Moose Jaw Cultural Centre
Located in historic downtown Moose Jaw, the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre is a home for all forms of visual and performing arts. Housing the Mae Wilson Theatre & Visual Arts Gallery, the buildings that now make up the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre have been an important part of Moose Jaw for more than 100 years.
Mae Wilson Theatre
Initially designed in 1913 as a Monarch Theatre, construction of the building was halted by World War I. The Allen Theatre Company took over the project, altered the design and finally opened it in 1916. It was the largest theatre in Saskatchewan and represented the zenith for the theatre business in Moose Jaw.
In 1922 the building took on the name ‘The Capitol’ and started a long association with the Famous Players Theatre chain. The Former Capitol 3 Theatre was a hub of activity for entertainment and social life. It offered patrons movies as well as performing arts.
In 1929 equipment for ‘talking’ pictures was installed. Famous Players sold the building in 1982, and from 1983-2001 it was a three-screen movie theatre that was no longer equipped for performing arts.
In 2003 the building went through an extensive restoration process before it re-opened as the Mae Wilson Theatre, part of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre. At this time, it was re-equipped to show performing arts.
Visual Art Gallery
Initially designed in 1914, the Former Army and Navy Store is now a hub for local artists and arts organizations.
In 1914 the Merchants Bank planned to construct a six-storey office block on nearby High Street, but the impact of war put an end to those plans. By the spring of 1918, the Merchants Bank commissioned this building as a temporary office while they built a grander bank on an adjacent lot. Various retailers and professionals occupied the building until 1945, when the Army and Navy department store chain purchased it. In 2000, the chain withdrew from the city, and the Former Army and Navy Store became part of the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre with the neighbouring Capitol Theatre building.
The main floor now houses the Visual Art Gallery, which features new exhibitions every six weeks and showcases visual and fine craft artists from Moose Jaw and the surrounding regions. A wide variety of mediums are represented, including oil, acrylic, watercolour painting, ceramics, sculpture, glass, and photography.
The second floor of the former Army and Navy is now home to office and studio spaces for local artists and arts organizations.