Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society has been selected by Heritage Saskatchewan for two of their four awards for 2021. It will also receive the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation's 30th Anniversary Award.
The awards will be presented by the Honourable Russell Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, at an Awards Ceremony at Government House in Regina on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The Heritage Saskatchewan awards are for Physical Heritage Conservation and Public Outreach. Yorkton's brick flour mill is one of three recipients in each category.
In a letter received from Margaret Huntington, Chair of the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, she stated, "We are delighted that their awards jury selected one of the projects that the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation has funded. We certainly think your project is very worthy of recognition and we are very proud to have assisted you with the restoration of the Yorkton Brick Flour Mill, over the years.
"This is a special year for the Heritage Foundation. It is our 30th anniversary and as part of our celebration, Heritage Saskatchewan has invited us to participate in their award ceremony. Although the SHF does not normally present awards to its grant recipients, on this special occasion we are very happy to join with Heritage Saskatchewan by presenting the Yorkton Brick Flour Mill with our own Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation 30th Anniversary Award, for exemplary built heritage conservation."
Click the button to see and read the story by CTV Yorkton about the awards. Included are comments from Larry Pearen of the Brick Mill Heritage Society board, and Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley.
Culture Days activities at the Mill continue every Tuesday in October from 5 to 7 pm.
Elders will open each day with prayer, tobacco and smudging, and a cultural teaching.
The storyboards telling the history of Yorkton were expanded again in June of 2021 with the addition of seven more 4x8 foot panels.
Further additions to the storyboards are planned for later this summer and next year.
The outdoor panels, accessible year-found on the south side of the mill, tell the history of the Yorkton area from the time it was inhabited by the First Nations. They were officially unveiled on Oct. 8, 2020.
The Yorkton Brick Flour Mill Society hosted its first Rally Round the Mill fundraiser August 7.
It was a day of activities that included a pancake brunch, live entertainment, a road rally, burger barbeque, vintage vehicle show and shine, and a drive-in movie.
An online auction, the first-ever for the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society, raised nearly $8,000 for the project to restore and preserve Yorkton's original flour mill, the last such mill in the province.
Bidding on 83 items and experiences took place over a one-week period starting June 10, with 120 bidders from across western Canada taking part. The items were provided by 46 donors, and another three made cash donations to the auction.
Photo: auction organizers Tami Hall and Juanita Brown.
The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society Inc. was formed in early 2012 by individuals interested in encouraging the preservation of the oldest surviving brick flour mill in Saskatchewan.
Constructed in 1898 by John J. Smith to support the new settlement's agricultural base, the mill was reinvented a number of times by changing ownership and needs until falling into disuse in the late 1980s.
This heritage site is being developed by and for those who believe that history need not exist only in photographs and books.
The Society holds several fundraising events each year, and solicits donations and grants from various sources to pay for the restoration of the original mill, the improvement of the grounds, and future expansion.
In early 2020 the Society developed a three-year strategic plan setting out its mission, vision, values, and six strategic priorities with goals and objectives for each.
The Society invites anyone interested in its work to become a member, or become a Friend of the Mill by making a donation. A charitable receipt will be issued by the City of Yorkton for donations.