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Humboldt museum programs see 33% bump on pre-pandemic numbers

The Humboldt Museum and Gallery saw more than 2,000 volunteer hours and 545 receiving the monthly e-newsletter.
Five core areas - the Museum, Gallery, Original Humboldt, Water Tower and Public Art - have connected approximately 12,890 people.

HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt and District Gallery report for 2023 reveals a 33 per cent increase in engagement since the pre-pandemic number recorded in 2019.

The report highlighted workshops, exhibits, special events, stories of Humboldt, the water tower and Original Humboldt.

Carol McLaren, chairperson, praised Director of Cultural Services Jennifer Fitspatrick, staff volunteers and community members for their dedication.

This report showed that 203 programs were delivered and provided to every segment of the population. It highlighted the community support the museum and gallery have been receiving, including over 2,000 volunteer hours and over 545 receiving the museum's monthly e-newsletter. The report said through five core areas – the Museum, Gallery, Original Humboldt, Water Tower and Public Art, its programs and services have connected over 12,890 people.

Relationship building and reconciliation through living heritage is a pilot program through the Community Initiatives fund and was developed in partnership with Heritage Saskatchewan with the Office of Treaty Commission and Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan. This was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The project began with a pipe ceremony with Elder Gilbert Kewistep and Myron Neapetung. Saskatchewan poet Laureate Carol Rose Golden Eagle shared work from her latest book including her experience growing up as a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. The committee organized several learning and conversation opportunities such as:

  • Points of View: A Guide on Saskatchewan Projectile Points with Indigenous Perspectives;
  • Forum on Corporate Responsibility;
  • Lyndon Linklater for Saskatchewan Storytelling Month;
  • Teepee Teachings;
  • Visualizing Community Through Time and Space;
  • a study group;
  • crafting traditions and building miniature pots;
  • The Spirit and Intent of Treaties and the Importance of the Pipe.

The museum exhibit's themes include climate change, cultural intelligence, local stories, the value of friendships and celebrating all levels of abilities.

The Humboldt Museum and Gallery won the SARC “Community Builder” provincial award. The exhibit was developed through collaborative programming with Futuristic Industries. It was a showcase of ability and creativity that celebrated their 50 years of service in the Humboldt and area.

The local history exhibits featured stories of the Humboldt Lions Club and paddling pool, Pete Rosenberg, the Dutch electrician who wired most of Humboldt, Doc Hone, a controversial veterinarian, Barbara and Elizabeth Pape, war-time correspondence from Private Roman Schoderback, and profiles of Humboldt women who were the first to reach local milestones. Over 385 items were added to their collections resulting in over 25,400 items being held in trust.

The museum and gallery held many cultural experiences to help connect people, concepts, themes and places. Events held were the community chalk art day, scavenger hunts, special youth interest groups and the summer fun program.

“Come paint with us” was a series developed at the request of the gallery members. Local artists shared their passion and knowledge and have grown in popularity throughout the year.

“Local Writers night” was held with three sessions and one specifically held for local youth writers.

Approximately 1,850 people enjoyed the local musicians throughout the summer concert series. This was in partnership with the Humboldt and Area Arts Council.

The Reconciliation Mural won the national award for Public Art – Sustainability from Creative City Network of Canada.

Original Humboldt site held a field school for students and the public in June and approximately 260 participants excavated the telegraph station area.

Land-based learning – inspiration/reconciliation/relationship building was held at the Original Humboldt site where Gilbert Kewistep and his son, Myron Neapetung, spoke on Indigenous connections to the land.

The Humboldt Water Tower gained national attention when sound artist Jen Reimer from Montreal produced an artistic sound installation in “audible oddities” in the water tower which brought over 126 people to enjoy. The water tower restoration project received a provincial award from Saskatchewan Heritage.