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"I don't know what it is that you've got Saskatchewan, but I won't ever stop coming back for it."

- Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of Hedley (via Twitter)

eBulletin - April 2012

Saskatoon's economy 'red hot': City to lead nation in GDP Growth

BY SCOTT LARSON, THE STARPHOENIX (Wednesday, March 28, 2012)

Saskatoon's GDP growth is forecast to be a nation-leading 3.6 per cent in 2012, says the Conference Board of Canada's spring metropolitan outlook.

The outlook, released Tuesday, puts Saskatoon on top in 2012 with gross domestic product growth of 3.6 per cent, followed by Calgary at 3.5 per cent and Edmonton at 3.2 per cent. Last year, Regina led the country with gross domestic product growth of 6.1 per cent in 2011, followed by Saskatoon and Edmonton at 4.8 and 4.4 per cent, respectively. Regina, which led the nation last year with 6.1 per cent growth, should see GDP expand by of 2.7 per cent.

The top-three lineup changes again in the forecast for the 2013-16 period, with Calgary (4.1 per cent) in the No. 1 spot, followed by Edmonton (3.7 per cent) and Saskatoon (3.4 per cent).

"Saskatoon has been red hot," said Conference Board senior economist Rob Wiebe.

"It's no surprise Saskatchewan's economy has been boosted by resource extraction and fair agriculture picture," he said. "There's a lot of demand for food and things that produce food, like potash. Then there is the Bakken (oil) play down south and people are starting to re-examine nuclear, and Saskatchewan has uranium."

"Saskatchewan's mining sector continues to forge ahead, with expansion of 5.8 per cent and 7.7 per cent forecast this year and next," the Conference Board said.

Major projects such as the new art gallery, River Landing, a new police station and water-treatment plant will mean further growth, he said.

The economic boom has also fuelled a population explosion.

Statistics Canada's latest projection puts Saskatoon's metropolitan population at 270,000, up 10,000 from the 2011 census.

Mayor Don Atchison said the city continues to expand at a rapid pace driven by a growing demand for "food, fuel and fertilizer."

"We'll be at 450,000 or 500,000 in the blink of an eye," he told council Monday night.

Read more: The StarPhoenix

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Dakota Dunes Casino named finalist for Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance award

Saskatoon Sports Tourism is proud to announce that the Dakota Dunes Casino has been named a finalist for the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance’s (CSTA) 2012 PRESTIGE Awards in the category of Sport Event Sponsor of the Year. The Dakota Dunes Casino was the presenting partner of the Dakota Dunes Casino Open: Canadian Tour. The event, held at Dakota Dunes Golf Links, featured 150 golfers from 14 countries and was the highlight of Saskatoon’s summer sports event schedule.

“This is exciting news for everyone involved with the tournament,” said Hugh Vassos, Saskatoon Sports Tourism Project Development Consultant. “We congratulate the Dakota Dunes Casino for becoming a finalist in this prestigious tourism award category and wish them all the best.”

“As the event manager, it is an extreme pleasure to work with the good folks at the Dakota Dunes Casino and Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority,” added Vassos, who is Executive Chair for the Dakota Dunes Casino Open. “On behalf of the management team, our sponsors, and volunteers, we're proud of our presenting partner, the Dakota Dunes Casino.”

The PRESTIGE Awards celebrate the people, places and events that make the Canadian sport tourism industry so dynamic and important to the economic fabric of our communities. All finalists will be honoured at the PRESTIGE Awards gala luncheon to be held April 19, 2012 in conjunction with the CSTA’s 2012 Sport Events Congress in Richmond, British Columbia, at the River Rock Casino Resort.

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

Vance McNab
Vice President, Marketing
Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority
Phone: (306) 477-7777

About Saskatoon Sports Tourism
Saskatoon Sports Tourism was created to guide the attraction, retention and creation of sports tourism activities in Saskatoon. Saskatoon Sports Tourism assists event organizers to locate local suppliers, sports venues, and hotel accommodations and helps increase local awareness and attendance at events. For more information, visit www.saskatoonsportstourism.com.

