“The calm before the storm” is the approach I’m taking this summer — the storm being the federal election on Oct. 21. The rabid politicking has already started, and it’s only going to get worse in the months to come — especially with the you-know-whos. So my strategy is to pack as much fun and cultural enrichment as I can into summer to gird myself for the onslaught.

If that sounds like a plan on your end too, here’s a guide to some festivals and other special events happening in Saskatoon, Regina and The Hinterland (a.k.a. the rest of Saskatchewan). /Gregory Beatty


SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival / June 21–30

This festival includes ticketed and free shows at over a dozen indoor and outdoor venues. The LB Gardens Pass guarantees admission to all ticketed performances at TD Mainstage. Feature performers include Walk Off the Earth, The Roots, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Johnny Reid, Jann Arden, Joshua Redman Quartet, Lisa Fischer, Joey Alexander, Colin Linden and Elisapie. saskjazz.com

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan / July 3 – Aug. 18

Big plans are afoot for a new riverbank performance space in 2020. This year the festival is presenting two comedies. Directed by Anita Smith, As You Like It will have an Alice in Wonderland vibe. Under director Joshua Beaudry, The Comedy of Errors will get a twist too, with the play being set in the U.S. Deep South. The festival is also hosting a residency with Saskatchewan playwright Yvette Nolan, and gala homecoming party on Aug. 10. shakespearesask.com

La Fête Fransaskoise / July 5–7 / Pike Lake Provincial Park

Most of the activities at this bilingual family-friendly festival are outdoors. They include art and music workshops, sports and games, along with daytime and evening concerts featuring Ponteix, Lord Byrun, Shauit, Annette Campagne, Alpha Yaya Diallo and more. fetefransaskoise.ca

Ganbatte 2019 / July 12–14

This annual convention opens with a screening of the Studio Ghibli film Porco Rosso at Roxy Theatre July 12 at 7 p.m., then switches to TCU Place for two days of vendor displays, games room, celebrity guests, panel discussions on cosplay and other aspects of anime culture. ganbatte.ca

Pion-Era / July 13–14

Hosted by the Western Development Museum, this celebration of Saskatchewan’s pioneer past includes family-friendly activities such as a vintage fashion show, children’s games, costumed interpreters reenacting Boomtown, The Story of Threshing and A Parade of Power. wdm.ca

Brits By The Bess / July 14

Bentley, Jaguar, MG, Rolls-Royce, Mini and Land Rover are some of the vehicle brands that will be represented at this annual showcase hosted by Saskatchewan British Car Club. It goes from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Delta Bessborough. Blimey! Should be a jolly good show! sbcc.ca

A Taste of Saskatchewan / July 16–21

Gourmet grub from 30+ Saskatoon restaurants and local producers is featured, along with chef competitions and Saskatchewan bands spanning the spectrum from country and pop to folk, rock and reggae. So there will be plenty to sink your teeth (and ears) into at Kiwanis Memorial Park. tasteofsaskatchewan.ca

Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival / July 19–20

Over 1100 rowers take to the South Saskatchewan River in teams of 22 to raise funds for charity by paddling their buns off, while the laziest/least fit crew member beats out time on a drum. The event includes cultural and social activities, with proceeds to Children’s Wish Foundation of Saskatchewan and Ronald McDonald House Charities Saskatchewan. facilitymarketing.com

Battle of the Bunnocks / July 20

Stealing a page from Macklin (see below), the Saskatoon & District Kinettes are hosting their second annual bunnock tournament. All the bone-tossing action will be at UMEA Vast Park, and registration deadline for mixed teams of four is July 10. Proceeds go to Pride Home for LGBTQ youth. saskatoonkinettes.com

FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters / July 20–21

This tournament is sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation and will feature three-person teams from Canada and other countries. It also includes a dunk and shooting contest and other on and off-court entertainment. fiba.basketball/3x3worldtour/2019

Foodtruck Wars / July 26–28

This family-friendly festival is held in Riversdale neighbourhood. It’s billed as Zero Waste, and includes live entertainment, buskers, hot dog and pie eating contests and a Food Truck Flavour Challenge. foodtruckwarsyxe.com

Canadian Softball Championships / July 27 – Aug. 4

Saskatoon is hosting a triple-header of softball championships this summer. They include U14 Boys (July 27–31), U16 Boys (July 31 – Aug. 4) and U23 Men (July 30 – Aug. 4). Off-field events will be included, while the games are at Bob Van Impe Stadium and Joe Gallagher Field. softball.ca

Saskatoon Bach Festival / July 28

The Bach in question with this new one-day festival is Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). Born in Germany, Bach was a leading composer of the Baroque period. The Brandenburg Concertos and Goldberg Variations are two of his best-known works, and this festival is at Christ Church Anglican.

