Enjoy the arts without paying the price

By in Culture

Students all know the struggle of tightening their purse strings when times are tough. Unfortunately, one of the first expenses to hit the chopping block is often arts and entertainment. Although with a little bit of know-how, you can still get your culture fix on the cheap.

If you’re a theatre buff who enjoys watching Saskatoon’s premiere thespians perform at the Persephone Theatre, you may find yourself saddened on a Saturday night when you can’t afford the $38 ticket price. Don’t despair, though — if you’re willing to move your date night into a date afternoon, you can score a huge discount. Matinee tickets on Wednesdays cost $25 for students, and less popular nights like Tuesdays and Wednesdays are $28. You can also grab a full season pass of Sunday evenings for only $99, and never miss another hit.

Those prices may still be daunting though, so look no further than the University of Saskatchewan drama department’s Greystone Theatre. While there isn’t always Arts on a Budget - Jeremy Britza production up and running, as the actors involved in these shows are also active theatre students, keep an eye out for their two to three mainstage offerings each school year.

On Mar. 23, Canadian comedy Les Belles-Soeurs will commence its Greystone run, and preview tickets are a mere $13 for students. Plus, many students from the U of S acting program go on to the tread boards at the Persephone Theatre, so you may be getting an even bigger discount than you know.

Theatre isn’t for everyone, though, so if your artistic preferences lean more towards cutting-edge visual mediums or sophisticated galleries, you have plenty of options that won’t require busting open the piggy bank. You may not be able to afford original prints or paintings of your own — or even walls to hang them on, for that matter — but luckily, in the world of Saskatoon art, looking is free.

The gap left between the closing of the Mendel Art Gallery in 2015 and the opening of the Remai Art Gallery in 2017 is the perfect opportunity to explore Saskatoon’s burgeoning small galleries. For an eclectic mix of rotating feature exhibitions and a reliable base of modern work in sculpture, painting and photography in an intimate setting, check out Rouge Gallery downtown.

At the U of S, stop by the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, whose fast-paced turnover of feature exhibitions means you’ll see something new every week. Finally, keep it local by checking out artist’s interpretations of Saskatchewan in a variety of mediums at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery downtown, and be sure not to miss the beautiful paintings depicting life on a rural reserve by White Bear First Nation artist Ken Lonechild.

As fulfilling as art galleries and plays can be, sometimes everybody needs to let loose and rock out. Whatever your genre of choice is, music is an important part of many students’ lives. Unfortunately, catching your favourite touring artist’s sold-out show at SaskTel Centre just isn’t always within a realistic price range. Luckily, the local music scene is very much alive in Saskatoon, so look no further than local bars for a night out that won’t result in a month of eating Kraft Dinner for every meal.

Broadway Avenue is a great place to start if you’re looking for some local music almost any night of the week. Bud’s, Vangelis and Amigos are all Saskatoon staples for enjoying a live show on a budget — drinks are cheap and cover rarely exceeds $10 for a full night of several bands. For something a little different, check out the Yard & Flagon’s Roots Revue, featuring local talent in a casual setting — they don’t have a stage separate from the rest of the pub — every other Sunday.

The struggle to balance fun and finances is tough on students everywhere, and too often the sacrifice ends up being the artistic outlets that make us happy. All work and no play never ends well, so use these tips instead to save a spot for the arts in your budget.

Photo / Graphic Illustration: Jeremy Britz / Graphics Editor