During the latter part of the 1980s, it was becoming apparent that seniors organizations in Saskatchewan were growing and proliferating. Some way was needed to exchange information and have the least possible overlapping in organization and function.
Conferences were hosted by many interested stakeholders that dealt with seniors’ issues and concerns. At these events, seniors from different organizations had an opportunity to hear one another and begin to appreciate one another.
In September, 1988, representatives from Seniors’ University Group (SUG) and Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association (SSFA) met to discuss the possibility of bringing Saskatchewan seniors organizations together. Six months later a workshop, with representation from 10 provincial seniors’ organizations together with government departments and funding agencies, was held.
A decision was made to set up an interim board and conduct a survey “of the level of interest, support and commitment that various provincial seniors’ organizations, agencies and institutions were willing to give to the formation of the Mechanism”. As a result, on January 11, 1990, the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism held its inaugural meeting where the board was formalized, permanent staff was hired, and an office was set up.
The ten founding seniors groups were:
- Canadian Association of Retired Persons
- Fédération des aînés fransaskois
- One Voice
- Royal Canadian Legion, Saskatchewan Command
- Saskatchewan Government Superannuates Association
- Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association
- Saskatchewan Seniors Association Inc
- Senior Citizens Action Now
- Seniors’ University Group Inc
- Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan