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Sask Culture - Funding provided by Saskatchewan Lotteries

About the Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre

Annual Report 2015

Annual Report 2014

Annual Report 2013

The name of Shaunavon's Museum, "Grand Coteau", comes from the title "le grand coteau" or grand slope of the Missouri, as applied by the explorer Le Verendrye to the area stretching from Kincaid to Govenlock.

The Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre officially opened Saturday, July 12, 1980, but had its origin as the "Grand Coteau Museum" which was organized on December 6, 1931 at a meeting convened in the court house in Shaunavon.

During the period from 1931 to 1957 the exhibits were housed in one room of the old two roomed school house on the school grounds just west of the older brick school. The period from 1936 to 1957 was a dormant one and only F.O. Bransted was left with enough interest to take visitors to view the exhibits.

In 1957 the work of reviving the Grand Coteau Museum was undertaken. The School Board gave the building to the Town of Shaunavon for $1.00. The Chamber of Commerce, with financial help from the Town and the Shawnees, moved the building to its present site in the small park on Centre Street and renovated the building. C. Busse, acting for the Chamber of Commerce, organized this phase of the work. The operation of the museum was turned over to a management committee with representation from the Town, Chamber of Commerce, Public School Board, High School Board, Separate School Board, School Unit No. 7, Shawnees and two members at large. This management committee began their work on July 2, 1959 and the museum was again officially opened in 1963, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Town of Shaunavon. Even at that time the thought of incorporating the library was considered. In 1972 the basement was completed with grants from the Federal Government and the Town of Shaunavon.

In 1973 preliminary plans were started to provide more space as it was obvious that a heritage type of museum was needed by the community. In June of 1976 the cataloguing of all exhibits was started with the help of a special project grant from the Department of Culture and Youth and the able management of Janice Douglas, an anthropology student from the University of Alberta. The natural history cataloguing was completed in 1977 by the management committee.

In November 1977 the Town Council called a meeting to hear presentations on the announced Neighbourhood Improvement Program (NIP) and the Grand Coteau Management Committee made representation to have the enlargement of the museum to include an art gallery and the branch of the regional library considered as first priority. The plan received the approval of the Town Council and the new municipally operated facility was opened in 1980 with the guidance of a Board of Directors, and Director/Curator. Today the staff has expanded to include a Curatorial Assistant and volunteers.

The Centre now includes the Shaunavon Branch of the Chinook Regional Library, an art gallery, a natural history museum and tourist information centre all on the main floor; a heritage museum in the basement which also includes a general purpose community room. The Centre continues to be open year round and offers a variety of cultural experiences. Stop in and visit us when you are in town.

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© Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre
Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre   (306) 297-3882   gchcc@sasktel.net
440 Centre Street - P.O. Box 966, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada S0N 2M0
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