First phase of engagement for Downtown Event & Entertainment District designs to begin

For immediate release: April 27, 2023 - 9:00 am

The City of Saskatoon is starting the exciting first phase of engagement for the Downtown Event & Entertainment District and we want to hear your ideas

“The public is invited to come on the journey with us to create a thriving Downtown, built around great public gathering spaces and amenities,” says Dan Willems, Director of Technical Services.

In November 2018, City Council directed the Administration to plan for a Downtown event centre/arena and new or expanded convention centre as part of a Downtown Event & Entertainment District. Following public consultation in November 2022, City Council approved the purchase of the Midtown Shopping Centre North Parking Lot as the site for the future Downtown event centre/arena.

City staff are working on a comprehensive District Plan that will establish the Downtown as a hub for entertainment and culture, with vibrant spaces that are welcoming for everyone and attractive for new residential development. The District Plan will also guide the designs for the surrounding streets, parks and other public spaces to be accessible to all residents and visitors. Stantec, HOK and LMN have been hired to create conceptual designs for the new event centre/arena and convention centre, as well as the surrounding outdoor spaces.

The City is now seeking public input on things we should incorporate into the design of the District, new event centre/arena, and new or expanded convention centre and outdoor public space, so they are welcoming, inviting and accessible to all who visit or live in Saskatoon.

“What we hear from the community, along with research and funding considerations, will be considered in the development of the District Plan and conceptual designs for the Downtown event centre/arena and convention centre,” says Willems.

Engagement Opportunities

From April 27 to May 18 the public is invited to share their thoughts in the following ways:

  • An opt-in online public survey - Saskatoon residents, as well as those from other communities, can self-select to participate;
  • Pop-up “storefronts” at malls and other convenient locations where the community is invited to stop by at their own convenience, see information, talk to City staff and provide feedback through worksheets or the online survey; and
  • Many community-led workshops.

A full listing of engagement opportunities is available on

Next Steps

Initial designs for the event centre/arena, convention centre and outdoor gathering spaces will be developed using community feedback, technical research and early budgeting.

The initial ideas, feedback and an early funding strategy will then be presented to City Council’s Governance & Priorities Committee in July 2023.

“After direction from Council, the City will be coming back to the public in the summer and late fall-early winter to get further thoughts and feedback,” Willems explains. “Final draft designs will be presented to City Council for decision and this is expected by the end of 2023.”

A timeline of the decision-making process and next steps for the public to get involved is available here.

Details including the complete background on the Downtown Event & Entertainment District, timelines and decisions are here: