Melville, Saskatchewan – One of the oldest buildings in Melville houses a collection of more than 10,000 artifacts in 22 exhibits, which span three floors. These exhibits tell the story of Melville, its history, and its residents.
With a population of just under 5,000, Melville is Saskatchewan’s smallest city and is home to the Melville Heritage Museum. The museum draws tourists and residents alike and is an important part of the community.
“We serve a large surrounding area and the museum helps improve tourism in Melville,” says Donna Mucha, secretary of the museum’s board. “If people come to see the museum, they will hopefully stop for a meal and make other stops here in the city.”
Mucha says the $2,500 grant from Bayer Fund’s Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities (CFGC) program will be used to improve the exhibit in the museum’s Farm Tool Room through the installation of secure display cabinets for the artifacts.
Because the museum is open seasonally from May to September, the project is currently in the planning stages, but Mucha says it’s exciting to have the funds available.
“When I found out that we had won the grant, I was filled with a mix of gratitude and a bit of disbelief,” Mucha says. “As a non-profit organization, we rely solely on grants, donations, and our small fundraisers. This is one of the largest amounts we have ever received and I think most people are surprised when they find out that a grant like this exists.”
Mucha believes that organizations should take advantage of opportunities like the CFGC grant to improve their communities, and she has already been sharing her experience with others.
“I’ve already told many people that all it takes is to make any farming friends they have aware of this grant opportunity and the importance it can have to the community as a whole,” she says. “It’s easy for people to nominate a charity of their choice without a lot of writing or explaining. Any qualifying community organization or charity can win… we are living proof!”