An Open Memo to Mayor Atchison.
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Letter to the Editor: High traffic site PDF Print E-mail

By C.J. Cote, The StarPhoenix, October 3, 2012

Anyone who drives past the Mendel Art Gallery can't help but notice on light posts the banners soliciting donations for the new art gallery.

Yet, if one were to drive anywhere in the vicinity of the preferred, and glorified, River Landing location of the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, all that is evidenced is construction vehicles, weeds, a parking lot, some white poles that represent waving wheat in the wind, and a lonely, out-of-place entrance gate to nothing.

Letter to the Editor: Show Me The Money PDF Print E-mail

By Wayne Eyre, The StarPhoenix September 6, 2012

The lead sentence of the story Gallery hits funds milestone (SP, Aug. 31) reads: "The $20-million fundraising target for the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan has been met."

It has? How? Nowhere in the story does it say how that goal was met. Did the money just fall out of the sky, or is city hall playing some sort of shell game with taxpayers' money?

Letter to the Editor: Disagreeing with RAGS PDF Print E-mail

Letter from Dave Geary, June 13, 2012

The 68 signers of the ad (page E7, June 9 SP) supporting the Remai Gallery of Saskatchewan (RAGS) express a certain viewpoint. However many others, including myself, are anything but excited about the "vision of this project". That's because the Mendel expansion/renovation plan of 2009 includes all the features the Remai promises and then some -  and at a better price and better location - and that plan continues to be a real option.

The structurally sound Mendel building would almost double in size to more than 45,000 square feet. The Grand Gallery would triple in size to 4,600 square feet.And the Conservatory would increase by 40 percent. The expanded and updated Mendel would have the same area of exhibition space as the proposed RAGS, "shell space" excluded. It would be a state-of-the-art world class facility that could serve a city of 500,000 and accommodate large "A list" exhibitions previously unavailable here.

Letter to the Editor: Protest Absent PDF Print E-mail

By C.J. Cote, The StarPhoenix March 19, 2012

Demonstrations have occurred over the federal Robocalls issue, while in our backyard the Mendel controversy is causing as much public upset as did the proposal for a downtown casino in 2003.

Media polls and letters to the editor indicate strong opposition to the Mendel closure, the lack of transparency of city officials, and the amount to be spent on the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan - initially quoted at $54 million and now exceeding $71 million. However, you can't have RAGS without parking, so including the $13 million underground parkade, the total cost is well over $84 million.

Letter to the Editor: Preserve Mendel PDF Print E-mail

By Stella Pristupa, The StarPhoenix March 27, 2012

I must defend the Mendel Art Gallery for what it means to Saskatoon. It is not broken and doesn't need fixing.

It is the dream of a man who chose Saskatoon to reconstitute an old auto factory into a meat packing plant that became the city's largest employer. Fred Mendel brought art and culture to Saskatoon, made a place for artists worldwide to show their work, for young people to learn the arts, and for school students to display their work.

His first gallery was above the packing plant, and then expanded to his home and that of his daughter, Eva Mendel Miller. It was their dream to create a gallery for Saskatoon - a way of thanking Saskatoon for making the Mendel family so welcome. If the city sees fit to destroy the dreams of a wonderful, passionate man, I am ashamed.

There must be a way to preserve the existing gallery and construct an adjoining structure with all the necessities for displaying and storing artwork. The Mendel is a much more pleasing building with a beautiful river view than the proposed monstrosity, which looks like poorly placed Lego blocks.

I worked for the Mendel family for many years and was there when his dream came true, when he entertained renowned artists, and when Bill Perehudoff painted the murals on the walls in the suite. Powers-that-be should think again. Can we not have something left in its original form instead of going to River Landing and being renamed because they have money? Give some heart back to those who helped create Saskatoon.

Stella Pristupa, Saskatoon

StarPhoenix: New gallery costs to jump $1.5M PDF Print E-mail


The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan will require $1.5 million more per year from taxpayers than the Mendel Art Gallery when it opens in 2015, which reflects the cost of running a much larger gallery, officials say.

Read the full article at the StarPoenix website

Letter to the Editor: Readers can decide PDF Print E-mail


The report, Mendel move supported; Survey criticized by some (SP, Feb. 16) about public opinion on this issue is misleading.

It is interesting that two recent media polls produced results radically different from the Fast Consulting market analysis funded by the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. Answering a simple, yes/no question, 70 per cent of 600 respondents to a CTV online poll don't support moving the Mendel to River Landing; similarly, 72.2 per cent of 7,837 respondents to a NewsTalk 650 Radio online poll don't support a move.

Interested readers can link from the StarPhoenix site to the Fast Consulting "data." Of course, RAGS supporters are counting on readers not having time to pore over a 47-page document. Therefore, I invite you to consider just one of many examples of how we've been misled through poorly constructed questions and manipulated responses.

Letter to the Editor: Loss of Faith PDF Print E-mail


I have lost faith in our mayor and council. This art gallery thing is totally out of control.

The high volume of letters to the editor at The StarPhoenix about the Mendel hasn't been enough to make this mayor and council think again. We get polls that pull the voters this way and then the other. There is a lot of dust flying over this gallery.

I saw a photo of the proposed addition for the Mendel Art Gallery, and it was quite attractive with the trees and background. I then envision the new gallery, which really puts me in mind of a big box store surrounded by concrete and pavement.

I think we should put a hold on this building until election time, and add a ballot for the two galleries as well as for the mayor and councillors. I know where my votes are going.

StarPhoenix: City staff given 'gentle reminder' on lobbying PDF Print E-mail


The City of Saskatoon's planning staff was sent a "gentle reminder" from management about using work email addresses to lobby for or against civic issues.

"It was a gentle reminder not to use the city hall system for their own personal input," said Alan Wallace, the manager of the city's planning and development branch. "They are citizens, they have their own rights to weigh in on certain issues. But where there are issues based in civic policy, any lobbying that's done has to be done on their personal time."

A number of staff members from the Mendel Art Gallery and the city's planning and development branch sent emails asking colleagues to support the move of the Mendel to the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan in online polls conducted by CTV Saskatoon and radio station 650 CKOM two weeks ago. The emails were forwarded to the The StarPhoenix by a number of employees and citizens who say they don't support the move.

Read the full article at the StarPhoenix website

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