Looking for some out-of-province activities this summer? Cross the border to discover everything there is to see and do in Saskatchewan, from the province’s always-eclectic jazz festival to a tour of some of Regina’s most prized gardens.
PRAISE THE PIG IN KIPLING
It’s a strong person who can resist the allure of smoky, maple-y, crunchy bacon. To celebrate the pig’s greatest gift to humanity, head to the Great Saskatchewan Bacon Festival in Kipling. Of course, there will be bacon—and lots of it, in many, many forms—but there will also be a rollicking Roughriders tailgate party, live entertainment and kids activities. June 18, noon to 4 p.m.
SEE BIG-NAME SHOWS IN SASKATOON
One of the province’s biggest musical parties will be extra exuberant this year as the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival marks its 30th anniversary. Pianists, horn players, big bands and other creative improvisers—not to mention some of the biggest names in R&B, hip hop, pop and blues—are set to perform. Acts like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Metric and Lauryn Hill are sure to satisfy eager music fans at Bessborough Gardens. June 24-July 3
DIG COUNTRY ROOTS ACROSS SASKATCHEWAN
In June, Lumsden’s own Justin LaBrash releases his first full-length album. But the sixth-generation Saskatchewanian is no newbie to the music scene. Only 16 years of age, he’s already mastered the cello, piano, violin and guitar. Growing up on the family farm influenced LaBrash’s songwriting and vocal stylings. His debut single “Play” was released world-wide in 2015, and LaBrash and his band, True North, will tour Saskatchewan and beyond later this summer.
LOOK TO THE SKY IN SWIFT CURRENT
Cross your fingers for a swift and steady summer breeze during Swift Current’s annual SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival. A colourful celebration of the age-old aerial activity, the free event is headlined by top international kite flyers—experts at enticing their beautiful creations to dance in the prairie wind. (Local kite enthusiasts are also welcome to fly their own.) Other highlights include kite-making workshops, a kite store and a lively children’s tent. June 25 & 26
SEE THE BARD OUTSIDE IN SASKATOON
All these centuries after his lifetime, the works of William Shakespeare still have the power to evoke emotion. This year’s Bridge City salute to the Bard, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, features soliloquy-filled productions including a playful rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and J. Caesar, a futuristic adaptation of Julius Caesar, about women rising to power in a post-apocalyptic world. July 6-August 21
SMELL THE ROSES IN REGINA
Ever wonder what lies behind closed gates? Explore Regina’s hidden flowerbeds and backyard displays during New Dance Horizons’ annual Secret Gardens Tour. The 19th-annual event, sponsored by CAA, is a self-guided pilgrimage through private gardens. Presented in partnership with Nature Conservancy Canada, this year’s theme celebrates grasslands, one of the world’s truly unique ecosystems. July 15-17, passports $40 (before July 1)
HAVE A RIVERFRONT FEAST IN SASKATOON
You may want to plan a midsummer fast to prep for the province’s most mouth-watering week: Taste of Saskatchewan returns to Saskatoon. The outdoor eating extravaganza sees more than 30 local restaurants set up shop at Kiwanis Memorial Park, where they’ll dole out a cosmo-politan selection of culinary delights. The lineup also includes the Chef ’s Series—cooking demonstrations by some of Saskatchewan’s top chefs—while dozens of entertaining performers add musical flavour to the foodie festivities. July 19-24
ENJOY GREAT ACOUSTICS IN REGINA
Get ready to scope out a spot in Victoria Park’s lush landscape when the Regina Folk Festival takes centre stage. The easygoing event boasts mainstage performers including Ry Cooder, Ricky Sharon White, Ricky Skaggs and the Sam Roberts Band while local bands and troubadours round out the lineup of free daytime concerts. Concertgoers can also kick back to enjoy children’s entertainers, arts and crafts vendors and globally inspired street eats. August 5-7
GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’ IN REGINA
If you get revved up about cars, you’ll want to be at Regina’s Access Park on Labour Day. The annual Access Communications Show N’ Shine sets up shop in the park for one high- octane day. One of the largest auto shows in Western Canada, the event features a dizzying array of vintage, sports and trendy vehicles. If fuelling your car cravings isn’t draw enough, the show also raises funds for the Regina Food Bank—last year’s event raised $21,000 plus hundreds of pounds of food for the charity. CAA Saskatchewan is a major sponsor of Show N’ Shine—look for us there! Sept. 5, noon to 4 p.m.
SIP LOCALLY IN CYPRESS HILLS
Tired of sipping the same old Chardonnay or Merlot? Fruit wines are enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and Cypress Hills Vineyard and Winery produces a number of unique bottles, including rhubarb, chokecherry and Saskatoon berry wines. The Maple Creek estate’s “Spring” cherry wine is also a highlight: It won double gold at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championships. Sample them all at the vineyard, then partake in a picnic lunch on the patio.