Convention & Trade Show 2017

Saskatchewan Hotels Association "Banquet" Regina, June 1943

The Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association (SHHA) is pleased to present our 86th Annual convention being held at the Delta Regina Hotel on Tuesday May 30 & Wednesday May 31. 

Members of the SHHA will gather for business meetings, information sessions and award celebrations, along with the province’s largest hotel, bar & restaurant related trade show.

More detail coming soon.

THANK YOU For Your SHHA Membership

Dear SHHA Members: 

I would like to wish you and your family a Happy & Prosperous New Year, and thank you for your membership in the Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association (SHHA). 

We are your voice and the support that your business needs to operate effectively and profitably. We have a reputation of being an extremely effective lobby and advocacy group because of the activities we engage in and the strength of our membership.  We are YOUR voice with government ministries, MLA’s and bureaucracy. 

For example,

·         WCB:  Our work with WCB had a direct impact on YOUR bottom line. Because of the efforts of the SHHA, the Workers’ Compensation Board reversed their decision to withhold surplus funds and returned the entire $281 million. You would have received a cheque in July and another one in December 2016. 

·         LIQUOR:  Among the many activities related to this file, The SHHA launched a petition calling for fairness in pricing, selection and regulation for liquor retailing. This lobbying had a direct, positive effect, and, “leveled the playing field for everyone” 

·         IMMIGRATION:  The SHHA entered into an unprecedented agreement with the government of the Solomon Islands, witnessed and endorsed by SK government Minister of Immigration and Tourism Jeremy Harrison, which will provide temporary foreign workers from the island nation.  

Belonging to the SHHA is an important business decision that pays you dividends throughout the year. I would like to personally thank you again for your membership in the SHHA. 

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at (306) 291 - 3031 

Warmest regards,

Jim Bence, President & CEO

CEO MESSAGE: “Never Ask a Question Unless You Really Want to Hear the Answer”

Jim Bence, President & CEO 

“Never ask a question unless you really want to hear the answer” were the sage words of wisdom given to me by my mother many years ago and ones that I never forgot.  Mainly because I continue to follow her lead and always try to ask tough and respectful questions.  It seems to be a great approach because I certainly get my fair share of very direct and specific answers and advice.  

Attempting to correct a wrong, as it had been a while since we asked any questions of our membership, we scheduled opportunities to ask questions about what was affecting you, impacting your bottom line and keeping you awake at night.  So Warren Nerby & I hit the road and held Members Meetings in 8 cities and towns across Saskatchewan over a three-week period. We very much appreciated the two hours the attendees gave us as we detailed the activities of the SHHA over the past 2 years.  These presentations were informal forums in which we asked a lot of questions while soliciting member feedback and suggestions. And we definitely heard you loud and clear.  

Although rural and urban properties had some differing areas of concern, you all shared many issues and challenges relating to the hotel sector in the province. Topics ranged from employment, the WCB, our H.I.P. program, immigration and liquor.  As there has been a tremendous amount of change to SLGA, much of the conversation was related to how we now buy and sell booze.  

To read the complete column click here

VLT Retailer Training

A schedule change has occurred in regards to the retailer training being provided for the province wide progressive (Vault Breaker) and responsible gaming tool (Player Services Account).  On-Site notes that this training will be occurring in February 2017; however, it has recently been determined that it will be required to be moved to a new date that has yet to be determined. Retailers will be notified of their training date, time and location via a letter from the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) in the New Year.  

Please contact Retail Services at 1.800.667.4522 (province-wide) or 306.933.6800 (Saskatoon) with any questions or concerns.

To read a recent edition of the On-Site Newsletter click here

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TIME to Serve it Right

As a business operating in the hospitality sector operating a safe establishment is one way to keep your patrons coming back. 

The Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council helps operators keep patrons safe with Serve it Right Saskatchewan (SIRS). 

SIRS is a server intervention training program designed to provide servers in licensed establishments with the skills and tools they need to ensure beverage alcohol is served responsibly. 

That includes preventing underage drinking, over-consumption of beverage alcohol, violence, impaired driving and any other number of alcohol related harms that are bad for business. 

The training also covers off a variety of topics including legal responsibilities and liability, identifying intoxication, handling situations involving minors and discontinuing or refusing service or sale of alcohol. 

The program is mandatory for all businesses that sell or serve alcohol in Saskatchewan, whether that’s in a liquor permitted restaurant, lounge or a retail liquor store. 

Since June 2015, all new owners or managers and all new hires are required to complete training within 30 days from the start of their employment. As of June 2016, all owners and managers should have completed the SIRS course. 

By June 30, 2017, at least one employee who has completed SIRS is to be scheduled each shift and by June 30, 2018 all employees involved in the sale and service of alcohol must have their certification. 

The program can easily be completed by your staff online or in a seminar setting. The cost of the program ranges from $30 to $50 depending on the type of training and takes about 3.5 hours to complete online while the seminar is approximately six hours.

 As part of its regulatory work, SLGA will be checking on permitted establishments to ensure the necessary training has been completed. A permittee could be sanctioned by SLGA if training is incomplete. 

