> Canada Celebrates
March 24, 2006
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Saskatchewan Funding Announcement
Good morning. Welcome, everyone. I’m glad to bring
greetings on behalf of the Government of Canada. More importantly, I’m
pleased to be among friends and neighbours. I’m here to announce the
Government of Canada’s investments in Saskatoon through the Canada
Celebrates Saskatchewan Centennial initiative. This is an exciting and
very anticipated day.
The Request for Proposals and evaluation process that began
last November has concluded. After receiving 19 different proposals
for Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan funding, my department, Western
Economic Diversification Canada, has selected four projects. They will
leave a visible legacy honouring Saskatchewan’s centennial.
I am proud to announce funding for the following four
Saskatoon Prairieland Park will receive $4 million to
add a 50,000 square foot expansion. This complements the
160,000 square feet of existing trade show and exhibit space. The new
building would be constructed on the site of the former Jubilee Building.
The City of Saskatoon will receive $3 million to develop
Riverfront Park at the River Landing site. The City plans to construct a
pavilion building, interpretation opportunities, and a unique children's
water play feature. I can’t wait to see the transformation.
Persephone Theatre will receive $2.5 million to
build a new facility. The new building will house a
450-seat theatre facility and a second stage with a capacity of 200
Wanuskewin Heritage Park will receive $1 million to
support the renewal of public spaces in its interpretive centre.
Western Economic Diversification used a rating guide to
evaluate each of the projects and how they measured against key criteria.
These four projects were selected because they will have
positive historic, cultural and economic impact on Saskatoon. They
were selected because they will reach a wide range of Saskatoon and
Saskatchewan residents. Visitors to our fine city will also enjoy the
Just as importantly, the selection process emphasized firm
financial footing and solid business plans for future years. Like our new
government, it emphasizes accountability. Knowing this, we are
confident that these four excellent projects will provide lasting benefits
to residents in every part of the city. This includes my riding of
This announcement marks the last major funding commitment
from the Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan initiative, which reached
residents in every part of the province.
I guess we saved the best until last.
Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan celebrates Saskatchewan’s
100th birthday with projects that leave their mark well into
the province’s next century. The centennial initiative did this by
providing over $24 million to more than 714 community legacy projects.
These projects are intended to reach beyond infrastructure by making real
heritage and cultural contributions to Saskatchewan communities. For
instance, Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan provided funding for Big River
First Nation to upgrade its community centre. The Town of La Ronge used
centennial funding to renew its parks. And the City of Moose Jaw used its
funding to enhance the Trans-Canada Trail. These are only a small
sample from the very long list of meaningful community improvements that
were made through this program. I sincerely thank all those who put so
much time and effort into their applications.
The imagination, effort and enthusiasm that people put into
each and every one of the submissions demonstrates the spirit for which
Saskatoon residents are famous and the exciting future that Saskatoon has
before it. The Government of Canada is grateful to have helped
communities take ideas that were once only dreams recorded in town council
minutes and see them materialize in curling rinks, skateboard parks and
It’s been a privilege to build on the shared achievements
of Canadians —past and present — through these exciting legacy projects.
With that, I wish Prairieland, the City of Saskatoon, Persephone Theatre
and Wanuskewin all of the best as they move forward with planning and
construction. I also want to congratulate the City of Saskatoon on
reaching 100 years. Developing Riverfront Park and encouraging these other
centennial projects is certainly a great start to your next 100 years.