Nutrien Fringe Festival / Aug. 1–10

The festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. So it’s certainly a pillar of Canada’s fringe community. It’s produced by 25th Street Theatre and features over 30 acts from Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world. There are also buskers, arts and craft vendors and great food from neighbourhood restaurants. 25thstreettheatre.org

RibFest / Aug. 2–5

Anyone can season a rack of ribs, throw them on the grill, slather on some sauce, and serve up a respectable meal. But with this Diefenbaker Park festival you’ll be able to sample some truly delectable fare. Throw in children’s activities such as a petting zoo and bouncy castle, along with music from The Wolfe, Hollywood Persuasion, Brewster and the Roosters, Dukes of Fire and Hot Tamales, and it adds up to a smokin’ time. saskatoonribfest.com

Saskatoon Exhibition / Aug. 6–11

There’s a kick-off parade Aug. 6 at 10 a.m., and attractions include Top Cop High Dive Show, Terrance B Hypnotist, The Hockey Circus Show, Superdogs and Kilobots XLIII (2019 Canadian National Championship). Grandstand acts are Sum 41 (Aug. 6), Simple Plan (Aug. 7), The Glorious Sons (Aug. 8), Chad Brownlee (Aug. 9), Trooper (Aug. 10) and Crash ‘N Bash Demo Derby (Aug. 11). saskatoonexhibition.ca

National Music Festival / Aug. 8–10

This festival is hosted by Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, and features some of the top young classical musicians, solo vocalists and choirs from across Canada. It includes adjudicated performances, workshops and more at University of Saskatchewan. fcmf.org

John Arcand Fiddle Fest / Aug. 8–11

This fiddle festival at Windy Acres near Saskatoon includes workshops, concerts, old tyme dances and Métis dance and cultural activities along with children’s programming. There’s free unserviced camping on site, and both weekend and day passes are available with kids 12 and under admitted gratis when accompanied by a parent/guardian. johnarcandfiddlefest.com

FolkFest 2019 / Aug. 15–17

With an influx of newcomers from all over the world in the last 15 years, Saskatoon’s multi-cultural reality isn’t just limited to festivals — it’s on display year-round. Still, FolkFest offers Saskatonians a great opportunity to pull a Phileas Fogg and tour the world, sampling food, music, dance and bevies from different countries and cultures. saskatoonfolkfest.com

Rock the River / Aug. 16–18

Classic rock takes centre stage at this three-day festival highlighted by Pat Travers, Chilliwack and Loverboy (Friday); The Romantics, Platinum Blonde, Quiet Riot and Blue Oyster Cult (Saturday); and The Headpins, Streetheart, Prism and Colin James (Sunday). rocktheriversaskatoon.ca

Show & Shine Weekend / Aug. 16–18

Billed as Canada’s largest classic car show, this festival features races, poker rallies and classic rock (courtesy Rock the River). The festival is capped off by the downtown show and shine on Sunday with over 900 vehicles on display. ssw.rock102rocks.com

Radio Gals / Aug. 21 – Sept. 1

This stage comedy is set in the Roaring Twenties and sees a group of rural Arkansas women start up a pirate radio station that brings them to the attention of federal regulators. Performances run Aug. 21–24 and Aug. 28–31 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. at the Barn Playhouse (25 km. north of Saskatoon). barnplayhouse.com

YXE Beer Wars / Aug. 23–24

This is a new addition to Saskatoon’s festival calendar. It’s modeled after Food Truck Wars, and takes place in Kiwanis Park North. It will showcase craft beer, wine and spirits. yxebeerwars.com

Ukrainian Day In The Park / Aug. 24

Hosted by Ukrainian Canadian Congress, this popular outdoor festival includes stage performances by cultural groups, children’s activities, a beer garden and (quelle surprise!) food. Location t.b.a. ukrainiandayinthepark.ca

Nutrien Fireworks Festival / Aug. 30–31

This festival features two evenings of fireworks choreographed to music at River Landing and Friendship Park. The theme this year is “Rhythms of a Nation”. There’s also live entertainment by different cultural groups, an art and craft market and other activities for children and adults. nutrienfireworksfestival.ca


Regina Ribfest / July 5–7 / Wascana Centre

This weekend event features a “range” of local and visiting BBQ masters who will be serving up a delicious mix of ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork goodness.

Heritage Regina Walking Tours / July 6 – Aug. 31

The walks go every Saturday and on select Wednesdays this summer at 6 p.m. Sometimes, it’s a particular neighbourhood that’s the focus — its architecture, history and whatnot. Other times, it’s a specific event — such as the 1912 Regina Cyclone. All in all, it sounds like a great summer activity. heritageregina.ca

Regina International Fringe Festival / July 10–14

RIFF turns 15 in 2019. The modern gift to mark that anniversary is a watch or glass. For people attending RIFF, both would come in handy. A glass to stay hydrated between shows, a watch to keep an eye on the time. That way they’ll be able to catch as much quality theatre as possible. As always, there’s a mix of local, national and international acts in genres such as comedy, drama, music, magic and dance. reginafringe.com

Hairspray / July 10–14

Regina Summer Stage is presenting this Tony Award-winning rom-com musical based on John Waters’ slyly subversive 1988 film of the same name. The story is set in Baltimore in 1962, and centres on the high school adventures of “pleasantly plump” teenager Tracy Turnblad. Shows are at Performing Arts Centre July 10–13 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee July 14 at 2 p.m. reginasummerstage.com

