It’s been nearly 2 years since welcoming this bundle of a business to Saskatoon.
January 9, 2017 marked the birth of DoSask.com. What began as a space for people to find Saskatoon’s date ideas all in one place has become a growing regional media and events company.
In the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to move back to my hometown of Saskatoon after eight years away in Alberta. At first, I was hesitant about moving back. At the time, I was working as a writer in Calgary and found plenty of reasons to be content with the lifestyle there.
When I told people in Calgary I was thinking about moving back to Saskatoon, they’d either:
- A) tell me about its lackluster nightlife, or
- B) say that it’s a beautiful city with nothing going on.
…As if I’d never experienced the struggle myself. But I did my own research and discovered that Saskatoon was in the midst of an exciting change. I began creating mental lists to keep track of it all.
WHY I STARTED DO SASK
People often ask why I started this blog. Here are a few high-level, PG-rated answers:
- Hearing people say, “I wish I would have known about ____, or else I would have been there”. No more excuses!
- Sharing local dates with people who, like me, were feeling overwhelmed.
- Forcing myself to focus on positive aspects of the city when I felt isolated. Loneliness is pervasive as someone whose only company is a cat most days.
- Showcasing my content to potential clients and practising WordPress, HTML, social media, digital advertising, etc.
HOW DO SASK BECAME WHAT IT IS NOW
There are similar blogs in major cities across Canada. Most of them can’t rely on advertising dollars alone to keep the lights on. So, I began producing experiences such as speed dating and brewery tours to bring some big city excitement to Saskatoon. I’ve also hosted dozens of free, or donation-based events with proceeds to local charity.
Back in January 2017, I figured it wouldn’t take long to get everything you could possibly do in Saskatoon listed on the site within a month. It was a naïve goal. I’m still finding new things to do every day. It’s a challenge to dig deeper than surface level and maintain a whole city worth of adventures!
Do Sask has become something a lot more than I had originally intended it to be: it’s a community of people who are passionate about local arts and culture, who are willing to try things totally out of their comfort zones, and who are ready to connect with other locals face-to-face.
It exists to help people who feel disconnected and stuck – they’re moving to town, looking for an offbeat experience, or switching up their same old routine.
The best part about running Do Sask is that I feel part of the city in a way that I never have before. I get to tackle topics like a culture journalist instead of a bored copywriter. I’m excitedly attending local events on top of running my own productions, meeting unique people, and learning tonnes of new things as I go.
And yet, local Saskatonians still ask me, “why did you move here?” I have work to do. I truly believe this city has a lot of options for young folks – at least, more than it did when I was starting my career in media over 10 years ago. (I’m an elder millennial.)
WHAT DO SASK GOT UP TO IN 2018
49 in 2018 (up from 20 in 2017)
644+ in 2018 (up from 460+ in 2017)
34,254 in 2018 (up from 7,712 in 2017)
141,705 in 2018 (up from 20,577 in 2017)
See you in 2019!
After a year of major growth, there will definitely be lots more to come in the New Year. Whether you’re reading this from home, or showing up to a new event for the first time – thank you for supporting this bright pink dream and helping bring energy to this community.
I like to know the work I do has an impact on the quality of life for folks in Saskatoon. If Do Sask has improved your nightlife, drop me a line.