For more information about the training go to:

EMERIT TOURISM Supervisor Certification

Ensure your success. Get Emerit Supervisor training to acquire the skill and confidence to excel in your career. Once you have the skills, apply for the Certification to gain the recognition that comes with Canada’s most coveted professional credential for tourism and hospitality professionals.  When you complete the certification process, you will be awarded the Tourism Certified Supervisor (TCS) designation.

Sessions start in April in Saskatoon. Click here for more detail

The HAC program is packed with sessions intended to deepen the understanding of trends and consumer behaviour, including perspectives from leading marketing expert Tony Chapman and brand leaders from Hilton, Marriott, IHG and Hyatt. 

For a complete conference schedule and to register go to


From left: Samantha Joyal, Amelia Muse, Careka Volly & Denny Joyal at the Waterfront Beach Bar & Grill at Regina Beach

The Province of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands has been praised by the Canadian Hotel and Tourism sector for being the leaders of the “Labour Mobility Partnership” between the government and people of Canada and Solomon Islands. 

Two GP-CITREC graduates, Amelia Muse and Careka Volly, have been recognized as Guadalcanal’s best brand ambassadors for displaying what they learned in the classroom and exceling in the workplace. 

Following the placement of the two seasonal workers, Tourism and Hospitality Industry leaders stated, “The workers exceeded expectations, and have created significant opportunities for more hiring of CITREC-GP graduates in the summer of 2017 by the Canadian industry”. 

“It was a true honour and pleasure to work with Careka Volly and Amelia Muse. It was inspiring to witness their skills improve to the level that they achieved in such a short period of time”, Waterfront Beach Bar & Grill owner Denny Joyal said. 

Both Amelia Muse and Careka Volly were granted a 4-month work permit upon their arrival in Canada in July, and were successfully employed as seasonal workers at the Regina Beach, Saskatchewan establishment.

To read the complete article click her

FOREIGN WORKER Program Changes Announced

Daniel Hirshkorn

Western Canadian Immigration Services (WCIS)


Last issue, I talked about the 21 recommendations that came out of the Standing Committee’s report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Well, the 120 day response time is up and sure enough, on December 13 we were treated to the response. At this time it is not a comprehensive response on all 21 recommendations, but there were some immediate changes announced.

So far, we know that the cumulative duration rule imposed on Foreign Workers in April of 2011 (A maximum of 4 years in Canada, out for 4 years before being allowed back) is gone. Not only have we been told this 4 year rule is no longer, there will be better paths to immigration for those who find themselves as long term foreign workers.

As an employer you will be required to do even more advertising (yes, you read that right) when applying for the LMIA for approval to recruit foreign workers. The cap on how many foreign workers at a location has largely not changed, but the exemption for seasonal workers has been extend until next December (this is important if you are looking at Solomon Islands for seasonal work).

The above approach was aimed at making Canadians happy with the ‘Canadians first policy’ and also strengthening a program that many are now accepting as not so much a luxury, as a necessary tool for business.

Watch for “More to Follow” in the New Year.

OTA Tips and Tricks

Jaret Waddell, COO

Airline Hotels


So we’ve talked about where OTAs came from, their surge to market share and some important first steps.  Do you want to get more business from them?  Is there any more business to get from them in your city/town? 

I must return to the two fundamental concepts from the last article – Relationship with Market Manager and Reviews.  If these two things are not taken care of, any further steps will not work well.  Make sure that you have reached out to meet your market manager and keep a regular conversation with them.  Also, make sure that you are spending time responding to guest reviews.

Here are two more things to think about.

It’s important to ensure your front desk knows what the lowest rate you are willing to take is.  OTA shoppers want a discount more than they care about the product.  If they think they are getting the best deal through you, they will book through you.  If they go to the OTA, you can immediately take 15% off the rate they booked, as that is what you will get.  If you are willing to sell on OTA’s, are you not willing to sell your rooms directly for 10% off too? 

Conversion.  Big word, simple actions.  Each time an OTA guest talks to your front desk, you have a chance to make them loyal to you instead of to the OTA.  Do you have a program in place where your front desk offers a better discount than the OTA next time if they book through you?  For example, a guest can book your hotel for $100 on an OTA (You will get $85).  If you offer the guest $90 per night if they book directly through you next time, you are further ahead.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

SAFETY Begins With Teamwork

SHSAtv’s Lisa Chavady talks hot topics with Jim Bence, SHHA President & CEO

Teamwork and partnerships are a great asset to any organization. When people come together to work towards a common goal, great things can be achieved. 

To read the complete article click here 



SHHA Membership Matters!

The Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association is the provincial organization that represents YOU and the many hotels, bars and restaurants in Saskatchewan.  Our association is responsible for providing you with the voice and support the hospitality industry needs to operate effectively and profitably. 

The SHHA has a reputation of being an extremely effective lobby and advocacy group because of the activities we engage in and the strength of our membership.  We are YOUR voice with government ministries, and MLA’s.

For further information call (306) 790 - 1045 or email

The Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association...Supporting the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.


1249 – 8TH ST. E. SASKATOON,
SK S7H 0S5
PHONE 1- 877 – 668 – 1057
T2G 2R7

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