Saskatchewan Homecoming '71
Saskatchewan Homecoming ’71 was an effort on the part of the Saskatchewan Tourist Association and the Department of Industry and Commerce to promote tourism in the province. Its objectives were threefold: to increase the number of tourists visiting Saskatchewan in 1971, to boost long-range prospects for the tourist industry, and to get local organizations and communities involved in developing tourism in their areas. As a result, more than 200,000 registered visitors came, attending family reunions and community events and enjoying the many recreational facilities offered. Tourism industry revenue increased by an estimated $20 million.
Homecoming ’71 poster advertising the
Canada Winter Games and the
“Saskatchewan Game”. PAS Poster VI.12
Planning began as early as 1968. Overall direction was administered by a special branch of the Department of Industry and Commerce. Mail-outs to Saskatchewan residents encouraged people to invite friends and relatives to visit in 1971. Similar invitations were sent to former residents of Saskatchewan. The program involved government grants to municipalities to build recreational facilities and to undertake community beautification efforts. Some 480 communities were actively involved in Homecoming projects and events.
Special programs were organized:
- Vera Plemel was chosen as Saskatchewan Homecoming Queen to represent Homecoming ’71 at over 180 functions.
- The Homecoming Parade of Stars highlighted over 3,000 performers in a provincial talent competition.
- The ”Saskatchewan Game” was a travel photo contest designed to encourage people to explore the province.
- The Community Involvement Program awarded cash prizes to local improvement projects.
- Homecoming Welcome Booths were set up to help visitors with their holiday plans.
- An Awards Banquet was held in late 1971 to honour winners of community competitions.
- Several communities produced local history books; many are now preserved in the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.