It’s just two months out, but the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show is still a go, despite concerns about the ongoing pandemic.
The show, held every second year in Weyburn, may look different, but the organizers are doing their best to find a way to make it happen June 2-3, preceded by an exhibitors golf tournament on June 1.
Show chair Dan Cugnet said: “We’re meeting every week. We’ve submitted things to the city and to the provincial government.
“We've got Brett Wilson and Brad Wall coming to speak on the Wednesday, the day of the awards. We've got Rex Murphy coming to speak on Thursday. These are all confirmed.”
Two years ago, Rex Murphy spoke about how the oilpatch helped save the people of Newfoundland when that province was laid low by the collapse of the cod fishery. He also discussed the absolute necessity of the energy sector in our lives and nation.
“Energy is the essential commodity of all 21st century life,” he said at the time. The YouTube video of that speech has since been viewed 62,500 times.
The Southeast Saskatchewan Oilman award was announced on March 29, with Derrick Big Eagle receiving the honour. Southeast Saskatchewan Legends awards will go to Vi Day, Ken Lee, Norm “Pierre” Mondor, Ray Frehlick and Ron Carson.
The Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year and Saskatchewan Oil Patch Hall of Fame inductees have not yet been announced, as those awards are chosen by a separate board.
They are still working on dealing with the realities of the pandemic, adapting as required.
“We’re going to have everybody that’s attending pre-registered, so it’s not going to be people showing up at the gate,” Cugnet said.
“Plans are currently fluid right now,” he said, as they adapt to what public health regulations will allow.
Much of this depends on optimism for success in Saskatchewan’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and an easing of public health restrictions.
The provincial government has been working on widespread vaccination of the adult population, with Premier Scott Moe noting during the regular COVID-19 briefing on March 30 that in the next few weeks, Saskatchewan is expecting as many vaccine doses as has been received to date, and more to come. Moe said we are in the “final weeks of this pandemic,” and in the “final steps of the race.”
At that same press conference, chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said, “Over the next six to eight weeks, the bulk of the population, maybe even 40 and older, especially people with underlying risk factors, will would have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and we will be in a very different place in six to eight weeks, but we really need to stay the course for those six to eight weeks.”