Where we came from

SaskCulture began working to bring together Saskatchewan’s heritage community in 2000, when the SaskCulture Board began addressing the heritage caucus recommendations in A New Vision for Saskatchewan’s Heritage (1999). The overall goal of this community of interest was to:

  • build awareness of linkages and common issues among individuals and organisations within the Saskatchewan heritage community, and
  • develop a mechanism for a provincial heritage caucus within SaskCulture which would provide a cohesive and unified voice for the heritage community (including cultural, physical, and natural heritage).

As a result, the SaskCulture Heritage Community of Interest Committee (HCOI) was established in 2001 when various heritage organisations indicated their support for developing an internal mechanism to support the heritage community of interest within SaskCulture. The HCOI existed to provide input to SaskCulture Inc. into the objectives, plans, and strategies for the preservation, enjoyment, and promotion of all aspects of Saskatchewan’s heritage. The HCOI informed SaskCulture with regards to heritage stewardship through training, education, public awareness, resource inventories, conservation, and research. Over the ensuing years, SaskCulture and the HCOI hosted heritage forums, co-sponsored market studies, and authored various reports relating to heritage issues and trends in the province.

At the Heritage Forum held in Regina on February 21, 2009, delegates came together to deliberate over the values for a new non-profit organisation that would work on behalf of all aspects of heritage in Saskatchewan. Consultations with more than fifty organisations leading up to this Forum created a positive energy that contributed to many stimulating discussions. Forum delegates gave resoundingly positive feedback during the group sessions held throughout the day, strongly indicating that there is an ongoing need for an organisation to provide a strong singular voice for heritage in this province. 

All of the ideas, concerns, and suggestions made by the Heritage Forum delegates were collected and contributed to shaping the direction of this new organisation. The resulting document, Saskatchewan’s Heritage: Looking Forward (2009), had several key findings, including that the new organisation should:

  • Be broader than the ECOs (previously called PCOs)
  • Would not replace or duplicate programs and advocacy efforts already being undertaken by the PCOs (now ECOs)
  • Be a collective voice for the community
  • Provide relevant information including addressing the public perception of heritage
  • Identify research gaps
  • Develop policy and discussion papers
  • Serve as a collective voice for heritage (including both tangible and intangible)
  • Have a provincial focus
  • Fulfill the role as a Community of Interest
  • Ensure a positive approach towards heritage leadership and development
  • Avoid one-dimensional advocacy
  • Build pride and a sense of place

The overwhelming sentiment by those who were consulted and who attended the first Forum, was that this was an idea whose time had come and that it needed to move forward. A constitution was developed by the Governance Committee of the Heritage Saskatchewan’s Interim Board and subsequently approved by the full Interim Board at its Strategic Planning Session. A membership drive took place and the first Annual General Meeting occurred in February of 2010, at which time a constitution and bylaws were ratified and the inaugural election for a Board of Directors was held.

Following the establishment of the organisation, several initiatives were undertaken including:

  • Hiring the first CEO (Ingrid Cazakoff) in September 2010
  • Contracting Sandra Massey to research and write document as evidence for ‘the case for heritage’, resulting in Living Heritage and Quality of Life: Reframing Heritage Activity in Saskatchewan, produced in November 2012

Kristin Enns-Kavanagh
Kristin Enns-Kavanagh Jubilee Award & Honourary Life Membership

On February 27, 2023, Heritage Saskatchewan's first President, Kristin Enns-Kavanagh, was honoured at Government House. She was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal by His Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Russ Mirasty. Kristin was honoured for her work in founding Heritage Saskatchewan. The ceremony was held to present medals to recipients from various organisations for which His Honour is an Honorary Patron.

Kristin, for both her work during the creation of Heritage Saskatchewan, and then as the first Board President for the organizations from 2009-2014, was recognized as an Honourary Life Member on Feb 21st, 2019. Read more about the award and Kristin's contribution to Heritage Saskatchewan.

Looking Back - past Annual Reports