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Celebrating the Saskatchewan Legislative Building

By Collections Curator Ruth Bitner

The Province of Saskatchewan was only four years old when the corner stone was laid for the Legislative Building in Regina. The WDM collection contains a cushion cover made from approximately 40 silk ribbons given to visitors who attended the official event. Each ribbon is printed with the words “Visitor, Laying of Corner Stone, October 4th, 1909." Unfortunately, we do not know who collected the ribbons and embroidered them in place.

Cushion cover made from visitor ribbons
WDM photo

Ribbon detail
WDM photo

The Legislative Building embodies the vision of Walter Scott, Saskatchewan’s first premier. Designed by Montreal architects Edward and W.S. Maxwell, the building was to be a grand edifice, set on the bald prairie near Wascana Creek, well away from what was then Regina’s downtown core. The classical design of the building, the Tyndall stone and marble materials, and the spacious grounds set aside for a professionally-designed park, symbolized Scott’s hopes and dreams for the rapidly growing province.

The October 4, 1909 event was celebrated in Regina with great fanfare. A huge flag-decorated welcome arch, similar to those erected for the province’s inauguration four years earlier, was erected on the Regina street that led to the building site. Officials from across Canada were invited and people came from near and far to watch Governor General Earl Grey lay the corner stone.

Crowds gather for the laying of the corner stone, Regina, 1909.
Saskatchewan Archives Board, R-A2273

The passage of time has shown that Premier Scott chose well. Today, the Legislative Building, now a National Historic Site, is a jewel set in one of the country’s largest urban parks. Saskatchewan people are proud of their impressive legislative building which stands amid beautifully landscaped grounds in the heart of Regina.

The cushion cover, returned to Saskatchewan in 1955 by a donor from British Columbia, is a tangible link to Premier Scotts’s vision for a grand building in a new and prosperous province.

One hundred years ago, on October 12, 1912, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building was officially opened.

Artchitects drawing of legeslative building - framedDetail on architects drawing of legislative buildingArchitects Maxwell and Maxwell's drawing of the Legislative Building.
WDM collection, WDM-2004-S-719

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