Saskatoon artists evicted | CTV Saskatoon News


Published Sunday, May 20, 2018 5:56PM CST


Last Updated Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:04PM CST

Several artists in Saskatoon are scrambling to find a new studio after the building they were working out of was sold.

Artists recently were handed an eviction notice saying the building had been sold and tenants had a month to move all of their work and supplies

“Reasonable rent, that’s key for artists, we can’t afford to pay big rents because we’re really not making money at what we do,” painter Betsy Rosenwald said.

Betsy Rosenwald has worked in the same art studio downtown Saskatoon in the Tees and Persse building for twenty years. Several other artists worked out of the building, creating art, preparing for art shows, and connecting with others.

“I just couldn’t imagine what was going to happen without my studio. How I was going to move, what I was going to do. Where was I going to go? Would I stay here? That’s how important my studio was to me. It’s where I live in my soul,” Rosenwald said.

Rosenwald had to move her art supplies into her home. She says everything is scattered around her house, in her garage, in her basement, and on her porch, making her “not able to make art.”

The change has Rosenwald hunting for a new studio, but it hasn’t been easy 

“It’s been a rude awakening what commercial rents are going for and what they offer and really how inappropriate they are for our needs,” Rosenwald said.

Rosenwald says she was paying $370 a month for her 400 square foot studio in the Tees and Persse building. She says she hasn’t been able to find any commercial space in that price range, and has to use an empty garage as her studio.

Rosenwald wants the City of Saskatoon to give tax abatement to building owners who rent to artists and not for profit cultural groups. She says that way more artists will be able to afford a studio space in the city and could also help create a cultural core downtown.

-With files from a report by Stephanie Villella





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