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Lockdown cancels ice rentals, closes museum, art gallery and the Sport and Wellness Centre –



The city announced its closure plans Wednesday for the second provincewide COVID-19 pandemic closure that starts on Saturday, including the cancellations of all ice rentals between Dec. 26 and Jan. 22.

Peterborough Transit will continue to operate as scheduled throughout the lockdown, but riders must wear face coverings and maintain two-metre social distancing.

The Art Gallery of Peterborough, the Peterborough Museum and Archives and the Sport and Wellness Centre will be closed to the public, while the Peterborough Public Library will close to the public and bring back curbside pickup service, starting on Dec. 30.

City council will return to virtual meetings in January.

City Hall will be closed to the public until Jan. 22 and people are asked to use phone or online services to reduce traffic at other municipal facilities during the pandemic.

Essential services, including emergency services, public works, transit and wastewater treatment, will continue uninterrupted, according to a press release from the city, with safety measures for staff remaining in place based on public health’s guidelines.

Here’s a look at changes to municipal services that are expected:

Arena Division

All ice rental bookings during the period Dec. 26 through Jan. 22 have been cancelled. A full refund or credit for cancelled dates will be applied. During the holiday season, arena customer service will be closed from Dec. 24 at noon and Jan. 4 at 8:30 a.m. when staff will be available by calling 705-742-7777 ext. 2577 or by email at

Art Gallery of Peterborough

The Art Gallery of Peterborough will remain closed until and including Jan. 22.

Building Services

Beginning Jan. 4, Building Services will provide a modified pickup and drop-off service from their location in the north wing of City Hall. People can access services online or by phone 705-742-7777 ext. 1892 whenever possible. Visit for information, forms and the application process.

Child Care Centres

Licensed centre based and home child care can remain open for the duration of the provincewide shutdown. At this time most licensed child care centres in Peterborough city and county will be open and providing regular full day services for children aged 0 to 3.8 years for the week of Jan. 4 to 8. Families are encouraged to contact their current licensed child care provider to confirm access to care for Jan. 4 to 8.

To support the families of school-aged children, the city will be implementing a targeted emergency child care plan for school-aged children of essential services workers as identified by the province, at no cost to eligible families, from Jan. 4 to 8. Emergency child care services for children of JK/SK and school age (3.8 to12 years) will be available for essential service workers in the city and county.

To be eligible for the emergency child care plan for essential services workers, families must have no other option for child care and be working outside of their home. Families can indicate they are an essential worker and register for emergency child care at Registration, approvals and communications will be managed by the chosen Emergency child care agency. Registrations will open Dec. 24 at noon.

Before and after school programs, with the exception of the emergency child care agencies, are required to close from Jan. 4 to 8 and are prohibited from charging fees or otherwise penalizing parents during this time period. For example, parents must not lose their respective child care spaces.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres must close to the public beginning Dec. 26 until Jan. 23. This means that neither indoor nor outdoor programming can be offered during the shutdown.

Families who are currently in receipt of child care fee subsidy may contact your case manager through email or phone if needed.

City Hall

City Hall will be closed to the public until and including Jan. 22. The city will monitor provincial direction on the shutdown and will provide updates on reopening for in-person services as they become available. Beginning Jan. 4, city staff will to be available during regular business hours by phone or email. Call 705-742-7777 or email It may take longer to reply to messages depending on call and email volumes, the city advises.

City council

City Council will meet virtually for the Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 general committee meetings.

Community Services

Community Services, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Public Art and the Heritage Preservation Office will be available by calling 705-742-7777 ext. 1822 or by email at

Peterborough Museum and Archives

The Peterborough Museum and Archives will remain closed until and including Jan. 22.

Peterborough Public Library

The Peterborough Public Library will close at 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 and reopen on Dec. 30 with curbside pickup service in place. Access to the main branch of the Library will be limited to pickup services only. The DelaFosse branch remains closed at this time. Further details are available online at

Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre

The Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre will remain open from 7 a.m. to noon on Dec. 24 and will be closed effective Dec. 25 for the remainder of the provincial shutdown. Wellness Centre memberships will be placed on an automatic hold beginning Dec. 26. Staff can be reached by calling 705-742-7777 ext. 2201 or by email at throughout the closure.

