This is the Station Art Centre in Rosthern Saskatchewan. It houses a restaurant, art gallery, gift shop and theatre. Staffed by community members its quite a ‘feather in the cap’ of town with a population of only 1,300 people. On our recent visit to Saskatoon our son Joel and his wife Karen took us there for dinner and to see the play/musical Jasper Station by Norm Foster. Joel is a high school teacher at Rosthern Junior College and so once a week or so he goes over to the Station Art Centre for lunch. His first year teaching at the college he sang in the community choir the Station Art Centre sponsors. The theatre at the Station Art Centre has a year round schedule of concerts and dramas and this summer the two musicals in the line-up are Jasper Station and Heroes.
The Station Art Centre is housed in an abandoned Canadian National Railway train station and they’ve left an old caboose on the track at the back of the station for photo taking. It gives the station an authentic feel. Jasper Station is just the perfect musical to present in a train station theatre because the story takes place in a railway station. Five people meet there one night and get to know each other as they wait for a train that is late. Each person is at a crossroads in life and the decision to take the train marks a new beginning for them. Quite an appropriate play to attend for two people who are just beginning a new stage in life- as Dave and I are. Each person in the play was wondering What’s Next? in my life. There was a minor league hockey player on his way to play for a Canadian National Hockey team, a writer trying to break her first big story, a middle-aged woman leaving her husband, a young girl who had just found out she was pregnant and an absolutely hilariously funny accountant who wanted to become a country western song writer. The music was catchy and lines from the songs were stuck in my head for several days after we saw Jasper Station. The main character, the station master, who played many different roles in the musical- filling in as important people in each character’s life- was a man who regretted not making an important decision in his own life- not ‘seizing the day’ and so he is hoping the people waiting in his station will not make the same mistakes he did. Before the play we enjoyed a great dinner in the Station Art Centre diningroom- braised barbequed beef with mustard glaze, the Station’s special whole grain bread and a leafy salad and fruit crisp all made with locally grown organic fruits and vegetables. Our waiter was one of Joel’s former students. Our children thought we would enjoy the Station Art Centre experience- a first for us- and they were right!