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 firstname.lastname@example.org
$2625 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.
SATURDAY - 09 July evening
SUNDAY - 10 July (Saskatoon to Swift Current)
MONDAY - 11 July (Swift Current to Reesor Ranch, Cypress Hills, SK)
TUESDAY - 12 July (Reesor Ranch to Medicine Hat, AB)
WEDNESDAY - 13 July (Medicine Hat to Banff, AB)
THURSDAY - 14 July (Banff)
FRIDAY - 15 July (Banff to Hanna, AB)
16 July (Hanna to Saskatoon)
$1250 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.
TUESDAY - July 12 evening
DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY, July 13 (Saskatoon to Lloydminster,SK)
DAY 2 - THURSDAY, July 14 (Lloydminster to Vermilion, AB)
DAY 3 - FRIDAY, July 15 (Vermilion to Meadow Lake, SK)
DAY 4 - SATURDAY, July 16 (Meadow Lake to Saskatoon)
$855 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.
WEDNESDAY - 13 July evening
DAY 1- THURSDAY 14 July (Saskatoon to Swift Current)
DAY 2 - FRIDAY 15 July (Swift Current to Grasslands National Park and return)
DAY 3 - SATURDAY 16 July (Swift Current to Saskatoon via Moose Jaw)
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.
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