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"Our first time in Saskatoon, SK was amazing. Such a beautiful place with beautiful people."

- Train, rock band (Via Twitter)

eBulletin - September 2011

Tourism Saskatoon Prepared to Wow Conference Decision-Makers

Hosting CSAE members could result in future conferences choosing Saskatoon, and millions of dollars in local expenditures.

SASKATOON, SK – September 12, 2011 – Saskatoon will host hundreds of delegates for the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) 2011 National Conference & Showcase, September 15 – 17. This will be the first time the annual event is held in Saskatchewan.

CSAE members include executive directors, meeting planners, and other key decision makers, all who plan and host their own conferences and meetings each year. The event is regarded as a prime opportunity for host cities to showcase their convention product first-hand. The local planning committee’s vision is to see Saskatoon recognized within the CSAE membership as an intriguing, enticing and desirable destination for holding conventions and meetings.

The national conference will offer delegates professional development and networking opportunities, and the showcase will bring together suppliers from across Canada to promote their product. This will include representatives from convention centres, hotels and tourism bureaus.

“We have been looking forward to hosting this event,” says Todd Brandt, president and chief executive officer with Tourism Saskatoon. “We have great conference facilities and tourism product, and we are excited to show off our city to the CSAE membership. We are confident their experience in Saskatoon will exceed expectations.”

The local host committee and Tourism Saskatoon staff have committed significant hours to ensuring the success of this event. Taking advantage of the opportunity to host, Tourism Saskatoon is sponsoring three nights of events: the opening reception; a gala reception and dinner, showcasing the city’s history and diverse culture; and a “Fun Night,” highlighting Saskatoon’s urban feel and vibrant nightlife.

“The goal of our stellar planning committee is to ensure delegates leave with positive and lasting memories of their experience in our city,” says Nowshad Ali, co-chair of the local planning committee. “And we know that it’s Saskatoon’s prairie hospitality that will keep them returning time and time again.”

Tourism Saskatoon will also be rolling out the red carpet by offering pre-conference tours of Saskatoon and area, providing complimentary shuttle transportation from the airport, and positioning volunteers at all host hotels to provide tourism information to delegates.

At the showcase, Tourism Saskatoon’s Conventions Saskatoon! committee – comprised of over 30 local partners – will be promoting more than the city’s tourism assets. They will also be highlighting Saskatoon’s strong economy and robust industry sectors that have been steadily attracting new businesses, residents, and conferences to the city.

For information about the Canadian Society of Association Executives, visit www.csae.com.

For more information about Tourism Saskatoon or to book your Saskatoon conference, visit www.tourismsaskatoon.com.
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Media contacts:
Kelly Bertoncini
Manager, Media Relations
Tourism Saskatoon
Direct: 306-931-7585

Todd Brandt
President & CEO
Tourism Saskatoon
Direct: 306-931-7574

Nowshad (Shad) Ali
CSAE Local Planning Committee
Direct: 306-652-1417
Mobile: 306-220-7764

About Tourism Saskatoon
Tourism Saskatoon is a membership-based, non-profit visitor and convention bureau marketing Saskatoon and region as a destination of choice for leisure and business travel. Services include convention and events attraction, media relations, and membership services and advocacy. One of a few destinations in Canada, Tourism Saskatoon holds Destination Marketing Accreditation by Destination Marketing Association International. Nicknamed “the hub city” for its numerous domestic and international transportation connections, Saskatoon is known for its expansive parklands and admired for its arts and culture scene, festivals and major sporting events. For more information, visit www.tourismsaskatoon.com

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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Persephone Gives Chills with its Season Opener

Dead Midnight
By Geoffrey Ursell
World Première
September 14 – 28, 2011

With a knock at the door in the dead of winter, Persephone Theatre opens the season with a gripping psychological thriller.  Director Del Surjik encourages you to take advantage of the world première, noting that “the best way to experience a thriller is as a brand new play.  You haven’t read the book, nor have you seen the movie; you don’t know what will happen next!  There isn’t a more ideal way to experience this genre!”  

Alongside an evocative set design and breathtaking special effects, Dead Midnight features paranoia, rising tension and shocking discoveries that will take you on a bloodcurdling, heart-stopping ride.  The clock is counting down to midnight, time is running out, and someone won’t survive the night.  Come find out who.

Don’t miss the thrilling season opener! Call now to book your tickets.

