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Theme weekends replace major events at Fort George and Buckingham House

Staff are looking forward to a busy summer at Fort George and Buckingham House Provincial Historic Site.
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This rain-sprinkled sign, usually located outside the main doors of Fort George and Buckingham House Interpretive Centre, tells of a new outdoor display along the north side of the building, which has paving blocks arranged in the shapes and actual sizes of a ‘canot du nord’, as they called the voyageur canoe, or the larger York Boat, both used to transport furs east to market and trade goods back to the forts.

ELK POINT – Thirty years this week after Fort George and Buckingham House Provincial Historic Site officially opened its interpretive centre to visitors, program coordinator Suzanna Wagner and her staff are looking forward to a busy summer after two years of closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They’ve already had a very busy spring since opening in mid-May, with a nonstop parade of school groups coming in each week to tour the site, hunt an increasingly wary bison on stick-and-sock ponies and increase their knowledge of the area’s early history,  “And we have 12 schools on a waiting list for next year, that will have priority for bookings,” Wagner told the Friends of the Fort at their June 16 meeting.

She also outlined this year’s event lineup of events for summer weekends, with the first of these coming up July 1 through 3, which will not only publicly launch the site’s long-awaited history book, ‘Opponents and Neighbors’ but will also celebrate 30 years since the provincial historic site opened. A second weekend with the history book theme is scheduled for Labour Day weekend, Sept. 3 through 5.

Archaeology, and the various digs that have taken place at the site through the years, will be the topic on the July 9-10 and Aug. 6-7 weekends, “and we’re bringing out the dig boxes that are usually only for school groups,” Wagner said, “so everyone can have a try at digging up some history as we explore the history of the forts.”

The site’s 2022 theme of water transportation on the North Saskatchewan River – the Fur Trade Highway - will be the theme of July 16-17 and Aug. 20-21, celebrating the importance of the river as a way to transport furs to market and bring trade goods back to the forts along its length during the fur trade era.

The Bounty of the Land, and the ways that nature provided for the people of these forest and the fur trade, will be the topic on both July 23-24 and Aug. 13 and 14, and with those last two dates falling on the same weekend as Open Farm Days, it is rumoured that there just might be locally sourced Saskatoon pie on offer – watch for further details on that one!

The final set of featured weekends, July 20-31 and Aug. 27-28, will be a celebration of the People of Fort George and Buckingham House – how they lived and how they spent their time in an exploration of life at the forts in 1792.

But you don’t have to wait for the weekends to visit Fort George and Buckingham House – the site is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Wednesday through Sunday until Labour Day.