If you wish to learn about the history of how transportation has changed in Saskatchewan, then the Western Development Museum (WDM) has got you covered.
They have everything from old cars and trucks to planes and locomotives, and even a timeline wall of 100 years of Saskatchewan’s past.
This summer, the WDM has lined up a number of exciting events taking place. These Summer Pop-up events have been coordinated by a summer student at the museum and will take place in the various galleries and exhibits around the museum. Each Pop-up will have a theme and activities tailored to that theme.
The themes include: Starry Night, Let’s Take Flight, Sink or Swim, All Aboard, Let’s go for a ride, and Camping and how it has changed. These events will take place on most Sundays during July and August with no additional charge other than just the regular admission to enter the museum. The final details for these events are still being worked out.
Another event coming to the WDM is Brickspo for Lego enthusiasts, as they take over the galleries and exhibits with original builds and creative designs made entirely of Lego. This event takes place July 30th and 31st from 9 to 5. During these days there will also be a cash-only Lego yard sale. Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the creations.
There are also numerous exhibits to enjoy within our local WDM. They include an Aircraft Gallery where you can see famous planes like the CF-SAM, a Watercraft Gallery holding a replica of the ill-fated S. S. City of Medicine Hat that sank after hitting a bridge in 1908, a Winter Travel Gallery showing some of the first snowmobiles, and so many more exciting ones.
On the outside of the facility, the WDM has the K+S Potash Canada Short 101, which is the only steam-powered train that’s still running in Saskatchewan. As of now, there are no concrete plans to have it run this summer, but the WDM is hopeful that it may be able to.
Many volunteering opportunities are also available at the WDM. The volunteers help with children's programs assisting in crafts and games, acting as tour guides, interpreters of the history, and demonstrations in making things like old fashion ice-cream and butter. During the pandemic, the WDM had to end its volunteering program but is recently re-orienting the program by creating materials to aid the volunteers. These include updates to existing lore, PowerPoints about some exhibits, and an update to their safety program. They are hoping to start recruiting new volunteers later this summer.
The Western Development Museum as an organization started back in 1949, while the Moose Jaw WDM has been a staple in our community since 1976. The organization also has facilities in Saskatoon, North Battleford, and Yorkton that all provide a unique look at Saskatchewan’s history.
The Moose Jaw WDM is open 7 days a week from 9 to 5 year-round. However, from January to March, they close on Mondays because that is the start of their slower months. This year, the Western Development Museum is beyond excited to have new and old faces exploring their beautiful exhibits.
"I know we are hoping to do some outreach this summer. We are going to be down at Sidewalk Days in particular, and hopefully a few other locations and inviting people to come back and experience the WDM if it’s been 15 or 20 years since your last visit. Come on back; things have changed," said Karla Rasmussen, Programs and Volunteers Coordinator of WDM Moose Jaw.