The Cast: Carol Greyeyes (Doris), Kristen Holfeuer (Carly), Rob van Meenen (Dane)

The Crew: Del Surjik (Director), Kate Herriot (Assistant Director), Curtis Peeteetuce (Assistant Director), Jody Longworth (Set Designer), Theresa Germain (Costume Adaptation), Byron Hnatuk (Lighting Designer), Gilles Zolty (Sound Designer), Daniel Knight (Sound Intern), Daniel Ford Beavis (Fight Director), Laura Kennedy (Stage Manager), Lorraine Gordon (Assistant Stage Manager)

Adult content, language and violence.

Preview performances are Wednesday, September 14 and Thursday, September 15. Opening night is Friday, September 16.   

Tickets: $23 - $37. Tickets are available at the Persephone Theatre Box Office (306-384-7727) or online at www.persephonetheatre.org.  

Student 2-for-1 Sunday Evenings- Please mention these must be reserved 24 hours in advance.

Payment Depots: University of Saskatchewan, Place Riel Information Kiosk

For further information or to arrange interviews, please call:
Catherine Francis, Marketing and Sales Assistant at 306-384-2126 ext. 238
Email marketing@persephonetheatre.org
Web: www.persephonetheatre.org

Source: News Release 

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Accessible Trail in Kiwanis Memorial Park North Now Officially Open

August 25, 2011

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Thanks to a Saskatoon Community Foundation Signature Grant and financial support from other Saskatoon donors, pedestrians in Kiwanis Memorial Park now have an easier time getting down to the river from Spadina Crescent.

Today, Meewasin Board Chair Jack Vicq and Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO Trevor Forrest along with Mayor Don Atchison cut the ribbon to formally open the new section of Meewasin Trail.

“On behalf of the many donors to the Saskatoon Community Foundation we are pleased to provide better accessibility for all to our beautiful river and the Meewasin Trail,” says Trevor Forrest, Executive Director of the Saskatoon Community Foundation.  

The accessible trail is the third piece in the revitalization of Kiwanis Memorial Park: a new portable rink shelter and hot water flooder, permanent year round washrooms and now this new connection to the Meewasin trail.  These amenities are all well used by families, daycare groups, newcomers to Saskatoon and visitors to our great city where they can participate in the healthy wholesome exhilarating winter activity of skating on an outdoor rink or the countless summer activities that involve the parks and the Meewasin Trail.

Meewasin Board Chair Jack Vicq said, “We thank Cameco, PotashCorp, the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corp., the Kiwanis Club of Saskatoon, Tim Horton’s, VCM Construction, the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the City of Saskatoon as well as many other donors and sponsors for making all this possible.  And today, we especially thank the Saskatoon Community Foundation whose Signature Grant allowed us to complete the trilogy.”

For more information, contact Susan Lamb or Doug Porteous at Meewasin at 306-665-6887



The Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink at PotashCorp Plaza construction project includes a new permanent washroom building, and accessible trail between the upper and lower riverbank, and a new skaters’ lodge and deck.  These facilities are located in Kiwanis Memorial Park North.

In October, 2009, Meewasin announced that the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan each provided $349,000 to build a new skating rink and washrooms through the RinC program. 

The City of Saskatoon provided cash and in-kind support valued at close to $300,000, as well as providing ongoing maintenance of the permanent facilities.

Donations were received from PotashCorp, Cameco, The Kiwanis Club of Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Community Foundation, and the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation, March Schaeffel Architects, Credit Union Centre, Jack and Sylvia Vicq, VCM Construction, Meidl Honda Powerhouse and Kubota of Saskatoon.

The ongoing commitment of Tim Hortons to the yearly operational costs, and the support of the Delta Bessborough and other private and in-kind donors help to ensure the facilities are maintained.

Source: News Release

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Roots of urban forest run deep in city's history

By Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix

As anyone who has had the pleasure of riding over the city in a hot-air balloon in summer can attest, the most striking feature of our prairie home is the verdant tree canopy.

Saskatoon's urban forest shades streets, parks, yards, boulevards and campuses.

In the downtown core, sunbaked sidewalks lapse into cool islands and saplings promise to soften the concrete blocks for the generations yet to come.

Along the South Saskatchewan River, 50-year-old elms spread their branches above curbs, lawns and quiet paths by the water's edge and over joggers, cyclists and walkers escaping the urban bustle.

American elms that close over Spadina Crescent between Queen and Duchess streets cast a calming charm in summer and dazzle with hoar frost on sunny winter mornings.

While many of the trees in the river valley are native to the area, most of the trees throughout the city were planted by homeowners, land developers and city workers since Saskatoon was incorporated in 1906.

"Our vision is to plant as many trees as humanly possible and to replicate some of these older neighbourhoods," said parks branch manager Wayne Briant.

"You're adding something to the landscape so it's not all bricks and mortar. You're trying to soften the look of the city so it's not just a concrete jungle."

While trees don't block noise, they screen unsightly views and clean the air.

