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"The mountains are nice, and the northern tundra is beautiful but there is just something about the prairies!"

- Jeff Eager, Great Canadian Adventure Tour (via Facebook).

eBulletin - January 2012

Saskatoon bound: Newcomers lead westward shift


When Bangladeshi-born Sayful Ahmed decided to come to Canada for a fresh start, he didn’t head to Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.

He chose Saskatoon.

The city of 234,000 people, which has garnered a reputation for seeking newcomers and having plenty of work, was just too appealing to pass up.

“My friends live here, they said it’s a good place – for living, for job opportunities. That’s why I chose Saskatoon,” said Mr. Ahmed, who arrived three weeks ago. “So far, so good.”

The booming Prairie province has become a magnet for migrants – from the Philippines, Ukraine, China, India and England.

In fact, Saskatchewan and Alberta lead the country in population growth, according to numbers from Statistics Canada released Tuesday. International migration to Saskatchewan over the third quarter of 2011 was the highest it has been for any quarter since 1971.

At the same time, Ontario – traditionally the country’s strongest draw for newcomers – recorded its smallest net international migration for this quarter since 1998. Economic gloom translates into fewer migrants; fewer migrants means fewer employable bodies – and, in turn, less settlement cash from Ottawa.

As Canada’s centre of gravity shifts westward with growing economic prosperity and political clout, the population is following. That goes both for international and internal migration: Western provinces are luring job seekers from Taizhou and Toronto alike.

“Settlement patterns in contemporary Canada are changing. Western Canada is increasingly vibrant economically and Saskatchewan, we think, is helping to drive that kind of shift,” Immigration Minister Rob Norris said. “It's allowing us to fuel our economic growth. We're seeing community renewal under way and we're also seeing economic benefits.”

Read more: The Globe & Mail


Population continues to soar
Saskatchewan's population grew at a record pace in the third quarter of 2011, reaching a record high.

City's growth to lead country
Saskatoon has jumped to the front of the pack when it comes to economic growth in 2012.

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Record breaking year for tourism

Todd Brandt, President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon, talks about a successful tourism industry in Saskatoon in 2011 and what's to come in 2012.

Video source: Global Saskatoon

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Saskatoon hosts three high performance speed skating events

Saskatoon Sports Tourism and the Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club are delighted to announce three exciting speed skating events that will be hosted in Saskatoon in 2012.

ˇ    Saskatoon Long Track Meet – January 7-8, 2012
ˇ    Canada Cup III and Canadian Junior Championship – February 3-5, 2012
ˇ    Saskatoon Short Track Meet – March 2012

The Saskatoon Long Track and Short Track Meets are provincial competitions. The Canada Cup III and Canadian Junior Championship are national long track competitions. The Canada Cup III is used to rank skaters for the national team and the Canadian Junior Championship results select the Junior World Championship Team.

All three events will take place at the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval, one of the best natural ice surfaces in Canada. Named after the first coach of the Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club, the 400-metre oval offers an exciting change of pace for skating enthusiasts. Access to the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval is located in the Gordie Howe Recreation Complex at Dudley Street and Avenue R South. There is no charge for admission at any of the three events.

“Saskatoon Sports Tourism is excited to be working with the Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club as they prepare to host the upcoming speed skating events this winter,” said Hugh Vassos, project consultant with Saskatoon Sports Tourism. “The sport is extremely fast paced and we look forward to good crowds at the oval to cheer on these great athletes. Congratulations to the organizers for winning the bid to host these events and for their hard work in promoting the sport of speed skating.”

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For more information, contact:
Hugh Vassos
Project Consultant
Saskatoon Sports Tourism
Direct: (306) 222-5392

Fritz Schumann
Meet Coordinator and Membership Development
Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club
Direct: (306) 664-6832

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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New restaurant: Prairie Harvest Café


Prairie Harvest Café, Saskatoon’s newest restaurant, features comfort food, lovingly prepared from scratch using as many local ingredients as possible. And it tastes great!

Chef and co-owner Mike McKeown has been a part of Saskatchewan’s food and catering industry for over a decade. Working in remote fishing camps, Mike relied on an airplane to drop off supplies. “It really makes you think on your feet as you have to work with whatever is available,” Mike says.

More recently, Mike has been selling ready-made meals at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, so he is well acquainted with the local food producers.

Slow Food
Prairie Harvest Café will serve the kind of food that Mike and his co-chef, Joel Hassler, like to eat. “It’s food with a lot of time and love put into it, but entirely accessible to the customer,” Mike says. “In Saskatchewan, we are also very lucky to have access to so many local grains, legumes and root vegetables. It will be a lot of fun to explore the landscape with the menu and hopefully come up with some really neat dishes.”

Mike says he always has maple syrup, mustard powder, lentils, kosher salt, and cabbage (“a very versatile vegetable, especially useful in the winter months”) on hand. They’re all ingredients that are readily available when we cook at home, but they’re transformed into something special at Prairie Harvest Café.

Prairie Harvest Café is open for both lunch and dinner. The lunch menu includes various burgers, including a vegetable and lentil patty. Mike is excited to see the reaction to the turducken burger. “I think it is an entirely unique dish. We have taken the three meats (duck, turkey, chicken) off the bone and ground it ourselves,” he says.