Country Thunder Saskatchewan / July 11–14

Even if country music isn’t your cup of hooch there’s no shortage of other fun activities to keep you busy including free mime workshops; happy hour seminars on Marie Kondo’s Choose Joy philosophy, climate change and carbon pricing; nude yoga and — relax, I’m kidding! Headline acts are Terri Clark and Dallas Smith (Thursday), Jake Owen and Gord Bamford (Friday), Travis Tritt and Tim McGraw (Saturday) and Steve Earle & the Dukes and Chris Stapleton (Sunday). countrythunder.com/sk

Secret Gardens Tour / July 12–14

This New Dance Horizons fundraiser involves self-guided daytime and evening tours of private gardens. Site specific dance performances are part of the fun too. The night gardens are open July 12–13 from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., and the day gardens are open July 13–14, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. secretgardenstour.ca

Canadian Chess Championship / July 12–18

When we think of chess powers, Canada doesn’t spring to mind. Russia, yes. The U.S. and China too. But Canada, not so much. We’ve got some pretty decent players, though, and many should be in town for this championship. It’s the first time it’s ever been held in Regina, and $15,000 in prize money is at stake. saskchess.org

Canadian Dragon Boat Festival / July 18–21

Regina has long had a local dragon boat festival on the Labour Day weekend. This year, that festival is being replaced by a national festival featuring rowers from across Canada who will compete for glory on mighty Wascana Lake. There will also be live music, food and other cultural entertainment. reginadragonboat.com

CariSask / July 19–20

This annual two-day festival involves a celebration of food, music, dance and fashion from the Caribbean region. The festival is in Wascana Centre near the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, but it also includes a parade Saturday at 11:30 a.m. from the Delta Hotel down Sask. Drive and Albert St. to the museum. Hopefully the weather will cooperate to create a sweet Caribbean vibe. carisaskregina.com

ReginaCadabra / July 24–27

[Cancelled]An added bonus at this third annual festival devoted to magic, mind-reading and other feats of prestidigitation is that Regina is simultaneously hosting the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Magicians. ReginaCadabra features a range of complimentary and ticketed performances geared to children, adults and seniors alike. reginacadabra.ca

Sask Soul Fest / July 27

This day-long festival debuted in 2018 and is back for year two in 2019. It includes classes on yoga and meditation, along with presentations on health and well-being, live entertainment and a vendor showcase. Wascana Centre is the location. sasksoulfest.com

Queen City Ex / July 31 – Aug. 4

The fun starts on July 30 with an evening parade along a new route that runs from old Mosaic Stadium to Broad and 5th Ave. Feature attractions include Pile O Bones Rodeo and Saskatchewan Fortnite Championship. Grandstand headliners are 98 Degrees & O-Town (July 31), Tom Cochrane with Red Rider & April Wine (Aug. 1), Nelly (Aug. 2), Paul Brandt (Aug. 3) and Regina Symphony Orchestra with guests Jeans ’n Classics performing “Journey and Queen” (Aug. 4). evrazplace.com

2019 Canada Cup Championship / Aug. 7–11

This national tournament is hosted by Regina Optimist Baseball, and will feature all-star teams of U17 male players from all ten provinces battling for hardball supremacy. optimistbaseball.ca

The Trial of Louis Riel / Aug. 7–18

History portrayed Métis leader Louis Riel as a traitor for leading the Northwest Resistance in 1885. But today, many people see him as a champion of Indigenous rights in the colonial era. This play by John Coulter, which is celebrating its 52nd season, is based on court transcripts from Riel’s treason trial. Venue is SaskExpress Studio. rielcoproductions.com

Regina Folk Festival / Aug. 9–11

The RFF celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019. In addition to ticketed main stage shows in Victoria Park, there are free daytime concerts and workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Feature acts include A Tribe Called Red, Ruth B, Blue Rodeo, Rae Spoon, Jason Isbel, Bahamas, Colter Wall, The Dead South and Blind Boys of Alabama. Look for our program guide in the Aug. 1 Prairie Dog. reginafolkfestival.com

Regina International Film Festival / Aug. 13–17

This festival celebrates Canadian and International short and feature-length films in diverse genres (documentary, animation, etc) that depict different world cultures and help promote understanding between them. Includes multiple screenings and an awards gala. riffa.ca

Regina Horticultural Society Garden Festival / Aug. 16–17

Not everyone has the patch of land and green thumb that you need to grow plants for beauty and food. Regina Horticultural Society members, though, know their way around a plant. So you can expect some impressive displays at this annual showcase at Victoria Square Shopping Centre. reginahortsociety.ca

Symphony Under the Sky / Aug. 24

The Regina Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 111th season with this concert at Motherwell Homestead near Abernethy. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be family activities at the historic farm. The RSO under conductor Gordon Gerrard will play from 2–4 p.m., and Métis artist Andrea Menard is the special guest performer. Concert goes rain or shine. reginasymphony.com