"That's a large bonus for us," Briant said.

Saskatoon's Forestry Farm Park, which now encompasses the city's zoo, began as the Dominion Forest Nursery Station, a federal institution created in 1913 to plant and provide tree seedlings for farmers, according to city archivist Jeff O'Brien.

By the time it was closed in 1966, an estimated 146 million seedlings had left the nursery to be planted as shelter belts and moisture holders for farms in the northern half of the Saskatchewan.

By the 1930s, thousands of city residents enjoyed the shady public park with its perennial flower beds every weekend. Modern-day visitors still gather for barbecues and picnics in summer and marvel at brilliant light displays when the park is transformed into the Enchanted Forest in December.

A lesser known public green space is the afforestation area south of the CN railroad's Chappell Yards on the west end of the city.

In the 1960s the City purchased almost 3,000 acres of summerfallow fields southwest of Saskatoon as part of a plan to set aside tracts of land to create green belts around the city.

Almost 600 American and Siberian elms, maples, green ash, poplars, willows, Colorado pine and Scotch pines were planted in weaving strips to create a natural forest feeling.

Part of the afforestation area was designated the Richard St. Barb Baker Park in 1978, in honour of a worldrenown ecologist, known as "Man of the Trees."

St. Barb Baker was an early graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and later Cambridge University, who travelled across Africa, Asia and North America, planting trees and promoting the practise. Shortly before his death in 1982, he planted his last tree on the U of S campus, near the centre dedicated to his lifelong friend, John Diefenbaker.

As the climate changes, Saskatoon's trees face attack from new insect species that were previously unable to survive the harsh winters, Briant said.

City arborists follow a schedule of pruning and maintenance that allows them to monitor and address threatening infestations.

One such threat, first identified about 25 years ago, is Dutch elm disease, which has been avoided in the city through strict enforcement of seasonal no-prune periods, banning of elm firewood and increased pruning.

Today, the city spends about $2 million annually on planting, pruning and watering trees on city property, Briant said.

While the cost may sound high, the value of the urban forest to the city's quality of life is impossible to calculate.

Civic surveys show residents understand the value of trees, he said.

"They understand what trees do for them and they take ownership of them," he said.

"We envision every viable planting site with a tree in that site," Briant said.

Source: The StarPhoenix

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Plain traffic boxes become art by at-risk youth

By Janet French, The StarPhoenix

Most of them are so nondescript, they're part of a grey blur at major intersections.

But, put into the right hands, dozens of banal traffic control boxes have morphed into canvasses, reflecting the city's history, beautifying roadways, staving off graffiti and giving burgeoning artists a captive audience.

There are, coincidentally, 52 traffic control boxes painted in Saskatoon, which serve almost like a muralized version of 52 Reasons to Love Saskatoon.

Local heritage is a common theme. You'll find the likes of Tommy Douglas, Gordie Howe and Joni Mitchell each on their own box. Others depict a now-defunct street car trundling on Saskatoon's streets, a historical firehall, jazz musicians jamming at the Bassment, a honeymoon night at the Bessborough, an homage to the Second World War - and one across from the King George Hotel that depicts the old and new incarnations of the historical building being sewn together.

Six of the boxes on Broadway Avenue were painted by students more than a decade ago, and the other 46 boxes by artists who have graduated from the Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming's Urban Canvas Project. The SCYAP boxes began getting their makeovers in 2004.

Sharie Headon, 29, graduated from SCYAP's urban canvas program in 2006, and has since painted three of the traffic boxes, including the mural of Mitchell, shown hanging out on the riverbank in her younger years.

Headon's motivation to be a part of the program and make art was "life changing" in helping her abandon hard drugs, she says.

On Thursday, she sat near her box on 25th Street and Sixth Avenue at the foot of the University Bridge, where thousands of commuters caught in the College Drive crawl lay eyes upon her art.

"It makes me happy," she said. "It makes me proud to actually have some of my art in the city.

"I often hear people's comments as I'm coming off the bus stop when they see this box. It makes me happy to see that people appreciate the art."

She overhears strangers say the mural is nice, or that painting the boxes is a good idea - especially people who are new to the city and elderly people, she says.

Headon, who is now studying at SIAST and works at SCYAP one day a week leading drop-in artmaking for at-risk youth, also painted a box at the corner of Second Avenue and 25th Street, and on 23rd Street outside Caffe Sola, both featuring bicycles.

The City of Saskatoon and SCYAP suggest themes to the artists, based on the box's location, and the city pre-approves the design, said Angela Gardiner, manager of the transportation branch. The program has been a success, in that it prevents many of the boxes from being targets of vandalism and graffiti, she said.

