Saskatchewan tourism projects to receive $3.7M in funding from Feds

The federal minister of tourism is funding a variety of tourism projects to attract more visitors to Saskatchewan.

“Today our government, through Prairies Canada, is investing over $3.7 million dollars in 19 different tourism projects across Saskatchewan,” Minister of Tourism Randy Boissonault said at Wanuskewin Heritage Park on Monday.

The $3,755,465 in funding comes from the Tourism Relief Fund, which was started in 2021.

It was designed to help tourism organizations adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and offer new or improved services that help the tourism sector grow.

Wanuskewin Heritage Park will receive $495,000 to enhance its programming and improve the tourist experience with training and new technology.

“We’re always looking at our mission which is to elevate the understanding and appreciation of plains Indigenous cultures and peoples,” Darlene Brander, CEO of Wanuskewin Heritage Park, said.

“With the announcement and funding, we’re able to put monies toward that.”

One thing Brander is excited to see is the crop of youth who have come on board to improve the visitor experience.

“It’s been amazing to see the youth talent come in and really evolve and blossom and become the people that their moshoms and their kokoms imagined,” she said.

For Boissonault, a strong tourism sector in Saskatchewan will only help Canada’s economy as a whole.

“We have to stop saying: tourism is what happens when Canadians leave and go travel somewhere else, and really see it as what happens when were bringing everybody here,” he said. “Because when somebody comes and spends money in Saskatoon — it’s found money.”

Other Saskatoon organizations receiving federal money include Remai Modern ($500,000) and the Meewasin Valley Authority ($230,900).

“We are grateful for this crucial support from PrairiesCan,” said Aileen Burns, co-executive director and CEO of Remai Modern. “These funds will enable us to make key improvements to the visitor experience at the museum, including better accessibility both onsite and online and bolstering our popular ‘Ask Me’ program.”

With the funds, the Meewasin Valley Authority says it plans to develop, pilot, and deploy a series of experiential and sustainable tourism offerings centered around the Meewasin valley.

“Meewasin has done significant work to develop a series of tourism offerings that highlight conservation activities and support the sustainable tourism environment in the Saskatoon region,” CEO Andrea Lafond said.

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