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Permanent Outdoor Festival Site Report and Concept Plan Presented to Council

For immediate release: February 10, 2021 - 4:12pm

The City identified the need for a permanent outdoor festival site to assist festivals and events with their programming while also protecting green infrastructure (trees and grass) from re-occurring damage. After an extensive feasibility study and stakeholder engagement, an Approval Report will be presented to the Governance and Priorities Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The report articulates a vision for the future of hosting outdoor special events in Saskatoon, recommends a preferred site location and provides a functional concept plan for development of the area.

“Saskatoon is renowned for its festivals and events,” says Lynne Lacroix, General Manager of Community Services. “From music festivals to celebrations of local food and record-setting snowball fights, the amount, variety and scale of events in the city is important to the cultural, social and economic life of Saskatoon. Against the backdrop of the South Saskatchewan river, a permanent site will allow events four seasons of the year and provide event planners and the tourism industry stability in planning world-class events.”

The Approval Report includes:

  • The technical and engagement processes that led to the preferred site selection;
  • An extensive concept plan; and,
  • Cost, risk and budgetary analysis.

Should Council approve the concept plan for the Permanent Downtown Festival Site, development of the full vision for the Site would need to be completed in phases. Phase 1, totaling $2 million, will be funded by the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program and construction will begin in Spring 2021.

“Phase 1 will provide us with a great site that will be a gathering place for Saskatoon,” says Lacroix. “The remaining phases can be constructed over time, pending future budget and funding considerations and approval.”

Further information, including the concept plan and engagement summary, is available on the City’s engagement website.