April 30 2010 by Bryson Forbes
Saskatchewan is a province in the heart of Canada that's traditionally been known for being really flat and for producing two of our country's key resources: wheat and hockey players (most notably, Haley Wickenheiser, Wendel Clark and some guy named Gordie Howe!)
The name (try saying it ten times quickly) gets its origin from the Plains Indian word, "kisiskatchewan", which means "the river that flows swiftly". For most of its history, more people left Saskatchewan then stayed. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, between 2001 and 2006, more than 10,000 people left the province for their oil-rich neighbour every year. But that's all changed recently. The Saskatchewan business community is experiencing a significant boom, as their natural resources are being tapped like never before to meet international demands for gas, potash and nuclear energy. These days, everyone wants what Saskatchewan's got!
Saskatchewan has always been known as an agricultural giant in the production of wheat, canola, barley, oats and flax. With just over one million people, its population growth in 2007 and 2008 was the highest in more than 30 years. Not only is Saskatchewan now in the lead for interprovincial migration, but it also has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
The fuse for what's now being referred to as the "Saskaboom" was officially lit in 2007 and was the spark which ignited a big surge for Saskatchewan Tourism. There's a lot to see and do in the province including outdoor adventure, hunting, fishing and golf. In addition, a number of attractions and events for visitors including live jazz and country music festivals have also taken place in recent years. And similar to Green Bay in the States, the love for the local football team is unprecedented in Canada. The Roughrider games are truly a provincial event and, just like the Packers, the team is publicly owned.
If you're planning a visit, there are four excellent Best Western properties to choose from: Best Western Harvest Inn in Saskatoon, Best Western Marquis Inn & Suites in Prince Albert, Best Western Seven Oaks Inn in Regina and Best Western Inn in Swift Current.
Have you been to Saskatchewan? Any tips for travellers?