Vaitape - Pape'ete

The Top 2 Reasons Why Humans Crave Travel

The Top 2 Reasons Why Humans Crave Travel COVID-19 transformed society, and the way we […]

5 Road Trips to see Autumn Colours (and Where to Stay)

Who is she? She is Ashlyn George, The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. […]

Terry Fox Virtual Run 2020 – Walk, Run, Dance or Hike on Sunday September 20

Terry Fox Virtual Run 2020 – It’s Time to Walk, Run, Dance or Hike Sunday […]

Celebrating Fathers

get out and explore with dad By Josiah Nelson Although Father’s Day falls on a […]

Businesses That Shifted Focus to Provide Equipment, Services & Supplies during COVID-19 - 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic

Businesses That Shifted Focus to Provide Equipment, Services & Supplies during COVID-19

Toast to Service Businesses That Shifted Focus to Provide Equipment, Services & Supplies during COVID-19 […]

Going the Extra Mile During Difficult Times - Mac the Moose

Going the Extra Mile During Difficult Times

CIC Saskatchewan’s Crown Sector Provides Programs and Support during COVID-19 Pandemic By Toast Staff  There’s […]


The Top 2 Reasons Why Humans Crave Travel

COVID-19 transformed society, and the way we think about our lives.


As the world around us seeks to stabilize, many adults are thinking about “what comes next?” and “what do I really want to do?”


For some, it’s more time with family; others, it’s better health, and for some, it’s to build a meaningful business.


One thing is for certain, most adults value time and freedom more than ever, and that is most evident in travel. In a recent survey by Skift Research, the research arm of the travel trade publication, one-third of adults said they hope to travel within three months once restrictions were lifted.


The impact of COVID-19 has created a new travel landscape with ever-changing protocols and conflicting information. In an article published by Travel Pulse, a leading digital source for travel news, travelers are recognizing the benefits of working with a Travel Professional now more than ever. 

Humans crave travel for 2 reasons:


  • Travel Restores Our Sense of Freedom and Hope: The desire to travel is second nature because all of us want the freedom to escape the monotony of everyday life. We yearn to explore more interesting weather, customs and landscapes on the other side of the world, all of which brings us hope.
  • Travel Stimulates Our Senses: When we go someplace new, all our senses get activated and we feel alive with wonder and curiosity.

The team at Destiny Travel & Group Tours agree and specialize in customized trips that combine value (a bigger bang for the buck) with personalized exploration (vacations that are unique to what we want to experience, rather than mass discount tours).


“We’ve found that our customers want curated trips that match their lifestyle, food preferences and fitness goals,” says Cathi Taucher, Founder of Destiny Travel & Group Tours. “They also value their time and our personal knowledge and experience.”


“We are different because we make an investment in building a relationship with our clients, listening and understanding their personal goals.  I have spent years cultivating my network of worldwide contacts and resources. We provide value-added services in the travel dream process with personal attention and guidance you can trust.”

Cathi Taucher

Cathi Taucher

“Travel is my PASSION!  My clients always tell me that they can feel my passion and hear my excitement as we work together to plan their next adventure. For more than 36 years, I have been helping people see the world and realize their travel dreams.”


Cathi’s specialty is in custom travel planning designed to create personalized itineraries and one-of-a-kind experiences. She loves visiting a new destination, immersing herself into the local culture and connecting with people around the world. Cathi’s clients are like family and they value her unique travel knowledge and expertise. Her goal is to make your journey extraordinary, worry-free and unforgettable!

Judianne Dunlap

Judianne Dunlap is your personal Travel Concierge. Her goal is to customize luxury vacations that immerse her clients in the local culture and create memories of a lifetime. Judianne is a travel enthusiast. Her love of travel started as a little girl when her grandparents took her on amazing adventures with them. She is happiest when meeting new people and very passionate when it comes to talking travel. Judianne has travelled extensively and some of her favorite destinations include Scandinavia, Russia, England, Scotland and the Caribbean.  

