facebook_button twitter_button youtube_button    

"...I realized for me maybe it’s just the people. That’s what has kept me in Saskatoon..."

- Anthony Bidulka, Canadian mystery novel writer (Via Spinetingler Magazine)

eBulletin - August 2011

Saskatoon Fastest Growing City in Canada

By Shannon Proudfoot, Postmedia News

Western Canada is home to an increasingly youthful and fast-growing population, while the eastern provinces are older and growing more slowly, according to new demographic analysis from Statistics Canada.

Saskatoon is Canada's fastest-growing city, with a population growth rate of 27.7 per 1,000 people between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. That added 7,200 residents to the city, for a total population of 265,300, the agency said Wednesday.

Saskatoon is followed by Vancouver, growing at a rate of 22.3 per 1,000, and Regina, which swelled by 22.3 per 1,000 over that same one-year period.

"There are some differences happening in the western provinces compared to the eastern provinces, and what's happening in Saskatchewan is quite interesting," says Anne Milan, a senior analyst with Statistics Canada's demography division and co-author of the report released Wednesday.

International migration was the driving force behind Saskatchewan's booming population, the agency says, with nearly half the population growth fuelled by that factor. Saskatoon alone gained 3,300 people through net international migration in that year, outstripping the international draw of larger cities such as Hamilton, Ont. and Quebec City.

Toronto was Canada's fourth fastest-growing city, followed by Calgary, Moncton, N.B., Edmonton, Ottawa-Gatineau and Winnipeg.

In contrast, cities including Halifax, Montreal, Kelowna, B.C., Victoria and St. John's had growth rates below the national average. Only two cities — Windsor, Ont. and Sudbury, Ont. — registered negative population growth, driven in both cases by losing residents to other Canadian cities.

"In some ways, it's the opposite story (in Eastern Canada), where there's generally lower fertility, they don't receive a large share of immigrants and net interprovincial migration is frequently negative," Milan says.

Amid an aging Canadian population, Saskatoon is also the youngest city in the country, with a median age of 35.4 years, compared to the national median of 39.7.

Many of Canada's other youngest cities are concentrated in the west, with Saskatoon followed by Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Toronto and Winnipeg. Those cities are also aging more slowly, fuelled by far more births than deaths and net gains in migration from other countries, provinces and cities.

In contrast, Saguenay, Que., and Trois-Rivieres, Que., are the oldest cities in Canada, with median ages of 45.0 years, while Quebec City, St. John's, Kelowna, Victoria and St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont., are also older than average.

"Everything kind of interrelates," says Milan. "Population growth and the components of interprovincial migration and immigration and fertility — they all have an impact not only on population growth but the age structure."

Saskatchewan is also a front-runner in terms of the total fertility rate, or the number of children a hypothetical woman would have if she followed current age-specific fertility rates. Saskatchewan's total fertility rate was 2.05 in 2008, second only to Nunavut at 2.98 and the Northwest Territories at 2.08, and very close to the 2.1 replacement figure considered necessary to maintain current population levels without immigration.

In contrast, Ontario's fertility rate is 1.58, Nova Scotia's is 1.54 and Quebec's is 1.74.

But while longer life expectancies, aging baby boomers and fewer births have propelled population aging in recent decades, newly analyzed fertility data show a five-year trend toward more babies overall.

There were 377,900 babies born in Canada in 2008, up from 354,600 in 2006 and the highest recorded number since 1995, though the number still pales in comparison to the 479,300 bundles of Canadian joy welcomed in 1959 at the peak of the baby boom.

Source: Canada.com

Back to Top

Saskatoon to Host Major Economic Summit in 2012

By Cassandra Kyle, The StarPhoenix

Saskatoon has been named the host of next summer’s Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Annual Summit.

The major economic conference is expected to attract some 500 people — legislators, government officials and business leaders — from Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. To be held in the Bridge City from July 15-19, 2012, the PNWER Summit provides an opportunity for leaders to discuss key topics including natural resource extraction, energy usage, water policy, agriculture, transportation and border issues.

“Our province values the important role that collaboration between government and business plays in both Saskatchewan and beyond,” stated Premier Brad Wall.

Wall this week is in Portland, Oregon, where he will be addressing the 2011 PNWER Summit.

“The PNWER conference has a long history of helping to establish strong partnerships throughout the region, and we look forward to demonstrating our commitment to regional cooperation by playing host to the summit.”

The only partnership of its kind in North America, PNWER represents a combined GDP of $986 billion — or $1 trillion US. From Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Yukon and Northwest Territories are members of the regional group, while Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington comprise the members from the United States.

PNWER’s mission is to promote regional collaboration, enhance competitiveness, achieve continued economic growth and reduce trade and regulatory barriers.

A Saskatchewan delegation, which includes cabinet ministers, MLAs, business leaders and government officials, is attending the Oregon PNWER conference, which runs from Tuesday through Friday. Wall is attending the opening day of the 2011 summit, where he is inviting members to Saskatoon and “telling the Saskatchewan story” at an evening reception, according to a news release.

Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Party MLA for Thunder Creek and PNWER regional vice-president, has been named chair of the 2012 summit.

“Saskatchewan is a proven economic leader and we are honoured to have such a high-profile summit coming to our province in 2012,” Stewart stated.

“This is an ideal venue to help connect businesses from around the region and to allow elected and other government officials to discuss regional issues with our counterparts.”

Source: The StarPhoenix

Back to Top

Saskatoon's The Sheepdogs Win Music's Most Coveted Cover

Local rock band, The Sheepdogs, are hometown heroes, beating out 15 other bands to take home the ultimate prize in music: their photo on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

After an intense six month competition and more than half a million votes cast, Saskatonian boogie rockers The Sheepdogs receive the distinction of being the first unsigned band to ever appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, as well as a recording contract from Atlantic Records.

"We couldn’t be prouder of The Sheepdogs and the effort they put in to making this achievement happen," says Todd Brandt, President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon. "The city has been following this competition for months and it has been amazing to watch the band journey from Saskatoon to the international stage. We were ecstatic when they were announced as winners."

As part of their Choose the Cover contest, the editors at Rolling Stone handpicked 16 unsigned bands to compete for one of music’s biggest prizes. The Sheepdogs progressed through four tournament style elimination rounds that included public voting, recording in studio with a major record producer, and a live showcase in front of editors and music executives to secure their place in the finals. As one of the last two surviving bands, The Sheepdogs competed in a head-to-head battle of the bands against Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Leila Broussard, on-stage at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN.

The Sheepdogs appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone’s August 18, 2011 issue, on newsstands August 5.

Click here for full release.

Back to Top

Attendance Record Set at 2011 Saskatoon Ex

Attendance at the annual Saskatoon Exhibition broke records this year, with 33,825 people attending the event on Sunday, culminating in a six day event total of 216,856, breaking the 2009 record by 1,380 people.

Prairieland Park CEO, Mark Regier comments, "With great entertainment and good weather, the EX attained another record attendance. Thank you to all of our patrons for supporting the show."

All EX results can be found at www.saskatoonexhibition.ca.

View photos of all the EX events by visiting www.flickr.com/saskatoonex.

Click here for full release.

Back to Top

A New Festival Hits the Street: The Word On The Street Saskatoon

There's a new festival in town! The Word On The Street, a national celebration of literacy and the written word, a major, one-day festival debuts in Saskatoon this fall. Last fall, Saskatoon joined Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, and Kitchener by hosting a Preview Event. This year Saskatoon is hosting a full festival with 33 authors and performers participating. There is always plenty to see and do at Canada's largest book and magazine festival. Don't miss out - bring your family to this all ages, family event and hear some of Saskatchewan's best authors and performers.

Festival Headliners
Yann Martel, winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Life of Pi will read from his 2011 release, What is Stephen Harper Reading, participate in a question-and-answer session, and sign books for fans.

Sandra Birdsell, winner of the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards Best Fiction Award and a Governor General Finalist for Waiting for Joe will read from this 2010 release, participate in a question-and-answer session, and sign books for fans.

What: The Word On The Street Saskatoon Festival - Free Admission
When: Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 11:00am until 5:00pm
Where: Downtown Saskatoon - on 23rd Street in front of the Frances Morrison Library and inside the Library itself
Why: You will hear some of Saskatchewan's best authors and performers, be able to browse a literary marketplace and participate in literacy activites. The best part of all is that all events are FREE!

About The Word On The Street
Every year on the last Sunday of September, in Vancouver, Kitchener, Toronto, Halifax, Saskatoon and Lethbridge, The Word On The Street unites the country in a national celebration of literacy and the written word. Annually attracting more than 250,000 visitors nationally, The Word On The Street is the largest book and magazine festival in Canada. For current information on the festival, check out www.thewordonthestreet.ca/wots/saskatoon or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here for full release.

Back to Top

Folkfest Fun is Mobile

Cultural enthusiasts in Saskatoon won't have to wait much longer for their yearly dose of worldly festivities.

The 32nd annual Saskatoon Folkfest is set to kick off on Aug. 18.

"People say, 'Oh it's the same old thing,' " Terri Rau, executive director of the festival, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"Yes. It's the same old fabulous entertainment, same old fabulous food, the demonstrations, the displays, the decor, there's always something to learn, so we're really proud of that."

Making its debut at the three-day festival is the Bangladesh pavilion, which will be located at 101 Wiggins Rd.

Rau has been involved with the festival for 14 years and takes pride in seeing something she is so passionate about continue to grow.

"Folkfest gains more recognition year after year. We are proud of the impact and interest the festival has from all over Canada, the United States and beyond," she said.

Also making its debut this year is the Folkfest Fun Mobile.

"The Fun Mobile is eyecatching," said Mike San Miguel, treasurer of the Saskatoon Folkfest.

