The Saskatchewan Oil & Gas Show this year was a success, with 175 exhibitors and more than 3,000 attendees through the gates.
Dignitaries in attendance included Canadian Conservative Party Leadership Candidate Pierre Poilievre and former Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, as well as Saskatchewan's Premier Scott Moe and Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA, Dustin Duncan. There were also presentations given by Rafi Tahmazian, Quick Dick McDick, and a sold-out Rex Murphy. Legends and Hall of Fame Inductees were honoured, and the Saskatchewan Oil Person of the Year, and Southeast Saskatchewan Oil Person of the Year were awarded to, respectively, Grant Fagerheim and Derrick Big Eagle.
Show Manager with the Oil Show board, Monica Osborn, said this was the 19th show.
"The board formed in 1984, but the first show was actually in 1985, and then it was every other year for all the odd years," she shared. "Then, just because of COVID and the restrictions that happened in 2021, they decided to cancel and postpone it until 2022. So now we're going to be going on even years. So the next show will be June of 2024."
This year, the Oil Show board implemented a $10 per day admission fee for the event. This is the first year that's been done, and some were questioning it. However, Osborn explained it was for a good reason.
"We have switched over to a new software program that will provide our exhibitors, who are our main customers, to get a little bit more analytics and some data in regards to who's coming to the show, where they're coming from, what type of the oil and gas sector they are in," she noted. "So, in order to provide that information, I mean, yes, it is going to cost a little bit more, but from hearing from our exhibitors themselves, most of them were extremely happy that we were charging that $10 admission because it was forcing the people that they actually needed to see to come around and talk to them, and they were able to make those connections and make those sales if they needed to happen."
"Our primary goal at the end of the day is to bring people together, make those connections, provide them the networking opportunity. It's kind of your one-stop shop of getting your business done."
With Wednesday's meals both sold out, and Thursday's lunch as well, Osborn said the show was an overall success.
"Having the legends inductees brought a lot of the families over and that helped increase the sales, and you know people were just so happy with the people that were inducted," she commented.
Then, Wednesday afternoon, the Weyburn Young Fellows ran into a serious snag with their meat when a smoker caught fire. 800 pounds of meat was lost, and they had to find another way to feed the people. This in spite of days of work and preparation for the prime rib dinner.
"I do have to give a shout out to the Young Fellows Club. I mean they pulled out a huge feat for us at the last minute. And if there was any other group, I don't know if we would have been fed that evening," stated Osborn. "I mean, they just pulled out a miracle, and kudos to them. It was an amazing feat, and if we gave out an MVP award, it would have certainly been for them."
She said this was the first time in quite a number of years that a drilling rig was able to be at the Oil Show.
"To bring it in as a huge expense for the company, and of course, it was a great attraction and I think people really enjoyed it and the tours that they were giving were great, as well."
"If it wasn't for the drilling rigs, I mean, that's where everything kind of starts and stuff, and if there were no drilling rigs, there would be really no show."
Osborn pointed the show brings in people from all over the world. In fact, one attendee this year was from India.
"So the show's going to become globally known, I think, in the next few years, and we're just going to try and make it bigger and better and we can't do the show without the exhibitors, so a huge thanks to them for bringing their gear, their staff," she affirmed. "We know that the oil industry is extremely busy now, and labour shortages and stuff like that continue, so to be able to have staff there as well as staff out in the field to make sure that the bills are paid at the end of the day, for the exhibitors, that's huge for them."
She said the attendees are much appreciated for coming out and connecting with exhibitors.
"The biggest thank you is to our volunteers and businesses that have donated time, or items, to help bring the show together," she continued. "It really takes a community to put this on, and I think Weyburn is a pretty good community to have this in, and whether it was in another community, I don't know if it would be as successful as it is."
"We joined together and we pulled it off so it was really good."
She said the staff there from the company in charge of their registration system had commented on how friendly everyone is here in Weyburn.
"In my mind, the success came from people shaking hands, laughing, smiling. You know, making those connections. That's the part that, in my mind, was successful. People were so excited to get together, after two, three years of not being able to. I don't think anyone has a bad thing to say about the oil show. I think it's everything positive, and I think we're moving in the right direction."
Osborn added that the dignitaries present on Wednesday, being both Conservative Party leadership, as well as Sask Party, representatives, knew their audience here in the southeast. She also said it's encouraging to see their show of support, and that the exhibitors, along with everyone involved in oil and gas here in Saskatchewan, appreciate their ongoing advocacy for the oil and gas industry.