Queen City Anifest / Aug. 24

This one day festival is devoted to anime, manga, comics, video games and more. It’s held at Conexus Arts Centre, and includes a trade show, panel discussions and gaming tournaments. qcanifest.com

Summer Bash / Aug. 25

This family-friendly event in Fairchild and Groome Park (Harbour Landing) includes children’s activities and games, stage performances, an ice cream eating contest, free BBQ and other fun activities.  summerbash.ca

Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Championships / Aug. 27 – Sept. 1

This national championship features competition in youth, adult and masters divisions from men’s and women’s club teams from across Canada. All the paddling action will take place on Wascana Lake. sprintnationals.canoekayak.ca

Shake The Lake / Aug. 30–31

This classic rock festival is being held outdoors in Wascana Centre. The bill includes Styx, Burton Cummings, The Northern Pikes, Loverboy, 54-40, Toque, Jack Semple, School of Rock and Big Bad Storm.  shakethelakeregina.ca

SwampFest / Sept. 6–8

SwampFest features a mix of indoor and outdoor events. Music is the focus, but there is also visual art, performance, film and more. One highlight is a Saturday afternoon gathering on Willow Island. Just remember to keep an eye out for the infamous swamp monster T.A.B. (short for Toxic Algae Blob). swampfest.ca


Country at the Creek / Big River / June 20–23

This festival starts with an evening beer garden on June 20, then on Friday and Saturday there are full days of music. Friday’s headliner is Lisa Moen while Saturday it’s Doc Walker. Other performers include Matt Davis, Justin LaBrash, Stephanie Rose, Amanda Hagel and Cooper Tropeau. countryatthecreek.ca

Long Day’s Night Music Festival / Swift Current / June 20–23

This festival shares billing with Windscape Kite Festival (windscapekitefestival.ca) which sees over 40 professional kite flyers test their mettle against Saskatchewan’s notorious winds. Music headliners include Reverend Horton Heat’s Rockabilly Invasion (June 20), Delhi 2 Dublin with Über Funk Orchestra (June 21), The Sadies with The Garrys (June 22) and Shred Kelly (June 23). longdaysnight.ca

Danceland / Manitou Beach / June 20 – Oct. 26

With its famed horse hair-supported floor, Danceland is a Saskatchewan landmark. Throughout the summer, it hosts regular dances featuring live music in genres such polka, country, ballroom and rock ’n’ roll. One highlight promises to be the Manitou Boogaloo on July 12 [see this issue’s My Music with The Karpinka Brothers for more on that]. danceland.ca

Summer Solstice D’Ete Festival / Gravelbourg / June 21–22

Summer Solstice 2019 arrives June 21 at 8:54 a.m. So this annual multi-cultural festival is perfectly timed. It includes a trade show, beer-fest, parade, kids’ carnival, live music and other family-friendly entertainment. summersolsticefestivaldete.com

Prairie Sky Outfitters Jamboree / Rosetown / June 22

Gates for this jamboree open at 3 p.m. and music starts at 5 p.m. Performers include Brody Siebert, Lisa Moen, Bailey Imlach, Ebani Audrey DeBussac and Cooper Troupeau. Proceeds support local organizations. psoutfitters.ca

Fort Walsh National Historic Site / Maple Creek / June 22 – Aug. 24

Fort Walsh kicks of its 2019 season on June 22 with the Rotgut Run which features a foot race through the rolling terrain of Cypress Hills. Fort Walsh has a new visitor centre, and every Saturday there’s family-friendly activities that recall the life of a North West Mounted Police officer along with a First Nations camp. pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/sk/walsh

Southern Prairie Railway / Ogema / June 22 – Sept. 28

This tourist railway offers Saturday and Sunday tours and special themed adventures throughout the summer. There’s a refurbished 1912 CPR station with a 1945 diesel locomotive, 1922 Pullman passenger car, 1925 baggage car and a caboose. southernprairierailway.com

Wheatland Express Excursions / Cudworth / June 23 – Aug. 31

This tourist and event-orientated passenger railway is operated by Cudworth Heritage Museum and Station, and offers themed excursions every weekend that recall Saskatchewan history and culture. On a few dates, Rory Allen and Rosie & the Riveters are along for the ride. wheatlandexpress.ca

Artists In Bloom / Parkside / June 23

This one-day festival is at a heritage nursery, and sees artists and crafters create installations that incorporate references to lilies. Then on July 21 there’s another floral festival called “Lilies In Bloom at Honeywood”. honeywood-lilies.ca

Frontier Days / Swift Current / June 26–29

The theme of this year’s fair is Cowboy Boots & Prairie Roots. The fair features a midway, professional rodeo, prairie-themed parade, heavy and light horses, and fireworks. Grandstand entertainment is highlighted by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Colter Wall on June 28. Don’t forget, too, that the annual Watermelon Festival is July 21. swiftcurrentex.com

Hogfest / Englefeld / June 28–30

This festival devoted to all things pork experienced a mild salmonella outbreak in 2018. Hogfest has been around for 28 years, so the festival will be looking to regain its footing in 2019. In addition to a ham supper and dance, there are ball games, fireworks, a parade and children’s carnival. englefeld.ca

