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Tour Information

Pre-Congress Tours

Three Pre-Congress Tours are available to delegates attending IRC 2016. Delegates can choose from tours of three, four and seven days in length. Additionally, there are several Mid-Week Tours on Wednesday of Congress Week which are included with your registration fee.

All Pre-Congress Tours depart from Saskatoon's ParkTown Hotel and end in Saskatoon on Saturday, July 16, the day before the Congress officially opens. The tours are designed to provide delegates with a view of the beautiful landscape, rangelands, wildlands, research programs and history of the Canadian prairie region. The seven day tour also takes you to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where you will spend two nights in the world famous Banff National Park.

For the duration of each tour, there will be two tour guides who are employed by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture or Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. These individuals are knowledgeable on Canadian rangeland resources, livestock production systems and prairie landscapes. At most stops on the tours, your guides will be joined by other experts from the area being visited. This will insure that you will receive the most comprehensive information on what you will see on the tour.

The prices of the tours will cover all of the costs of accommodation, transportation, meals, entry fees into parks and museums, and an information booklet. The exception is for the seven day tour, in which all meal costs will be covered except a lunch and dinner on the day (Day 5) that you have time to explore Banff on your own.

All three pre-congress tours will depart from the Parktown Hotel in Saskatoon. A short meeting will be held at 7:30 pm at the Parktown the night before each tour departs. Thus, it would be most convenient for delegates taking tours to stay at this hotel the night before their tour. If delegates choose to stay elsewhere, they will have to make their way to the Parktown in time for the 7:30 am departure for their tour. At the end of each tour, however, delegates will be dropped off at any of the six congress hotels.

If you are a single traveller and would like to share a hotel room during the tour (all rooms will have two beds), indicate your request for double (shared room) occupancy when registering for your tour. We will assist in securing a roommate. If one is found you will pay the double occupancy rate. If no roommate is found you will pay the single occupancy rate.

IMPORTANT: Each Pre-Congress Tour is going ahead as planned. An email was sent to tour registrants on May 19, 2016. If you do not recall receiving that email, please contact us at info@irc2016canada.ca


7 Day Tour – Prairie Grasslands and Rocky Mountains

July 10-16, 2016
Seven days, six nights
 
7 d Tour Detailed Overview

 

 
7 d Tour Abbreviated Schedule

Single occupancy $2625 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person
Double occupancy $2150 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person

The 7-Day Tour, showcases native rangelands, from the mixed grass prairies of southern Saskatchewan, to the foothills and majestic Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Stops on the tour include rangelands that are managed federally, provincially, and privately. Ample opportunity is given to explore the landscape and interact with managers. Along with different management strategies, participants are trained on Canadian rangeland monitoring methodologies and mitigation practices for resource extraction. Participants will be able to explore the “Canadian Western” with a night of cowboy music and poetry at the historic Reesor Ranch. One cannot come to Canada and not see the Rocky Mountains. Participants spend two nights in Banff, Alberta, which includes a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. This tour covers a lot of ground, but showcases some of Canada’s most beautiful rangelands.

Grasslands National Parkspacer

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Abbreviated 7-Day Schedule Printer-Friendly Version

SATURDAY - 09 July evening
Informal meeting of tour participants with tour guides at the Parktown Hotel. Time and room to be determined.

SUNDAY - 10 July (Saskatoon to Swift Current)
- Breakfast on your own
- Beginning of Tour. Bus departs Parktown Hotel at 7:30 am
- Rudy Rosedale Community Pasture near Saskatoon – crown land pasture management
- Danielson Provincial Park – Gardiner Dam, Lake Diefenbaker, and local irrigation
- Matador Provincial Pasture – Pasture and land management, working cowboy demonstration
- Barbeque dinner at the Semi-arid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre
- Overnight in Swift Current

MONDAY - 11 July (Swift Current to Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, SK)
- Semi-Arid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre – Research programs on native plant breeding, native forage legumes and grazing management.
- Grasslands National Park – One of the largest and least disturbed native prairie areas in N. America. Reclamation and conservation of plant and animal species. Time available for hiking this pristine area.
- Reesor Ranch – horseback riding, hiking, exploration, bonfire, cowboy poetry
- Overnight at Reesor Ranch

TUESDAY - 12 July (Reesor Ranch to Medicine Hat, AB)
- Reesor Ranch – Additional activities on the Ranch
- Elkwater, AB – lunch and meet Alberta Public Lands staff
- Native Rangeland Benchmark Sites – Range Health Assessment System to monitor native range – hands on experience on its use
- Supper and overnight in Medicine Hat, AB

