The Kamsack conundrum

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Kamsack is one of those really remarkable Saskatchewan communities steeped in history with a rich and growing cultural heritage. Though the residential section of the town remains vibrant and growing the businesses that once were the heart of the town and surrounding agricultural area are withering and in many cases just memories.
This sign at the South side of the town tells the story of a town fighting back trying to find a way to maintain itself in the climate of rural depopulation and the growing trend for people to move to urban areas. Lots in the town of Kamsack are being sold for $1.00. Now when you realise that the town is beautiful with paved streets, a strong social and recreational base with excellent schools it seems odd that it would place such an insignificant value on the land in the town.
Like so many Saskatchewan towns the realisation is that there must be growth for survival to take place. Retired couples leaving their absorbed farms have a choice moving into Kamsack or travel the forty minutes to the South West to Yorkton with its 15,000 people, SuperStore, Walmart, Canadian Tire and Zellers.
Yorkton, in its effort to survive has become the market centre extinguishing the merchant businesses in Melville, Esterhazy, Canora and indeed Kamsack. The struggle to be big just to exist is not just something of farming but is the way of mass marketing and all retail business.
But the sad state of affairs that affects Kamsack is that it is doing all that it can to preserve itself. A town where Ukrainian and Russian people have lived for a century and raised their families while contributing substantially to the quality of life of their town with its fine parks, its hospital, nursing home and curling and hockey facility.
Let us all hope that there will be people who realise that living in Tisdale, Melfort, Humboldt, Kamsack, Kipling, Gull Lake, Indian Head, Needpath, Midale, Bengough or Sturgis is as good or better than sharing the streets of Regina or Saskatoon, Swift Current or Yorkton.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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