Provincial Offences Act Court

The court administration service counter will be closed for in-person service until and including Jan. 22. Service inquiries and payments can be made by phone 705-742-7777 ext. 2099 or online at

Public Operations Centre (Public Works)

The Public Operations Centre (Public Works) administration office at 791 Webber Ave. remains closed to the public. Public Works can be reached for urgent matters at 705-745-1386. This line is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For non-urgent matters, email, or use the online Report an Issue form at

Social Services

Beginning Jan. 4, public access to the Social Services office at 178 Charlotte St. will be limited to two people at a time. Clients are required to wear a face covering and stay in authorized areas only. Social Services client appointments will be done over the phone whenever possible. Current clients can contact their case worker for further information and register for online services through MyBenefits. The local phone number is 705-748-8830 or 1-855-738-3755.

Clients who have bank accounts can contact their case workers about signing up for direct deposit.

All applications for Ontario Works or emergency assistance will be done online at or over the phone, when possible, to minimize face-to-face interaction, following the public health guidance related to social distancing. Applications for other services such as child care fee subsidy and Housing Access Peterborough will also be completed over the phone.

Emergency shelter services will continue to operate as normal, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Individuals can call 705-926-0096 for emergency shelter services during the Christmas closure, and on evenings and weekends.




Peterborough Transit will continue to operate as currently scheduled through the current lockdown date of Jan. 22. Face covering and physical distancing is required. Visit for service details.

Customer service at the terminal will remain open with only one customer permitted into the facility at a time. A face covering must be worn at all times.

Waste Management

Garbage and recycling collection will continue as normally scheduled. To protect workers, people should ensure that all personal items and personal protective equipment are properly bagged in the garbage.

The Peterborough City/County Landfill will remain open, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. Face coverings and physical distancing is required. Only electronic payment is accepted (no cash).

The Recycling Depot and Household Hazardous Waste Depot on Pido Road will remain open, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. More information is online at

Making payments to the city

People are encouraged to make use of the numerous methods available when doing financial interactions with the City and avoid using cash.

Property taxes can be paid like any other bill through online or telephone banking using the 15-digit roll number as the account number. Cheques can be mailed to the Tax Office, City Hall, 500 George St. N., Peterborough, Ont., K9H 3R9, or placed in the secure drop box located by the steps at the front doors of City Hall. The City offers preauthorized payment plans by completing an online form that’s available at

The city does not directly accept credit cards as a payment method for property taxes; however, people can use online bill payment services such as PaySimply, Plastiq or Paytm to pay property taxes online using a credit card. The listed payment services are not affiliates or partners of the city; they may apply service charges and there may be restrictions on the type of credit cards accepted.

For parking tickets, payments can be made online through, over the phone at 705-742-7777 ext. 1865 or by cheque submitted through mail or using the drop box outside City Hall.

Holiday service update

Many city facilities and services will have modified hours and schedule changes during the Christmas holiday season:

  • Arenas: Open Dec. 24 from 6 a.m. to noon and then closed all other days.
  • Bensfort Landfill: Open 8 to 11:45 a.m. Dec. 24 and 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Dec. 28, 29, 30 and 31, then resuming with regular hours Jan. 2 to 22.
  • City Hall: Open Dec. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and then closed all other days.
  • Garbage and recycling collection: In Ashburnham Ward and parts of Northcrest Ward, Dec. 25 collection moves to Dec. 28 while Jan. 1 collection moves to Jan. 4.
  • Hazardous household waste facility: Open Dec. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon and 8 a.m. to noon on Dec. 31, then resuming with regular hours Jan. 2 to 22.
  • Recycling drop-off depot: Self-serve operations open around the clock through the holidays and through January with COVID-19 precautions.
  • Memorial Centre box office: Closed all through the holidays and through to Jan. 22.
  • Peterborough Museum and Archives: Open Dec. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and then closed all other days.
  • Peterborough Public Library: Open Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with curbside pickup from Dec. 29 to 31 and then from Jan. 3 to 22.
  • Provincial Offences Office: Open Dec. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and then closed all other days.
  • Social Services Office: Open Dec. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, closed for rest of holidays and then reopening Jan. 2 to 22 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays with a maximum of two people at a time.
  • Sport and Wellness Centre: Open Dec. 24 from 7 a.m. to noon and then closed all other days.

