One of the big events of 2020 is going to be the Canadian Student Leadership Conference, hosted by Yorkton Regional High School. The group putting it on was recently before council to request fees be waived for the Gallagher Centre and other facilities that they will need to use to actually host the event.
As investments go, this is going to be a relatively small one – about $28,000, though it’s not actually a payment, just a loss of potential revenue at the Gallagher for that time period. It’s also an investment worth making, because of the long term potential it represents.
The CSLC is bringing thousands of students to Yorkton, and those students are going to remember their experience in this city. These students are also going to go on to be leaders wherever they wind up in life. These students are going to, eventually, raise families, start careers, and generally do all the things people do as they age and build their lives into adulthood.
There’s knock-on effects that could happen in the future as these kids go on to their adult lives. Good memories of their time in Yorkton might influence where they want to start careers or families. They may want to return to town as adults because of their experience at CSLC next year, and that’s going to be great for the city.
Every city needs young people to keep it thriving. You need families, you need kids to go to school, you need people to buy stuff from businesses, and you need people to do various jobs throughout town.
The CSLC is going to bring a ton of young people to town. If they like the town, they might come back, not as attendees of a conference, but as actual residents. As they’re contemplating where they want to raise their kids, years from now, a good memory of Yorkton might bring them back.
Is this a long term investment? Certainly, these kids are still in high school. In some professions that are definitely in need in rural Saskatchewan, like doctors, they probably have a decade of school before they’re going to actually be able to go ahead and start their career. But it’s still going to be influential to these kids, and benefit Yorkton.
It could benefit Yorkton even if the kids don’t wind up moving here. Their parents could be making important decisions that have an impact locally. They could do the same in the future. It’s just an excellent opportunity to get people to take a look at the city and show off what makes it great.
Of course, this is the best case scenario, but it’s a good reason to send these kids home with a positive impression, and support the work being done by the CSLC committee. Because you never know who is going to be at this conference, what they’re going to do in the future, and how that might affect the Yorkton of tomorrow.