News & Donor Stories
Investing in Creativity: Government of Canada Supports a Bigger and Better Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan
September 17, 2017
On September 12, Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced $3 million in funding for the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan. Mr. Casey made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
“Our government is committed to supporting improvements to cultural spaces for artistic creativity and innovation. We are providing children and their families with the opportunity to experience lifelong learning in a larger and more accessible facility”, said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
This funding—provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund—will support the renovation and reconfiguration of the former Mendel Art Gallery building to house the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan.
“The goal of the Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan is to create a space where kids of all ages can come together to explore science, culture and art. Today’s investment will help them achieve this, and will benefit all the visitors who get to enjoy the new space and increased programming!” Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage shared.
The press conference also included remarks from Mairin Loewen, Deputy Mayor and City Councillor for Ward 7, City of Saskatoon, “This investment will help the Children’s Discovery Museum expand its offerings to our community and create greater opportunities for the kids of Saskatoon to play and learn together.”
The new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan is a non-profit organization that has operated a children’s museum at Market Mall in Saskatoon since 2009. The project will significantly increase the size of the museum from 2,000 to 12,000 square feet of exhibit space and raise the number of exhibits from four to ten. The facility will be fully accessible to individuals with mobility devices and reduced vision. It will also incorporate sensory considerations to accommodate visitors within the autism spectrum.
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation, through the improvement, renovation and construction of arts and heritage facilities, as well as the acquisition of specialized equipment.
“We are honored that the Department of Canadian Heritage has chosen to invest in our organization and the children we serve. The new children’s museum will transform the beloved Mendel building into a hub of activity for families, where children can learn, grow, play and connect with the many cultures of Saskatchewan” said Amanda McReynolds Doran, Executive Director, new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum on the Saskatchewan.
Dave Hunchak, past President of the Board of Directors for the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum shared how excited he was to see this project coming to fruition. “I have witnessed over the past several years how this museum is transforming from a 1200 square foot spaces to a 12,000 space that belongs to our kids and the future of our community. We are so pleased to be partnering with the City of Saskatoon and Department of Heritage to bring new life into the iconic Mendel building and honor the history of creativity that lives here. This facility will be a gateway for children to discover and experience the world around them. It will become a centrepiece of civic life in the greater Saskatoon area and offer a community focused environment for students, educators, families and visitors to learn, play and grow”.
Veronique Loewen, a community supporter who acted as the Master of Ceremonies, expressed her pleasure at being able to support the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum. “The museum is impacting the lives of the people of Saskatchewan, especially our littlest citizens.”
Some of those littlest citizens were in attendance and able to present Parliamentary Secretary Casey with a thank you card that they had created during the press conference.
September 7, 2017
Saskatchewan families are eagerly looking forward to the new PotashCorp children’s museum opening in the iconic Mendel building in the spring of 2019. Many people have experienced children’s museums and are aware that they offer exciting places for children to play, learn, and explore; and even more, Saskatchewan’s first children’s museum will also be a place where art, history, and culture intersect with play.
The New PotashCorp Children’s Museum is very pleased to announce that the museum will feature an interactive fibre art installation by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. This unique installation is being created especially for the new children’s museum in Saskatoon, and will be the first interactive, climbable structure of its kind in Canada.
MacAdam, originally from Japan, lives and works in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. She has been one of the most well-known fibre artists in the world since the 1980’s, with works featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of Modern art in Kyoto, and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma in Rome. MacAdam will crochet and dye tonnes of fabric by hand, to create a beautiful design that invites children to transform this art installation into an extraordinary playland. Children will be able to climb up into the structure itself and bound across, feeling the movements of other children and providing a combination of physical experiences they would have on a trampoline, a climbing rope or a tree house. Children playing under the structure will swing from tear-drop shaped extensions dropping down from the main level above. MacAdam and her team of fibre artists will spend the next 18 months crafting this piece, which will be installed in the early months of 2019.
The impressive design has caught the eye of Joe Remai, who explains, “As a real estate developer, my charitable interests tend to gravitate to tangible things – buildings and equipment that will meet needs for generations… I like the idea of being involved in something that my grandchildren and perhaps even their grandchildren can enjoy.” The Joseph Alfred Remai Family Foundation has made a $1,000,000 gift to the new children’s museum, and their contribution will be recognized at the Climber exhibit.
The Executive Director of the children’s museum, Amanda McReynolds Doran, predicts that this will be one of the most popular exhibits in the new museum. “When I first saw the design, my mind immediately brought me back to the beautiful, colorful blankets my grandmother used to crochet for us. The colors and patterns invoked memories of warm and happy moments in my childhood, and I cannot wait to see the myriad ways in which children can engage with the structure to explore and take risks in a safe, welcoming environment.”
July 14, 2017
Clint and Carole Forster called Saskatoon home from 1976 until 1991. They were busy years; raising their son and two daughters and growing their business “Saskatoon Telecable.” After selling the business in 1990, they moved to Victoria, B.C., but Saskatoon was never far from their minds. Their two daughters stayed behind and eventually married and had children of their own. With family still in Saskatoon, the couple continued to support many causes and fundraising campaigns.
“We are grateful that we have had the good health and the opportunity to achieve financial security,” says Clint. “Saskatoon has been good to us.”
Recently they donated $100,000 to the Kid Approved Capital Campaign to transform the iconic Mendel building into the new home for the PotashCorp children’s discovery museum. Visits with their grandchildren to the children’s museum in Palm Springs, California inspired them to get behind this project.