Saskatoon Berry Festival / Mortlach / June 29

The festival tagline used to be “over 3000 people with purple teeth can’t be wrong”. Now, it’s 5000. So it’s obviously growing in popularity. In addition to all sorts of saskatoon berry treats, there are family-friendly activities and music with performers t.b.a. mortlach.ca

Claybank Heritage Day / Claybank / June 30

Built in 1914, Claybank Brick Plant is a national historic site. It’s open all summer, but there is a special celebration today where you can learn about brick-making. Hell, they might even give you a shovel and put you to work in the clay pit for a couple of hours — okay, that’s not likely to happen, unless you’re being a brat! You will get a tour of the pit and factory, though, plus enjoy all sorts of family-friendly activities. claybankbrick.ca

Park Art / Moose Jaw / July 1

This annual fundraiser for Moose Jaw Art Gallery & Museum features original work by over 50 prairie artists, special displays on the city’s history and children’s art activities. mjmag.ca

Fireside Chats, Stories & S’More / Grasslands National Park / July 1 – Aug. 25

Grasslands hosts family-friendly activities all summer. Highlights include Footprints In Time on Saturday mornings which explores the region’s history; and Going, Going, Gone on Monday mornings that focuses on endangered plants and animals. On July 27, there’s astronomy with Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Then Aug. 14–18, there’s Fossil Fever where you can spend a day on a dig with paleontologists. The annual Rock Creek Hoedown is Aug. 17. parkscanada.gc.ca/grasslands

Motherwell Homestead / Abernethy / July 1 – Aug. 25

Built in 1882, this national historic site includes a stone house and classic red wood barn, and offers visitors a chance to learn about pioneer farm life. On July 20–21, there’s a special Learn to Camp event where families can spend the night at the homestead. On Aug. 10, people will have the chance to bind and stook wheat and do other fun activities. pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/sk/motherwell

Fort Battleford National Historic Site / Battleford / July 1 – Sept. 3

Throughout the summer, this national historic site offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time to the 1880s and see what life was life for North West Mounted Police at the fort. pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/sk/battleford

Souris Valley Theatre / Estevan / July 2–13

The feature production in this 30th anniversary season is the Wild West musical comedy Ranchers & Rustlers by Randy Apostle. There’s also a concert by Alex Runions on Aug. 17. sourisvalleytheatre.ca

Chester Fest / Prince Albert / July 5–6

This music festival takes its name from a standard piece of livingroom furniture. The line-up includes The Dead South, Harlequin, Rosie & the Riveters, Close Talker, Andino Suns, Bombargo, The Garrys, Matt Blais, Gunner & Smith and more. chesterfest.ca

All Folk’d Up / Montmarte / July 5–7

This three-day family-friendly festival is held in Kemoca Regional Park. Headliners include The Stampeders, Chilliwack, Ellen Froese, Jeffery Straker, Blake Berglund, Dirt Rich Band, Kane Incognito, The Tilted Kilts and more. allfolkedup.net

Station Arts Centre / Rosthern / July 5–28

This summer’s production is Daniel Macdonald’s drama Blow Wind about three siblings who have to decide what to do with the family farm as their mother’s health declines due to dementia. The play includes live music by Eileen Laverty. Pre-show lunch and dinner are available on select dates, but you need to advance book. stationarts.com

Heritage Festival / Maple Creek / July 6

The entertainment for this festival was still being finalized at press time, but organizers promise a day filled with art, history, music, shopping and food in Maple Creek’s historic downtown. Don’t forget, too, that on Aug. 17 there’s the Taste of Maple Creek festival. maplecreek.ca

Berry Jam Music Festival / Kincaid / July 6

This one day festival includes children’s activities, a farmers’ market/trade show, u-pick orchard, pie contest and music by Scott Heathcoat & His Polka Friends with special guest Scott Richmond. bouviersberrybasket.com

Saskatchewan Airshow / Moose Jaw / July 6–7

The Canadian Snowbirds will be the hometown favourite at this air show, but there will be plenty of other precision military and aerobatic flyers pulling Gs to thrill the crowd. In addition to all the sky action, there’s also a kids zone, food village, static aircraft displays on the ground and a Saturday night cabaret. saskairshow.ca

Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail / Manitou Beach / July 6–7

Artisans from Manitou Beach, Meachem, Watrous and the Viscount area open their studios to display handmade furniture, jewelry, ceramics, fabric art and more. spiritofmanitou.ca

Doukhobor Dugout House / Blaine Lake / July 6–27

Every Saturday in July at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m., costumed interpreters recount the settlement history of Russian Doukhobors and offer guided tours of this national historic site. On July 6, there will be a special day of events on the theme “The Rumour”. doukhobordugouthouse.com

Old Home Week / Preeceville / July 7–13

Preeceville is at the headwaters of the Assiniboine River. I know that because that’s the town motto. Highlights of this week-long homecoming include a bread-baking demo at the local heritage museum, a ball tournament, rodeo and open air dance. townofpreeceville.ca

