Downtown and central neighborhoods slated as new site for Canada Day festivities

Nowshad Ali, president of the Nutrien Fireworks Festival, has confirmed that his team will lead the Canada Day event.

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Organizers hope to secure a more central location for the annual Canada Day celebration in Saskatoon.

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An update delivered Monday at City Council‘s Governance and Priorities Committee meeting mentioned discussions about holding the event downtown.

Nowshad Ali, president of the Nutrien Fireworks Festival, has confirmed that his team will lead the Canada Day event. He said a final location hasn’t been confirmed, but things are gearing up for the main event to peak downtown, with some events also in the Riversdale and Broadway business improvement districts. (BIDS).

Canada Day festivities had previously been hosted by the Optimist Club of Saskatoon in Diefenbaker Park since 1967, but have been canceled for the past two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Optimists announced late last year that they would stop running the event in order to focus on the Optimist Hill project at Diefenbaker Park.

Ali warned that funding and other considerations still need to be addressed before the city center is officially confirmed as the new site.

“As you can imagine, this type of change and decision involves varying degrees of complexity that often requires careful consideration and conversations,” he wrote, adding that he hopes to make a formal announcement of a location later this spring.

Sarah Marchildon, spokesperson for the Downtown Saskatoon BID, said everyone is excited about hosting another big event this summer.

“Bringing people back downtown is a key goal, and this Canada Day event will definitely help with that,” she said.

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Marchildon said she and other members of the three main BIDS hope the event will become another part of the summer event season, noting the benefits of holding it closer to surrounding businesses, rather than in Diefenbaker Park. more isolated.

“It’s actually no different than our whole reasoning that the downtown events and entertainment district — we can all go out and do it right in the business community,” she said, noting that a proposed new festival site for Friendship Park will also make the heart of the city a great choice in years to come.

While awaiting an official announcement confirming the new Canada Day location in Saskatoon, Marchildon said people can expect many more events downtown throughout the spring and summer.

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