“The grandchildren enjoyed the hands-on displays where they could don a helmet and dig for fossils, paint an old Volkswagen, operate the cash register at a play grocery store, throw metal pots and pans at a magnetic wall, ride a cool, stationary motorbike, crawl through rope mazes etc.,“ says Carole. “It was a fun learning experience for children of a variety of ages.”
“We believe the experience has been important and memorable for them,” says Clint.
The Forsters are excited children here will soon get to create their own memories, once the doors open, in early 2019.
“The Children’s Discovery Museum will benefit children of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan by exposing them to interesting concepts, ideas and maybe lifelong hobbies or careers by educating them in a fun, colourful, and exciting environment,” says Carole.
The couple see the museum’s location on the Meewasin, opposite PotashCorp Playland at Kinsmen Park as ideal.
“The children can explore the museum, and then enjoy a picnic and activities outside in Meewasin Park and top the day off enjoying the rides and fun of Kinsmen Park,” says Carole. “The stars aligned when the Mendel became available.”
The Forsters are confident the community will step up to raise the remaining funds needed to open the children’s museum at the Mendel. They trust others will look for a way to help.
“Nothing is more satisfying and uplifting than to see people enjoying and benefitting from projects you support in your community either with your time and talents or your money,” says Carole. “I feel our philanthropic efforts are almost selfish as we get far more out of contributing to our communities than we ever give.”
May 27, 2017
Carla Loney-Tindall and her husband Joe Tindall are former Albertans who have proudly called Saskatoon home since 1995. They have raised two children here; their son Corbin (27) and daughter Alexis (25). The couple is now at a stage in their lives where they can focus on their bucket list. For Carla, she has the freedom to pursue projects that speak to her. Given her many years working for non-profits, she was lead to the capital campaign leadership team pursuing the transformation of the iconic Mendel Building into the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum.
“When I heard about the children’s museum I knew this was a winning project for our community and I wanted to be a part of it,” says Carla. “I was inspired by the opportunity to help build a unique place where hundreds of thousands of children will celebrate play, learning and creativity.”
She also loved the idea of repurposing the Mendel.
“I love the world class exhibits that are being planned throughout the museum,” says Carla. “The Discovery Mine and the Climber are absolutely incredible but so too is Toon Town, Little Bridges, Boxes of Fun, and Create Space. I can’t decide which areas I like more because it is all so amazing.”
Carla has taken her involvement one step further. Last fall she joined the Children’s Discovery Museum Board. More recently she and Joe became donors.
“Ever since we first heard about it I thought it was a fairly worthy cause,” says Joe. “It’s a project that is going to impact families in Saskatoon very positively. We get a lot of cold weather here and if you can take your kids somewhere for half a day, two or three times a year, it’s going to be pretty darn big.”
The couple has supported many important causes over the years, but their gift to the new PotashCorp children’s museum has been their largest to date. They have pledged $100,000 over five years. They strongly believe the new children’s museum will be the catalyst for sparking that desire to learn in kids of all ages and from all economic backgrounds.
“Kids are key to the future of this province, this country, and our world for that matter,” says Joe. “The children’s museum will be a launching point for really great hands-on learning opportunities.”
With the Kid Approved Capital Campaign on track to reaching its $10 million dollar goal, Carla and Joe are hopeful their story will spark that philanthropic spirit in others. They also want people to see that contributing to the new PotashCorp Children’s Discovery Museum is a great investment in our city and in our children.
April 3, 2017
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) is dedicated to improving community.
For the past 30 years, APEGS has regulated the practice of engineering and geoscience in Saskatchewan for the benefit and protection of the public, the environment and the benefit of society. Because they are deeply committed to strengthening communities, APEGS is making a $125,000 gift to the new PotashCorp children’s museum.
Council also agreed to a direct donation to CDM of $25,000 a year for 2016-18. As well, APEGS will match the donations that any APEGS member makes to the campaign up to a total maximum of $100,000. To donate go to http://www.museumforkids.sk.ca/, select the SEED Engineering Project and identify yourself as an APEGS member. APEGS Members, your donation will be matched by both APEGS and an Anonymous Donor. Your $1000 gift gives $3,000 to the future children’s museum.
“Having something like this would be a great destination to have in our city for families, friends and the community as well as helping our professions to grow,” says APEGS President Tara Zrymiak, P.Eng., FEC. “This is one of the best big projects going on in our community to help the children – it brings Saskatoon up another level in growing our community.”
Zrymiak sees the gift as a way of giving children the opportunity to be supported in exploring science – and to encourage young girls and indigenous children to get involved in engineering and geoscience professions.
Saskatoon’s engineering community has already been doing their part through an initiative called Saskatchewan Engineers Encouraging Discovery (SEED). In 2016, the children’s museum approached APEGS to make a capital donation.
“Not everyone can have a model of a working mine in their backyard but if you can make a day trip to the children’s museum and explore these kinds of things, you can see science and engineering in action,” says Ben Boots – Chair of the APEGS group that was tasked with defining the donation. As an engineer, Ben encouraged curiosity in his children – two of which grew up to be engineers. Looking to the future for his new granddaughter, Ben is excited about the opportunity being created with the future children’s museum. “It is important for kids to have the opportunity to explore their curiosity about how things work, are made, improved and developed so they can see the contributions people can make to improve their livelihood, their environment, their life.”
Thank you APEGS and APEGS members for investing in curiosity!