The City of Saskatoon (population 260,000), located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, is surrounded by Western Canadian prairie, just a few hours from the southern edge of the boreal forest. The South Saskatchewan River is the heart of Saskatoon, bringing nature —including pelicans, beavers, and other wildlife — into the centre of the city. Seven bridges link the east and west halves of the city, and sixty kilometers of pathways lie along its banks.

Saskatoon is a youthful city, with a median age of 35. This youth and vitality are reflected in its flourishing food scene, with restaurants focused on fresh local ingredients from the prairies and the forest, great micro-breweries and pubs, and several local micro-distilleries offering ‘seed to sip’ experiences. Saskatoon’s vibrant cultural community struts its stuff through summer festivals such as Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and wonderful art galleries and installations, including the city’s new Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan.

The XRM2018 conference will be located in downtown Saskatoon, on the west side of the South Saskatchewan River. The University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Light Source are minutes away: a short walk across the University Bridge, on the east side of the river. Excellent restaurants and shopping are found downtown, and in the adjacent Riversdale and Broadway neighbourhoods.

Saskatoon is located on Treaty Six Territory and the homeland of the Métis.  The people of Saskatchewan have adopted a phrase that defines the province: “We are all treaty people.” This phrase recognizes the partnership between First Nations, Métis, and settlers, and a commitment to reconciliation and a fruitful shared future.

Saskatoon is an ideal starting point for excursions, especially toward northern and prairie wilderness. To the south, reintroduced bison roam in Grasslands National Park. In the north, Prince Albert National Park and and the Churchill River are destinations for hiking, camping, and canoeing in the boreal forest. Travelers to XRM2018 can visit the Canadian Rockies—Banff, Jasper, and Yoho National Park—through convenient flight connections. Are you looking to test your adventurous side? Accommodations range from fine hotel rooms to more rugged tent-and-sleeping-bag options.