We are open every day in July and August from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free!
The Waskesiu Heritage Museum (WHM) is a non-profit organization formed in 2005 to preserve the human history of Waskesiu beginning when Prince Albert National Park was created in 1928.
Through displays and programming, the Museum aims to collect, preserve, interpret, and present this history, especially emphasizing a unique form of accommodation from the early days called the shack tent. The Museum is open daily in July and August in a collection of heritage buildings in the center of the Waskesiu.
An active, volunteer board of directors guides the operation of the Museum. Regular meetings and an Annual General Meeting are held during the summer months. The board has a president, vice-president, past president, secretary, treasurer, and curator as well as coordinators for various annual events. Seasonal staff includes a manager and two interpreters or guides. The Museum depends on many volunteers to help with all aspects of its operation and activities and holds an annual volunteer appreciation event.
The WHM is a member of the Museum Association of Saskatchewan which hosts the database of approximately 3,000 artifacts held by the Museum. The WHM is also a member of the Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce and plays an active role in local happenings like the Waskesiu Children’s Festival and the Waskesiu Lakeside Music Festival.
Fundraising is done through a weekly community bingo, and a kayak raffle in July and August. Activities to raise additional money include an annual yard sale and food services provided to the Three Island Paddle and Music Festival.
Funding is also gratefully received from other sources. SaskCulture provides a museum grant and Canada Summer Jobs helps with student wages. The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority also grants funds. The Waskesiu Foundation partners with the Museum on activities and provides funding for projects.
In August, the WHM has celebrated Heritage Day with various activities over the years such as old fashioned fairs; vintage car, fashion, and dog shows; heritage film showings; animated displays; book signings; guest speaker events; photo displays and camp kitchen coffee parties.
The Museum hosted special celebrations for its 15th anniversary and led the Prince Albert National Park 90th Anniversary festivities. The Museum has published several brochures in the past and been associated with several books written or edited by local authors.
Community Bingo is held each Wednesday in July and August at Terrace Gardens on Lakeview Drive. All ages are welcome and the hall is often full. Family groups, cabin neighbours, seniors and groups of young people enjoy an evening of bingo. There are always new visitors discovering how much fun bingo at Waskesiu is for the first time.
Packs of bingo cards for the full evening cost $16; cards for games in the first half of the evening starting at 7 pm are $11, and for games after the intermission only, starting about 8.30 pm, cards cost $7. Bonanza cards are $0.50 and are used in the first game after the break. Bingo dabbers and very reasonable snacks and cold drinks are available for purchase. Red licorice and Cheezies are perennial favourites!
This is our major way of raising funds for the Museum, which enables us to pay our summer staff and keeps admission to the Museum free. The Bingo is regulated through the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and depends completely on volunteer help. Volunteers set up the hall in the morning. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Volunteers call the bingo, check for winners, sell card packs, run the canteen, and clean up afterwards. If you would be willing to help for one evening or a regular shift, please let us know.
Thanks to volunteers and players for their help and support!
Our other extremely popular fundraiser is our annual kayak raffle. We purchase a quality recreational kayak from Fresh Air Experience in Prince Albert and then customize it with a unique design. The kayak is on display at the Museum grounds and tickets are sold 3 for $5. The package includes a paddle and personal flotation device. Draw date is August 31 or earlier if all the tickets sell out.
President Betty Falk
Vice President Don Johnson
Secretary/Treasurer Jillian Manchester
Past President Don Ravis
Curator Chris Arnstead
Director Julian Elves
Director Jodi Falk
Director Lynn Flavelle
Director Bev Partridge
Director Gordon Plaxton
Director Janet Snodgrass
Director Larry Snodgrass
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