Golden Jubilee

In 1955, Saskatchewan marked its fiftieth anniversary as a province. A Golden Jubilee Committee, spending a modest half-million dollar budget, promoted several important provincial projects that set the standard for future anniversaries: building the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History in Regina; commissioning two provincial histories (The Story of a Province and Saskatchewan: The History of a Province) and an anthology of Saskatchewan prose and poetry (Saskatchewan Harvest); publishing a historical map; and placing markers at historic points across the province. These official initiatives were strengthened by the response of municipal Jubilee committees who, encouraged by the provincial committee, planned and executed a year-long celebration that included homecoming fairs and parades, traveling exhibits, building projects, historic site preservation, and tourism and publicity promotion. Participation and support for these activities were enthusiastic as Saskatchewan people reflected on past and possible future achievements and paid respect to those who worked hard to build the province. The Department of Education’s 1955 curriculum included a blueprint for students to research a school or community history book as a Jubilee project. Hundreds of histories were produced and even published, touching off the provincial preoccupation with local history book production which has continued to this day.

Merle Massie

Further Reading

Archer, J. 1954. The Fiftieth Year: A Speaker's Handbook About Saskatchewan and its Jubilee. Regina: Saskatchewan Golden Jubilee Committee; Smith, D.E. 1982. “Celebrations and History on the Prairies,” Journal of Canadian Studies 17 (3): 45-57.