Temporary Exhibits

2023/2024 Pioneers

On June 10th, the Millet & District Museum & Archives will honour the contributions of Grace French, Patricia Hughes, Joanne Maynard, and May Pydde to our community, inducting them into our Pioneer Women exhibit. 

The Pioneer Women exhibit began in 2011, as an effort to retrieve and preserve the stories of the women who built our community. Each of the inducted women have been pioneers, innovating change and growth in our community and integral in the creation and continuation of many of Millet's businesses, organizations, social groups, and events.

2023 will be the last year that the Pioneer women exhibit accepts new inductees. The inductees will remain on display in the Museum. 

Events will begin with a Cavalcade at 11:30 AM, the Induction Ceremony at the Millet Agriplex at 1 PM (tickets available at the Millet & District Museum, 5120 50st - $15 cash, $20 card/e-transfer), and exhibit tours from 2:30 – 4:30 PM.

Patricia (Torrie) Hughes - Singing Seamstress

Since moving to Millet in 1981, Patricia has been a non-stop force in organizing, participating in, and coordinating with different events in and around the community. As a seamstress, she worked at the Montgomery Store in Wetaskiwin for two years and did alterations for the Butterfly Boutique for around 18 years. She suggested and helped organize two consecutive community fashion shows with the Butterfly Boutique. All proceeds were donated to the Leduc Community Hospital. She continues to participate in the Millet Knitting Group and makes prayer shawls for those in need. She also spent six years working in long-term care at the Wetaskiwin Hospital to help support her family. Pat offers a huge part of her time to the United Church. She became a secretary for the church in Millet, Mulhurst, and Ma-Me-O Beach for 25 years before retiring in 2010. She helped organize service times and offered support to ministry personnel who came to the community. She was also president of the United Church Women various times from 1985-2009. Through leading the UCW, she helped coordinate and organize fundraisers, luncheons, teas, Bible studies, the World Day of Prayer, and Shrove Tuesdays, from which all proceeds were donated to the Millet Public Library. Pat joined the church choir and even came up with their name, “United We Sing.” She has also sung at numerous weddings, funerals, and birthday parties for people in town and even Oh Canada at Millet hockey games. In addition, Pat has helped with the Seniors Floor Curling, was a member of the Millet Red Hats, is currently involved with the Millet Seniors Club, and is always willing to drive people in town to where they need to be. Pat is active in sharing her faith with the community and has helped foster fellowship with women all over Alberta.

Grace Constance French - Good Samaritan

For many years, Grace French has been the strong foundation of several different organizations in the Millet area, volunteering her time and talents to continuously serve the community she grew up in. Growing up on her family's dairy farm just outside Millet, Grace spent her childhood involved in Girl Guides and 4-H. After finishing highschool, she left briefly to pursue an education in nursing. Upon completion, she returned to the farm and took a position at the Wetaskiwin Hospital. Around her time in nursing school Grace started her lifelong passion for volunteering and community service. Beginning with the Millet Legion when she was eighteen, and she has been there ever since, fulfilling roles such as President and Treasurer. She also served twelve years with the Girl Guides Association, an organization she grew up having fond memories of, acting as Camp Nurse as well as Treasurer. Shortly after working as a nurse, she decided on a change in careers, and returned to school working towards a degree in accounting, and later obtained her Chartered Accountant certificate. She used her accountant skills volunteering in many treasurer roles. After serving eleven years as Finance Director with the County of Wetaskiwin, she retired in 2018, and now devotes her spare time to the Millet Food Bank, the Legion, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wetaskiwin, where she takes communion to seniors homes for those unable to attend in person. It is for lifelong service and her devotion to others that we are proud to include Grace French as one of our 2023 Pioneer Women.



