Growing up, Saskatoon wasn't the mecca of music and art it is now. I mean, there were musicians and artists living here, plenty, but the rest of the world didn't seem to know about us. We got musicals like Le Mis and Phantom whose trucks would otherwise be driving thirty hours across the prairies if they didn't stop in and when stadium rockers came by, they were mostly here on a Tuesday. (Thanks to my parents for still letting me go!) Chains like Old Navy and Aritzia didn't see us as a big enough centre to bother, and Starbucks? To me, it was a place synonymous with big cities. Vancouverites joked about having one on every corner, but Saskatchewan was yet to know a single location.
Of course now, Saskatoon is a destination for more than chains and concerts. Tourists come to view our impressive Picasso collection at the beautiful Remai Modern, to eat at our world-class restaurants, see our living skies, and just to enjoy our quaint but well-appointed city by the river. Even magazines and major publications trumpet our praises, sharing with the rest of the world what we already know: Saskatchewan is more than just a horizontal line.
And yet, it wasn't all that long ago we were considered to be the middle of nowhere so every win is big. That we get to join other notable destinations in the Been There Starbucks mug series is exciting! And I bet I'm not the only one who can't wait to see it on the shelf and immediately after, in my cupboard.
If you're not from here, I'd like to know what your impression is of Saskatchewan and if there's anything here you would love to experience. And if you do live here, I'd love to know the moment you felt like we were on the map of, what you think the most exciting win has been for our city. I love my home and I'm glad the world is getting to know it, too.