Open House held at Prince Albert Tourism Centre

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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It is a valuable resource not only for visitors to Prince Albert, but also residents of the city.

Heidi Munro and Dennis Adams entertain those visiting the Prince Albert Tourism Centre during their Open House on Saturday.

The Prince Albert Tourism Centre held an open house on Saturday to show people in the community the unique Saskatchewan and Prince Albert made items they have available for Christmas presents.

“Basically it is just an opportunity for people to see what we have to offer here,” visitor services counsellor Kristin Berebaum said. “Our big focus is everything local so Saskatchewan-made products, food products, that kind of thing. All of the art we carry is locally made so Prince Albert artists.”

The open house was a chance to show off the Centre to the public and give them an opportunity to see what Saskatchewan made products are available.

“It gets people in to see what we have and realize we are open year round, here for them if they have questions on any trips they may be going on or family coming to town as well as certain conventions and events,” Berebaum said. “Anything that comes to P.A. we can be a first stop for people to get information.”

It also helps people get in the Christmas spirit, she said.

“And of course, it is just a lot of fun to have people out in a Christmassy environment with some free treats to try out some local products,” Berebaum said. “It is just a community event that brings everyone out to have a fun Christmastime day and see what we have to offer.”

Most of the food products in the gift shop come from Saskatchewan, including many Saskatoon berry and chokecherry flavoured syrups, jams and jellies.

“That is usually the top two things people are looking for if they have someone coming from across Canada or even internationally,” Berebaum said. “They want to represent what Saskatchewan is and what Prince Albert is.”

There are also many other locally made products, such as salsa, mustards and many other gourmet items.

“It is nice to have that variety that people don’t realize is available from our own province but also something that represents what people expect from Saskatchewan,” Berebaum said. “We have a range of stuff and every time someone comes in there is something they didn’t realize they could get that is local instead of going and buying something from far away.

“That is our goal, to show people what they can get in their own province.”

Since it is the Christmas season, Berebaum said most people are coming into the Tourism Centre looking for gifts for family members.

“To be honest, we have a lot of people coming in and saying ‘I have a niece or daughter that lives far away and they miss their Saskatoon berry whatever,’” Berebaum said. “So they are trying to send them a taste of home. Or some people have exchange students who are going back around this time of year so they want to send something that represents Prince Albert to that place to say, ‘This is what your child experienced and now you can experience it.’”

They were also helping direct people to other places within Prince Albert that may offer unique shopping experiences.

“People just think I want something unique and special that is local and I can’t get anywhere else,” Berebaum said. “We try to do that and direct them to all the other wonderful places they can go in P.A. to get more unique stuff. That is what we are kind of hearing from people.”

One of the best places to shop is downtown at Christmastime, she said.

“This time of year we are really promoting the downtown because they have a huge Christmas promotion where they have late night shopping on Thursdays and different events going on with caroling and hot chocolate,” Berebaum said. “That is our draw because downtown is good place to go in Prince Albert from store to store to get things. I think people kind of want to get something from either a specific shop or something that is unique and they may not be able to get at a box store.”

In addition to showing off local products, the team at the Tourism Centre was available to answer questions about where to shop in the city during the Christmas season and interesting places to visit in the city.

“We consider ourselves to be an information centre, so it could be really anything about the city,” Berebaum said. “If we don’t know it off hand we can find it out for people but generally when people are coming in they want directions or want to know about nearby destinations like the lakes, within town the golf course and the parks.”

Museums and art galleries are also popular places people would like to visit in the city, but the Tourism Centre also helps business people plan conventions in the city.

Berebaum was enjoying meeting people during the Christmas Open House.

“We are involved in all the community event so it is just a great day to have everyone come out,” Berebaum said. “We are really excited this year because we have Heidi Munro coming out with Dennis Adams. It is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see how many people come out.”

The Prince Albert Tourism Centre, which is located across from the Northern Lights Casino, is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit their website at www.princealberttourism.com for more information.

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