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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 115 / 185

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Conclusion

109

The strength of community and dangers of isolation are lessons that

Saskatchewan residents learned early. The economics of agriculture in Saskatchewan

have led to the rise of co-operative movements such as The Saskatchewan Grain Growers

Association (1901), the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (1924), the Municipal Hail Insurance

Association (1917), The Co-operative Elevator Company (1917) (Stirling 17). The

socio-political landscape of this province has been unmistakably co-operative in nature.

The CCF/NDP were the first socialist government elected in North America in 1944. But

Saskatchewan public institutions such as publicly owned utilities, the Saskatchewan

Transit Company (STC Buses, 1946), Saskatchewan Government Insurance (1945), and

Medicare (1960s) were, for most of the twentieth century, maintained by provincial

governments of various political stripes (eb.com/eb/article-43201Government policies).74

The arts community in Saskatchewan has also benefited from efforts to relieve

isolation. The University of Saskatchewan’s Extension Division began outreach to the

province soon after the U of S was established in 1907. The Saskatchewan Arts Board,

founded in 1948, was the first organization of its kind in North America. It continues

working to enhance artistic opportunities for amateur and professional artists. Today,

many arts organizations continue to work to support Saskatchewan artists, for example

the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and the Saskatchewan Playwrights’ Centre.

The historic danger of isolation has bred an awareness of the value of community

in endeavours beyond mere survival. Cooperation and community are a part of the ethos

of Saskatchewan which percolates through the themes and subject matter of plays written

for Saskatchewan radio listeners. Thus isolation and the struggle to relive it have

continued to be an important and recurring theme of Saskatchewan radio plays written

74

See Appendix E: Timeline for more.

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