Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation highlights their role in Val Marie

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I welcome this opportunity, on behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, to offer a correction regarding a recent article in the Booster that mentioned the work of a heritage group in Val Marie, and funds it has received for conservation work to an historic grain elevator in that community. The article suggested that the source of this funding was Heritage Saskatchewan, a lottery-funded advocacy organization, when in fact it was the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, an agency of the provincial government.

Since the Foundation's inception in 1991, the most popular grant program has been that involving funding for the conservation of designated historic structures. At the Spring 2011 adjudication, an application from a community-based group in Val Marie was approved for $10,000 to assist with roofing issues re: its historic wooden grain elevator. Built in the early 1920s, this is one of only a handful of municipally designated wooden elevators in the province. In this instance, the Foundation is also assisting in identifying a roofing contractor with the requisite experience to tackle a roof of this sort, at this height.

The Heritage Foundation is an arms-length government agency aligned with the Ministry of Parks, Recreation and Culture. The affairs of the Foundation are directed by a board of volunteers, private citizens drawn from communities across the province, possessing various sorts of heritage expertise. The Foundation's mission is to foster conservation of the tangible resources that embody Saskatchewan's heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. This is accomplished, in part, through the provision of cost-shared grant funding for projects reviewed twice-yearly in a formal adjudication process.

Other heritage initiatives in the Southwest region that have received cost-shared funding support from the Heritage Foundation in the recent past include the Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, the Cenotaph, Court House and Centre Street United Church in Shaunavon, the Museum in Swift Current for a Metis-related research project, the Morse Museum and Cultural Centre, the Addison Sod House near Kindersley, the Hazlet Machinery Shop, the Gaiety Theatre in Gravelbourg, the Fire Hall and Telephone Office in Mortlach, and the Ambroz Blacksmith Shop in Mossbank. In each instance, Foundation funds are matched by the applicant.

Providing municipal heritage property designation is achieved, and a formal grant application has been submitted, the Foundation can assign a conservation specialist to visit the site and assist the interested parties in identifying priority conservation issues, and discuss how they might best be addressed, consistent with nationally accepted preservation principles.

Anyone contemplating an application to the Heritage Foundation should be aware of the two application deadlines: January 15 and August 15. Applications should be submitted as far in advance of the deadlines as possible. Information on the Foundation's activities, grant assistance programs and previous annual reports can be obtained from the agency's website Inquiries can also be directed to Foundation staff as follows: Manager 787-4188; Grants and Finance Administrator 787-2105.

We encourage anyone in your area with an interest in submitting an application to call one of the staff noted above. Thank you for this opportunity to tell your readers something about the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation.

Wesley Moore, Chairman Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation

Organizations: Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation

Geographic location: Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Swift Current Shaunavon Kindersley Gravelbourg Mortlach Mossbank

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