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September 23, 2004


Saskatchewan's Centennial year is just 100 days away and the entire province is ready to celebrate 100 years of heart.

Several initiatives were announced for the province's centennial including a recognition program, exciting marketing campaign, homecoming program and song competition in front of thousands of flag- and pompom-waving students and residents in Yorkton.

"Saskatchewan is an extraordinary place to live, work and celebrate - and it's a place that's best characterized by our people," Premier Lorne Calvert said. "The Centennial anniversary allows us to take note of how far we've come as a province and how much we've contributed to Canada and the rest of the world."

A campaign was launched to promote excitement about the Centennial and get Saskatchewan people thinking about ways to celebrate or commemorate the occasion.

"The theme 100 Years of Heart showcases what makes Saskatchewan stand out - our people and our enthusiasm for our home," Centennial Chair and Moose Jaw North MLA Glenn Hagel said. "Many people are already excited about the Centennial. Many projects are underway to mark 2005 in communities right across the province."

The Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership Award was announced, and is open to all Saskatchewan-based, non-governmental organizations to select two deserving recipients.

"The Centennial is a unique opportunity for us to reflect with pride on our past accomplishments and look forward with confidence and optimism in our future," Hagel said. "This award will honour one individual who has made a
lasting contribution to the history of an organization in Saskatchewan's first century and another who will be a leader in Saskatchewan's second century."

Of particular note to many communities are events to bring back friends and relatives from across Saskatchewan and across the globe.

"Reunions are a natural part of a province's 100th anniversary," Tourism Saskatchewan president and CEO Roy Anderson said. "The Homecoming program will provide assistance to communities interested in hosting a homecoming event and inviting people back to the province and their communities to join in the celebrations."

Also launched was a hunt for a song that will capture the essence of Saskatchewan's history and future in a contest that will be headed up by Saskatchewan Express and sponsored by SaskEnergy.

In total, the Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 will have contributed $170 million from 1998 to 2006, in centennial programs and legacy projects including the $128-million investment in capital expenditures with the Centenary Fund, $20-million allocation through the Community Initiatives Fund and $21.6 million earmarked for recognition programs, community-based initiatives, commemorative celebrations and centennial promotions. The Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 also spent $400,000 through the Anniversaries Secretariat preparing the province for its 100th anniversary. Crown Investments Corporation (CIC), on behalf of the Crown sector, provided a special dividend of $5 million to the budget. Of that amount, $3 million came from SaskTel and $2 million was redirected from the Our Future is Wide Open campaign.

"Saskatchewan's Centennial is building an even stronger tomorrow for our province," Hagel said. "Through the support we've already heard from talking with Saskatchewan people, we expect the impact of the Centennial year to have a ripple effect for many years. There are many more exciting announcements to come as we mark this special anniversary."

Additional information on Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 is available online at www.sask2005.ca.

For More Information, Contact:

Chris Shauf
Saskatchewan Centennial 2005
Phone: (306) 787-1254
Cell: (306) 530-5775