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"The last time I visited was 20 years ago. A lot has changed. It's a beautiful city."

- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Saskatoon (via The StarPhoenix).

eBulletin - June 2012

Saskatoon's Diversity Network celebrates 20 years of Pride

Tourism Saskatoon salutes organizers of Saskatoon Pride Festival

SASKATOON, SK – “Out is in” for the 2012 Saskatoon Pride Festival taking place June 9 - 16.  This year’s festival marks the 20th anniversary of pride celebrations in the city.

As a result of record-breaking attendance records, the Saskatoon Pride Festival has outgrown its previous location of City Hall Civic Square, and is now celebrated at Victoria Park near River Landing.

“Over the last few years, the Saskatoon Pride Festival has seen unprecedented growth in attendance,” said Brice Field, Chairman of the Saskatoon Diversity Network. “Last year saw record-breaking attendance numbers in the Pride Parade with over 2,500 participants, which is a 75 per cent increase in participation from the year before! These numbers show us that Saskatoon is becoming a city where we recognize and celebrate diversity within ourselves, friends, families, work places and society”.

“The secret to tapping into the lucrative LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) travel market is to have well-developed products of interest to various segments of this market,” said Todd Brant, President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon. “These travellers, 1.8 million strong in Canada, spend over $7 billion annually for travel, outpacing other markets two-to-one in spending.  The 20th annual Pride Festival represents a distinct economic and social opportunity for Saskatoon.  Our congratulations to the organizers.”

The Rainbow Flag Raising and press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 11 at Saskatoon City Hall. The Carnivale 2012 Pride Dance will be held Friday, June 15 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Odeon Events Center, and the 2012 Pride Parade will commence at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, through the downtown core.  

For further information, please contact the Saskatoon Diversity Network at 306-371-4600 or visit www.saskatoonpride.ca.

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company announces 2012/2013 season

The Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company announced their 2012/2013 season in grand fashion at their inaugural ARTS Fundraiser. Over 100 supporters and alumni from the Circle of Voices (COV) program attended the event.

Over $5,000 was raised to go towards 2012/2013 season programming and a return of the Circle of Voices (COV) program for Aboriginal youth in November 2012. Many important corporate sponsors were on hand to witness the 2012/2013 season announcement and to offer financial and verbal support.

Lacey Bohay, Community Development Representative from Affinity Credit Union, presented SNTC General Manager Alan Long with a cheque for $6,000 to go towards the return of the COV program in 2012, a program Affinity supported in the past. Ms. Bohay was delighted to announce the return of Affinity’s support, and recognized the significant changes that the company has recently undergone with its new staff and new Board of Directors. She wished continued success to this recently rejuvenated organization.

Carolanne Inglis-McQuay, Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor for Areva Resources Canada, also spoke highly of SNTC and Areva’s support of this summer’s mobile Performers’ Playhouse Drama Camp for youth. Areva is very active in Northern Saskatchewan and excited to provide this opportunity for the youth they encounter in the communities they work with. This year’s one week camps will visit the Northern communities of La Ronge, Buffalo Narrows and Cumberland House.

The highlight of the evening was Artistic Director Curtis Peeteetuce’s announcement of the SNTC 2012/2013 season of professional plays. Next season SNTC will feature local and national talent in a diverse set of four compelling works:

  • The Hours That Remain, a co-production with New Harlem Productions (Toronto, ON) and World Premiere, written by Keith Barker and directed by David Storch
  • How the Chief Stole Christmas, written and directed by Curtis Peeteetuce (performed in the Cree language with English subtitles)
  • Agokwe, Alberta Aboriginal Arts Touring Presentation, written and performed by Waawaate Fobister and directed by Edward Roy
  • Café Daughter, by Kenneth T. Williams.

In 2013 SNTC will also feature the Performers’ Playhouse Summer Drama Camp and the 2nd annual Discovery Festival in partnership with our colleagues at La Troupe du Jour. The Discovery Festival features new plays in translation from the three core companies now located at 914 20th Street West – La Troupe du Jour, Tant per Tant and SNTC. SNTC is currently accepting submissions for the 2013 festival and will soon select a piece to be translated into an Aboriginal language.

If you have any questions about the 2012/2013 season and the return of the Circle of Voices Program please call Artistic Director Curtis Peeteetuce or General Manager Alan Long at (306) 933-2262.

Source: Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company

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Saskatoon's annual WakeRide festival gears up for summer fun

SASKATOON, SK – Saskatoon’s fourth annual WakeRide festival is set to take place in beautiful Victoria Park on the South Saskatchewan River on July 6, 7, and 8. WakeRide is one of Saskatoon’s hottest summer events offering a weekend of entertainment and activities for the entire family. This year’s festival will feature a jam-packed schedule that includes: pro and amateur wakeboarding, freestyle motor cross, skateboarding demonstrations, nightly musical entertainment, beer gardens with a show stopping slider pool, and a FamilyZone where youth can participate in a variety of sports and activities for free.

The WakeRide organizers are excited to have a diverse lineup of musical talent for the 2012 festival. This year’s headliners include Canadian artists MSTRKRT and K’Naan. The festival will kick off opening night with performances from MSTRKRFT, an electronic music duo from Toronto, alongside LA Riots and Saskatoon’s own Deep Entertainment. Victoria Park will be brought to life Saturday evening as Canadian Hip-Hop artist K’Naan takes the stage. Further enhancing the night’s entertainment are, Hip-Hop artist Chali 2na and local Regina natives Library Voices.

