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Community Heritage Day offers lots to see and do at Western Development Museum

Wide range of offerings from the past combine with ways to learn about history at annual special event

Pretty much everyone out there enjoys a slice of fresh bread and butter, but did you know that rather than buying a stick from the grocery store, you can make your own absolutely fresh spread in a matter of minutes?

The Western Development Museum’s Community Heritage Days on Saturday afternoon had a station to show you exactly how -- just get some cream and a jar, shake away until it separates, drain and dry, and voila. A bit of salt and you have your own tasty butter!

Of course, that’s pretty much common knowledge. But folks could also learn about a host of other historical subjects during the event, which is exactly what WDM programs and volunteer coordinator Alexis Jones was hoping to see.

“It’s a chance to talk about our heritage and the past, and how it compares to how we do things now,” Jones said as folks milled around the various tables and displays on hand. “It’s a good opportunity to learn and see how things have changed and we’re really happy to have all these different things to offer.”

The selection of displays and activities offered a wide sample of how things were done in the days of yore, in addition to giving folks a chance to learn about the history of different peoples and activities from a time far different than today.

Active displays saw folks able to try their hand at churning butter and even sample the cream-based product made only moments earlier at one of the aforementioned stations. Participants could even stop by a ‘cow milking’ display and give that a go. 

Non-dairy-based offerings included an opportunity to try out writing with a quill pen -- with the resulting smoothness rivaling even the best gel-based pen on the market today.

There were all sorts of informational offerings on site, too, with folks able to visit with the New Southern Plains Metis, receive a special handmade Metis bracelet and even get a quick language tutorial. A display featuring miniature steamworks was also popular, as was the Prairie Hearts Quilters Guild with their comparison of old and new techniques, including a sewing machine that was likely touching 100 years old.

Anyone looking to learn about their family tree could stop by the Moose Jaw branch of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society to get started, and the Sukanen Ship Museum was also on hand with information about their popular facility located just outside of Moose Jaw.

Visitors could even check out a Reminiscence Kit that can be booked for use outside of the WDM, featuring a host of objects from the past and explainer sheets covering what they’re about.

For more information on the Western Development Museum and what they have to offer, be sure to check out their website at

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