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IW Business Bulletin – October 21, 2022

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Creative Saskatchewan sees another $7.5 million added to grant program

Creative Saskatchewan has received another $7.5 million in funding from the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport for the recently-announced Feature Film and Production grant program.

“An investment of this caliber is estimated to result in approximately $32 million in economic activity for Saskatchewan,” said Erin Dean, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan on Oct. 20. “This includes significant opportunities for Saskatchewan’s hospitality and services sector; productions need accommodations, food and beverage services, costumes, props, skilled trades labour, legal and accounting support, and so much more.”

Since the program was announced in April, Creative Saskatchewan has provided $10.5 million in funding to 13 projects, including two dramatic series, a feature film, and several documentary and children’s series.

Saskatoon economy to lead in Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is predicting the Saskatoon economy will grow by 7.2 per cent in 2022 and 3.9 per cent, due to growth in mining and energy, according to a new report released this week.

“The recent Conference Board of Canada forecast report further validates what the local stats have been telling us for some time now – the Saskatoon economy is growing – even at a time when the Canadian and many international economies are slowing. Saskatoon has a specific set of strengths that makes for a strong, diversified and growing economy. SREDA does not see that changing any time soon,” said Alex Fallon, SREDA CEO.

Denison Mines signs new exploration agreement with Indigenous communities in the north

Toronto-based mining firm Denison Mines Corp. has signed an exploration agreement with Ya’thi Néné Lands and Resources Office (YNLR), the Athabasca Nations, and Communities of the Nuhenéné.

“This agreement formalizes years of work that Denison and the YNLR have undertaken together in the spirit of collaboration, resulting in several notable achievements, including the renaming of Waterbury Lake’s J Zone deposit to Tthe Heldeth Túé in honour of the Denesułiné territory in which the deposit is located. Our past and present actions demonstrate a mutual willingness to engage in positive business practices that advance reconciliation, and this Exploration Agreement further codifies how the principles expressed in Denison’s Indigenous Peoples Policy will guide our activities in the Nuhenéné into the future,” said David Cates, Denison Mines president and CEO.

The agreement is intended to build long-term partnerships between Denison and the YNLR, Athabasca Nations, and Athabasca Communities, where Denison’s exploration activities are sustainable, respectful of the Indigenous peoples and their rights, advances reconciliation, and provides economic opportunities for the communities.

“Our communities want to participate in and benefit from projects happening on our lands, which historically has not always been the case. This Exploration Agreement will provide certainty to our Basin communities that there will be meaningful engagement on proposed projects and monitoring of exploration activities to ensure the environment and all Treaty Rights are respected. The economic benefits will help to strengthen our communities in the Basin. We acknowledge and respect Denison’s leadership in advancing reconciliation with our communities,” said Mary Denechezhe, YNLR board chair.

Skillshark lands deal with Houston Astros

Saskatoon tech company Skillshark Software Inc. has signed a deal with Major League Baseball team, the Houston Astros.

Founded by Neil Anderson, Skillshark is a player evaluation app and reporting software for tryouts, camps and player development. It provides coaches, scouts and evaluators a mobile app solution for all sports globally.

Vendasta acquires Boston tech firm

Vendasta announced on Oct. 17 that the company has acquired Yesware, a Boston-based software company offering sales activity tracking data tools.

“Yesware and Vendasta are complementary businesses. There is meaningful alignment on every front, from core values, mission, vision, technology, culture and go-to-market capabilities,” said Brendan King, Vendasta CEO. “This move will increase the speed we bring great technology to market, and pushes both companies’ product roadmap ahead significantly. I can’t wait to share this incredible revenue and efficiency booster with our customers and partners, knowing that they will recognize new revenue opportunities and find efficiencies immediately.”

Yesware was founded in 2010 and its offerings will be integrated into Vendasta’s portfolio.

Prairie Lithium converts permits into leases

Prairie Lithium announced on Oct. 19 that it has converted two crown mineral exploration permits into 21-year mineral leases. Mineral leases are required before companies are able to enter into commercial production.

According to Prairie Lithium, the conversion to leases “illustrates the progress Prairie Lithium has been making towards readying its resource for deployment of direct lithium extraction technology (DLE) on its lithium-rich brine resource in Saskatchewan.”

Coming soon: The Mosaic Company will release Q2 2022 second quarter earnings results on Monday, November 7, 2022, and host a conference call Tuesday, November 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST to discuss the results.

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