The First of many Podcasts; Fossils and the 1960's

Authored by: Leif Norman on May 29, 2012

Prehistoric Cephalopods from 400 million years ago

In the late 60's it was starting to become painfully clear that the WAG needed to find a new home. It had been residing in the Civic Auditorium (now the Proovincial Archives at St Mary's and Vaughan street) for 30 years beside roller skaters, wrestling matches, and concerts, so it was pretty cramped and inconvenient. 

A call for submissions was made in 1967 and 475 new building designs were given for the WAG to consider. The winner was Gustavo da Rosa, an Architecture Faculty member at the U of Manitoba. This was quite a coincidence as the designs were judged on merit alone and the names of the architects were unknown until the decision was made! Architects from all across Canada and the United States had submitted designs and coincidentally, the panel chose the best design from someone right here in Winnipeg. Honest. They had no idea. The design could have come from France.

Production of this podcast is about half way done and has involved going out to the Tyndall stone quarry at Garson Manitoba to see the ground the stone came out of to make the very building we are in now. The Manitoba Legislature, the Peace Tower in Ottawa and the new Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg are all made of this famous Manitoba stone.

We also interviewed a Paleontologist about the 400 million year old fossils in the stone. Giant snails the size of Watermelons, Trilobites, Corals, and Cephalopods were swimming and crawling around in the prehistoric ocean environment that now makes up the limestone the WAG is made of.

Gus da Rosa will also be interviewed about his building and some of the innovations of 1969, when it was built.

We will go into all corners of the gallery and talk to who is there. Like Head of Conservation, Radovan Radulovic and his triangle shaped room where he restores paintings and fixes sculptures. We will take a ride in Western Canada's largest elevator; big enough to take four parked cars up to the top floor. We will look under the floor of Gallery 8 to see where a pool once was. It was thought that artists could make floating sculptures for the WAG! Neat!

This pilot podcast should be done in a few weeks.

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