SOUTHEAST SASKATCHEWAN - A group of curious explorers will soon go on an adventure aimed at examining the gems of southeast Saskatchewan.
Community Futures Sunrise is currently searching for individuals who would become their "southeast explorers" – ambassadors capturing their trips and visits to the southeast historic and natural attractions, as well as businesses to promote the region.
Christina Birch, CF Sunrise's regional economic development co-ordinator, said it's the first year for the southeast explorer program, which is a part of a bigger initiative named Explore Southeast Sask. that will be launched in the upcoming month.
"We have a really great opportunity for people that live and work in southeast Saskatchewan. We're hiring a number of southeast exporters to promote our region as a place to visit. We have a number of amazing places to see, experiences to have, restaurants to eat in, places to shop at, and we want to highlight those and promote those to people that are outside of our region,” said Birch.
“So this is the first year it has been offered. And the deadline for applications is March 25.”
They plan on hiring three to five individuals of different demographics to take on this casual job, and the project is set to run for a year so that explorers could promote tourism throughout all four seasons. Birch said it could be a university student at home for the summer, or a stay-at-home dad that's looking to experience new things with their kids, or someone who's retired and loves to get in the car and go.
"We're looking for people of all demographics ... The position is a casual position that pays to do what people love to do most – have fun, experience new things and get out and visit the region," Birch said.
"Experience wise, we are asking that people have the ability to capture their experience through video and photography and write about their experience in a way that connects with the audience. But we do offer training for that. So if there are people that don't have writing experience, that's okay. We are just looking for the right fit for the position."
They've already received some applications, and Birch said they hope to see even more as the position is a really fun opportunity.
"It's such a fun position, you get paid to do things that you might already be doing on the weekend. You might already be going to the regional park to experience the beach with your family, so it's a great opportunity to have those fun experiences with your family or your friends and to get paid while doing it," Birch said.
Once the right candidates are found, they'll go through training in April and will start exploring shortly after that.
CF Sunrise also put out a call asking to help them identify unique places that the explorers should put a spotlight on and great tips keep coming in. They work with the Southeast Sask. Tourism network, through which a number of partner organizations and communities from throughout the region have been helping them with ideas.
"That network has been a really important part of identifying different visitor experiences. And then we've had a number of people reach out to us from throughout the region to tell us about events that are taking place, or businesses that are great to visit," Birch said.
"Our southeast explorers will visit a number of different businesses and places in southeast Saskatchewan, those that are smaller businesses, and those that are larger businesses. So we're asking the public to help us identify unique businesses that exist in the region, as well as the places for experiences, and that might include a pottery class or a nice hiking trail, it might include a business that serves up great ice cream or a snowmobile trail that has a great warm-up shack. So we're looking for a real variety of activities."
Birch works with communities and businesses to bring in some economic and community development. Lately, she has been working with businesses in southeast Saskatchewan with a program called Destination Creation.
"That program helps businesses attract visitors from outside of their community, anywhere from a 100 to 500-kilometre radius. So that is helping to grow our visitor economy. And all of it is intertwined to promote our region as a place to visit, whether it's to visit places, to take part in experiences, to shop at our stores, or support our local businesses, all in an aim to help business retention," Birch explained.
"Tourism has been identified as one of the parts of business recovery post-pandemic. So as people begin to move, we are wanting to attract them to southeast Saskatchewan so that they're spending time in our region, and that we're bringing in external wealth to our region."
For a southeast explorer job description and details, people can go to the CF Sunrise website at cfsask.ca/sunrise. With questions, they can reach out to Birch at 306-861-7013 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.