City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan – Canada

March 26, 2024

City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan

History intersects with the Pulse of Present-day Commerce


A Prairie Town where safety and dynamic community initiatives merge

Nestled in the heart of Saskatchewan’s Southwest lies a beautiful city called Swift Current. Although a small city, with a population of 16,750, it is by no means a “sleepy Prairie town”, asserting its wakefulness through robust resourcefulness and ingenuity.

The name comes from the stream that winds from the Cypress Hills through miles of windswept prairies, to the South Saskatchewan River. Indigenous people, who camped along its banks for centuries, considered the site crucial. “Pimâcihowin” is the Cree term for “it flows swiftly,” but fur traders knew it as “Rivière au Courant” or Swift Current Creek.

Conveniently positioned on the Trans-Canada highway, between Medicine Hat, Alberta to the west, the province’s capital city of Regina to the east and the United States border to the south, the city not only has been dubbed the Hub of the Southwest, but as the hub that experiences economic advantages.

Swift Current’s story unfolds beyond numerical metrics, revealing a society sharpened by its people’s adaptability and unity. Without flashy towers, strokes of understated industriousness paint the skyline, where colorful enterprises offset the cool blue Prairie sky.

Livability Factor

Swift Current’s streets, secure even at night, embody a philosophy that transcends its serene facade. Here, safety is not merely a perception, it is a tangible reality.

Low crime rates distinguish it from other major centers. Youth wander freely through the welcoming streets, enjoying the near-limitless sunshine. Confident in the protection provided by a caring population, this remarkable liberty is a testament to the trusting and trustworthy nature of Swift Current’s residents.

According to a survey by the Meteorological Service of Canada, Swift gets the third highest amount of sunshine with 2,374 average hours annually, it has the fifth clearest skies, and records the least smoke and haze in the nation. With all that promising sunshine, the public can breathe the fresh air and seek open spaces to socialize and unwind in any one of the beautifully groomed parks, including a new barrier-free, all-inclusive playground.

Thankfully, this progressive city takes pride in its extensive trail network, adding to it every year. Trail expansion beneath artery bridges is going to offer seamless access to businesses and amenities. The mayor explains, “By the end of this summer, if you live in the northeast, you will hop on a trail and ride a bike 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) to the southside golf course.”

Upon completion, the network will boast an impressive 24 kilometers (14.9 miles) of paved pathways, weaving through every corner of the urban center.

The city’s lush setting is undeniable; a meandering creek with a picturesque parkway enveloping its course and spanning the city. This green oasis enhances the aesthetic appeal of Swift Current and reflects a dedication to promoting outdoor activities and fostering a sense of unity.

Beautifying the Core − One Façade at a Time

Mayor Al Bridal

Swift Current marked a resurgence by transforming aging structures within its downtown core. In the late 70’s and 80’s the retail landscape shifted from individual downtown businesses to Mall locations, which led to the deterioration of the downtown core. “But in the last decade, we have seen smaller locally owned stores return,” explains Bridal. Due to the vision and ingenuity of local entrepreneurs, there is new life given to the downtown’s old buildings, capturing the city’s pledge to preserve history and support modern enterprise.

The city’s downtown evolution mirrors a broader trend of repurposing, where each renovated building becomes a canvas to carve out unique spaces. The revival extends beyond mere aesthetics, forming an energetic neighborhood that encapsulates the essence of Swift Current’s spirit. A dedicated group injects vitality into Swift’s core.

During Moonlight Madness every December, businesses extend their hours, where propane fire pits craft a captivating ambiance for residents to enjoy the holiday shopping season. Similarly, the summer brings Sidewalk Days, adding to the lively tapestry.

The Main Street Grant program spurred Entrepreneurs to enhance their facades, resulting in an aesthetic transformation. The success of this program underscores the locals’ commitment to elevating the building’s visual charm.

Beyond the visual improvements, tax incentives sweeten the deal for enterprises choosing to anchor here. The district goes beyond mere commerce. It is an assembly of like-minded strangers, drawing in people who relish lingering in this hospitable locale. Deliberate efforts, coupled with alluring programs and events, show Swift Current’s accomplishments in nurturing a thriving core.

