Ever since the earliest days of Saskatchewan, when the work was done it was time to start having fun. It's only appropriate that the last piece of the Western Development Museum's Winning the Prairie Gamble exhibit is Let's Have Fun, a display showing the many leisure activities people engaged throughout Saskatchewan's history.
Ruth Bitner, co-curator of Winning the Prairie Gamble, says that the new exhibit is showing a full range of activities, from different times and seasons and from the individual to large groups.
"You get a bit of a glimpse of the historic ways we entertained ourselves," Bitner says.
The exhibit has many different attractions, such as replica forts which kids an explore, a variety of artifacts from throughout the province's history, and a refurbished bandbox which played popular tunes when coins were dropped into a table-side jukebox. There is also a touchscreen which contains over 100 photos of leisure activities from the province's history.
The new exhibit was sponsored by the Blue Cross' Push 2 Play program, which is focused on getting children active and healthy. The grand opening of the exhibit was held on Museum Day, and many children were in the museum to learn about different things, participate in activities such as making butter, and be as active as possible. While heavy rains meant that some of the outdoor activities couldn't take place, kids were a major part of the opening proceedings, including participating in a ceremonial balloon drop.
It's been a long journey to see the Winning the Prairie Gamble to the end, and Bitner says that the exhibit overall has been a labor of love for the staff of the WDM. "It is really a wonderful sense of accomplishment, we've learned so much about the history of the province. We already knew a fair bit, but we learned so much more from the research," Bitner says.
"There are so many important achievements that have happened in this province that people don't know about or don't understand the importance of. We always think that great things come from other places, but great things come from here as well."