Monday, January 17, 2011

Limited Editions 1/52

Saturday's SP (Jan. 15/11) featured an article on the Conservatory at the Mendel Art Gallery. It is touted as being one of 52 reasons to love Saskatoon.

When our children were young and we couldn't afford a winter vacation, Sunday afternoons at the Mendel Conservatory became our poor man's vacation destination. I recall many a time sitting in the warm, moist and fragrant conservatory fantasizing that I was in Hawaii or some similar spot and not enduring the wrath of a Saskatchewan winter. At Christmas the conservatory was full of poinsettias, Easter hosted a display of lilies, and at times the flora of the prairies. And because the Mendel was seldom closed the conservatory was available to the public for the cost of a donation each user could afford. Throwing a coin in the fountain and making a wish (usually to be in a warm vacation spot) became a ritual.

As I understand it, the conservatory will not be part of the new gallery. As Council seeks a tenant for the existing Mendel site, I suspect no paying tenant is going to open its doors seven days a week to an unpaying public. If the MVA takes over the space, its facility is not open to the degree the Mendel currently is and its staff is unionized.

I lament the thought that the Conservatory will become one of the 52 reasons we used to love about Saskatoon.

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