WEDNESDAY - 13 July (Medicine Hat to Banff, AB)
- Hayes, AB – oil and gas reclamation sites on native range – natural recovery vs seeding native species
- Travers Dam, AB – lunch
- Chattaway’s Ranch, foothills of Rocky Mountains – Ranch and grazing management
- Scenic drive to Banff National Park
- Overnight in Banff National Park

THURSDAY - 14 July (Banff)
- Morning – Sulphur Mountain gondola ride – exploration on mountain
- Afternoon and evening – touring and hiking on your own, or optional Johnson Canyon hike
- Lunch and dinner on your own

FRIDAY - 15 July (Banff to Hanna, AB)
- Buckley Ranch, Cochrane, AB – Ranch and grazing management
- Strathmore, AB – lunch and meet irrigation district staff
- Mattheis Ranch, University of Alberta – Rangeland Research Institute
- Travel to Hanna – description of area and its management
- Overnight in Hanna, AB

16 July (Hanna to Saskatoon)
- Oyen, AB area – Chinook Applied Research Association – visit research sites
- Craig farm, Herschel, SK – Cattle production on grassland
- End of Tour (approximately 6:30 PM). Buses will drop tour participants at any of the six congress hotels. Dinner and evening activities on your own

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4-Day Tour – Prairies Moist Mixed Grassland and Aspen Parkland

July 13-16, 2016
Four days, three nights
  Map for 4-Day Tour
 
Map of Pre-Congress Tour #1
   
4 d Tour Abbreviated Schedule

Single occupancy $1250 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person
Double occupancy $1030 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person

The tour will begin in Saskatoon and will travel through the moist mixed grassland and aspen parkland regions of central Saskatchewan and Alberta. The aspen parkland was once characterized by a mosaic of aspen groves and fescue grasslands. In recent times, these fescue grasslands have been reduced by cultivation with now remnants scattered between tame forage pastures and cultivated annual crop lands.

Kinsella Research Ranch

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Abbreviated 4-Day Schedule ITINERARY (Printer-Friendly Version)

TUESDAY - July 12 evening
Informal meeting of tour participants with tour guides at the Parktown Hotel.
Time and room to be determined.

DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY, July 13 (Saskatoon to Lloydminster,SK)
-Breakfast on your own
-Beginning of Tour. Bus departs Parktown Hotel at 8:00 am.
-Hafford Provincial Community Pasture – History and grazing management.
-Western Development Museum, North Battleford – Tour of early prairie life and lunch
-Kerr Brothers Farm, Lashburn, SK – Cattle and grazing management
-Tour of Lloydminster Heavy Oil Upgrader (optional) in the evening.
-Overnight in Lloydminster

DAY 2 - THURSDAY, July 14 (Lloydminster to Vermilion, AB)
-Wainwright, AB – Use of forages to reclaim sites of oil wells and pipelines
-Kinsella Research Ranch, University of Alberta – Past and present research on this aspen parkland site
-Lakeland College, Vermilion, AB – Agricultural and environmental programs
-Overnight in Vermilion

DAY 3 - FRIDAY, July 15 (Vermilion to Meadow Lake, SK)
-Katerynych Bison Ranch, Bonnyville, AB – Bison production and facilities
-Campbell’s B-C Ranch, Meadow Lake, SK – Cattle and pasture production in a short season area
-Overnight in Meadow Lake

DAY 4 - SATURDAY, July 16 (Meadow Lake to Saskatoon)
-Ducks Unlimited Canada project, Spiritwood, SK – Wetland conservation, grazing management
-Foth Dairy Farm, Hague, SK – Four hundred cow dairy farm. Tour of facilities and forage production.
-End of Tour (approximately 5:00 PM). Buses will drop tour participants at any of the six congress hotels. Dinner and evening events on your own.

 

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3-Day Tour – Saskatchewan Mixed Grassland

July 14-16, 2016
Three days, two nights
  Map for 3 Day Tour
 
3 Day Pre-Congress Tour Overview
   
3 d Tour Abbreviated Schedule

Single occupancy $855 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person
Double occupancy $720 CAD (+ 5% GST) per person

The tour will begin in Saskatoon and will travel through the mixed grass prairie regions of south western Saskatchewan where the landscape is largely treeless. The mixed grass prairie is so called because of the mix of mid and short grass species. The most important species include needle grasses, wheatgrasses and reed grasses.