Swift Current lies among a rolling farming district, equipment dealerships, and grain elevators. It was founded on agriculture, and out of that spawned supporting agricultural manufacturing. Although the City experienced an economic boom due to the oil & gas industry in the 1990’s, agriculture and manufacturing remain the heart of the region.


With industry such as S3 Group that manufactures everything from small components to large equipment, and AG Growth International (AGI) that produces Grain vacs, conveyors, and other essential farming equipment. Bridal says, “Those two businesses employ around 400 people.” The scale of employment generated by these companies underscores their impact on the market.

These vital industries’ presence, coupled with a thriving farming industry, paints a dynamic portrait of a town that has boldly transitioned to embrace the Prairie winds of change.

Infrastructure and Sub-zero Eco Options

Infrastructure is the indispensable bedrock for commercial and residential developments. Without it, essential expansions cannot materialize, and progress and growth become unattainable.

In Swift Current, annual endeavors in paving and sidewalk repairs seem routine, but they make up a large investment, surpassing $1 million this fiscal year. Amidst current budget considerations, the city allocates resources prudently. Essential maintenance includes upgrading walkways, roads, and curbs. Additionally, infrastructure commitments span sewer and water projects, from storm water structure upkeep to routine repairs. “It doesn’t sound sexy, but it is what we do,” adds Bridal.

Regardless of size or resources, most cities in North America are concerned about the environment and do everything possible to be green. Swift Current is no different, but certain eco options are not workable in the province of Saskatchewan during the frigid winter months, such as electric vehicles (EVs).

While electric cars may not be practical at this moment, Swift implements other measures. Bridal explains, “Sustainability for me and our city is using vehicles and buildings to their full life expectancy. That makes sense.”

This year marks investments in Swift Current’s energy efficiency. This transformational journey begins with converting an old curling rink into a versatile soccer and volleyball facility. Officials allocated funds to strap and clad the exterior to curtail natural gas usage, targeting colder months when indoor soccer is essential. Officials expect a potential reduction in consumption by one-third, which would be a sweeping achievement for a 22,500 square-foot building.

By retrofitting older properties, Swift Current takes a conservational approach, converting them into more proficient spaces to meet modern-day demands. This Prairie city’s fiscal strategy harmonizes essential upkeep with smart investments, reflecting a pragmatic approach to urban maintenance.


Looking to a future in Helium

One of the objectives for the upcoming year for Mayor Al Bridal and Business Development Officer Denise Wall is to attract new business. An area of interest is the Helium Industry. Swift Current is central to a vast area rich in fields of Helium.

Bridal says, “I want to concentrate on helium. I want to see a plant in Swift Current.” Hence, we are positioning ourselves to be the preferred location for a future Helium Liquefication plant. This station will compress the high value vapor, allowing increased transport capacity across North America.

Longevity and heart of Swift Current

Swift Current operates its own Power Distribution utility, procuring energy from SaskPower. “Last year, we purchased the final piece of the power grid for the city from SaskPower. It cost $14.8 million, but it is expected to pay for itself,” states Bridal. Complete with linemen, trucks, and extensive infrastructure, this hidden treasure generates $3 million annually.

The recurring injection eases the need for tax increases and provides a perpetual revenue stream for future generations.

Additionally, Swift Current intends to continue directing support towards local activities, despite volunteer shortages after the pandemic. Bridal says, “I want to help our art and community partners thrive.” Places like the Lyric Theatre, and events like the annual three-day SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival that draws thousands of fervent visitors and exemplify the city’s ‘small-town’ essence.

Every Saturday from June to September, downtown hosts Market Square, a 13-year cultural tradition. With arts and crafts, live music, food vendors, and fresh vegetables for sale, this high-spirited affair draws thousands of delighted attendees each sun-filled weekend. “These are things I want to continue to help happen,” indicates Bridal. The municipality builds supportive relationships to create events that enrich lifestyles, boost the economy, and build tourism.

Swift Current forges ahead with resilience and innovation. It paints a future of adaptability and progress, where collective efforts shape a promising city for generations to come.


City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan

WHAT: Not your average sleepy Prairie town.

WHERE: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada



North American Helium –

P3Architecture Partnership –

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