THE ASSINIBOINE PARK PAVILION
NAR: Whether a family group, a picnic, or a solitary walk
throughout the many landscaped paths, the park remains
a joyful retreat from the city's hustle and bustle. And
the focal point has always been the Pavilion.
The first major building was the Pavilion designed by architect
John Atchison built in 1908 for $19,000. It included a 90-foot
tower, which contained a 16,000-gal water tank for watering
the park's grounds.
The Pavilion soon became a centre for Winnipeg social life
offering a dance and banquet hall, and, catering facilities.
For 20 years it hosted a variety of events. A tragic fire
in 1929 destroyed the pavilion leaving only a safe. A new
one was built in 1930. Yet its potential was never fully
The 1931 pavilion never reached its potential because the
parks board never had enough money to develop it.
HARTLEY RICHARDSON, PARTNERS IN THE PARK
This wonderful building had sat empty and abandoned and we
felt in order to make it a destination that we would like
to have a wonderful eating experience. So the Tavern in
the Park idea came as part of trying to make it an all
round experience for people.
The great joy is to see the pleasure it has brought to so
many people in so many ways that have such a wonderful connection
to this building. It spans generations and it spans all sorts
of emotional ties.
DONNA HICKS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PARTNERS IN THE PARK
In 1930 the Pavilion was rebuilt after a tremendous fire.
It sort of functioned for many years; it had a little banquet
facility. Over the years it became very tired - just an
old building. Then a group of really concerned citizens
saw the potential, walked through the building loved what
they saw and decided they would do a major fundraising
in order to rehabilitate the building. Tavern in the Park
happens to be one of the top-rated restaurants in Winnipeg.
The food is fabulous. We also do a large number of private
functions here - lots of weddings because the venue here
is so perfect.
And then when we come to the second and third floors we
have on the second floor Walter Phillip's work. We have one
of the largest collections in Canada. They are beautiful
watercolours - many of them done here and in Kenora. And
then on the other side of that floor we have Clarence Telenius.
His work is just incredible a lot of animals - mother and
baby type of animal pictures. They are quite spectacular.
When you come to the third floor we have Ivan Eyers work
- very modern, exciting, lots of controversy when you look
at his work and try to understand what it's all about. So
three very, very different artists.
I think one of the things I like the best is to hear from
someone that hasn't been here in 20 years, that I used to
come and have a hot dog and now look at this space. It's
so beautiful, so gorgeous. We have three different entities
here. One of course is the art gallery, which is an art museum.
Second we have the Leo Mol Sculpture Gardens. And then the
third entity is the Lyric Theatre, which is the outdoor stage.
So really what we are doing here is providing free for all
to enjoy - fine art, fine sculpture, and fine theatre.
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