The Shurniak Art Gallery of Assiniboia is excited about the exhibitions and activities coming this year

William (Bill) Shurniak founded the art gallery in 2005 and supported it financially until his death in 2020.

With the pandemic measures all but lifted, the Shurniak Art Gallery in Assiniboia is preparing to host several exhibitions and activities this year, some of which could not be held in the past two years.

Staff are working to convert some of the galleries so that the venue can accommodate an exhibition from White Rock, British Columbia, featuring works from the collection of the late founder William (Bill) Shurniak, explained Gail Mergen, public relations manager. Shurniak had a home in White Rock, so these works are his last bequest to the gallery after his death in 2020.

These 38 paintings will be exhibited by Tuesday, April 26.

“It’s like an expansion of some of Bill’s favorites… (with) some nice big canvases,” Mergen said. “In addition, we have a donation from artist Ross Penhall from Vancouver. He donated a surprising painting in memory of Bill Shurniak. It’s called “Flyover” and we include it in the White Rock collection. »

The painting is surprising due to its size and subject matter, she added.

From June 1-23, the gallery will showcase works by Saskatchewan artists through a partnership with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), Mergent continued. The tour is titled “The Flower may not look like the Roots” and focuses on the artists’ connection to their regional identity.

Each artistic medium that artists use provides useful insights into how geography and sense of place figure into the personal landscapes of their minds.

Sponsored by the Shurniak Art Gallery, the Prince of Wales Center in Assiniboia will host a four-day artists’ retreat July 18-22. This retreat is open to all artists and will be a non-directed retreat, meaning they can focus on – and produce – whatever they want while there.

“I expect there to be around 25 artists from across the province here – I hope. We haven’t had it for the past two years, but it’s planned to be an annual event,” Mergen said.

Around the same time, from June 25 to July 22, the art gallery will present an exhibition of works, including some of these same artists participating in the retreat, she continued.

Meanwhile, employees are preparing to hold an inaugural fundraiser for the gallery on Saturday, July 2. This will include a dinner and an evening street party.

“The gallery has been funded by Bill Shurniak since its inception in 2005, and now that he’s passed away, we’re in a position where we have to solicit support from the wider community,” Mergen said.

Finally, the art gallery is planning to hold a big event from September 15-18 that focuses on teas in different cultures and the ceremonies these cultures hold. Participants will have the opportunity to go to nearby hills to collect materials for teas.

This event is part of the venue’s efforts to promote reconciliation.

For more information on any of the events or exhibits, visit

William E. Bennett