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The Art of the Build: Black & McDonald at Saskatoon's Remai Modern


Visitors to Saskatoon’s new Remai Modern cannot help but be impressed by the museum’s breathtaking architecture and picturesque setting, overlooking the South Saskatchewan River at the centre of the city’s River Landing development. Equally impressive, though hidden within the building’s infrastructure, is the role Black & McDonald’s Saskatchewan Projects team played in ensuring the museum could open its doors to the public in October 2017.

Awarded the general construction project in the spring of 2017, the Saskatchewan Projects team had a tight timeline to complete the fit-out for the feature gallery space and the restaurant and kitchen on the museum’s main level. As the general contractor, the B&M team was responsible for all sub-trades, including concrete, flooring, drywall, paint, and kitchen equipment, all while self-performing the electrical and mechanical scopes on the project.

Midsummer, with the October deadline looming, the team was asked to assume the role of prime contractor on the project, which meant overseeing all trades working within the building, ensuring that safety regulations were followed by all parties and ultimately completing the fit-out of three additional gallery spaces, the second-level kitchen and the security office.

As the construction phase of the project neared its close, B&M’s focus shifted to supplying the Remai Modern’s transition team with an onsite presence to ensure the facility would be ready for the scheduled opening. These measures included activating the B&M Call Centre, allowing gallery staff to effortlessly register new requests and known deficiencies, and ensuring issues were addressed quickly by B&M’s Service Division. Finally, B&M’s National Facilities Management and Operations Division provided an operational framework for the facility, including a preventative maintenance plan.


Since the museum’s grand opening last year, B&M has continued to offer its support to ensure the museum’s success. The team continually offers its services for exhibit changeover requirements, including framing, drywall, paint and electrical. Most recently, B&M’s Energy & Sustainability Division proposed strategies to help the museum meet its commitments and goals under the International Association of Museum Facility Administrators (IAMFA).

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