I’ve just learned that the congregation of the 100-year-old Third Avenue United Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has been told by the church authorities that they may not apply for heritage building status. This would likely mean that when the congregation folds, as is probable, the building could be sold and perhaps demolished.
The building has some of the best acoustics of any concert venue in the province. The architecture is beautiful. It is already the site of choice for many performances. Performers of as high a caliber as Duke Ellington and Arthur Rubenstein have performed there. There is currently a group, separate from the church, the Third Avenue Centre, that regularly stages concerts and other performances in the 1200 seat main auditorium of the church.
There is a grassroots movement to try to reverse the governing body’s (Presbytery’s) decision about not applying for heritage status. If you know anyone in or near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who would sign the petition, the directions to the church are on the Friends of Third Avenue United blog.
There will be a public forum “Third Avenue United and The Importance of Saskatchewan Heritage” May 17, 2012 at 7pm at the church. Quoting from their blog, “the free event is sponsored by Great Places and Mendel’s Murals and includes feature speaker Bill Waiser, award winning author of Saskatchewan: A New History.”
Please forward this blog post to anyone who would be interested in both saving this historic structure, and in creating a unique and valuable performance venue.
For more information, check the Friends of Third Avenue United website (note particularly the 10 Ways You Can Help and the Interesting Facts).