In February 2015, it was announced that the Broadway District would be one of the City of Saskatoon’s major construction projects the following summer. Slated as extensive 5 month rehabilitation project, the Broadway BID chose to recognize this summer as an opportunity introduce new events to the district and challenge the status-quo. Following multiple merchant brainstorming sessions in April, a handful of Broadway businesses stepped up to bat and signed on to organize new events in the district. Encouraging patrons to visit Broadway during construction, the Broadway Block Party series was born!
Our first Block Party was the district’s annual Broadway Art Fest! In addition to the multiple street vendors, this year’s event focused on community art projects! In conjunction with the The Saskatchewan Craft Council, local fibre artist Monika Kinner-Whalen led an art project aimed at keeping Broadway beautitful throughout the construction season. Throughout the event, the community fabric-bombed 70 feet of construction fences, creating a prairie-scape with recycled fabric strips. The fences were kept up all summer and are currently located in front of Oskayak School. The second community art project was presented by the City of Saskatoon’s Placemaker Programn and local artist Heike Fink. Entitled “Catch Your Dreams”, the interactive art workshop welcomed attendees to make felt beads and express their thoughts and wishes of individual and collective reconciled futures. All of felt beads made in the workshop will be embedded in one web-like art piece that will be installed on 33rd Street this fall!
On June 11th our friends at Ryde YXE and Summit Health and Sports hosted Broadway Fist Fest, Broadway’s second Block Party of the summer! Recognized as Saskatoon’s health and fitness district, is seemed only appropriate for Broadway to host one of the city’s first fitness-focused events! Broadway Fit Fest was created to encourage a community healthy living, with all event proceeds being donated towards Camp Easter Seals. With spin-classes, boot-camps, yoga, and run clubs happening hourly, this event brought energy, sweat, and spirit to the streets!
Broadway’s third Block Party, Alternative Sports on Broadway, was a full day celebration of non-mainstream sports! Presented by Bike Doctor, the event included demos and trials riding, parkour, bike polo, acro yoga, skateboarding, and slacklining. Mixing demonstrations and jam sessions, Alternative Sports on Broadway provided community members with the opportunity to sample some of these non-mainstream sports.
On August 15th, the Broadway BID presented DRAMACISE! The energy on Broadway during this event was nothing short of magical! Described as an interactive, yoga-theatre hybrid, all-ages class, Dramacise explored the meaning of peace in uniquely Broadway fashion. Dramacise was made possible by numerous partners including Sum Theatre, One Yoga, The Better Good, Una Pizza and Wine, Vinyasa Yoga for Youth, and Parab Poet & the Hip Hop Hippies. This event was part yoga, part theatre, all fun!
The final Block Party in the summer series will be the 33rd Annual Broadway Street Fair on September 10th. This is Broadway District’s largest event of the year, drawing thousands of locals and visitors to the street with an eclectic array of street performers, vendors, artists, musicians, and dancers. Transforming Broadway into a street fair, this event features a sidewalk sale, music and dance stages, silent auction, performers, food and art vendors, and much more. This year is the biggest Street Fair yet, as we reveal Broadway’s freshly paved roads and new logo!
The summer of 2016 was an exciting year for Broadway that involved a lot of change! The Block Party Series was just a taste of all the exciting new things Broadway will be serving in the future! Stay tuned!