South West Spotlight

There are so many fantastic stories in the South West District. We want to share some of them with you!

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South West Spotlight on
Mossbank Golf Club’s Link to the No. 2 Bombing and Gunnery School

Mossbank is a community that knows the value of heritage, and the importance of moving forward.

The No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School was opened in 1940, approximately 6 kilometers east of Mossbank. From 1940 until it closed in 1944, the base housed and trained thousands of people for the war effort, many of whom visited Mossbank during off-duty hours for entertainment.

After the base closed, many of the buildings were moved to locations all over Saskatchewan, with several being moved to Mossbank. The Mossbank Legion Hall, which is still in use today, came from the base. The Mossbank Union Hospital, including a nurses’ residence, were originally buildings from the base. The hospital closed in 1969.

The Mossbank Golf Course was developed next to the former airbase site. In 1981-82, the nurses’ residence was relocated to the airbase, and became the Mossbank Golf Course clubhouse. The building was used, but fell into disrepair, and it became a situation of fix or destroy.

As this was the final remaining building at the airbase, it became apparent that there was a will to save and repurpose it. A grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage was secured, and along with a great deal of local business and volunteer support, the building was saved, and is now a tribute to the No. 2 Bombing and Gunnery School and showcases many photos and much information. The building is still called the golf clubhouse, but its primary use now is as a historical shrine to the airbase, and a shady stop in the walking and driving tours of the former base.

Congratulations to Mossbank on their hard work to save a piece of history. 

(There are lots more photos on our Facebook page!)

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South West Spotlight on
Craik Branch Library (Palliser)
A Community Hub

Before Jo McAlpine, the Craik Librarian, arrives at work the doors are already open and people are arriving at the building. Inside, gathered around the long table is a group of locals that have come together for coffee row. They meet Monday to Friday mornings for coffee at the library because there is no other coffee shop in town.

“We are supposed to be thinking outside of the box and doing something different,” said McAlpine. By allowing for coffee row to take place within the building the library is further extending their resources and support to the community.

It is because of their out-of-the-box thinking that the Library has become a culture and recreation hub for the community of fewer than 400 people and hosted more than 80 programs in 2018. McAlpine, the librarian of 20 years, is busy filling up their 2019 calendar.

Many of these programs are possible through actively applying to the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), accessing funds from the Craik Recreation Board – which are made available by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Community Grant Program and the surrounding RM – receiving sponsorship from the RBC, generous donations from the coffee club, and an annual fundraiser put on by the board.

“We keep an eye open for opportunities and go with them,” said McAlpine. While thinking outside of the box, the library is also thinking outside of their walls and they have directed some of their grant funding toward supporting the community’s walking program and they are developing a story trail.

Other examples of activities and things to do, have included a weekly story time, a presentation on the Spanish Influenza, holiday activities for the children, setting up haunted house in the old town hall building, hosting book club, coordinating a visit from the Gus Bus, listening to singers and writers, drumming, and learning the art of flower arrangements and ink painting, to name a few.

A unique program is story time yoga. The instructor tells a story and leads a yoga class that is specific to the story.

The summer reading program is getting ready to go into full swing, outdoor activities, crafts and sport development are in the works, and plans are underway for a free arts workshop made possible through a partnership with the South West District for Culture, Recreation & Sport and Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange.

(There are lots more photos on our Facebook page!)


South West Spotlight on the Carmichael Museum
Carmichael, SK
Highway 37 S

It all started with the Grassy Hills School building, and some people who recognized the historical value of a building that was still in pretty good shape but needed to be somewhere where it could be taken care of properly and be accessible for use. Years ago, the school was the center of a community, often used as the church and community hall as well. So, the Carmichael Community Club decided that Carmichael needed a museum, and the Grassy Hills School would be a great start. The School was moved to Carmichael in 1990, and a labour of love began. The building needed some repairs, and like all buildings, needed paint and the roof kept up and the mice kept out. The community came together, and much work was done. When the Co-op in Gull Lake renovated, the shelving was donated to Carmichael. Then the donations started coming, and the school became a museum that brings together the collective memory of many.

The museum grounds have grown to include the Grassy Hills rural school, a store, church, blacksmith shop, leather shop and Howard’s House.