For a free complimentary consult with the Destiny Travel & Group Tours Team, Click Here.

Cathi Taucher and Judianne Dunlap of Destiny Travel & Group Tours specialize in customized trips that combine value with personalized exploration.  They provide value-added services in the travel dream process with personal attention and guidance you can trust. Website

Terry Fox Virtual Run 2020 – It’s Time to Walk, Run, Dance or Hike Sunday September 20. One Day. Your Way.

By Elizabeth Ireland


As Canadians collectively celebrate 40 years since the Marathon of Hope, this year’s Terry Fox Run will be a bit different due to COVID-19 and social distancing protocols. Participants can still run or walk on race day, but a single run site in each city will not be taking place.


“For me, it’s an honour to do a small part to help continue Terry’s legacy of hope and his important mission of fundraising for cancer research. It’s inspiring to see how much his story resonates even 40 years later,” says Alison Lackie, who volunteers with the Terry Fox Run Organizing Committee in Saskatoon.

“This year’s event will, of course, look different as we are unable to gather together in-person to run. However, we encourage everyone to register and fundraise online, and find a way to do the run their way on September 20. Check out our Saskatoon Terry Fox Run Facebook page for a fun way to share your run that day!” says Alison.


Colin Kuntz is Provincial Director, Saskatchewan of the Terry Fox Foundation. Based out of Regina, he is also a runner and a cyclist. Colin notes that the legacy of the Marathon of Hope is the largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research in the world and has raised more than $800 million in Terry’s name since its inception.

“September 20 is fast approaching, and we need the support of Saskatchewan residents. This year’s virtual format is helping us to hit new audiences, which is great. We encourage participants to try something new and post it on social media with the hashtag #tryliketerry. Another way to support this year’s Terry Fox Run is to purchase 40th anniversary branded items. We have t-shirts, hoodies, ball caps, toques and face masks all for sale,” says Colin.


All Terry Fox Runs are 100 per cent volunteer-driven and could not happen without these dedicated individuals. In Saskatchewan alone, the event relies on more than 1,500 volunteers to keep Terry’s inspirational dream alive.

New this year is a Terry Fox Foundation mobile app. It’s quick and easy to install, gives participants access to challenges and allows them to chat and connect with fellow “Foxers” (the app can be downloaded at terryfox.org/app).


There is still time to register for the Terry Fox Run and donate at terryfox.org.

Pile O' Bones Brewing Company

With more than 15 years of corporate and government writing experience, Elizabeth Ireland thrives on meeting new people and experiencing new things. She believes the best stories come from immersing herself in the subject matter, whether she’s underground at a mine or attending a gala event.



CIC Saskatchewan’s Crown Sector Provides Programs and Support during COVID-19 Pandemic

By Toast Staff 

There’s no doubt that Crown Corporations are a part of Saskatchewan people’s daily lives. We have become accustomed to relying on Crown utilities for our quality of life in this beautiful prairie province.


However, Crowns provide even more than utility services. In addition to SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SaskWater, we enjoy quality insurance and Auto Fund services from SGI, first class entertainment opportunities from SaskGaming and benefit from a world class innovation and technology sector thanks to the supportive environment of SOCO. These benefits are what we have come to rely on during what we would now characterize as ‘normal’ times.


Since March 8, 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Saskatchewan, these have been anything BUT normal times. It was then that we found out just how much more our Crown corporations will do for the people of the province.


The Province declared a health state of emergency on March 18, 2020, which caused a massive shutdown of the provincial economy. Residents and businesses faced a situation never before experienced for generations causing economic hardship across the province. The Crowns recognized this and worked together with Crown Investments (the Crown holding company) and the government to provide relief.


Minister of Crown Investments, Honourable Joe Hargrave, addressed the situation. “The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes that Crown utility customers are facing unprecedented economic hardship due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. To help mitigate that hardship, we introduced several programs to help offset financial pressures for customers.”


The Crown sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic included temporary relief programs for customers, online service options to encourage social distancing while still being able to access services, and made corporate and personal contributions to food banks and shelters.