About Dakota Dunes Casino
The Dakota Dunes Casino is located on the historical Whitecap First Nation, 20 minutes south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Highway 219. Located on a hilltop at the height of the South Saskatchewan River Valley Basin, this beautiful Vegas-style casino offers a magnificent view to compliment top-notch entertainment and gaming. For more information, visit www.dakotadunescasino.com.

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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First luxury boutique hotel opens in Saskatoon

Opening of The James Hotel a testament to Saskatchewan’s vibrancy

A family legacy of hospitality continues with the opening of The James Hotel, a boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Saskatoon. 

The 59-room and suite property, nestled on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, is the city’s first luxury hotel.

“The calibre of The James, both in its design and approach to service, sets it apart from all other hotels in Saskatoon,” says Paul Leier, President of Cavalier Enterprises Ltd. “This investment is a testament to the strength of the local economy and the type of traveller the city now attracts.”  

The hotel is independently owned and operated by Paul, Mark, and Scott Leier, the third generation in a family of hoteliers.  The James Hotel, through its name and commitment to service, pays homage to their grandfather, James Peter Leier.  Born in Odessa, Russia in 1909, Leier made his first foray into the hotel business in 1935 in Loon Lake, Saskatchewan.

The James blends luxury and quality with a warm, relaxed atmosphere. While it takes inspiration from the refined intimacy of a classic European hotel, it is also defined by a modern and welcoming design aesthetic.

“There has been an unmet need in our city for a hotel that offers unparalleled service in a thoughtfully-designed environment,” continues Paul Leier. “We are catering to travellers looking for a premium experience, whether they’re coming for business or pleasure.  We are committed to providing each of our guests with personalized service.” 

Prior to a 20-month, “spare no expense” renovation, the perfectly situated building that is now The James Hotel housed apartment residences.  As a result, many of the rooms boast larger than expected floorplans and all of the suites include private furnished balconies with picturesque views of the city or the South Saskatchewan River.  Guests’ accommodation choices include spacious studios, one, and two bedroom suites, or the breathtaking 1,600 square foot James Penthouse.

Guests are treated to an array of services and amenities designed to enhance their stay.  Rooms feature Simmons® Beautyrest Black® Collection king beds with luxurious linens, while Carrara marble bathrooms boast Brazilian Arabescato vanities and soaker tubs.  All rooms feature complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and wired Internet access, iPod docking stations, and Keurig® in-room brewers. Included with each night’s stay is a chef-attended breakfast served in the Odessa Room.
Note to editors: High-resolution photos are available upon request. 
Media contacts:
The James Hotel
Joan Fior
Sales Manager
306-664-0691 (direct)
306-361-3621 (cell)

About The James Hotel
The James is a luxury boutique hotel located in vibrant downtown Saskatoon, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River.  Its spacious and thoughtfully-designed suites provide a fresh perspective on the guest experience, offering travellers uncompromised quality and comfort for a truly memorable stay.  

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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Michael Franti, Jill Barber, Downchild and more added to Jazz Festival lineup

Michael Franti & Spearhead will kick off this year’s SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with their unique blend of old-school soul, hip-hop, and social awareness. The concert takes place on the TD Mainstage in the Bessborough Gardens on Friday, June 22, with the tremendously talented Cuban act Wil Campa opening the show.

The following week, Canadian favourites Downchild Blues Band will take to the TD Mainstage for an evening of music on Saturday, June 30 that will also feature Motown legend Jack Ashford and His Funk Brothers and blues harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite.

Meanwhile, sultry singer-songwriter Jill Barber and prolific jazz vibraphonist Peter Appleyard will perform an intimate double bill at the Broadway Theatre on Friday, June 29.

Tickets for these three concerts go on sale Tuesday, April 17 at 10am, and are available through the Festival Box Office.

Previously announced artists include The Roots, Wayne Shorter and Feist. The 2012 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival runs June 22 through July 1. For more information about the festival, go to saskjazz.com.

The rest of the ticketed concert lineup will be released on May 3. So stay tuned for more in May!

