Remai Modern releases financials for first full operating year

The Remai Modern Art Museum is reporting high attendance and a $52,000 operating surplus in its 2018 annual report.

Museum reports $52K surplus in operating budget

The Remai Modern annual report for 2018 indicates attendance in 2018 exceeded early projections. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

The Remai Modern Art Museum is reporting a $52,000 operating surplus in its 2018 annual report.

The document, released Wednesday, includes a list of basic financial information. According to the report, the museum raised $9,408,000 in total revenue in 2018, while its expenditures totalled $9,356,000.

Of the total revenue, 58.2 per cent came from grants from the City of Saskatoon, while 18.4 per cent was from self-generated revenue including admissions, memberships and venue rentals.

CBC has requested an item-by-item breakdown of the museum's financial statements.

Salaries and employee benefits made up 43.7 per cent of the museum's operating expenditures at $4,090,000, while the cost of programming and exhibitions totalled $1,527,000, or 15.7 per cent of dollars spent in the operating budget.

Admissions breakdown

The report does include a breakdown of numbers relating to admissions, which totalled at 421,434 and raised $431,406 in revenue.

It said 40 per cent of visitors were from outside Saskatchewan, while $303,815 came from fees paid by the museum's 7,052 members.  

Although the gallery reported it had 9,184 members in October of last year, it said the lower number reported on December 31 was midway through the museum's renewal campaign.

The 2015-2019 business plan (released in early 2015) had projected the Remai's annual visitation to be 220,000. Visitation numbers count multiple visits by the same person.

The Remai Modern says it had a $52,000 operating surplus in 2018. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

The museum said its restaurant had 37,847 patrons and there were 109,476 visitors to its gift store, although the revenue raised from those visits is not included in the report.

In 2018 the museum had $1,821,000 in donations for its art acquisitions and spent $2,187,000 on buying art.

Board shakeup, CEO resignation

Since late 2018, the Remai Modern has seen a shakeup in its board leadership and learned that its CEO Gregory Burke is resigning.

Burke is also the subject of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission stemming from an allegation of workplace harassment dating back to his time at the museum's previous iteration, the Mendel Gallery.

Earlier this month he bowed out of a new gallery job in New Zealand, saying he was concerned that attention from the allegation would create a distraction for the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki board and staff.

Burke had already been tapped as director of the Auckland gallery, citing that new job opportunity as the reason for his leaving Remai Modern.

He said in a statement to CBC he is co-operating in the complaints process and "eager to clear any speculation of wrongdoing since the allegation has been incorrectly characterized in media reports."

With files from CBC's Guy Quenneville


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.