“The role of public utilities includes a responsibility to support the people of the province during times such as these. This is what we are trying to do while continuing to provide critical utility services across Saskatchewan,” adds Minister Hargrave.


In addition, there are uplifting customer stories of Crown employees going the extra mile to help out. We wanted to take this opportunity to share those with you. Toast recognizes the Crown sector’s quick and thoughtful response to the impacts of the pandemic. We are proud to profile the many Crown initiatives below.

 Temporary Relief Programs


Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations have implemented temporary relief programs to support stakeholders and the Saskatchewan economy during this time.

Crown Utility Interest Waiver Program


Effective March 18, 2020, Crown utilities (SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SaskWater) provided customers with the option of a six-month interest waiver program to help residents and businesses deal with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Over the coming six months, late payment and interest charges are waived. Collections and service disconnects are also discontinued for this six-month period.

At the end of the six-month period, to help customers get back on their feet, any balance outstanding can be paid back over the next 12 months through equal monthly installments with no additional interest charged. In total, this provides customers with a period of 18 months to recover from the impact of the pandemic on their finances.


The goal is to provide customers with some relief during a very difficult period that is impacting both personal and economic wellbeing. For those experiencing hardship at this time, it is CIC’s sincere hope that this will help offset some of the stress and worries people and businesses have.

SOCO (Innovation Place Regina and Innovation Place Saskatoon) Rent Relief Program


Some of SOCO’s research park tenants have experienced financial hardship caused by the pandemic. Many of the tenants are small and/or start-up businesses. SOCO has worked with several of these non-government tenants to defer a portion of rent payments for a limited period of time without penalty. Tenants will be required to pay the amounts deferred within a timeframe agreed to by both parties. 



SaskTel provided a two-month service credit to all SaskTel customers currently signed up to the federal government’s Connecting Families initiative for low-income families. This initiative helps bridge the digital divide for families who struggle to afford access to home Internet and provides eligible families with High Speed Internet with unlimited data at a subsidized price.


SaskTel waived data overage charges to June 8, 2020. There were no data overage charges (domestic data) for business or consumer customers, on SaskTel’s postpaid Wireless plans, noSTRINGS Prepaid wireless plans or SaskTel fusion Internet plans from March 17 to June 8, 2020.


SaskTel also continues to provide additional free content to its residential maxTV and maxTV Stream customers, with current access to over 50 channels on free preview to support customers’ efforts to entertain families and continue learning opportunities during the isolation period.



If customers are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SGI will work with them to find solutions. Customers can call SGI’s Customer Service Centre at

1-844-TLK-2SGI (1-844-855-2744) to discuss options.


SGI’s MySGI.ca continues to break usage records with many customers choosing the online platform to complete transactions such as vehicle registration renewals and cancellations, registration eligibility declarations, driver’s licence payments, scheduling an appointment for a written driver exam and auto claims.


SGI is also encouraging customers to contact their motor licence issuer over the phone or via email to complete many SGI transactions.

Sponsorships and Donations A number of Crown corporations have made donations and contributions to charitable organizations to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Saskatchewan’s 32 food banks have issued an urgent plea for monetary donations to help keep families and individuals fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an average month, Saskatchewan’s food banks support approximately 40,000 residents. As a result of the impact of COVID-19, that number is expected to rise by 25 to 50 per cent. SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SGI each donated $25,000 to the Saskatchewan Food Banks Association. SGI contributed another $5,000 each to the provincial food banks in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario, where they have business operations. These Crowns also encouraged their employees to show their community spirit and personally donate to the food banks and collectively matching the corporate contributions. To make donations to the Food Banks of Saskatchewan online, use the following link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/47377. SaskEnergy has identified $38,500 for a “Spring Share the Warmth” program providing approximately 28 shelters and crisis service agencies with $1,000-$2,500 each for food support in feeding our communities’ most vulnerable. SaskEnergy employee contributions to date for the Saskatchewan Food Banks have reached $8,200. Every $1,000 in funding provides 200 to 250 meals. This is important during a time when the need for food has grown due to unexpected unemployment for so many families. In total, SaskEnergy’s Share the Warmth pandemic response will provide approximately 14,000 to 16,500 meals. The following agencies are included:

