It was a gathering place for inspirational students – complete with bright lights, energetic music and celebrity appearances – now, We Day Saskatchewan is being put on hold.
Organizers told 650 CKOM plans have changed for the large-scale event, which usually draws a sizable crowd at the 15,000-seat SaskTel Centre.
“We have faced some challenges in securing dedicated local funding for the coming year, and as a result will not be hosting WE Day Saskatchewan this upcoming 2017/2018 school year,” the organization told 650 CKOM in an email Tuesday.
“However, the WE Schools Program continues to grow and develop within the province and across the country, empowering youth to become active local, national and global change-makers.”
Students earn a free ticket to We Day by taking one local and one global action through WE Schools, the organization’s yearlong educational program.
Last year, Saskatchewan schools and groups volunteered more than 261,000 hours and raised more than $734,000 in support of causes taking on bullying, poverty, homelessness and the environment.
Despite the cancellation of the mega-celebration, organizers said smaller events will take place with groups across the province.
“These special events include Celebrations of WE, Motivational Outreach Speakers, Youth Leadership Conferences and WE Day X opportunities throughout the school year,” the organization said.
“These opportunities will continue to support the province’s schools, educators and students to remain motivated and giving back to their local and global community through experiential service learning.”
According to WE, more than 10,000 students and 800 educators are involved in the program across 420 schools in Saskatchewan.
WE said it will continue to provide school boards with support through special co-ordinators and with free kits and resources.
The last We Day Saskatchewan was held March 15, and featured a line-up of speakers and performers including Margaret Trudeau, country musician Brett Kissel and singer Jully Black.
According to the official website, WE Day evolved from a single event nearly eight years ago into a series of 14 stadium-sized events held across Canada, the United States and the UK.