Colonial Days Fair / Lloydminster / July 10–13

Includes a midway, chuckwagon races, livestock events and petting zoo. There doesn’t seem to be any music at the grandstand this year. Instead, there’s a Monster Truck Show (July 10–11), Bulls & Bike Show (July 12) and Demolition Derby (July 13). lloydexh.com

Motif Multicultural Festival / Moose Jaw / July 12–14

Motif took a year off in 2018 but is back again in 2019. The festival is hosted by Moose Jaw Multicultural Council, and is held in Happy Valley Park. Music, food, dance and drink are all on the travel itinerary. motiffestival.com

Big Day At The Farm / Rosthern / July 13

This one day festival is being held on Seager Wheeler Heritage Farm. Performers include Rugged Little Thing, Corner Grass, Kiefer Paul, Larry Krause, Hook & Nail and Patrick Laughlin. stationarts.com

Canora in Bloom / Canora / July 14–21

Get your blossom on and watch the pollinators in action at this floral celebration. Includes a golf tournament, teen movie nights and old tyme picnic. It’s capped off by Festival in the Park with a car show, reptile and animal show, and live music featuring headliner Nick Faye & the Deputies. canora.com

Ness Creek Music Festival / Big River / July 18–21

Saskatchewan’s original eco-friendly festival offers a great chance to commune with nature in the boreal forest. Musical acts this year include Bombargo, Crooked Creek, La Force, Terra Lightfoot, Zaki Ibrahim and Snotty Nosed Rez Kids. Both weekend and day passes are available. nesscreek.com

Saskatchewan Festival of Words / Moose Jaw / July 18–21

Dedicated to the written and spoken word, this festival includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction authors, along with film screenings, musical performances and workshops — some geared to children. Presenters include Gail Bowen, Eden Robinson, Dave Williams, Burton Cummings, Tenille Campbell, Drew Hayden Taylor, Sierra Noble, Lorna Crozier and Billy Ray Belcourt. festivalofwords.com

Boomtown Days & Stampede / Shaunavon / July 18–21

The theme of this annual community celebration is School Days. Events include a kiddies parade, a CCA rodeo, cabaret, garden tour and street bingo. shaunavon.com

PolkaFest / Assiniboia / July 19–20

This polka blowout features an air-conditioned hall and floating hardwood floor, with music by Leon Ochs and Len Gadica. Other polkafests include Rouleau (Aug. 9–11) and Prince Albert (Aug. 23–25).

Old Wives Lake Festival / Moss Bank / July 19–21

Twice in recent history, 1937 and 1988, Old Wives Lake actually dried up due to drought. We’ve had a few dry years now, so I’m not sure what its water level is these days. But the lake is home to an international shorebird sanctuary so hopefully it’s okay. This festival includes a pancake breakfast, museum tours, historic bus tours, a chili cook off, golf tournament and cabaret. mossbank.ca

Sandy Creek Gospel Jamboree / Mortlach / July 19–22

Get your gospel groove on at this jamboree at Besant Campground. Feature acts include The Trudel Family, The Amundruds, Ken Overcast, The Torchmen Quartet and Bobby Bowen Family Band. scgj.ca

Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village & Museum / Moose Jaw / July 20

This site commemorates a Finnish-Canadian pioneer who settled in Saskatchewan in 1911. Twenty years later, during the Great Depression, he began building a boat to return to his birth country. The site is open all summer, but today there’s a special Family Day celebration with tours and other activities. sukanenshipmuseum.ca

International Street Performer Festival / North Battleford / July 26–27

This festival livens up the streets of North Battleford as a bizarre assortment of clowns, acrobats, musicians, face painters, balloon sculptors and magicians entertain adults and children alike — earning applause and coins in the process, in the true busker tradition. nbstreetfest.com

Gateway Festival / Bengough / July 26–28

Gateway is located near the Big Muddy Badlands — which with all their gullies, ridges and outlaw lore, certainly live up to their name. Line-up highlights include Charlie Major, Michelle Wright, Kira Isabella, Trooper, Kim Mitchell, The Garrys, Kacy & Clayton, Bears In Hazenmore, Molly Burch, The Snake Oil Salesmen and Ava Wild. gatewayfestival.com

Dog Patch Music Festival / Loon Lake / July 26–28

Get your loon on at this art and music fest in the beautiful boreal forest. Performers include Long Walkers Drum Group, Rylan Smallchild, New Dawn Drum Group, Tristen Durocher and Liza Brown. dogpatchmusicfest.com

Rafferty Rumble / Estevan / July 26–28

This weekend celebration includes a street fair, street dance, slo-pitch, soccer, flag football and more. On the music side, performers include Megan Nash, Hook & Nail, Bombargo, West of Mabou, Nick Faye & the Deputies, Brock Andrews and El Guitaro. raffertyrumble.com

Dino Days / Eastend / July 26–28

This annual celebration has a Wild West theme. That’s okay, I guess, but what really sets it apart is that it offers a chance to visit the T-Rex Discovery Centre. This year, there’s a special 25th anniversary commemoration of the excavation of centre’s most famous attraction Scotty the T. rex. townofeastend.com