  • Waskoosis Safe Shelter (Meadow Lake)
  • Lloydminster Men’s Shelter
  • Lloydminster Interval Home Society
  • Battlefords Interval House (North Battleford)
  • The Lighthouse Supported Living (North Battleford)
  • YWCA Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women
  • The Lighthouse Support Living (Saskatoon)
  • Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre
  • Saskatoon Friendship Inn
  • The Salvation Army Saskatoon Emergency Client Services
  • YWCA Saskatoon Crisis Shelter & Residence
  • Carmichael Outreach Inc. (Regina)
  • Souls Harbour Rescue Mission (Regina)
  • The Salvation Army Regina: Gemma House, Waterson House, Haven of Hope
  • YWCA Regina: Isabel Johnson Shelter, My Aunt’s Place, & Kikinaw Residence
  • Wichihik Iskwewak Safe House (WISH House) (Regina)
  • Moose Jaw Women’s Transition House
  • Riverside Mission (Moose Jaw)
  • Hunger in Moose Jaw
  • Qu’Appelle Haven Safe Shelter (Fort Qu’Appelle)
  • Women’s Safe Shelter (Swift Current)
  • Shelwin House (Yorkton)
  • Salvation Army (Weyburn)

SaskGaming donated all perishable foods to the Regina Street Culture Project and Moose Jaw Riverside Mission when gaming facilities closed on March 18, 2020.


Going Above and Beyond


Easter Sunday morning, an elderly lady was having trouble with her phone. She called SaskTel and asked for a service call visit. The Technician arrived on Easter Sunday fully equipped with personal protective equipment. She couldn’t see his face but thought he seemed like a very nice young man. Her health had not been good of late and her phone system was her only communication to her family and caregivers. Her spirits were down as the usual family visits would not be happening due to COVID-19 isolation.


The Technician fixed her phone system and wished her a good day. A while later she noticed that something had been left in between her front door and storm door. It was a bouquet of flowers. The attached note read: “I noticed you were sad when I stopped by to fix your phone, so I hope these brighten your day.” Signed, “The SaskTel Guy.”


Connecting With Our Loved Ones


“Karen,” who arrived in Saskatoon from Great Britain and was self-isolating under the COVID-19 Public Health Order, reached out to the 811 Public Health Line for help. Her father was in critical health on a farm outside Saskatoon. She was struggling with phone connections and was trying to get hooked up to a local network to find out what to do. A local Medical Health Officer needed to speak with her to receive more details and go over all precautionary measures, but she only had an email connection, which wasn’t very functional. The healthcare system needed a lot more information than email communication could provide.


The 811 Centre reached out to SaskTel to see if they could assist. A SaskTel manager was able to communicate with Karen by WhatsApp, and personally dropped off a loaner iPhone set up on a prepaid plan to enable her to call and facetime with her dad, as well as communicate with his caregivers. The manager even provided the Medical Health Officer with her new WhatsApp number. Although it was accomplished by safe distance drop off and communicating at the living room window, Karen was overwhelmed with relief and extremely grateful for the extra efforts to support her and make communication possible at a very difficult family time only made more difficult by the quarantine period. 

Stock photography

Since the Great Depression, the Prairies have been known for our community-minded and generous attitude. Crown sector programs and extensive support efforts during the pandemic are no exception. Collectively, as a province, we can continue to celebrate midwestern Canadian values such as community, hard work, friends and family as we look forward to better days ahead.


“The spirit of the Crown sector is something Saskatchewan is known for. We are proud to hear these heart-warming stories of our employees going the extra mile to help others or just put a smile on their face. This is the commitment and dedication to supporting our communities and our people. It makes us very proud,” adds Minister Hargrave.