  • Peterborough Transit: Last Dec. 24 run at 7:15 p.m., no service Christmas Day, 7:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Boxing Day and Dec. 27, last run on Dec. 28, 29 and 30 at 11:15 p.m., last run at 7:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve no service on New Year’s Day and then normal service Jan. 2 to 22 with COVID-19 protocols.

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Visit the city's tiniest art gallery: Five things to do in Saskatoon this weekend – Saskatoon StarPhoenix



In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E.

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Whether you’re interested in art, a virtual party, some outdoor activities or cleaning up around the house, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this weekend in Saskatoon.

1. Visit the Free Little Art Gallery

In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E. Designed in the style of community libraries and kitchen boxes, visitors to the gallery can take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or do both. You can check out some of the artwork on Instagram @Freelittleartgalleryyxe.

Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood.
Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

2. Hit up The Bassment’s virtual party

Featuring the music and talents of eight Saskatoon bands, The Bassment presents InTune 2021 — a free online party playing from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shows will be streamed live through the Bassment’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

3. Check out local performers

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Watch as some of Saskatoon’s performing artists share their work in Episode 1 of Persephone Theatre’s Open Stage, which was published earlier this month. The episode is available to watch whenever you want at and features Peace Akintade, Kathie Cram, Amanda Trapp, Sketchy Bandits, Carla Orosz and Ellen Froese.

4. Have some family fun

The Fuddruckers Family Fun Centre (2910 8th St. E) is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Families can practice their skills on the 18-hole Putt N’ Bounce miniature golf course, reach new heights on The Rock climbing wall or take a swing at the Grand Slam batting cages. More information is available at or by calling 306-477-0808.

5. Drop off your hazardous waste

The City of Saskatoon is holding its first Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off of the year on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Operations Centre (57 Valley Rd.). The drop off is open to Saskatoon residents from residential properties only. Products eligible for drop off include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, light bulbs, yard chemicals and more. Learn more at

  1. Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring

    Little art gallery brings colour, connection to Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood

  2. Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon

    Persephone Theatre brings in community co-leads for new Artists’ Working Group

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

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YK ARCC celebrates 10 years by pushing for NWT art gallery – Cabin Radio



Its trailer doubles as one of the NWT’s only art galleries. Now, the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre is turning 10 years old.

The group, YK ARCC for short, formed in 2011 in a downtown Yellowknife church scheduled for demolition. “There was always something going on,” recalled Métis artist Rosalind Mercredi, owner of the city’s Down to Earth Gallery, who was YK ARCC’s first president.

“I think it was so good to be able to have a space where people wanted to work on stuff and, if they had bigger projects they wanted to do, there was a space to do it. It was pretty vibrant times, I would say, for art.”


Though the organization stayed in the church for less than a year, it has brought art and shows to Yellowknife since. Temporary homes have included an apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant and empty spaces in the Centre Square Mall.

Casey Koyczan, a Tłı̨chǫ artist from Yellowknife pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, held some of his first shows with YK ARCC’s help.

“It really helped to be able to show work within an environment that was conducive to more of a fine arts aesthetic as opposed to … a coffee shop, or a pub, or something like that,” said Koyczan, who was on YK ARCC’s board.

“YK ARCC felt like it was getting to more of a formal-exhibit kind of feel.”

‘We need a territorial gallery’

The group made headlines shortly after opening a mobile art gallery in a trailer. At the beginning of the pandemic, the team took art to residents by accepting reservations through Facebook then driving the gallery to make house calls in different neighbourhoods.


“Because it’s so small, we might be the only gallery in Canada that didn’t have to close,” said longtime board member Sarah Swan. “It has a limited capacity. We knew we could still operate it safely.”

