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"Seriously, Saskatoon is our favourite place to play. Don't ever change. You guys are amazing."

- Jeff Innes of Yukon Blonde, at 2013 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

eBulletin - August 2013

Top 10 summer bargain must-dos: Follow the River in Saskatoon


The South Saskatchewan River sweeps through Saskatoon, making it easy to understand why the Cree called the river valley Meewasin, or beautiful. A sampling: Hike along the Meewasin Valley on more than 60 kilometres of trails running downtown alongside parks, museums and preserved grasslands. Explore the river by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board. Better yet, J-stroke back in time with a 10-passenger voyageur canoe tour ($200 for the canoe, so best booked as a group). Spy American White Pelicans fishing near the weir. The once-endangered bird migrates here every spring and stays on until September. (You might wander down the trail towards downtown to hear a sonnet or two, as the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival sets up its tents near the Mendel Art Gallery in August.)

Full story: WestJet Up! Magazine

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The James Hotel - Review


Saskatoon is growing at a fast pace, drawing more business visitors and hip tourists than ever before to its downtown that, while compact, is rich with restaurants, bars, and shops. The family-owned James Hotel is the city’s first design boutique hotel and is seen as a major part of the effort to bring contemporary style into the center of town.

Celebrities, among them Oprah Winfrey and the Kiss band, bunk here when in town. During the week, repeat business travelers make the James their home away from home. It is a converted apartment building, and many of the guest units (only a handful on each of the 12 floors) are suites.
Two glass doors at the entrance with long wooden handles lead arrivals into the swank lobby where a huge marble-slab reception desk greets guests. Much of the hotel’s marble was imported from Italy and Iran, giving a worldly flair to the designer digs.

Before arrival, I received an email from the hotel inquiring about my preference for the complimentary still or sparkling water and whether I would like to have turndown service. This was my first indication that this hotel treats its guests with utmost consideration.

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Immersed in Away: Hans Tammemagi discovers Saskatchewan's First Nations history

Tourism Saskatoon, along with Tourism Saskatchewan, hosted travel writer Hans Tammemagi last month. During his stay in Saskatoon, Hans explored First Nations history in the province. He started at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, where he learned about a culture that dates back 6,000 years. From there, he followed the Trails of 1885, a path which marks the battle sites of the last and only armed conflict in Canada's history since confederation. Here is a sample of his adventures.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park - A National Treasure

Ah, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The words roll around on the tongue. And the city is just as intriguing as it sounds. I stayed at the Bessborough, aka the Castle, and loved the grand architecture of a bygone era, complete with turrets, gargoyles and grotesques.

Even better was the glorious sunshine as I traveled a short five kilometers north to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, where I climbed into a trench marked by a grid of string and red tape. No ordinary hole in the ground, this is part of Canada’s longest continuously operating archaeological dig. Ernie Walker, an internationally acclaimed archaeologist, waved a stained cowboy hat and said, “This is a research project gone wild. It’s a treasure trove of Native culture and history.” Over three decades the site has unearthed a wealth of Native history dating back 6,000 years — twice the age of King Tut’s tomb — including tipi rings, camp sites, two buffalo jumps, a medicine wheel and a buffalo rubbing stone. The archaeological work has revealed so much about Northern Plains people that it led to the creation of the park, complete with visitors center and interpretive trails. The Park was designated a national heritage site in 1986, and is currently undergoing major expansion with the goal of becoming a world heritage site. “Can you imagine,” Walker enthused, “we’ll have live buffalo in an urban site.

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Trails of 1885 - Immersed in History

Pointing to bullet holes in the wall of the rectory, the guide said, “These were made by a Gatling gun. The government forces also used cannons and cavalry.” I gulped as I envisioned the hopeless position of the Métis. I was at, Saskatchewan, a key battlefield in the Rebellion of 1885, whengovernment troops quashed an uprising by Métis and Natives. The only armed conflict in Canada since confederacy, most of the battles raged in Saskatchewan.  The roots of the conflict, however, lay in Manitoba, and some clashes spilled into Alberta.

To commemorate the rebellion and its impact on a young nation, an ambitious project, the Trails of 1885, is being launched, which, once complete will be of national significance. The Trails will span three provinces and consist of more than 20 sites that played significant roles in the rebellion. Visitors will be able to drive all or parts of the Trail, which approximately follows the Carlton Trail, along which Red River wagons rumbled in the 1800s between Fort Garry (Winnipeg) and Fort Edmonton.

With many sites lying along the South Saskatchewan River, north of Saskatoon, a delightful way to gain insight into this rebellion is by a one-day canoe tour, the River Trails of 1885. We paddled 23 kilometres, visiting Fish Creek battlefield, Middleton’s camp, Petite Ville, Gabriel’s Crossing and the village (now abandoned) and battlefield of Batoche. Pelicans, wildflowers and Saskatoon berries now thrive where, in 1885, gunsmoke and bitterness prevailed. At the end, I was bushed, but much more knowledgeable about Saskatchewan’s early history.

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To arrange a media visit, please contact:

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

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