Toast thanks our province’s Crown corporations for helping customers, supporting those on the front lines and those in need during these difficult times.   


Minister Hargrave concludes: “The COVID-19 pandemic is something most people in Saskatchewan have never before encountered. The impacts, both personal and financial, will be something we won’t soon forget. The goal of the Crowns, by offering a range of temporary programs, is to support our stakeholders and do what we can to help them through this very difficult time. Efforts like these are also not soon forgotten and go a long way towards building and sustaining strong communities.”

backyard comedy shows creating laughter while giving back

By Josiah Nelson


For the past 14 years, Saskatoon-based comedian Myles Morrison has been honing his craft, and as he’s developed, so has the city’s comedy scene. When he first started out, he was the only opening comedian in the city; 14 years later, the city has about 30 comedians, and a solid handful of headliners.


As one of these headliners, Morrison’s pre-COVID schedule was busy: every second or third day he was performing his set — at fundraisers, corporate events, private shows, comedy clubs and open mics — and when he wasn’t performing, he was writing more jokes. And then COVID-19 hit.


Morrison used his extra time to write and test his material — material he describes as “observational storytelling,” mixing Seinfeld’s penchant for observation with his own prairie experiences — but the inability to perform was, in his words, “weird.” And while Morrison could have tried using Zoom to facilitate a performance, he couldn’t stomach the thought of telling his jokes to an audience of people confined to small, pixelated rectangles.


As he considered a workable and safe format for a comedy show, Morrison heard about a backyard comedy event put on by Edmonton-based comedian, Lars Callieou. Soon after, another Saskatoon-based comedian, Dakota Ray Hebert, hosted an event called Fire Pit Funnies, which, like Callieou’s event, adhered to all health, safety and social distancing regulations and still brought the laughs.


Knowing the backyard format was possible, Morrison discussed the idea with Jody Peters, Joel Jeffrey and Darryl Jr. Koszman — fellow headlining comedians Morrison’s known for a decade — and after hearing their approval, enlisted Andrea Olfert to help organize the event.


On June 20, after a month of planning, the quattro performed their first backyard comedy set. Using the backyard porch as a stage, and with decorative lights strewn across the yard’s fence and house, Peters, Jeffrey, Koszman and Morrison each performed their set to a crowd of 25 socially-distanced attendees, who spread out in the backyard in lawn chairs, most nursing drinks between bursts of laughter.


Beyond bringing more laughs, Morrison wanted to use the event to help comedians who are struggling during the pandemic. While the event was free to attend, donations to the Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC) emergency fund were encouraged, and with the contributions from that night, the CASC’s total donations exceeded $30,000. This pool of funds, explained Morrison, will be open to comedians whose gigs have vanished, and whose unique work circumstances make them ineligible for Canada’s Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB). 


For Morrison, helping out his fellow comedians in whatever way he could only felt natural. Describing the comedy scene as a brother- and sisterhood, he said that “once you perform with someone, you’re bound to them — you’re friends,” and as such, emphasized the importance of looking out for one another. “It’s like family,” he says. “There’s no other word for it.”


The online response to Morrison’s first backyard show has been overwhelmingly positive, with many requests for more. For his own part, Morrison was happy to perform again. “It was good to get the rust off,” he said, adding that he excited to “do shows, keep the comedy muscle flexed, and make people laugh in these difficult times.”


Although he hasn’t yet announced firm dates for more future performances, Morrison plans to continue to do backyard shows for the rest of the summer. 

Myles Morrison

Josiah Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, and his work has appeared in numerous publications. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s working at his local library, where he shelves books, cleans up the online database and looks incredulously at the ever-failing printer. Reach him on Twitter.

get out and explore with dad

By Josiah Nelson


Although Father’s Day falls on a predictable date — the third Sunday of every June — it’s timing, at least in Saskatchewan, seems perfect this year.