Tralapa Festival / Tramping Lake / July 26–28

This festival features a mix of live music and sports with free mini golf and slo-pitch and beach volleyball tournaments. Musical guests include Better Than Nothing, Johnny McCuaig Band, Kidalgo, Matt Davis, Mikey Dubz, The Nightrain, Stereo Playground, Topher Mils, W3apons and Whale and the Wolf. tralapafestival.com

Great Southwest Shakespeare Festival / Swift Current / July 26 – Aug. 17

This festival will feature one of Shakespeare’s most popular (and imaginative) romantic comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream. lyrictheatre.ca

Riverhurst Bean Festival / Riverhurst / July 27

This 2nd annual festival is devoted to pulse crops in Saskatchewan, and has an industry angle with buyers, producers and product vendors. There are also culinary experts who will offer tips on cooking pulses, and various social events including a 4H Children’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Round-Up. I’m sure a farting good time will be had by all. riverhurst.ca

Three Island Paddle & Music Festival / Prince Albert National Park / July 27

Organizers promise a memorable day of music and fun at Hanging Hearts Lakes. So polish up those paddles everyone and get ready to have some fun. Speaking of fun, don’t forget the Beach Bums Ball in Waskesiu on Aug. 3 (19+ only). Then for art lovers, there’s the Waskesiu Art Fest on Aug. 16–18. waskesiumarina.com

Brickspo / Moose Jaw / July 27–28

Hosted by Western Development Museum and SLUG (Saskatchewan LEGO Users Group), this annual event showcases LEGO creations both large and small by many skilled builders. wdm.ca/mj.html

Farmfest / Willow Bunch / July 27–29

This festival includes workshops, children’s activities, hayrides and performances by Folle Avoine, Hart Rouge, Connie Kaldor, Heather Bishop, Walle Landreth, Crystal Plamondon, Aleksi Campagne Band, La Raquette à claquettes and Les Barricades. farmfesterreferme.ca

Summer Fair / Prince Albert / July 30 – Aug. 3

Starts with a parade, ends with fireworks, with midway rides, livestock shows, chuckwagon races, trade shows and live music sandwiched in between. paexhibition.com

Frenchman River Gospel Jam / Shaunavon / Aug. 2–4

Offers a blend of gospel and country music, with ticketed evening shows and free daytime stages. Feature acts include The Pilkey Sisters, Jade Eagleson, Doug Rawling & the Caraganas, Last Mountain Boys and Catherine Lewans. frgj.ca

Summer Slam / Raymore / Aug. 2–4

Summer isn’t the only thing that’ll be slammed, I’ll wager. To begin with, there are all the hits and homers that are going to be “slammed” at slo-pitch games. Then there’s all the booze that will be slammed afterwards. Headliners on the music side include George Fox, Brad Johner & the Johner Boys, Samara Yung, Blackhawk, Justin LaBrash and Doc Walker. raymoresummerslam.ca

Electric Sky Festival / Big River / Aug. 2–4

This is the sophomore outing for a new electronic music festival on the Ness Creek site in the boreal forest. Line-up highlights includes Homesick, Kloves, Joe Nice and Esette. electricsky.ca

Canadian National Archery Championship / Prince Albert / Aug. 2–11

This championship is hosted by the Timberland Bowbenders Archery Club, and will feature some of the top bowstring-drawers in the country. The action takes place at Little Red River Park, with related events at other venues. citypa.ca

Mid Summer’s Art Festival / Fort Qu’Appelle / Aug. 3

This outdoor festival is held annually at “the Fort”. Visual and performing arts, along with live music, children’s activities, buskers and a micro-brewery beer garden are all part of the fun. 306-331-5337

Threshermen’s Show & Seniors’ Festival / Yorkton / Aug. 3–4

Hosted by Western Development Museum and local partners, this festival includes threshing, stooking and sawmill demos, along with an antique car show and gas tractor competition. wdm.ca/yorkton

Living Skies Come Alive / Moosomin / Aug. 3–4

Nature provides Saskatchewan with some spectacular skies via sunrises, sunsets and storms. This annual Saskatchewan Day fireworks festival at Moosomin Lake Regional Park gives nature a run for its money though. This year, there’s a showcase of fireworks from the Philippines. moosominregionalpark.com

World Bunnock Championship / Macklin / Aug. 3–5

In the modern Olympic era, 42 sports have been in the Summer Games. Not all at the same time, of course, as the Olympic Committee is always adding and dropping sports to keep au courant. Strange as it seems, bunnock has never been an Olympics sport — which seems like a huge missed opportunity to me. Oh well, at least fans still get to enjoy elite bunnock action at this annual $40,000 tournament. 306-753-2256

Wow Manitou! / Manitou / Aug. 4

Day-long festival celebrating poetry, songwriting, storytelling and spoken word. Co-hosted by Little Manitou Art Gallery and Saskatoon’s Tonight It’s Poetry. littlemanitouartgallery.com

Saskatchewan Premier’s Walleye Cup / Nipawin / Aug. 8–10

Will Scott Moe take time away from his carbon price crusade to attend, I wonder? This live release angling competition is named after the office he holds, after all. If he does show, he’ll join 150 plus teams who will be vying for over $125,000 in cash and prizes. Money also goes to support lake conservation and development of lake facilities.