Al Kilborn - Heroic Antiquarian

Al has dutifully served the Millet community since he moved here in 1962. One way he has done this is through his business, Kilborn Antiques. Al does extensive research on every item he purchases to ensure they are in good condition. Al would travel to England and the United states every couple of months to buy antiques and send them to Millet. He has also been using that knowledge to appraise artifacts for the Millet and District Museum since 1995. Another aspect of his service was in joining the Millet Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1972. Not only was he completely new to fire fighting, but he also volunteered to be the new Fire Chief! As Chief he did a lot of good for the department, for instance he helped found the East-West Rural Fire Co-op to help fund and design Millets first modern fire engine. Al also joined Disaster Services as a director and trained in rescue operations for a variety of natural or other disasters. Al has done many other things for the community; serving a term on the Millet Town Council, joining the Alberta Battle River Regional Planning Commission, and starting the Millet Veteran Firefighter’s Association after retiring from 50 years of fire service. All that while still running Kilborn Antiques for 55 years. For his contributions Millet recognizes Al Kilborn day every year on June 15. Al has gone above and beyond for Millet, though if you asked Al he would say “it was just his duty to his fellow man.”





Joanne (Hegge) Maynard - Sociable Organizer

Joanne (Hegge) Maynard is being honoured for her consistent community organization and longstanding dedication to the healthcare system. Joanne was raised on the family farm outside Millet in the 1950’s. In 1958, she joined a group for young girls called the Millet Mermaiden's, were sponsored by the Golden Glow and Tellim Women’s Institute. She was a Mermaiden for ten years, gaining skills such as public speaking, handicrafts, and community involvement. Joanne attended Millet School, then Camrose Lutheran College, and then went into nursing. While at Camrose Lutheran College, she was very involved in yearbook, pep club, choir, and the “Miles for Millions” walk in Camrose. Her husband Bob and her have two daughters and two granddaughters. Joanne was a board member on the Millet Kindergarten Executive while she was raising her daughters for three years beginning in 1982. Joanne gave back to the Girls Club by being a local leader for a number of years and then provincial leader for three. She was a dedicated nurse at the Wetaskiwin Hospital for over thirty years, retiring in 2016. She consistently manages to connect people. She volunteers her time and effort to; the Arts & Crafts Guild, Millet Seniors Club (President), Millet in Bloom, Sons of Norway, Medi-Lend once a month and is a church historian at the Grace Lutheran Church. She was a member of the Tellim Women’s Institute for twenty years, as Treasurer, was a Union Steward with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employment for fifteen years, and with the Millet Library Board for nine consecutive years as a chair member for three of them. She enjoys quilting, visiting her granddaughters, and traveling with her friends. She continues to give back to the community with her wonderful ideas, handicrafts, and overwhelming amount of love and support for her friends and family.




Laura “May” Elizabeth (Armstrong) Pydde - Lifelong Learner

The late May Pydde is being honored for her many contributions in Millet and surrounding communities. She was always hungry for knowledge and loved to teach others. After graduating from Edmonton Normal School in 1939, May spent seven years teaching and twenty years substitute teaching at the Greencourt, Tudor, Porto Bello, and Pipestone schools. She helped form the Home and School Board (now known as a Parent and Teacher Association Board), and spent time as the President. She also sat on the Board to help rebuild Pipestone School. May and her best friend, Helen Moonen, were part of a group that started swimming lessons for children from the Millet area. These lessons were held at Silver Beach on Pigeon Lake, starting in 1954, and carried on for over twenty years, until 1976. To raise some money to support the swimming lessons, the group held Bingos in both Millet and Pipestone. May was also active in the Lady Tweedsmuir Women’s Institution, which met monthly at member’s homes to socialize, and to help the community by catering auction sales, sending money to hospitals, and other activities of that nature. May passed away in 1982. She is remembered by her passion for learning and teaching.   

At Your Leisure

This temporary exhibit explores the theme of Leisure in Alberta, through the lenses of indoor and outdoor leisure. Explore how hunting, sports, crafting, baking, music, and more have changed and stayed the same in Millet since its founding in 1910. This exhibit includes various hands-on activities, which encourage guests to consider how their own leisure activities are similar and different to those of the past.