This year marks 30 years of presenting the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon. Around the office, we knew we had to celebrate this significant milestone and pay homage to an event with an amazing history and lineage.
Wednesday, Feb 3 2016

So…we formed a committee, talked about all the great things we love about the event, and decided how to best commemorate it for the fans that love it! Our freshly themed website is the beginning of what we came up with to celebrate 30 years of #saskjazz—remember to use that hashtag leading up to and during the festival. We also thought you might enjoy some insight on how we came up with our 2016 theme.


Believing the best colour palettes come from nature, we looked to our environment for our direct colour inspiration. Nothing says “summer festival” the way bright and energetic colours can and because we reside in the "land of living skies" we sought out photographs of beautiful Saskatchewan summer sunsets. The best part is we didn't stop there.

After reading all 29 past programs we noticed the very first cover was the bright magenta found in the sunsets—an intentional decision we discovered later from an original festival organizer. The last piece of our colour puzzle came together when we found popular colours from the 80s and 90s fell right within our chosen palette. It was only natural that our final product related to Saskatchewan sunsets, the first program guide produced in 1987 and trend research from the 80s and 90s, win-win-win!

Color Pallete


Our festival poster was produced as a set to celebrate the 30th anniversary. It was important to represent three critical parts of our event: the people, the artists, and the venues. Each photo used is from an official festival photographer.

The Tuba Player

This first poster features Tuba Gooding Jr. of The Roots taken by Nicole Romanoff at the 2015 festival. The Roots have played the festival three times and were the first official Bessborough Gardens sell-out in festival history in 2010. This photo felt like a great addition to our poster compilation as a representation of music and the artists that bring the event to life. Hard to run a music festival without musicians, isn't it? It takes headlining acts like The Roots, but also the countless local players that have filled the streets with music for 30 years. Maurice Drouin and Bob Klassen, for example, played the very first festival and I bet you will see them play this year too!


The Bessborough Hotel

Our largest venue within the festival is the Bessborough Gardens, which has been an integral setting since 1987. While the Gardens has the largest capacity, you can still find our festival in gems all over the city in spaces like the Broadway Theatre, The Bassment or Potash Corp Free Stage in Friendship Park. All the venues have a certain something-something and it seemed fitting they were represented visually. The photo we used was taken by Bree Sopatyk at the 2013 festival and captures the iconic vibe of our favourite castle!


The People

Every event needs the support of the community and the Jazz Festival is no different. It has grown by leaps and bounds over 30 years in large part due to the support of fans, volunteers, and the local music community. This crowd shot captured the energy of a festival show and rounded out our poster series to represent the people that make the event what it is. The photo used was taken by Bree Sopatyk in 2013.



Many minds and discussions came together to create a visual commemoration for 30 years of the festival. While we wanted the final product to feel nostalgic and celebratory, it still needed to feel modern and reflective of the event we attend in 2016. As a team, we feel we’ve arrived there and couldn’t have accomplished it without the help of Firebelly Design and Territorial.


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