Heritage Village Days / Weyburn / Aug. 9–10

This two-day festival commemorating Weyburn and area history includes guided tours of a Heritage Village along with blacksmithing, ice cream/butter-making and sheep herding demonstrations. Weyburn’s Wheat Festival is also on, so it will be a busy weekend in the Opportunity City. weyburn.ca

Summer Bash / Paradise Hill / Aug 9–11

This weekend festival includes a slo-pitch tournament and cabarets featuring the Dirt Rich Band (Friday) and Brett Kissel​ and the Dirt Rich Band (Saturday).

Cochin Days / Cochin / Aug. 9–11

Hosted by the resort community of Cochin, which is nestled between Murray and Jackfish Lakes near the Battlefords, this festival includes slo-pitch, beach volleyball and horse shoe tournaments, a sand castle competition and a spaghetti-eating contest. cochin.ca

2019 Western Canada Summer Games / Swift Current / Aug. 9–18

These games are held every four years, and will feature over 1,700 athletes from Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Nunavut and Saskatchewan. There will be competition in 16 sports at 20 venues. 2019wcsg.ca

Bow Valley Jamboree / Oxbow / Aug. 10

Picturesque Souris River valley is the site of this jamboree. The line-up includes Downwind, Winsome Kind, Nae Plans, Hook & Nail, Ginelle James, The Snake Oil Salesmen, The Tilted Kilts and Sourjack. bowvalleyjamboree.org

Cherry Sunday / Bruno / Aug. 11

Hopefully growing conditions will cooperate this summer, so if you attend you’ll be able to sample all sorts of cherry treats (dwarf sour cherry treats, to be precise) from sundaes and elephant ears to smokies and special sauces. You can even stop by the u-pick orchard. Yum! cherrysunday.ca

North West Territorial Days / The Battlefords / Aug. 14–16

Hosted by Battlefords Agricultural Society, this fair has been held since 1887. It opens with a parade on Aug. 13 on the theme “Pirates on the Saskatchewan”, and features a midway, chuckwagon races, livestock shows and demolition derby. agsociety.com

Hilltop Sheepdog Trial / Mankota / Aug. 15–18

A must-attend for anyone who’s a fan of the old Chuck Jones cartoon featuring Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog — although I don’t think wolves and sheepdogs are part of the competition. Instead, handlers work mostly with Border Collies to guide sheep through a course. hilltoptrial.com

Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Festival / Big River / Aug. 16–18

This festival is preceded by a music camp from Aug. 12–16. Then there’s a weekend of bluegrass and old tyme country with T’Monde, The Rutta Beggars, Zachary Lucky & Ivan Rosenberg, Viper Central, Nomad Jones, The Strawflowers, Eliza Mary Doyle and Creeland Dancers. northernlightsbluegrass.com

Those Were The Days / North Battleford / Aug. 17–18

Hosted by Western Development Museum, this event celebrates settler life in the 1920s with vintage autos, light and heavy horse demonstrations, antique farm equipment and live entertainment. wdm.ca/nb.html

Waskesiu Lakeside Festival / Prince Albert / Aug. 23–25

This three-day festival offers a mix of music, family programming, aquatic activities and buskers. The main stage line-up was still being firmed up at press time, but it typically features some top Saskatchewan talent. Then Sept. 6–8, Waskesiu hosts the 15th annual Reel Rave Festival with screenings at Twin Pines Cinema. waskesiulake.ca

Wild Blueberry Festival / St. Walburg / Aug. 24

Tame blueberries are boring, right? For the true berry experience you need to channel your inner Lou Reed and take a walk on the wild side. That’s what this festival offers, with a chance to savour all sorts of blueberry treats along with a street fair and other fun activities. blueberryfest.stwalburg.ca

Summer Star Party / Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park / Aug. 28 – Sept. 2

This annual orgy of celestial viewing takes place in a Dark Sky Preserve. There’s a New Moon on Aug. 30 so barring cloudy skies viewing conditions should be perfect for studying the wonders of deep space. During the day there are lectures on astronomy and space exploration along with other family-friendly activities. sssp.saskatoon.rasc.ca

Manitou Music Fest / Manitou Beach / Sept. 1

The line-up for this one-day festival was still in the works at press time, but in addition to music there’s also visual art at Little Manitou Art Gallery along with buskers and other types of performance art. littlemanitouartgallery.com

Duck Derby / Lumsden / Sept. 2

This family-friendly celebration includes a parade, arts and craft sale, and live music. Oh yeah, there’s also a big net holding 25,000 rubber ducks. When the starter’s pistol sounds, the ducks drop into the Qu’Appelle River, where the current carries them downstream with prizes awarded to the top finishers. duckderby.ca