It was interesting to walk around the concession area of the Gallagher Centre during the intermission of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League game between Yorkton and Notre Dame and see the changing face of our community.
A group of young men gathered in one area talking, as young men are apt to do at a sporting event.
This group was noteworthy for several reasons.
To start their age was of interest, estimated in their 20s.
It was not long ago in Saskatchewan in general, with Yorkton not being an exception, we expected our youth to disappear, heading first to university, and then onto somewhere outside the province in search of careers.
That is no longer the case. Saskatchewan is finally a destination for those seeking jobs and careers, and that is good news for communities like ours.
Young people bring a vibrancy to a city. They are the ones with new ideas, the energy to pursue them, to dream of a Yorkton evolving into a new future.
In this case the group of young men spoke in a different language. They were East Indian.
It is refreshing to see a greater ethnic diversity taking hold in Yorkton.
It speaks firstly to the business growth here. There are ‘employee wanted’ signs in many businesses here, more than there are local people to fill, and so employers have had to look beyond provincial and federal boundaries to fill positions. That has meant an influx of new immigrants.
This province was built on the efforts of immigrants a century ago, and to see a new influx today bodes well for our future.
Not only do they fill jobs to ensure the economy continues to roll, but immigrants help expand the local culture.
In time we will hopefully see the immigrants begin their own businesses, businesses reflective of their cultures. An Indian restaurant would add a new flavour to local cuisine we have not yet enjoyed.
And it is not just Indian immigrants.
At the same game black faces were in the crowd. We see people from Africa now looking to our city as a place to build a future for themselves and their families.
As they undertake their own dreams, they will help built a Yorkton with a more international flavour than we would have ever imagined possible even a decade ago.
To see a more vibrant cultural mosaic being woven in Yorkton is exciting, as elements from new countries are mixed in with what we already hold important.
They become interested in hockey, something we in Canada hold dear, but at the same time hold to their language, add to how we view ourselves and our community.
It makes for an interesting time in our city today, and more importantly for an exciting future ahead.