YK ARCC’s first home is pictured in 2011. Photo: Submitted
Casey Koyczan stands in front of a painting at a YK ARCC show in 2014. Photo: Submitted

Yet the trailer’s success simultaneously illuminated what YK ARCC’s members believe is a glaring deficiency in the NWT: the absence of a territorial gallery.

The cost of rent makes it difficult for the non-profit to hold on to one space for any length of time. Many of the spaces that are available in Yellowknife don’t work well for art shows.

“We need a territorial gallery,” former board member Dan Korver said.

That doesn’t mean a commercial gallery geared toward profit, he clarified. Instead, Korver wants a space where artists can show their work and engage with an audience “for art’s sake.”

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the only large-scale, non-commercial, gallery fitting that bill in the NWT. It hosts two fine art exhibits a year.

“It’s just simply not enough,” said Swan. “There are so many more artists and so much more work out there to show, so many more ideas.”

“We created the mobile gallery in the first place to feel that exhibition gap, but also, we created it to be a piece of agitation in itself. That’s why we called it the Art Gallery of the Northwest Territories.

“It’s really pathetic that our territorial gallery is a trailer. We all joke that if there ever is a real gallery of the Northwest Territories that’s not in a trailer, we’ll happily give the name back.”

YK ARCC debuted its mobile gallery in the summer of 2019. Pictured are board member Brian McCutcheon and artist Terry Pamplin. Photo: Submitted
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Art by Shelley Vanderbyl is displayed in Yellowknife’s mobile gallery in May 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
A YK ARCC show in 2018, called Social Fabric, was held inside a former bank in the Centre Square Mall. Thirty-two artists were featured and 800 people attended. Photo: Submitted

Koyczan described obstacles in establishing his career that stemmed directly from the lack of a territorial art gallery.

“Back when I was showing at YK ARCC, it wasn’t recognized by the Canada Arts Council,” he said. “Therefore, when you go to apply for grants and funding … and you provide your CV saying that you showed work at YK ARCC, they check their records and say the show basically didn’t exist because they don’t recognize it as a legitimate gallery.

“I’ve had to work really hard on exporting myself and making artwork that is impactful so that, regardless of where I was located, it would be recognized by people in the south, or around North America, or internationally.

“The NWT needs a contemporary gallery. It’s just holding us back, not having that space.”

‘No GNWT mandate’ for a gallery

In a written statement to Cabin Radio, the territorial Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said it has no plan to create a territorial gallery.

The department said it “does not have a mandate to create physical infrastructure for the arts.”

“However,” the response continued, “the GNWT would be happy to work with regional organizations to see how the GNWT can support their plans.”

Korver believes government involvement in creating an artist-run centre or non-commercial gallery should be limited to provision of funding, so any gallery can remain community-driven and independent.

“We need that physical space, but how do you run it?” he wondered. “Is it better to just provide a grassroots organization – or organizations, maybe there shouldn’t just be one – with stable funding so they can provide those spaces and run those spaces?”

More spaces that can host art are on the way.

Makerspace YK moved into the old After 8 pub this January and is planning workshops and exhibits. The City of Yellowknife expects to open a visitor centre in the Centre Square Mall that would include art displays.

Meanwhile, the territorial government is set to release its updated NWT Arts Strategy this June. The previous territorial arts strategy, released in 2004, had identified a need for more arts spaces.

As a gallery owner, Mercredi said she is curious to see how the strategy is implemented.

YK ARCC staged an outdoor installation in 2017. Photo: Submitted
Rosalind Mercredi, first president of YK ARCC, at the mobile gallery. Photo: Submitted

“You can make a strategy but if the plan doesn’t have an implementation idea behind it, then really just sits,” she said. “How do you implement it when most of the arts organizations don’t have enough infrastructure or people to put those things together?”

Swan said YK ARCC will continue to run its mobile gallery while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Members have applied for funding to run a series of “emerging curator workshops.”

“Art is our passion,” Swan said. “I think there’s just this drive to share.

“Because we know how good art can be, or how amazing and fully developed it can be, we want to fight for that. We want to try to grow the art community in Yellowknife.”


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