YORKTON - After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society Dinner returns for a fourth year.
The fundraiser event held an official kick-off press conference Monday announcing the Yorkton Tribal Council as the major sponsor.
“History’s important,” offered Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup.” . . .You don’t really understand that until you’re older.”
O’Soup said helping sponsor the dinner is one way of preserving history for all cultures.
“We can all work together to bring that history back … It’s part of our history too.”
It’s also about connecting with the community, said O’Soup, by bringing “the community together with our Indigenous peoples.”
Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley called the dinner “a wonderful event” organized by an important group in the city focused on building something that is important locally.
It’s important “to recognize the importance of this project,” he said.
Fundraising chair Terry Tyson said the dinner will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28, at St. Mary’s Cultural Centre, with tickets $60 each, or a table of eight for $450. Tickets are available online through yorktonflourmill.ca
Former Mayor Bob Maloney will MC the dinner, and Sara Shymko, Exec Director of Agriculture in the Classroom is the keynote speaker.
Tyson said having someone involved with Agriculture in the Classroom really connects with what they are hoping to do with the interpretive centre – teach about farming.
Increasingly people no longer have direct connection to farms and farming so having education for the larger community is important, offered Tyson.
“It’s about reconnecting agriculture with the community. . . There just so many of us who don’t have a connection to the farm.”
The annual dinner is part of a much larger fundraising effort hoping to raise money to build an interpretive centre at the mill location in the city.
“We have a number of applications pending for significant grants,” said Tyson, adding most are through the federal government.
“Any one of them tips us on the scale to starting something.”
As it sits they have raised about $1.1 million, said Tyson, adding the project is expected to cost around $3 million.
Initially, they had hoped to be starting the process this fall, with construction in the spring of 2023, said Tyson, but that time table is delayed at this point.