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"Just have to say in all honesty, been really pleased and surprised by Saskatoon, it's such a cool community. Love it here."

- Matt Long AKA LandLopers (via Twitter)

eBulletin - July 2012

Historic Saskatoon Hotel Achieves a Four Diamon Rating After Major Renovations

$6.5 million investment combines a fresh look with innovative features

Delta Bessborough proudly announced last month their recent attainment of a Four Diamond rating by leisure travel organization, AAA.  The designation is awarded to fewer than 4.5 per cent of 31,000 hotel properties, and was a result of their most recent evaluation.  The hotel recently underwent a $6.5 million renovation of its 225 guestrooms to provide spaces that are modern, adaptable and laden with technology features.

The versatile new design is aimed at today’s highly design-conscious travelers, who want to live, work and connect on their own terms. Today’s traveler wants a hotel that allows them to incorporate travel into their life as seamlessly as possible.

The new guestroom design, called ModeRoom™, is inspired by the Canadian landscape, with fresh and modern colour palettes and a focus on maximizing natural light. The rooms balance functionality and adaptability – as exemplified by the new SmartDesk™, a fully-wired, multi-purpose area that provides guests with a clutter-free space, built-in power and connectivity dock, and links from your laptop and mobile devices to the flat screen high definition TV. All of the renovated rooms will also include free high-speed internet access.

“The renovation is an important revolution for the hotel,” says Andrew Turnbull, General Manager, Delta Bessborough.  “Today’s travelers expect a different experience than travelers in years past. They expect to be able to work or stay connected to friends and family no matter where they are, and our new design will better enable guests to have that seamless experience when they stay at Delta.”

Read more: Tourism Saskatoon

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Five Things You Don't Know About Saskatchewan

BY MATT LONG, LANDLOPERS (blog post on July 8)

Today I leave for Saskatoon, located in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. I’ll be there all week as part of a project sponsored by the Canadian Tourism Commission and Travel + Leisure magazine: The Canadian Trailblazer Contest and the Explore Like A Local campaign. For the past few weeks people from around the world have been submitting their tips for the best things to do, see and eat in Saskatoon and I can’t wait to try them all out. As I prepared for the trip though I realized how little I really know about the city; the entire province to be honest. I’m also willing to wager that most of you know about as much as I do, so I put together a brief list to help all of us get to know Saskatoon and Saskatchewan a little better.

Read Matt's Saskatchewan list here.

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Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan: Hamlet and As You Like It

REVIEW: Saskatchewan Hamlet stays true to its roots


To like or not to like?

Mainly to like, methinks. Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan offers its fans an intriguing looking Hamlet this year, one that stays true to the parts of the original that it chooses to retain and one which disappoints in only one big way.

The look of the thing fascinates - a classy, formal netherworld with eccentric costumes designed by Carla Orosz ranging from college argyle to biker leather. Laertes (Bob Wicks), in nerdy Buddy Holly glasses, sports a high school team jacket in red velvet. Hamlet, played by the studly Greg Ochitwa, favours studs and cowhide. In Gertrude's case, the symbolism is brilliant - she wears black and white at bedtime, and cherishes both the pearls Hamlet's father gave her and the dark jewels from Claudius.

Stephen Wade's set is about time - it puts us inside the gears of a huge clock that's approaching the witching hour.

The machinations of the plot, of course, are timeless. This is the ultimate revenge story, a young man betrayed by his mother and uncle and pressured by his conscience to do (or not to do) something - all under the watchful eye of his dead father (a wonderfully spooky grey apparition).

Read the full review here.

REVIEW: As You Like It proves to be a summer delight


The audience at Friday's opening night performance of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan's As You Like It could be forgiven for being puzzled about where the play was set. Was it the Forest of Arden, as the characters said, or the inside of a clock, which is what the place looked like? And its Wild Wild West meets Country Hoedown costumes didn't give many clues, either.

But one thing these zany, time-ruptured components pointed at squarely was that most of the characters on stage were in love.

In focusing on the love theme in one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies, director Mark von Eschen pushed aside some of the more obvious villainies and made just about everyone comically crazy.

Everyone except Duke Frederick, mind you. Bob Wicks played him as pure evil. But bad brother Oliver de Boys and mean wrestler Charles both became cartoons of badness. Indeed, Matt Burgess turned Charles into a WWF wrestling clown, calling up boos from the audience before he got taken down. The kids loved him.

Read the full review here.

Tim Burton inspired Hamlet and Steampunk inspired As You Like It


I have one of the best jobs in the world!  I have the pleasure of spending my summer working on the beautiful riverbank in Saskatoon as the stage manager and fight captain for Hamlet and the assistant stage manager for As You Like It at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival.  

This year's design themes offer some great eye candy in the costumes.

See pictures from the sets at therooster.ca.

The Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival runs to August 26. Click here for more information about the festival.

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Travel Guide: Saskatoon!

When you sit down to plan a vacation, Saskatchewan may not immediately spring to mind as a travel destination. Well Ellen Tucker is betting she can change your mind! She was in Saskatoon for a conference last month. While she was there she took in all the city has to offer.

Listen to Ellen talk about visiting Saskatoon.

Source: CBC Radio New Brunswick

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Saskatoon Set to Host the 2012 Junior National Diving Championship

Saskatoon Sports Tourism and the Saskatoon Diving Club are finalizing preparations for the 2012 Junior National Diving Championship, being hosted at the Shaw Centre from July 18 to 22.

Twelve divers from the local club have qualified to compete in the championship - the largest contingent from Saskatoon to go to nationals.

“We're thrilled to have Saskatoon - our home city - hosting the best junior divers in the country. This will be an exciting event to watch, even if you are not particularly drawn to this sport,” said Steve Carroll, Head Coach of the Saskatoon Diving Club.

“To have our largest number of athletes competing the year that we are hosting is very special. Local divers don't receive any special treatment when hosting championships; every athlete has to go through the same difficult route to qualify," he added. "The true benefit of competing at home is the support from family and friends. We will aim to make Saskatoon proud of our team.”

Last year, the Saskatoon Diving Club finished eighth out of 30 teams at nationals. The 2012 Junior National Championship will feature approximately 200 divers from across the country. This event serves as trials for the Junior World Championship this September in Adelaide, Australia. This is the second national diving competition to be held at the Shaw Centre since it opened in 2009. The Dive Canada Summer Senior National Championship was hosted in the facility in 2010.

Tickets are $15 for an event pass, $5 for a day pass, and children 10 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For schedule information, visit www.saskatoondivingclub.ca.

Source: Tourism Saskatoon

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Saskatoon Summer Festivals and Events

July 25
Velocity Prairie Thunder - NASCAR Canadian Tire Race Series

July 28 - 29
Toon Town Smokedown BBQ Festival

August 2 - 11
PotashCorp Fringe Theatre Festival

August 7 - 12
Saskatoon Exhibition

August 16 - 18

August 24 - 26
Rock 102 Cruise Weekend

August 31 - September 1
PotashCorp Fireworks Festival

For a full event listing, please visit tourismsaskatoon.com.

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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.