"To Serve Saskatchewan People by Advancing Museums ."
The Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS) is a non-profit, collective organization of over 250 member museums and a total membership of over 400, including individuals and associates. The Association is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors representative of the museum community. MAS staff oversee the organization's budget, membership, programming and communications.
The Museums Association of Saskatchewan strengthens Saskatchewan museums through a variety of education, advisory, resource and networking programs.
MAS is funded by Sask Culture, Saskatchewan Lotteries and Canadian Heritage.
Vision and Values
Saskatchewan's cultural and natural heritage will be preserved, understood and celebrated through a strong, vibrant museum community, valued and supported by society.
Statement of Philosophy
Heritage is our social and natural inheritance: the objects, ideas, places, and traditions of intrinsic value which have shaped our present and will guide our future.
MAS believes our collective inheritance is an asset that must be preserved, understood, and built upon by each generation.
MAS believes that museums, in service to society, provide stewardship for the material evidence of our human and natural inheritance and contribute to the understanding of the world and our place in it - our past, our present, and our future.
In 1961, a group of Saskatchewan residents came together to discuss the founding of a provincial museums group. However, it wouldn’t be until nearly seven years later in 1967 that the dream became reality, and in December of 1968, the Saskatchewan Museums Association was officially founded.
The late 1960’s was a timely moment for the forming of a provincial museums association. 1967 was Canada’s centennial year, and many Saskatchewan communities took the one-time opportunity of a special centennial grant from the federal government to establish museums. Soon after, Saskatchewan would come to have more museums per capita than any other province in Canada.
As museums were established, it soon became evident that many communities did not realize the commitment it took to operate them. Many museums were operated by volunteers who were dedicated to preserving history, but lacked professional museum training. Training programs were developed and today education and training are at the core of our organization. Symposiums on museum topics, and the Certificate in Community Museum studies continue to be popular with members and museum professionals alike.
The 1980s saw major changes to the organization, as the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust was formed and the Saskatchewan Museums Association received strong, stable funding from the profits of provincial lottery ticket sales. Membership grew and the associated increased from one staff member to a peak of 13 in the mid 1980s. In 1988, the Saskatchewan Museums Association changed its name to the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS), as it is presently known.
The Museums Association of Saskatchewan has been a leader amongst Canadian museum associations, introducing a number of “firsts” throughout the years. In 1988 MAS produced and published “Standards for Saskatchewan Museums,” the first museums association in the country to produce a published set of standards for their museums. MAS was also the first museums association in the country to provide conservation services, form advisory councils, and establish a first people’s committee, founded to incorporate a first nation’s perspective into the province’s museums.
Today the Museums Association of Saskatchewan continues to play an important role in the museum community. MAS currently employs six full time staff who work to provide a variety of resources and programming for our members and other museum professionals. As we approach 50 years as an organization, MAS remains dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Saskatchewan Museums to ensure that our province’s rich history and culture will be enjoyed for generations to come.