In Saskatchewan you can practise your faith, keep connections to your homeland and participate in cultural and recreational programs in your town or city.
People of many faiths and religious beliefs, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha'is, Christians and others, live in Saskatchewan. Newcomers have given the province its unique cultural and religious features, and new places of worship are being added as more immigrants arrive.
The right to freedom of worship is one of our guaranteed freedoms. This means that no one has the right to discriminate against you or your family because of your religious beliefs. To find a particular church or a religious group, look in the Yellow Pages of your telephone book under "Churches" or online at www.mysask.com.
Newcomers to Saskatchewan may choose to maintain their cultural and language heritage.
There are many cultural organizations throughout Saskatchewan, although you will find more variety in the cities. The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan represents many of these cultural groups in the province.
Some churches, mosques and other religious centers offer heritage language instruction, and many have regular cultural celebrations. Community radio stations (usually on the FM radio band) provide opportunities for local broadcasting and some have regular ethno-cultural programs.
Various organizations across the province celebrate and promote ethnic connections on a local and provincial level. Your Regional Newcomer Gateway may be able to provide you with more information about organizations that are active in your area.
You can find information on heritage language classes through the Saskatchewan Organization of Heritage Languages.
Saskatchewan communities offer lots of cultural activities from winter festivals to symphony concerts, film nights and historical celebrations. The options may vary depending on where you live, but Saskatchewan has a network of museums and art galleries all across the province.
In larger centers, community events are mainly advertised in free community newspapers delivered to your mailbox. Smaller communities often advertise using posters and radio advertisements.
Public libraries offer information in many forms: books, magazines, DVDs, music CDs and videos. In most places, library cards are free, but you must apply for them. Once you have a library card, you can take home library materials for a specified length of time. Some libraries have books for learning English or can arrange to get them for you through a free inter-library loan system.
Many public libraries have regular and special community programs for all ages, such as computer literacy classes, English as an Additional Language (EAL) tutoring, children's story time, social and cultural events, learning groups and workshops on a variety of topics. Many libraries also have free computers you can use.
Through your public library, you can also access the Multilingual Services of the Provincial Library, which has library materials in many languages.
Libraries also have lists of most community organizations, so you can find out about their particular programs. Most libraries have an Information Service desk where staff will search for information for you free of charge. Find a Library in Saskatchewan.
There are many other libraries in Saskatchewan, such as university and religious libraries.
Learn more about Saskatchewan libraries.
Saskatchewan offers a variety of sports and leisure activities. In some communities, you can join fitness centres for a membership-fee; some of these centres are publicly operated and some are privately owned. Men and women exercise together in most of these centres.
City neighbourhoods are organized into Community Associations that offer low-cost exercise, sports and special-interest programs for adults and children. Classes are usually held in local schools in the evenings. Community associations provide opportunities to meet your neighbours and find out more about life in your local area.
While schools offer physical education, there are many programs in which you can register your children, including private music lessons, hockey and other sports, gymnastics and swimming. You must pay privately for most of these programs and provide transportation for your children. They are usually held after school, or during evenings or weekends.
Some children's programs for lower-income families are free. Some communities offer low-income families a free Leisure Services card to sports facilities so that you can use fitness equipment, take part in sports programs and swim in city pools at no cost.
You can learn about the opportunities available in your community in several ways. If you have children, you can ask staff or teachers at your children's school. Your Regional Newcomer Gateway or public library may also be able to provide you with some information. As you meet new people and make friends, you will learn about the variety of sports and leisure activities available for you and your family.
Saskatchewan offers year-round outdoor recreation. Its many beautiful lakes and rivers are perfect for canoeing, boating, swimming and ice-fishing. In the winter, there are hills and slopes for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing.
Provincial parks in many areas allow camping and picnics. Many communities have parks, play areas and outdoor wading pools for children. Dressing for the weather is important, and it's a good idea to use mosquito repellent and sunscreen in the summer.
Hunting and fishing are popular outdoor sports, but you must hunt only in certain seasons and follow specific laws that regulate each activity.
Learn more about Saskatchewan Parks.
When you work as a volunteer, you are donating your time to an organization, person or group of people. Volunteering is popular in Saskatchewan; in fact, our province has one of the highest volunteer rates in Canada.
You can do volunteer work in many places, such as hospitals, care-homes where senior citizens live, schools or for a charity. Your Regional Newcomer Gateway may also be able to help you find opportunities to volunteer.
As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and to practice your language skills. Depending on the position, volunteers sometimes have to pass security and health checks.
Learn more about where to volunteer.