You missed the Open House Weekend but come on along
we'll find something for you to do anyway...
The Artisan Open House weekend always takes place in June, so you missed it this year...but we'd really like to see you.
Catalogue House Tour
In the early part of the twentieth century, good crops and good prices brought prosperity to western Canadian farms. Families were eager to replace their shacks and sod houses with “real homes” and catalogue operations like Eatons provided the plans, lumber, hardware...even the glazing...and delivered the house kit to the nearest railway station.
Except for the Prairie Bells B & B and the Pioneer Museum house in Oyen, the houses are not open for viewing, but take an hour or two and drive by some of the houses on your way home at the end of the day.
Brochures and maps will be available at these galleries.
Gallery of Canadian Crafts
Artisans from across Canada are represented at That's Empressive!
- Polymer Clay
Home of Ojibwa Artist Nokomis
- Prints and plaques
Because of it's remote location, That's Empressive! built a small restaurant into the gallery and is open seven days a week from 6 in the morning 'til 9 at night....all year long! They serve soup and sandwiches any day of the week and have a Sunday Brunch from 10am - 2 pm from May until the end of October.
Sagebrush Studios ... Closed July 13 - 15 because of a funeral
Home of Painter Dean Francis and Potter Fran Francis
Saturday 9am - 6 pm and Sunday 10am - 6 pm Ph. 403-565-2039
Sagebrush Studios is a destination in itself. Painter Dean Francis is inspired by the rolling landscape that stretches out from his studio as far as the eye can see. His wife Fran builds non-functional pottery inspired by the colours of the earth or the texture of stones and fossils she finds in the hills that frame the South Saskatchewan River.
Over the years Dean and Fran have moved three churches onto their acreage and have spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours restoring and refurbishing them to house their art and making it available to the public from May to the middle of September....except for a brief period in July when you can find them at the Calgary Stampede.
The first building they renovated was the Mantario Gallery, formerly the United Church in Mantario, Saskatchewan. It was built in 1950 and moved to it's present location fifty years later. The restoration work took more than a year and it was opened as a seasonal gallery in June, 2001. That's it up above.
The second building to open was the Pinkham Studio. It was formerly the United Church and Town Hall in Pinkham, Saskatchewan. It and the former St. Anthony's Catholic Church from Mendham were moved onto the Sagebrush property in 2005 after much ado coordinating schedules with the mover. The Pinkham church was restored and opened as a working artist's studio in May 2006.
The third bulding, the Mendham Gallery (on the left), was formerly St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Mendham, Saskatchewan . Built in 1916 it served it's congregation well, until the nature of farming changed and villagers had to move to larger population centres to find work. Although the building was moved in March 2005, at the same time as the Pinkham United Church, it took many more years of loving restoration work before it opened as a seasonal gallery in May 2009. Even the choir loft is open and is hung with Dean's paintings.
The couple doesn't know when to stop.
They've xeriscaped their yard by transplanting hundreds (thousands?) of prairie plants from other parts of their land. Sagebrush, buffalo berries, prairie grasses and drought tolerant trees now grow in ribbons around and about the new galleries.
If that wasn't enough they've incorporated water features that have been edged with tons and tons of rock that has been hauled from who knows where and laid in place with gresat care and attention to size, texture and colour.
that work out of the Homecare office.
In her so-called spare time (she's a rabid gardener, too) she photographs the prairie wildlife and landscape.
The Cowboy Market 3D Barrel Racing
If you're in town on a Monday evening head over to the Cowboy Market.
Weather permitting barrel racing starts at 7:00 pm.
July 16, 23, 30
August 6 and 12th (finals)
This isn't a gallery, but a couple of local cowfolk opened a western store in their riding arena. Look for the blue barn on Railway Avenue on the western edge of town.
Call Jenn Howe 1-817-776-2030 for information.
If you're still in town on Sunday evening make a point of heading to what was once the Empress Catholic Church but now hosts an ecumenical unofficial service.
Nowadays the building is owned by a retired aeonautical engineer who just happens to play the banjo and is a bluegrass fanatic.
After Trevor Rodgers bought the building he decided that since he owned a church he should have a service. So every Sunday evening...all year long... he oversees a brief "church" service which becomes the excuse to then head to the basement for the real entertainment....where you'll get fed as well.
Bring an instrument...or not.
What's on That's Empressive's Shelves