Headon said some graffiti artists have an unspoken understanding that they don't paint over anyone else's art.

There are 250 traffic control boxes in the city, about 20 per cent of which are painted. Gardiner is "interested in getting more done with the right funding partner," she said.

More boxes are getting muralized lately with the help of corporate sponsors, said Tammy Krueckl, SCYAP's project manager. Early's Farm and Garden Centre and Cherry Insurance, for example, now have their logos painted on thematic boxes in exchange for a $2,000 donation to SCYAP .

Muralizing the boxes is only a 10th of what SCYAP does, Krueckl said, but it has become the program's "most visual connection to the community."

"We've been giving these opportunities to these artists to go out and be part of the community, and an opportunity to have their work out there and get better at their own skills, so I think that's really great," Krueckl said.

A recent review of the boxes painted so far shows the murals are holding up well against Saskatchewan's harsh weather, Krueckl said. The organization plans to pay some artists to touch up boxes that need graffiti tags eliminated or minor damage repaired.

Another project on the go is a plan, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, to enter all its public art into a GPS program so the public has easier access to SCYAP creations.

The city and SCYAP are still funding the painting of a couple new boxes each year, Krueckl said. The organization is always looking for more private sponsors, and for at-risk youth and young adults interested in its art program.

See scyapinc.org for more information.

Source: The StarPhoenix

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Congratulations to Saskatchewan's CCMA Award Winners!

SaskMusic is pleased to congratulate the winners at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards, held in Hamilton ON over the weekend. 2011 was another great year for Saskatchewan presence at this event, with nominees and performers presenting the extensive talent our province has to offer, and with Saskatchewan representatives bringing home three awards.

First to land a trophy was Langenburg’s Jess Moskaluke. Jess was selected to perform a New Artist Showcase, receiving one of the only eight coveted spots offered each year. A panel of jurors at the showcase event on Friday night at the Hamilton Convention Centre adjudicated all the performances over the course of the evening, and selected Jess to receive the 2011 CCMA New Artist Showcase Award, commenting that they were greatly impressed with the caliber of this year’s performers. Upon winning, Jess stated, “I am really excited to represent my home province at such a prestigious event. I always have a great time performing, and this being my first time attending the CCMAs, felt I had an extra-high-energy performance! This was the best ‘first CCMAs’ ever!”

Next to be called to the podium were Bart McKay Productions (Saskatoon SK), receiving Recording Studio of the Year, and Jay Richards of CJWW (Saskatoon SK), receiving Music Director of the Year-Major Market. It marks the third consecutive year for Bart McKay Productions, having received this recognition in 2010, 2009 and also 2007. It was the first CCMA win for Richards. The awards were handed out during the Industry Brunch and Awards at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Saturday morning.

For a complete list of winners, please visit www.ccma.org.

Saskatoon will host PotashCorp Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Awards next year, September 6 - 9, 2012. For more information, please visit www.countrymusicweeksaskatoon2012.com.

Source: SaskMusic

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Saskatoon's Set for a Classic Western Showdown

The Canadian men’s curling championship will be staged in Saskatoon for the sixth time March 3 – 12, 2012... its first appearance there under the Tim Hortons Brier banner.

If history holds true, the latest edition promises fans a distinct western flavour.

The Brier’s first trip to Saskatchewan’s “Bridge City” came in 1946 after a three-year break during World War II.  Billy Rose skipped his Albertans to the Tankard title in front of 22,000 enthusiasts at the Saskatoon Arena.

Attendance grew significantly in 1965 with more than 52,000 coming out to see Terry Braunstein’s Manitoba team claim the national championship in the wooden structure the locals fondly referred to as “The Barn”.

The popularity of the sport had soared by 1989 and a record-setting crowd of 151,538 packed the recently constructed Saskatchewan Place as Pat Ryan won his second straight Brier for Alberta, with Randy Ferbey at the third position.

The West took another title in 2000, this time at the hands of British Columbia’s Greg McAuley. And it was a major triumph for the city as Saskatoon shattered the all-time attendance record.  The final count of 248,793 fans passing through the turnstiles still stands as the second highest in the history of the event, surpassed only by Edmonton in 2005.

In 2004, the East would finally break through when Nova Scotia’s stunning final-end comeback ended Ferbey’s hopes for a fourth consecutive Tankard.  But, even that had an ironic western twist – Nova Scotia skip Mark Dacey was born and raised in the host city.

With the expansion of the venue – now known as Credit Union Centre – to a seating capacity of 14,200, expectations are running high for another record-setting championship week in the west.

Make your plans now to play a part in curling history – purchase tickets by clicking here.

Source: Canadian Curling Association

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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.