After a 3-year hiatus, the Western Development Museum (WDM) is excited to bring back Community Heritage Day in 2023. 

“[Heritage Day] is a big celebration,” says Karla Rasmussen, the Public Programs and Volunteer Coordinator at the WDM. “We celebrate all kinds of heritage and culture from our country, our province, and our community.” 

The event is taking place on Saturday, February 11, from 11 am to 4 pm, at the Western Development Museum. 

WDM members get in for free, otherwise, regular admission applies. 

Special guests from the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village Museum, Saskatchewan German Council, St. Victor Petroglyphs, Das Schulhaus, New Southern Plains Metis Local #160, Saskatchewan Genealogical Society, and the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, will be making an appearance. 

The WDM is also opening up a new traveling exhibit, Enterprises of the Human Spirit, from the end of January until late February. 

“It’s all about the life of Dr. Gerhard Herzberg,” Rasmussen explains. “We’re actually going to have a speaker on Heritage Day who will tell us a little bit more about Dr. Herzberg’s life. We have Dr. Rainer Dick coming down on the 11th, he’ll speak at 1 o’clock. He’s from the Department of Physics and Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, where Herzberg worked in the late ’50s and ’60s.” 

Herzberg was a German-Canadian physicist who performed trail-blazing research at U of S, which laid the groundwork for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1971. 

Local author, Joan Soggie, is making an appearance, as well. 

“She’s published a novel called, Rikka. The talk that she’s going to be doing at 11 am on Heritage Day is about her research journey. The talk is called Discovering Rikka and she’s going to be telling us about the research and digging around she did to piece together this story about Rikka.” 

Rikka was one of the first female Scandinavian settlers in Western Canada. She came from Norway to settle in the Canadian prairies. The story follows her journey, as she dives into the depths of her own heart and discovers the beauty of life. 

A showing of the documentary The Newcomers will also be playing at 2 pm. The documentary is by CBC Journalist and Sask German Council member, Theresa Kliem. It investigates the challenges of new immigrants in rural Saskatchewan today. 

In honour of Black History Month, four short films will be screened in the Saskatchewan Theatre between February 1 and 28. Two of the films are from the National Film Board and the other two are from the CBC Black on the Prairies series.

The WDM is also hosting their 'Virtual Coffee Club', which is a free virtual program that runs on February 14. The topic of the program is Black Railway Porters in Saskatchewan. The program was created by Kaiti Hannah, who works at the WDM Corporate office, as well as a collaboration with Carol LaFayette Boyd, who works with the Saskatchewan African-Canadian Heritage Museum.

To register for the virtual program, click here.

For more information on Community Heritage Day, visit the WDM website