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The Western Development Museum, Spirit Wrestler Productions, and University of Saskatchewan to receive Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive!

The Western Development Museum in partnership with Spirit Wrestlers Productions and the University of Saskatchewan is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums: History Alive! for The Saskatchewan Doukhobor Living Book Project.

The Saskatchewan Doukhobor Living Book Project was on display at the WDM Saskatoon in 2019. The exhibit helped preserve the oral history and spiritual traditions of the Saskatchewan Doukhobors through the creation of an immersive audio/visual soundscape. The soundscape documented a typical Doukhobor ‘moleniye’ (prayer service) as practiced by Saskatchewan’s Independent Doukhobors. It captured the oral history of Doukhobor elders, and explored how the community has evolved since first immigrating to Saskatchewan 120 years ago. Along with the soundscape the exhibit featured artifacts from the WDM collection and the local Doukhobor community. The Independent Doukhobors’ unique approach to ‘cultural harmonization,’ which allowed them to integrate socially, economically, and politically while retaining key features of their religious beliefs and cultural practices, may help us to better understand and support other ethnoreligious minority communities in our province and beyond.

“We are honoured to have been chosen as this year’s winners of the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums which recognizes our work in preserving and making accessible intangible cultural heritage in Canada through a unique partnership between members of the Doukhobor community, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Western Development Museum,” says WDM Curator Dr. Elizabeth Scott, Founder and Manager of Spirit Wrestler Productions Ryan Androsoff, and University of Saskatchewan Assistant Professor of History Dr. Ashleigh Androsoff.

Learn more about the project.

About the Governor General’s History Awards

Created in 1996, the Governor General’s History Awards honour excellence in educational and public programming about our history and heritage. They celebrate the very best in Canadian achievements to ensure our national past has a vibrant presence in our society today. These awards are administered by Canada’s National History Society.

  • This is wonderful news The project gives us a good view of how these immigrants added to our idea of peace and living harmoniously which is sorely needed today.

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