As PotashCorp and Agrium officially merge to become the world’s largest fertilizer producer, some wonder what the creation of Nutrien will mean for a long list of annual festivals in Saskatoon.
For years, PotashCorp has been a major sponsor for events ranging from the annual fireworks festival at River Landing to the upcoming WinterShines festival at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market.
A spokesperson for Nutrien said Tuesday the newly-formed company plans to build on a long-standing tradition of investment in the community initiated by PotashCorp and Agrium.
“It’s been in the DNA of both companies,” said Richard Downey, vice-president of investor and corporate relations for Nutrien.
“There will be, obviously, some rebranding. So instead of seeing PotashCorp on the playground or on the rink, it’s going to say Nutrien. But that commitment will continue.”
Signage bearing the names PotashCorp and Agrium will be taken down in the coming months.
“There are a lot of signs out there, for both companies actually, and there is a plan in place. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It’ll take some time,” Downey said.
Shad Ali is the president of On Purpose Events, a company producing a number of events and festivals in Saskatoon including WinterShines, the Saskatchewan Marathon and the fireworks festival.
“They have a multi-year agreement with us in place for the fireworks festival. That level has already been contracted and will continue at least this year and next,” Ali said.
“PotashCorp as a company has gone well beyond what the legal requirements were of them, in terms of investment into the community. My expectation from every conversation I’ve had with them is that that level of commitment will continue.”
Ali said Tuesday he is still waiting to find out if the name of this year’s WinterShines festival will be changed to reflect the merger.
The winter event runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 4.