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The Convent

Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, S0H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/03/11

Front elevation of the Convnet, 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Lisa Dale-Burnett, 2004.
Convent
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Other Name(s)

The Convent
Convent of Sisters of the Cross

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1921/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/10/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Convent is a Municipal Heritage Property located within the Town of Willow Bunch on a 0.4 hectare lot. The property features a three-storey, stucco-clad building on a fieldstone foundation constructed between 1914 and 1921.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of The Convent lies in its long history of use as an educational institution. The Convent was constructed between 1914 and 1921 for the Sisters of the Cross, an Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The Order, which specialized in education, came to Willow Bunch at the behest of local residents who wanted to improve the education facilities in the area. The main level provided space for four classrooms while the top floor featured facilities for housing students.

The property also retains social value as a physical link with the Francophone heritage of many of the town’s early pioneers. The Sisters were requested to establish the convent by the community, in part, to help retain the town’s Francophone heritage by providing education in French. The sisters also assisted with the religious activities of the Catholic community, cementing the traditional link between Catholicism and the French culture. After the Sisters of the Cross left Willow Bunch in 1983, the building continued its cultural role as it became the home for the local museum as well as a Francophone cultural centre.

The heritage value of the property also lies in its Roman Catholic Church architecture. The property is defined by its prominent mansard roof and tower, inspired by the Second Empire style, used during the period by the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec, from where the Sisters of the Cross emigrated. The placement of dormers along the roof, decorative fence atop the tower roof, and the regular pattern of the large rectangular windows on the façade also reflect the Second Empire architecture.

Source:

Town of Willow Bunch Bylaw No.142.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of The Convent resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that reflect the building’s historical use as a school, including the spatial composition of the main floor;
-those elements that reflect the religious nature of the building, including the alcove and statue set into the tower;
-those elements that reflect the property’s Second Empire architecture, including the mansard roof, dormer windows, tower with pyramidal roof, and ornamental metal fence on the peak and its regular massing and symmetrical form;
-accessibility of the property for cultural and education activities.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1986/03/11

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1983/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Education
Primary or Secondary School
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: PHP 935

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 935

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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