Rob Maguire 
Marketing and Sponsorship Director 
Ph: 306.653.8352 

Source: SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

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JUNOS FOR SASKATCHEWAN: The Sheepdogs set a record picking up three awards

At the JUNO Awards in Ottawa earlier this month, Saskatoon-based rockers The Sheepdogs received a record number of JUNOs - bringing home the most trophies that have ever gone to a single Saskatchewan artist in a single year. The group brought home Single Of The Year, New Group Of The Year, and Rock Album Of The Year. This comes on the heels of their winning Single Of The Year, Group Or Duo Of The Year, Live Artist/Group or Duo Of The Year, and Rock Artist/Group or Duo Of The Year at the Indie Awards and Best New Artist at the Canadian Radio Music Awards. 

The Sheepdogs shot to fame last year after winning Rolling Stone magazine's "Choose the Cover" contest, garnering over a million fans along the way, and appearing on Jimmy Fallon and proceeding to tour with Kings of Leon. Their album "Learn & Burn" was certified Gold in 2011.

Previous Saskatchewan JUNO winners include Colin James, who brought home two awards (Male Vocalist Of The Year and Single Of The Year) in 1991 and has a total of five awards. Joni Mitchell won the first JUNO award for a Saskatchewan artist in 1976 for Female Vocalist Of The Year.  

SaskMusic also congratulates 2012 JUNO Nominees The Deep Dark Woods (Roots & Traditional Album Of The Year) and Donny Parenteau (Aboriginal Album Of The Year).

SaskMusic was on hand in Ottawa to assist with the 2013 JUNO Host Committee Saskatchewan activities. As part of their trip, SaskMusic produced the "It's Gonna Get Loud" celebration for the Host Committee, held at the Government Conference Centre on Saturday night, and featured Saskatchewan artists Donny Parenteau, The Deep Dark Woods, Jordan Cook, and Blake Berglund.

For a complete list of nominees, please visit www.junoawards.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Lorena Kelly, SaskMusic, 306-347-0676.

The Sheepdogs:  www.thesheepdogs.com 
The Deep Dark Woods:  www.thedeepdarkwoods.com 
Donny Parenteau:  www.donnyparenteau.com 
Colin James:  www.colinjames.com 
Joni Mitchell:  www.jonimitchell.com 
Jordan Cook:  www.jordancook.com 
Blake Berglund:  www.blakeberglund.com 

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of ongoing opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through vehicles such as The JUNO Awards and other year-round initiatives. For more information on the 41st Annual JUNO Awards or The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' (CARAS) website please visit www.junoawards.ca or www.carasonline.ca

About SaskMusic
SaskMusic is a non-profit association that represents, promotes and develops the music industry of Saskatchewan. We offer programming including artist listings, career consults, workshops, marketing and export assistance, networking opportunities and much more. Our artists and music professionals hail from across the province, and work in pretty much every genre you can imagine. We are a source of information and resources for both the public, and the music industry. If you have questions, we can help. We are the voice of Saskatchewan music.

Source: SaskMusic

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Wapos Bay movie wins international award

“Wapos Bay – Long Goodbyes” wins Best Foreign Animation Film in Hollywood, California

The 17th Annual International Family Film Festival announced the winners on Sunday, March 25, 2012, and Wapos Bay, the stop motion animated children's series, won the Best Foreign Animation Award.

“It is an incredible honor to receive such a prestigious award.  It just shows what a Saskatchewan produced television show can achieve with a talented cast and crew!”  Dennis Jackson, Director. 

The movie has enjoyed a successful year, also winning an award from the 2012 Kidscreen Awards in New York for Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie on February 9, 2012.  Wapos Bay the series has received twelve Gemini nominations and won four of them to date.

Wapos Bay is broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada.  The production company is currently in pre-production on a new sci-fi adventure series, Guardians - Evolution.

Wapos Bay is a stop-motion animated television series produced in Saskatoon by Dennis and Melanie Jackson (Dark Thunder Productions), Anand Ramayya (KarmaFilm), and Executive Producer Michael Fukushima (National Film Board of Canada).  Other partners include Canada Media Fund, COGECO Program Development Fund, Shaw Rocket Fund, SaskFilm, The Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Creedit, Rogers Cable Network Fund and the National Film Board of Canada, with broadcast partners the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Saskatchewan Communications Network.  Visit www.waposbay.com.

For further information, please contact:
Kelly Balon | 306.652.9336 | 306.880.3363 | kelly@karmafilm.ca

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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

Copyright 2012 Saskatoon Visitor and Convention Bureau. All rights reserved.