The Seven Wonders of Saskatchewan

Athabasca Sand Dunes

Mitchell Jordan

The dunes are home to many endemic species of plants and animals due to the unique ecosystem. They are the largest active sand surface in Canada and the most northerly sand dunes in the world. Any pictures I've seen from the dunes are amazing, depicting scenery unlike any I've seen before. This hidden Saskatchewan treasure is definitely one of Canada's Seven Wonders.

Canadian Forces 431 (AD) Squadron - The Snowbirds

Tim Renner

The Snowbirds (based in Moose Jaw) are truly Canadian.  An ever-changing mix of the best of Canadian Forces pilots from coast to coast to coast.  As well-known and popular as any single natural place in the country.  Nothing brings out the pride of Canadians more than the sight of a wonderfully choreographed, gentle flight of the 9-plane, red, white and blue Tutors that are instantly recognized by all.

The Oil Sands

Linda Munroe

The Oil sands are a curious geological formation of oil and sand that are responsible for an unprecedented economic boom in Alberta at this time.  The feeding frenzy going on here is taking on piranha-like proportions.

Grey Owl's Cabin, Prince Albert National Park

Christina Lang-Andre

The peacefulness, the freedom, the quietness. His resting place overlooking the lake, the connection to nature and the sheer beauty make it a wonder to be seen. Not to mention a three-day canoe trip!

Spring transformation of the prairies

John Duek

The magical transformation of the prairie from drab winter dormancy to vivacious springtime green is truly a wonder.  A sub set of this wonder is the seeding of the prairie grain and oilseed crop an event that takes place in about a two week period, transforming a bleak landscape into fields of golden harvest.

St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church

June Dutka

The painting of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary (1939-41) on the surface of the dome is, in my personal opinion, one of Canada's best kept secrets. The dome curvature of over 62 feet is the focal point of interest in the church.  According to the write up that appears on the Internet website, it is one of the finest paintings of its kind in North America.  It was painted by Stephen Meush, who trained in Ukraine and came to Canada in 1932.  He undertook the painting of the dome and other paintings in the church in 1939 and completed the task in 1941.  The painting, which represents the coronation of the Virgin Mary in heaven, includes 157 angels and cherubs of various sizes.  The colours chosen were orange, indigo and dull red, the colours of Saskatchewan sunsets. The top of the dome is 55 feet from the floor and is supported by four arcades and pilasters.  The drum supporting the dome has 24 windows decorated with eight life-sized six-winged angels. The church built in 1914 was designed in the style of a domed Byzantine cruciform basilica and was the first Ukrainian Catholic church in western Canada to be built of brick…. I had heard about the painting but it wasn't until I visited the church that I realized just how much of a national treasure the painting was.  Awesome! Amazing!  Like dying and going to heaven.

Qu'Appelle Valley

M. Sharon Jeannotte

The Qu'Appelle Valley is a product of the last ice age 14,000 years ago -- a post-glacial melt channel stretching 400 miles across southern Saskatchewan. It has played a significant role in the contemporary history of Canada.  The mini-ecosystem created within the Valley made it an ideal sheltering spot for game -- most notably the Plains bison -- attracting countless generations of Aboriginal hunters and, after European contact, both fur traders and religious missionaries.  It is home to two of the oldest communities in Saskatchewan -- Lebret and Fort Qu'Appelle -- and was the site of negotiations for Treaty Four with the Cree, Saulteaux and Assiniboine Nations in 1874 that ceded to Canada 195,000 square kilometres of territory stretching from southeast Alberta to west central Manitoba.  Since the 19th century, the Qu'Appelle Valley has attracted visual artists eager to capture the special light and sinuous topography of the Valley, among them C.W. Jeffreys, James Henderson, Illingworth Kerr, Mashel Teitelbaum, Ernest Luthi and Robert Symons.  Authors and poets have also been captivated by the special ambiance of the Qu'Appelle.  One of the most notable was Pauline Johnson, the Mohawk poet, whose poem "The Legend of Qu'Appelle Valley" describes how the echos from the Valley walls inspired the Indian legend that gave the Valley its name.  More recently, a Saskatchewan author, Trevor Herriot, in his book "River in a Dry Land: a Prairie Passage" explored the landscape of the Valley and the way that it continues to shape contemporary life along its length.  The Valley is not a spectacular landscape, like the Rockies or the Canadian Shield, but it has a strange spiritual hold over those who have ever spent time there, a quality that I think qualifies it as one of the Seven Wonders of Canada.