A long-running tribute to veterans has a new home near Saskatoon.
The Canada Remembers Armed Forces Day Salute to Heroes will go ahead at 17 Wing Detachment Dundurn over the June 10-11 weekend.
The event has a long history in the Saskatoon area, where it’s traditionally been held as an airshow at the Wyant Group Raceway.
However, the tribute has often faced struggles due to scheduling issues and development near the racetrack restricting the ability to have planes flying overhead.
Through it all, long-time organizer Brian Swidrovich has found ways to get some sort of event to happen — be it an airshow or a tribute picnic in the park.
“When you look at veterans in the eyes year after year after year, and you know that each year is going to be the last for so many of them, it does become important,” he said during an appearance on Saskatchewan Afternoon.
Swidrovich said he’s excited to hold the inaugural event at the Dundurn base. While it won’t be a full-on airshow, the Snowbirds will put on a demonstration, as will the Canadian Forces parachute team. The event will also feature flybys by CF-18 Hornet aircraft.
While there won’t be quite as much in the air, Swidrovich said the Army will provide some assistance on the ground, with displays of equipment and a special ‘Boot Camp’ area for kids.
“It’s a secure facility and we’re looking forward to showcasing it a little bit to the community because up until now, it’s pretty much been a secret,” he said.
Because Dundurn is an ammunition depot for the Canadian Forces and contains a live-fire ordnance range, Swidrovich said the event will have to operate within certain restrictions. Some parts of the base will be off-limits to the public and capacity will be capped at 5,000 people per day.
Swidrovich said passes will be available at Shell gas stations. Those passes will be marked with one of the June 10 or June 11 dates, and will only be good for that day in order to keep the event within capacity.
Passes are $20 for adults and free for children under 12. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the two days.