Beaver Creek Conservation Area

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Abbreviated 3-Day Schedule ITINERARY (Printer-Friendly Version)

WEDNESDAY - 13 July evening
Informal meeting of tour participants with tour guides at the Parktown Hotel. Time and room to be determined.

DAY 1- THURSDAY 14 July (Saskatoon to Swift Current)
- Beginning of Tour. Bus departs Parktown Hotel at 7:30 AM
- Beaver Creek Conservation area near Saskatoon - visit native prairie conservation and restoration projects
- Lake Diefenbaker and Gardiner Dam – Lunch speaker on irrigation development in Saskatchewan
- Perrin Ranching Ltd. – Grazing management on different pasture types
- Overnight in Swift Current at Home Inn and Suites

DAY 2 - FRIDAY 15 July (Swift Current to Grasslands National Park and return)
- Semi-Arid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre – Research programs on native plant breeding, native forage legumes and grazing management.
- Grasslands National Park – One of the largest and least disturbed native prairie areas in N. America. Reclamation and conversation of plant and animal species. Time available for hiking this pristine area.
- Overnight in Swift Current at Home Inn and Suites. A cowboy poet will provide entertainment following the evening meal.

DAY 3 - SATURDAY 16 July (Swift Current to Saskatoon via Moose Jaw)
- Valjean Community Pasture – Working cowboy demonstration. Grazing management of public lands – the Saskatchewan Pastures Program
- Moose Jaw – BBQ lunch – Speaker on agricultural extension in Saskatchewan
- Meewasin Valley, Saskatoon – Visit to the Northeast Swale Project. Managing native grassland as an urban centre grows around it.
- End of Tour (approximately 6:30 PM). Buses will drop tour participants at any of six congress hotels. Dinner and evening activities on your own.

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Mid-Congress Tours

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On Wednesday of Congress Week registered delegates (full, student and accompanying persons) will be able to go on one of nine different tours. All tours will depart from TCU Place (all buses depart at 8:00 AM from Auditorium Avenue on west side of TCU Place) and all tours will end at Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Tour buses will be arriving at Wanuskewin between 5:30 & 6:00 pm. Delegates will experience a roast bison barbecue followed by a performance from Plains First Nations dancers and drummers. Delegates will be bussed back to TCU Place at the end of the evening; buses will depart Wanuskewin at 8:45 pm. Two buses will be designated as "UNIVERSITY" for delegates staying at the University of Saskatchewan residence - look for the sign designating the University bound buses.

Below is a list of the nine Mid-Congress tours. A detailed overview of the tours can be found by clicking here.

There are limits to how many registrants can attend each Mid-Congress Tour. When registering for the Congress, you will select which Mid-Congress Tour you want to be on. We advise that you register early if there is a particular tour that you want to be on.

Mid-Congress Tour Overview Mid-Congress Tours Overview
Tour Locations
Distance (km)
1. Early History of Saskatchewan
2. U of S Research Univ of Saskatchewan - Crop Development Centre - AAFC - Kernan Prairie
3A & 3B. Forage & Livestock Research Western Beef Development Centre
4. Saskatchewan Farms Western Development Museum - Case New Holland - Local Farm
5. Specialized Livestock Western College of Veterinary Medicine - Bison Ranch - Wolverine Grazing Alliance
320
6. Industry of the Saskatoon Area Cory Potash Mine - Great Western Brewing - Canadian Light Source Synchrotron
50
7. Dairy Research and Milk Production Rayner Dairy Research & Teaching Facility - Western College of Vet Medicine - Kornelius Dairy - Feitsma Dairy
95
8. A Glimpse of the Northeast AAFC Melfort Research Farm - Fort a la Corne Provincial Forest - Choiceland - Prince Albert
550
9. South Saskatchewan River Tour Beaver Creek Conservation Area - Spring Creek Garden - Irrigation Diversification Centre - Gardiner Dam
265

 

To learn more about tourism opportunities in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan please click on the logos below.

Tourism Saskatoon
Tourism Saskatchewan

 

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Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

US Dept of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management

US Dept of the Interior - US Geological Survey

Utah State - Reed Funk
Reed Funk Fund

Bronze Sponsors

U of S College of Agriculture & BioresourcesspacerWestern Beef Development Centre

Supporters

University of Saskatchewan

Chadron State College

SK Forage Council

Australian Rangeland Society

Tourism Saskatoon

 

Sponsor X IRC 2016

 

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