As Saskatchewan nears the end of its third phase to re-open the province, a phase that began on June 8 and that allowed, amongst other things, restaurants, parks, and beaches to re-open, there’s more opportunity to get out, to explore, and to enjoy each other. In short, as Father’s Day approaches, there will be plenty of reasons to celebrate, and plenty of opportunities — and with that in mind, let’s explore a few activities in Regina and Saskatoon that’ll be perfect for a celebratory Father’s Day.


Regina & Area

For many, Father’s Day seems to be synonymous with golf, and perhaps for good reason. Whether a high handicapper or a scratch golfer, golf allows for quality conversations, a few hours in nature, and, if you’re so inclined, a nice walk. Regina has great options for golf, both inside and outside the city.


If your dad wants a simple, shorter course, Joanne Goulet Golf Club is a great option; if you want a tougher, longer course where you can eat after your round, Tor Hill Golf Course is a good choice; and if you want to get out of the city, then Deer Valley’s only a half-hour drive away in the gorgeous Qu’Appelle Valley.


The city also has wonderful parks and bicycle trails to enjoy, if your family is looking for a more meditative activity. Bicycling through Regina’s extensive paths has been a long favourite of my family, often starting with a loop around Wascana Lake and bicycling the 20 minutes it takes to get to McKell Wascana Conservation Park, a 171-acre conservation reserve. Here, there are pathways and boardwalks through the reserve, where wildlife is all around.


And again, if you want to leave the city, the Wascana Valley Trails are only a 30-minute drive north of Regina, feature both biking and hiking trails that cut through the forest and run alongside the Wascana Creek.


Of course, to fuel your activities, you’ll need to eat. If you want brunch, Bar Willow Eatery has you covered, with an affordable brunch menu and the nicest patio in Regina. Leopold’s Tavern also features a patio and a brunch menu, as well as a traditional pub menu and a great selection of local craft beer, which makes it a great brunch or dinner spot. For a wonderful rooftop patio dinner, however, try the Roof Top Bar and Grill, which offers grilled food, a selection of cocktails, and of course a comfortable, relaxing outdoor space.


Saskatoon & Area

Saskatoon also has many strong options to help celebrate Father’s Day, featuring beautiful golf courses, hiking and biking trails, and even some nearby fishing spots. For golf, there’s the highly touted Silverwood Golf Course, a par three course, which makes it an extremely walkable course. Holiday Park is another nice choice, especially for a more experienced golfer. The course features scenic views, and if you’re so inclined, allows guests to drink alcohol.


In terms of hiking and trails, Saskatoon has many options. The best, perhaps, is Meewasin Park, which has walkable and bikeable trails along the South Saskatchewan River, spaces for campfires, and open park space to play games. Similarly, Gabriel Dumont Park features beautiful views, fire pits, paths to bike and walk, and plenty of grass for summer games, making it a perfect spot for a picnic, or a simple walk.


As with Regina, there are also great options outside of Saskatoon, particularly for fishing. A half-hour north of Saskatoon, there’s access to the North Saskatchewan River, which is rife with Pike, walleye, burbot, and goldeye. In the other direction, about 40 minutes south of Saskatoon, there’s Blackstrap, which is great for fishing, but also for boating, lounging at the lake, and water sports.


Saskatoon has a few highly recommended brunch places, such as the Underground Café, which offers breakfast sandwiches and outdoor seating. There’s also Scarlet, a casual, family-friendly restaurant with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options — and a nice view from its patio. For dinner, both Winston’s English Pub and Grill, and Oshea’s Irish Pub offer an assortment of local and imported beers, and traditional, hearty pub food.


Whether you choose to golf, walk, bike, fish, or none of the above, I hope your Father’s Day is spent celebrating your loved ones and appreciating the beauty of our province.

Myles Morrison

Josiah Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, and his work has appeared in numerous publications. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s working at his local library, where he shelves books, cleans up the online database and looks incredulously at the ever-failing printer. Reach him on Twitter.

Find out More

Please fill out the form to find out how you can contribute to Toast.

This will close in 0 seconds

Get a Media Kit

Please fill out the form to request a media kit.

This will close in 0 seconds