Heritage Day at the WDM This Saturday

Adam Clarkson will be demonstrating his roping skills at Heritage Day - photo supplied by WDM

Adam Clarkson will be demonstrating his roping skills at Heritage Day - photo supplied by WDM

It might be frigid outside right now but Moose Jaw’s Western Development Museum (WDM) 50 Diefenbaker Drive is not going to be a cold place this Saturday afternoon from 1 pm to 4 pm as they put of their annual Heritage Day.

The cost is regular admission, however if you stay in the lobby and do not enter the gallery there are some free events there as well.

“It’s something that celebrates local, provincial and national history,” said Karla Rasmussen, Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the WDM. The event is something held at all Western Development Museums in some form or another although perhaps not on the same day, she said.

Heritage Day is not just the WDM putting on their own presentations but it also features many other organizations Rasmussen said.

“Heritage is a general theme and we like to partner with local community organizations,” she said.

Some of the groups the local WDM is partnering with is the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society, Heritage Saskatchewan, the weavers and spinners guild, the Provincial Archives, Sukannen Ship Museum, Société historique de la Saskatchewan , New South Plains Metis Local 160, the Gabriel Dumont Institute and Adam Clarkson with his western roping skills hands on demonstration along with others,

Rasmussen said there is a lot of things being offered people can watch and if they chose try for themselves.

“This is the first time for the weavers and spinners at a public event they have helped out in the schools before,” she said, adding “they are bringing a spinning wheel and a table loom. People can have a hands on experience to try it themselves.”

Other things where there will be hands on opportunities is with attempting to rope a wooden steer, milk a demonstration cow as well as try your hand at butter churning.

Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum will be bringing a few of their model engines as part of their contribution.

“We are very honoured to partner with Sukanen. It works really well. We share a lot of the same volunteers and we partner up as often as we can.”

The Francaphone community in Saskatchewan will be well represented as they showcase their culture and history in the province. The WDM participated in an event with the group at 15 Wing in September.

“We have a wonderful relationship with,” she said.

Look for them as they are bringing a game with them people can participate in.

The local Metis are bringing with them what Rasmussen describes as “a fantastic visual display.” There is also a rumour they may be bringing bannock with them.

“They have been growing their organization and we are happy to partner with them.”

The WDM themselves will be offering a couple of crafts for the kids - making a hanky doll and paper weaving.

“A hanky doll is a toy the settlers would have created with things around the house or when they didn’t have any money,” Rasmussen explained, adding the doll was “foldable and quiet” something which made it portable and allowed children to play quietly without disturbing others.

Another big hands on demonstration is going to be butter churning.

“For many people it (butter churning) is something they like to see and it is good to reminisce how their parents made butter.”

Butter churning will be featured - WDM Photo

Butter churning will be featured - WDM Photo

There will also be a selection of live action and animated films from the National Film Board of Canada which are about local and regional history.

“There is something for everyone,” Rasmussen said.

Although to participate in all of the events will cost you the regular admission price the demonstrations taking place in the lobby of the WDM are free. It only costs if you wish to proceed further and into the gallery.

“Anything not in the gallery is free but the other ones you have to pay admission…we try to make it accessible to give a little bit of a taste of what is going on.”

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