The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society has launched a campaign focused on farmers in the region, to pay tribute to their farms in recognition of charitable donations to the Mill’s capital campaign.
To support the Legacy Farm Campaign, participating farmers are able to contribute directly to the Heritage Society, or through grain delivery settlements at many of our area elevators and processors.
Donations can take place all at once or can be made over time. Details about the pay-as-you-deliver option are available at participating locations.
In recognition of a $3,000 donation, the farm will be honoured on the yorktonflourmill.ca website. Farmers can provide photographs and a short write up to be featured online.
In recognition of a $5,000 donation, the farm will be honoured both online and inside the new facility with an 11” x 17” framed photo, and plaque featuring the write up.
“This will create a fitting and lasting tribute to family farms in the Interpretive Station at the Mill, a space dedicated to building connections between society and our agricultural roots,” capital campaign chair Terry Tyson noted.
"As construction work is set to begin this winter, our aim is to raise the remaining 20 per cent of our capital requirements. This program provides an opportunity for farmers to establish a lasting legacy for their family farms while also helping us achieve our ag-advocacy mission.
"Most farmers get the work done and don’t go around tooting their own horns, but they have so much to be proud about, and we would love to celebrate them and their farms on our walls and our website.
"We believe we need farmers and their agri-food production now more than ever. That’s why we think this program is such a perfect fit."
Terry Tyson, Chair
The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society held a sod turning event on Friday, September 15 to mark the commencement of construction on the Interpretive Station at the Mill.
Attached to the historic flour mill, the Interpretive Station at the Mill will house a 140-person event centre and an agricultural interpretive center, fulfilling the group’s twofold vision of restoring the mill site to a vibrant, cultural gathering hub while also building connections between general society and agriculture.
The recent receipt of a $500,000 grant from the Legacy Fund of the Government of Canada’s Department of Heritage has pushed the capital campaign to 80% of its goal, allowing construction to begin this fall, with expected completion in summer 2024.
“This is the day we’ve been waiting for!” Heritage Society President Larry Pearen said, adding, “It is so gratifying to see all these years of planning and hard work coming to fruition. Today we turned the sod, and we look forward next summer to cutting the ribbon on this exciting new facility for Yorkton and the surrounding region.”
Construction has been awarded to Yorkton’s NL Construction Inc. and sub-trades are expected to involve many of Yorkton’s local construction companies. Design and engineering was performed by SEPW Architecture Inc. with support from JCK Engineering, RJ England Consulting Ltd., and Alfa Engineering Ltd.
In addition to the support from the Government of Canada, the project has garnered strong support from the local jurisdiction and business community. Major supporters include the City of Yorkton, Harvest Meats, Legacy Co-op, Grain Millers Canada, the Yorkton Tribal Council, Ernie Anuik, Richardson International, The Rotary Club of Yorkton, The Kinsmen Club of Yorkton, Royal Auto Group, and Bailey’s Funeral Home.
The Capital Committee continues to work to raise the remaining 20% of funds needed to bring the project to completion, with plans to rollout a farmer-focused initiative in the near future. Individuals and businesses interested in learning more and/or contributing to the Interpretive Station at the Mill project can reach out to any member of the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society.
Photo at top: Larry Pearen and Victoria Leonard of SEPW Architecture Inc. talk about the addition to the mill.
Contributors as of 15 September 2023
City of Yorkton $300,000
Harvest Meats $100,000
Legacy Co-op $100,000
Grain Millers $100,000
Ernie Anuik $100,000
Yorkton Tribal Council $100,000
Richardson International $50,000
Kinsmen Club of Yorkton $25,000
Rotary Club of Yorkton $25,000
Terry Ortynsky Royal Ford $25,000
Bailey's Funeral Home $25,000
Cornerstone Credit Union $10,000
RBKR Law $10,000
Haas Nissan $10,000
Painted Hand Casino CDC $10,000
Baker Tilly $5,000
Cenovus Energy $5,000
Terry & Anne Popowich $5,000
Bode Family $2,500
RM of Wallace $2,500
RM of Orkney $2,000
Wagner's Flooring $1,500
Sperling Industries $1,500
PCL Construction $1,000
Yorkton Aircraft Services $1,000
National Bank $500
Gladys Krepakevich $500
Heritage Canada Legacy Fund $500,000
CCSF Grant $76,475
CCSF Grant $9,200
Taking part in the sod turning were, from the left, MLA Greg Ottenbreit, Garth Pugh (Board Member, Saskatchewan Heritage Society), Harley McClughan (General Manager, Legacy Co-op), Jessie Huber (Marketing Manager, Legacy Co-op), Ernie Anuik, Mayor Mitch Hippsley, Kenn Propp (General Manager, Harvest Meats), Terry Tyson (General Manager, Grain Millers), Keith Belitski (Senior Director of Operations, Richardson Oilseed Processing), Yorkton Tribal Council Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup, and Larry Pearen (President, Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society).
Photos courtesy Lindsey Kautz, LF Photography
The Capital Committee of the Brick Mill Heritage Society is excited to announce the support of the Government of Canada’s Department of Canadian Heritage for the Interpretive Station at the Mill project through the Legacy Fund component of the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minster of Canadian Heritage, has agreed to provide $500,000 in funding to the project.
“While we have garnered strong support from the business community in our region and will continue to fundraise to bring our project to full completion, this major funding agreement pushes our project into viability and allows us to begin construction this year. We cannot thank Minister St-Onge and her department enough for recognizing the value of our project and providing this amazing support.”
– Terry Tyson, Chair, Capital Campaign.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have received this support from the Government of Canada. Our facility has come such a long way over the years, and we now host many cultural and heritage events, along with tours of our heritage mill. This invaluable funding will truly make our project possible, and in doing so, will help us reach more people with events that promote culture, Truth and Reconciliation, education, and history. We offer our sincere gratitude to Minister St-Onge and the Department of Canadian Heritage.”
– Larry Pearen, President, Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society
“We are proud to support the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society in their exciting project to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the last remaining brick flour mill in Saskatchewan! I look forward to the community of Yorkton and visitors gathering in this historic building to enjoy the arts and explore our rich culture and heritage.”
-- The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Interpretive Station at the Mill project is constructing an addition to Yorkton’s heritage flour mill.
The new facility will house an event center and an agricultural interpretive center, accomplishing the organization’s two main missions: re-establishing the mill location as a vibrant, cultural gathering hub, and building connections between people and agriculture/agri-food.
For more information see the Capital Campaign page.
The Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society Inc. was formed in early 2012 by individuals interested in encouraging the preservation of the oldest surviving brick flour mill in Saskatchewan.
Constructed in 1898 by John J. Smith to support the new settlement's agricultural base, the mill was reinvented a number of times by changing ownership and needs until falling into disuse in the late 1980s.
This heritage site is being developed by and for those who believe that history need not exist only in photographs and books.
The Society holds several fundraising events each year, and solicits donations and grants from various sources to pay for the restoration of the original mill, the improvement of the grounds, and future expansion.
The Society invites anyone interested in its work to become a member, or become a Friend of the Mill by making a donation. A charitable receipt will be issued by the City of Yorkton for donations.
The historic Yorkton flour mills kicked off a fundraising drive on Dec. 6, 2021 to raise $2 million for a major expansion of the mill which will include an interpretive centre, multi-purpose and meeting spaces, a patio and enhanced gardens and grounds.
We are looking for volunteers to help with all kinds of activities and events related to the mill, including:
Want to help us with this important local heritage project? Fill in the form and we will be in touch to discuss your interest with you.