Jack Millikin Centre
Big River, SK
The Ness Creek Site, home of the Jack Millikin Centre, is a 320-acre site situated in the mixed boreal forest five kilometres west of the Prince Albert National Park west boundary. The Ness Creek Community began in 1991 when like-minded individuals came together to host the first annual Ness Creek Music Festival. In 2003, the Ness Creek community decided that a 4-season centre was needed to facilitate these events at the Site. In 2008, the Jack Millikin Centre, Ltd. was registered as a non-profit charitable organization with two main goals – to design and build the Jack Millikin Centre and to develop arts and culture-based programming at the Site. The Centre was named after a local community icon, Jack Millikin, who was a beloved Big River elder. Jack, who emigrated to Canada from Scotland, devoted his life to his family and community. He was an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and volunteered his music for decades in the community – he was a humble man and for him community and volunteerism
came first. We named our building in his honour, but also to remember and emulate those values he held so dearly.
Since the Centre’s construction in 2015, the Site has developed into a 4-season mecca for the many thousands of people who come to the multitude of cultural, artistic, and ecological events held annually. It is home to 4 major festivals, a biennial international artist collaboration, art camps, music camps, national blacksmithing conferences, ecological land-based learning programs, cultural sensitivity workshops, 20 kilometres of trails for cross country skiing, hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and many, other events. Now, the Centre has now become an integral aspect of the Site as a beautiful 4,700 square foot building. The Centre was built using a post and beam frame construction with locally sourced timbers, has highly efficient spray foam insulation (R-40) throughout. uses a 124-panel Solar Array on site which produces 47,000 kilowatt hours of green power each year, and uses a highly efficient wood boiler, which can heat up to 12,000 square feet. The space also has a variety of Committees and volunteers that help keep it running year-round.
Now to put the finishing touches on the space and ensure all the community’s hard work does not go to waste, keeping the space efficient and accessible for years to come, the community needs to finish the trim on the windows and doors on the Centre. If they are able to secure the funds for the materials, they will be able to have amazing volunteers do much of the labour on the project.