Mike’s sister in law is vegan, which has motivated him to learn more about vegetarian/vegan cooking. As a result, Prairie Harvest Café is one of the best vegetarian options in Saskatoon.

Full review: Wanderlust and Words

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Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan design receives prestigious architecture award

Design for Saskatoon’s New Gallery by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in association with Smith Carter Architects and Engineers wins prestigious national architecture award

TORONTO, ON December 16, 2011 – With the announcement of a 2011 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, the proposed new Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan (REMAI) is off to an auspicious start. This striking design, overlooking the South Saskatchewan River, is the result of collaboration between Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) as design architects and Smith Carter Architects + Engineers as architects of record.  Scheduled to open in 2015, the Remai will be three times the size of the current 47-year-old Gallery it replaces.

“The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan will be a vibrant cultural centre for an exciting, dynamic city,” said Vincent Varga, Executive Director and CEO of the Mendel Art Gallery. “This award for the stunning design of the facility only reinforces our belief in the project, as we transition from the Mendel Art Gallery, with its own proud history in the community, to the expansive and exciting new landmark at Saskatoon’s River Landing.”

The Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence, one of two major national design award programs, has recognized significant projects – from small-scale installations to complex institutional buildings – on an annual basis since 1968.  The jury for the 2011 Canadian Architect Awards comprised Walter Frand Architecture Inc., in Vancouver, Diarmuid Nash, Partner in Moriyama & Teshima Architects in Toronto, and Peter Sampson, Principal of Peter Sampson Architecture Studio in Winnipeg. The Remai was 1 of 8 Awards of Excellence selected from 163 submissions.

In selecting the design of the Remai, juror Peter Sampson commented how the “rational composition of gallery and theatre volumes on the banks of Saskatoon’s river valley will be a compelling addition to the city’s south downtown precinct.”

Read more: Media Release

For more information, contact:
Ian Chodikoff
Editor, Canadian Architect
(416) 510-5807, ichodikoff@canadianarchitect.com

Sandi Schultz
Special Projects Manager, City of Saskatoon
(306) 975-7952, Sandi.Schultz@Saskatoon.ca

Amanda Sebris
Marketing Director, KPMB Architects
(416) 977-5104, ext. 291, asebris@kpmbarchitects.com

Heather Smith
Principal Advanced Strategies, Smith Carter
(204) 477-1260, ext. 312, hsmith@smithcarters.com

Source: The Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan

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Great Canadian Adventure Tour in Saskatoon

Broadway Avenue

Saskatoon is happening.  It’s true!

It’s been a while since the GCAT crew has been in a place with such energized people who are enjoying life and carrying such a sense of community spirit and pride in their town.  This could really be felt in Saskatoon, especially along Broadway Avenue, a totally hip strip in the middle of the city.

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Stock cars on the prairies

Adrenaline pumping fun in Saskatoon!

When we arrived to the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway track just outside of Saskatoon, the stands were packed with cheering fans of all ages.  Kids, grandparents, courting couples, business suites, bikers the audience spanned all ages and types.  The cars were roaring around the track, tires were screeching, smoke was billowing, the announcer was following the action in an excited voice. The entire experience kept us tingling with excitement until the final black and white checkered flag waved frantically and the drivers took their feet off the throttle. All afternoon we never knew when there was going to be a daredevil pass, a crazy wipe out or a neck and neck finish.  It was all just another day at the track at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon.

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A peek back in time

When we walked into the Western Development Museum and met Josh Hourie, the Development Marketing Assistant, he fit in perfectly to the museum he worked at and is so proud of. Surrounded by old farming machinery, steam locomotives, horse and buggy cars, old sepia snapshots of prairie life, and all sorts of other Saskatchewan memorabilia his top hat and tails costume fit right in. And, after a little change of clothes in the museums antique costume photo studio, the GCAT crew were all decked out in old 10 gallon hats, blazers and frilly dresses, and we looked as if they had gone back in time to the early 1900′s along with Josh. It’s all part of the wonderful experience you’ll have at the museum, which recreates a quintessential prairie town at the turn of the century and details the rich history of the province.

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Canoeing South Saskatchewan River

The canoe is a Canadian wilderness icon. It leaves no trace of its passage through the wilds, but it has left an indelible impression on the Canadian psyche. Ancient aboriginals, early voyageurs and today’s canoeists – all have been moved by the canoe – physically and spiritually. With this in mind, it was only fitting that the GCAT crew spend an afternoon out on a river in a canoe.

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Happy, healthy, outdoorsy Saskatoon

Many smaller centres in Canada and around the world suffer from an exodus of their youth who are flocking to big cities for jobs and experience.  Saskatoon however, is experiencing the exact opposite: young adults are either staying or returning.  One reason why this is the case is because Saskatoon is flourishing into a hub for outdoor activities.

Stand up paddling, acroyoga, skateboarding, canoeing, mountain biking, and a host of other outdoor activities are creating a buzz with the locals in Saskatoon.

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Check out our Great Canadian Adventure Tour playlist.

Source: Great Canadian Adventure Tour

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Alexandra Stang
Media Relations Coordinator | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7587 | astang@tourismsaskatoon.com

Kelly Bertoncini
Director of Media | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7585 | kbertoncini@tourismsaskatoon.com

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