Across North America, cities that experience cold, dark and snowy winters are developing new ways to help residents embrace the cold winter months. The concept of designing a “Winter City” is about capitalizing on opportunities to alleviate the real and perceived negative effects of the winter season and reinforce positive ones. The outcome can be a more accessible, inclusive, active, prosperous and livable community during the coldest months of the year.
What is WintercityYXE?
Over the course of the last few years, the City has partnered with the community to create a Winter City Strategy for Saskatoon (called WintercityYXE) that will respond to opportunities associated with winter life, winter design and winter economy, as well as address perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of residents to generate a positive winter culture in our city.
How has the community informed the development of the WintercityYXE Strategy?
As part of the development of the WintercityYXE Strategy, we have undertaken broad community engagement to identify opportunities and priorities in the following areas:
|Winter Life:||How can we celebrate the inviting and fun quality of life we have in Saskatoon, even in the coldest months of the year?|
|Winter Design:||How can we improve community comfort and accessibility for everyone, even in the ice and snow?|
|Winter Culture:||How can we build enthusiasm for winter, take advantage of opportunities and tell the story of our winter city?|
|Winter Economy:||How can we address challenges associated with winter to create a more vibrant economy in the winter?|
Based on this engagement, a number of outcomes and actions were developed which form the basis of a draft WintercityYXE Strategy. Prior to finalization, the draft Strategy was shared with stakeholders through targeted workshops and with the public through Pop Up Events and an online survey. Feedback from this final round of engagement will inform a revised strategy that will be presented to Council for approval in 2020. Visit the WintercityYXE Engage page for more information.
What has WintercityYXE been working on?
In addition to developing the strategy, WintercityYXE has implemented a number of "quick win" initiatives to celebrate the winter season in Saskatoon:
2019/2020 Winter Season
- Decorative Lighting Support: WintercityYXE has provided $50,000 in funding support for the City's decorative lighting program. As a result of this funding, new decorative lighting is expected to be in place for Winter 2020/2021.
- WintercityYXE Grant Program: As part of the WintercityYXE Strategy, a total of $25,000 is allocated to non-profit organizations, ad hoc groups, businesses or for-profit organizations implementing initiatives that support the WintercityYXE goals and objectives. Visit WintercityYXE Grants webpage for more information.
2018/2019 Winter Season
Winter Cities Shake Up Conference
From January 23 to 26, 2019, the International Winter Cities Shake Up Conference was hosted in Saskatoon. The conference was pursued by the community as an opportunity to accelerate the development of the WintercityYXE Strategy and to provide valuable learnings for its content by bringing internal expertise into the discussion.
Ice Sculptures in Business Improvement Districts
Ice sculptures were placed around Saskatoon to celebrate our vibrant winter culture. These local pieces were designed in collaboration with students from Aden Bowman Collegiate.
WintercityYXE Grant Program
As part of the WintercityYXE Strategy, a total of $25,000 is allocated to non-profit organizations, ad hoc groups, businesses or for-profit organizations implementing initiatives that support the WintercityYXE goals and objectives. Visit WintercityYXE Grants webpage for more information.
2017/2018 Winter Season
Committee & Council Reports
PDCS (June 2019) - Winter City Strategy Update Report
PDCS (December 2018) - Winter Cities Shake Up Conference Engagement Update Report
City Council (October 2018) - Winter City Strategy Update and Winter Cities Shake Up Conference Request for Funding Report
City Council (November 2017) - Winter City Strategy Update Report
EUCS (January 2017) - Winter City Strategy Development Report
EUCS (June 2016) - Community Winter City Strategy Development Report
EUCS (March 2016) - Winter City Strategy Preparations Report
WintercityYXE Photo Gallery
These photos portray just a few ways in which Saskatoon is already a great winter city! Share your own winter photos at #WintercityYXE on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.