"We're going to try and get some of our board members and our internal staff to go to people's doorsteps and give them some prizes."

"You just never know when we're going to show up at your doorstep," added Rau.

This year's festival will showcase 17 pavilions filled with song, dance, food and folklore. Perennial favourites such as the Caribbean, Brazilian and Irish pavilions will be returning. A complete list of this year's pavilions can be found at www.saskatoonfolkfest.ca.

For all the planning and organizing that goes into the festival each year, Rau says it's worth it when the city starts to come alive with that international buzz.

"It's a feeling you get. You know people are out, they're moving around the city, going to pavilions, they're having fun, they're riding buses and people are smiling and laughing with the tour guides.

"Everything about Folkfest just brings a smile to your face. I think everybody is very proud of the cultures that are being showcased, and it just becomes a big celebration."

Passports for the festival are $14 and will be available next week at Safeway and Mac's stores and at major hotels. Passports will also be sold at pavilions. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are admitted for free.

Source: The StarPhoenix

Back to Top

Dark Bridges Film Festival Announces Film Lineup!

By Andrew Mack, Twitch

Everyone in Saskatoon, SK: If you see John Allison on the streets of your fair city today give him a great big hug because no one is working harder than he to bring a great lineup of strange and unusual genre films to Sasktown's DARK BRIDGES FILM FESTIVAL. John is only into his second year of building the fest and he is bringing one heck of a lineup to the Broadway Theatre at the end of September!

2nd Annual Festival - Sept. 29th - Oct. 2nd, 2011 Broadway Theatre

Dark Bridges Film Festival is Saskatchewan's premiere showcase of cool, independent and foreign genre films. Both feature and short films will be screened through the entirety of the festival.

The Second Annual Dark Bridges Film Festival will run again this fall. Plans for this year's festival include an extra night of films, a zombie walk as well as an afternoon discussion session for local and visiting film makers.

This year's festival line up is an wide range of movies from around the world. We have Asian samurai tale (13 ASSASSINS), martial arts epic (TRUE LEGEND) and an action mystery (DETECTIVE DEE AND THE PHANTOM FLAME), a Chilean martial arts riff on James Bond (MANDRILL), a completely practical effects hillbilly horror film that just happens to have a giant monster in it also (THE MILLENNIUM BUG), a mysterious ghost story from Switzerland (SENNENTUTSCHI: CURSE OF THE ALPS), a Canadian documentary about a small city Jackass (BEAUTY DAY), a dramatic kidnapping story from the United Kingdom that was filmed in one take (VICTIMS), a tale of horror and science fiction from Nova Scotia (THE CORRIDOR), Israel's first horror movie (RABIES), a post apocalyptic vampire tale (STAKE LAND), James Gunn's take on super heroes (SUPER), a Norwegian Mockumentary about the guy who catches trolls (TROLLHUNTER) and a mixed up splatter fest comedy about unsuspecting hillbillies who have to deal with some college kids (TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL).

Most of those titles are already familiar to Twitch readers and are enjoying successful runs on the festival circuit. But since Saskatoon isn't on the radar of the big studios even the ones picked up for domestic (Canadian) distribution would never see the light of day in such a small-to-mid-sized city if it were not for the hard work the Dark Bridges crew!

Advance Festival Passes will go on sale on August 15th. Discounted price will continue through August. Passes will be on sale at Unreal City Comics and The Broadway Theatre.

Source: Twitch

For more information about the Dark Bridges Film Festival, visit www.darkbridges.com.

Back to Top

Come Have a Blast at the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival!

The hub of activity for the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival is Saskatoon's spectacular River Landing, along the South Saskatchewan River in the heart of Saskatoon.

Live shows take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at two locations: the Amphitheatre at River Landing and across the river in Rotary Park. Both evenings are topped off with a fantastic fireworks display set to music.

Choreographed pyrotechnic shows will be blasted over the South Saskatchewan River both nights - Friday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 3rd. There are two unique shows produced by different companies - so it's a new show each night! See Ruggieri Fireworks of Regina and Fireworks Spectacular of Calgary light up the night!

Fireworks are planned to go off at 9:30pm on Friday night and 9:30pm on Saturday night -- but come out at 5:00pm each afternoon to enjoy the food and fun leading up to the fireworks extravaganza!

The PotashCorp Fireworks Festival is truly a community celebration. Aside from the terrific entertainment and amazing fireworks displays, the Festival features: fun demonstrations and games, a bike valet service so you don't have to worry about where to leave your bicycle, and food and beverage vendors so you don't get hungry!

All this and more... don't miss out - mark your calendar today!

For more information about the PotashCorp Fireworks Festival, visit www.potashcorpfireworksfestival.ca.

Back to Top

Contact: Kelly Bertoncini
Manager, Media Relations | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7585 | kbertoncini@tourismsaskatoon.com

Copyright 2011 Saskatoon Visitor and Convention Bureau. All rights reserved.