The historic Yorkton brick flour mills kicked off a fundraising drive on Dec. 6, 2021 to raise $2.2 million for a major expansion of the mill which will include an interpretive centre, meeting and event facilities, spaces for use by businesses, community archives and offices.
Kenn Propp, President of Harvest Meats, talks about the importance of preserving Yorkton's heritage, and the mill's role in the long history of food processing in Yorkton. Mr. Propp announced a commitment of $100,000 by his company to the mill capital campaign.
The Yorkton historic flour mill received two awards from Lt. Gov. Russell Mirasty at the Saskatchewan Heritage Awards Nov. 2 2021 in Regina. The mill society received awards for Public Outreach and for Physical Heritage Conservation. It was one of three winners from across the province in each category.
The mill society also receive the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation's 30th Anniversary Award. The Foundation noted, "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. 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."
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.
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.