What Travel Writers Say

Saskatchewan: the 'git-er-done' kid

© By CTC News Staff

"Throw a penny against the sky and it rings," the Swift Current-born poet Lorna Crozier once said of her home province. That's Saskatchewan. (Even the province's motto, "land of living skies," is full of poetry.) Canada's prairie breadbasket it is, and geographically minimalist. Okay: it's plate-flat, until you mount a horse and gallop around Big Muddy, the Uluru of southern Saskatchewan. Put a pencil down in Saskatchewan and you back up water for a mile. "One hundred thousand lakes and rivers," tout the tourism folks-which means there's enough fishing and boating and rafting to last an Art Linkletter lifetime.
     More Saskatchewanians now live in cities than don't, but the grassroots of all of its million people show. Saskatchewanians are humbly self-effacing in their cool competence. They fan out and fall into positions of power, landing among the neurotics in New York and Toronto and Washington and New Haven like calm little islands of sound mental health. (Maybe because, when you've driven a farm tractor by age 10, not much can throw you.)
     Plain speaking is the default mode here. If there's such thing as having "no accent," that's Saskatchewanese. The burr-less Saskatchewan voice has been deemed perfect newscaster English. (The easiest way for news agencies to reproduce it? Hire people who were born or spent time there. Think Pamela Wallin, Keith Morrison, Peter Gzowski...)
     Yup, winter's cold. That's just a fact, and Saskatchewanians have turned it in their favour: all sports yet invented for ice-hockey, speed skating, figure skating, broomball, curling-are played here, with gusto. But summer's beautiful and dry, and people are out cycling and golfing en masse. ( The Doukhobors are out in their buggies.) In this season, the least-populous CFL-retaining province has Canada's most passionate football fans. But don't assume, from the raucous behavior of the "melonheads" at 'Riders games, that this province isn't humane. Remember that Saskatchewan is the birthplace of Medicare.
     Oh yeah: "Git 'er done"? This is where the Mounties train. Enough said.

Saskatchewan in a nutshell:
·  Exports: Wheat, potash, hockey players
·  Destinations: Grasslands National Park, Prince Albert National Park (home of Grey Owl), Athabasca Sand Dunes, mineral baths of Moose Jaw, the Qu'Appelle Valley
·  Capital: Regina
·  Largest and prettiest city: Saskatoon
·  Local delicacies: Saskatoon berry pie
·  Only in Saskatchewan: woollen sweaters called "siwashes," hooded sweatshirts called "bunnyhugs"
·  Writers: Guy Vanderhaeghe, Sharon Butala, David Carpenter, Yann Martel
·  Soundtrack: Joni Mitchell's Let the Wind Carry Me, Connie Kaldor's Wood River, Tom Jackson's arrangement of the Huron Carol
·  Laugh track: Brent Butt, Leslie Nielsen
·  Photo credits:
Courtney Milne
·  Hockey legends: Gordie Howe, Glenn Hall, Hayley Wickenheiser
·  Quirky fact: during Prohibition, Al Capone hid out in a series of tunnels underneath Moose Jaw

·  Growing up with Hockey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD7Zi1CFQYM
· Ice Fishing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cph6NiwntwQ
· RCMP Marching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8eWTk2kS8Y
· La gendarmerie royale du Canada (GRC) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Rgh6GmfV10
· Read about Canada's 13 provinces and territories http://mediacentre.canada.travel/category/miscellaneous/13-provinces-and-territories

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission

If you go
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatchewan
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Saskatchewan
Tourism Saskatchewan: www.sasktourism.com

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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