WakeRide is committed to providing an event which reaches all demographics. It aims to inspire children to believe anything is possible and to get involved in organized sports. The WakeRide FamilyZone will be open 12-6pm Saturday and Sunday in Victoria Park. The 2012 FamilyZone will offer a variety of activities and entertainment for families to enjoy, including: KidSport stations, skateboarding, astro jump, face painting, magicians, sport demonstrations, food vendors and much more!

For more information on WakeRide 2012, please visit www.wakeride.ca. Media Inquiries: Kara Lackie at 652-1487 or klackie@onpurpose.ca.

Source: WakeRide

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New water sports featured at River Lights Festival

SASKATOON, SK – Saskatoon Sports Tourism and the River Lights Festival announced the addition of three new sports for the second year of the event. The first Watercross Nationals, the Saskatchewan River Paddle Board Challenge, and the Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club River Regatta are set to take to the water at the River Lights Festival scheduled to run July 13th – 15th at River Landing. The Festival coincides with the final three days of the popular Taste of Saskatchewan.

Top watercross racers from Western Canada will be participating at the Watercross Nationals during the River Lights festival at the River Landing in beautiful downtown Saskatoon. Watercross racing is fast and furious and involves up to 20 racers on the track at one time with speeds over 70mph and stand up jet skis with horsepower rating of 300hp. Western Canadian Watercross racers are some of the best in the world, racers include Carla Klippenstein from Fort McMurray, Alberta, who is a 3 time World Champion and a multi time Canadian Champion, Mike Delaire from Saskatoon who is a 3 time World Champion and 2 time Canadian Champion and has top 10 Pro ranking, and Mike Klippenstein – "The most winningest Watercraft racer in the history of the sport" – from Fort McMurray. Klippenstein has 20 World Titles and over 100 Canadian Titles in numerous different classes. He is a four-time Pro World Champion and has won some of the biggest prizes in the sport. He has been inducted into the International Jet Sports Boating Association Hall of Fame. Dawn Dawson from Denver, Colorado, who is one of the best announcers in the sport, will be coming in to announce the Watercross Nationals. Racing will be fast and exciting as this event is the qualifier for the World Finals. A special race will go under the lights on the evening of July 14.

Members of the Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club are planning a number of races and demonstrations with canoes and kayaks. They will also have dry-land displays to introduce the sport to young enthusiasts. Stand-up Paddle Boarders will take part in a series of relays and races that will challenge even the most experienced in this exciting new water sport.

As last year, River Lights will also feature a Boat & RV Show, light displays from the BHP Billiton Enchanted Forest, a brightly decorated River Landing, illuminated boats, and the Sand Bar food & beverage pavilion with a relaxing and spectacular view of the river and all the festival activities. New this year is the Chamber Marketplace featuring a wide variety of summer merchandise.

Event organizers also announced the Dakota Dunes Casino has come on board as a Presenting Sponsor of the River Lights Festival. The festival is expected to draw large crowds and spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the afternoon and evening events.

For a schedule of events and more information: www.riverlightsfestival.ca after June 15th or call Hugh Vassos at 306-222-5392 email hvassos@sasktel.net.

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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MasterCard Memorial Cup will put Saskatoon in TV spotlight

SASKATOON, SK – Based on audience numbers released this week by Sportsnet, Saskatoon can expect significant national television exposure during the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

This year’s championship, which saw the host Shawinigan Cataractes defeat the London Knights 2-1 in overtime, was one of the most-watched MasterCard Memorial Cup tournaments in Sportsnet history. An average of 575,000 viewers watched the final and audience levels peaked at 966,000 viewers during overtime. (*Source: BBM Canada)

The only MasterCard Memorial Cup to have a higher average audience for the final was the 2005 event (806,000 viewers) which occurred during an NHL lockout and featured Sidney Crosby as a member of the Rimouski Oceanic.

“The atmosphere in Shawinigan was electric and we plan to replicate that in Saskatoon next year,” said 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup co-chair Tim Gitzel, who attended Sunday’s final. “Sportsnet will put us in the national spotlight for 10 days, so we have the opportunity to cement our reputation for hosting top-notch events, and show the rest of the country why Saskatoon is one of the most vibrant cities in Canada.”

The timing of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup – May 16-26 – couldn’t be better, added Tourism Saskatoon president and CEO Todd Brandt.

“Any time Saskatoon hosts a major event, we notice a significant increase in the number of requests for travel literature about the city,” said Brandt. “The MasterCard Memorial Cup is in May, just ahead of our peak travel season, so we’ll be able to profile our attractions and upcoming events to a wide audience.”

Source: Saskatoon Blades Hockey Club

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Saskatoon hotels feel the effect of local tourism boom

SASKATOON, SK – June 5, 2012 – With a booming economy, Saskatoon is having no trouble booking up hotels and cashing in on tourism dollars. Sherri Clark takes a look.

Read it on Global News: Tourism boom - Evening News - Videos | Global Saskatoon 

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

Angela Moore
Director of Media | Tourism Saskatoon
Ph: 306.931.7585 | amoore@tourismsaskatoon.com

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