Every summer, everyone interested got together on one day to see what was new, update things a bit, and enjoy the fruits of their labours. This day became so much fun, it was decided to open it up to the public. 2003 was the 1st Annual Carmichael Museum Tea, and it has been growing ever since. Each year, a theme is designated, to highlight and honor a segment of their history. Themes have included Rural School Teachers, Wedding dresses through the years, Hats, Aprons, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The museum committee always dresses up in themed costumes and encourages participants to dress up and have even more fun.

The tea is held in the church, which is also a designated heritage building. The museum has collected over 100 teacup and saucer sets, which make drinking tea a delightful experience. The 4-H and other youth groups help serve tea and strawberry shortcake, a traditional dessert that carries many fond memories, and is still delicious.

Blacksmith Arid Romrich attends every year, to the great delight of children and others. Arid demonstrates what a blacksmith does, and people have the opportunity to order personally designed items. The children often leave with a small memento made just for them.

2019 has been designated the Year of the Blacksmith, and Blacksmith Arid will be honored and highlighted, and have even more to show off. The Carmichael Museum Committee would love to see everyone in Carmichael on Sunday, May 26, from 2-4 pm. The cost is $5, which includes your tea and shortcake.  A wide variety of interesting artifacts, blacksmith demo, tea and strawberry shortcake, will make the Carmichael Museum a great place to for a delightful afternoon with friends and family.

(There are lots more photos on our Facebook page!)


SaskScapes - Episode 89 - The Heart of Hazlet, Saskatchewan

March 29, 2019

In Episode 89 of SaskScapes, Kevin Power travels to Hazlet, Saskatchewan to explore how this small village has had big success with volunteerism in their community.

For these folks, volunteerism is a lifestyle, and every single resident takes pride in knowing that they play a part in making Hazlet what it is today. Eight Hazlet residents join Kevin in what is a passionate, funny and entertaining conversation about why they love their town. Hazlet is all heart...well, that and some great parties, parades, relays, community theatre, and so much more.... and a roast beef dinner! 

Kevin Power’s “aural archive” of Saskatchewan people and their stories launched its first season in 2014. Now in the 5th season, the podcast series is available on all major podcasting apps including iTunes and Google Play. There are over 120 hours of fantastic conversation to hear - from rural and urban communities – within many of the districts in the province. Artists, authors, actors, musicians, museums, festivals, libraries, bakers, farmers, First Nations, Métis, and LGBTQ; SaskScapes has been there.

Listen to the whole series, CLICK HERE. Connect with Kevin CLICK HERE.


SaskScapes - Episode 88 - The Avonlea Heritage Museum
Feb 7, 2019

SaskScapes, is Saskatchewan’s premier podcast featuring stories of arts, culture and heritage in the province.

In Episode 88, Kevin Power is joined by guests who have a passion for the history found inside museums. In this episode he focuses on the Avonlea Heritage Museum in Avonlea, Saskatchewan. The former CNR station, built in 1912 now proudly displays artifacts that take visitors on a journey back in time.

The Avonlea museum has taken advantage of funding available through the Canada Summer Jobs and Young Canada Works funding made available by the Canadian Government. This funding allows the museum to hire students to work at the museums full-time.

This episode of SaskScapes features three of the students who have worked at the museum. Tanner, Jaida and Micah share their passion for the job, their love of the area, and some really entertaining stories about frightening mannequins and pump organs!

General Manager, Cathy Geisler and Board member Darlene Watson are also featured in this episode and discuss the benefits of hiring students, the gratitude for the funding, and the passion and pride they take in their community and museum.

Indeed, there is a road to Avonlea...and we suggest you take it on your next trip!

Kevin Power’s “aural archive” of Saskatchewan people and their stories launched its first season in 2014. Now in the 5th season, the podcast series is available on all major podcasting apps including iTunes and Google Play. There are over 120 hours of fantastic conversation to hear - from rural and urban communities – within many of the districts in the province. Artists, authors, actors, musicians, museums, festivals, libraries, bakers, farmers, First Nations, Métis, and LGBTQ; SaskScapes has been there.

Listen to the whole series, CLICK HERE. Connect with Kevin CLICK HERE.