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Moose Jaw Approves Demolition of Mid-Century Modern Icon

Ottawa, ON April 20, 2012 -- The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is dismayed to learn that Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan’s city council has approved the rezoning and eventual sale of its Modernist Civic Centre arena – a 2011 HCF  Top Ten Endangered Places listing – paving the way for its demolition.

Saskatchewan architect Joseph Pettick’s (1924-2010) dramatic design for the multi-purpose arena, built in 1959 and affectionately nicknamed “The Crushed Can,” won the Massey Medal for architecture, a precursor to Canada’s Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

The arena was shuttered in the summer of 2011. In September a request for proposals (Sale and Development/Redevelopment of the Moose Jaw Civic Centre Site) was released by the city, calling for the “highest and best use of the site.” On April 16, council accepted the bid that called for the Civic Centre’s demolition, a facility that has seen $3 million in upgrades over the past decade. Disappointed that more consideration was not given to bids that allowed for the arena’s preservation—in terms of both environmental costs and heritage value—has been expressed by councillors. 

The innovative cable roof structure, which gave the Civic Centre its unique shape, was seen as a breakthrough in structure, aesthetics, cost management, and energy conservation.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non profit organization with a mandate to promote the preservation of Canada’s historic buildings and places. Please join or make a tax-deductible donation today.

For further information contact:

Carolyn Quinn, Director, Communication; 613-237-1066 ext. 229; 613-797-7206