Benchmark Press book explores history of OSAC

Today, the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC) provides citizens outside Saskatchewan’s major urban centres unparalleled access to the arts.

Learn more about the visionaries who used culture to develop a sense of community spirit across the province in the book HOW IT ALL BEGAN: The Story of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils 1968-1987. Author Lynn Gidluck explores the organization’s Estevan roots through extensive research and interviews with key influencers.

The book retails for $20 and is available at

Sample Text:

When it was founded in 1948, the Saskatchewan Arts Board was one of the many innovative policy initiatives of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) government led by Tommy Douglas. The idea for the board originated with David Smith, Director of Adult Education in the Saskatchewan Department of Education. Smith was assisted in developing the Arts Board by prominent Saskatchewan artists such as painter Ernest Lindner, University of Saskatchewan drama professor Emrys Jones and University of Saskatchewan English professor Carlyle King. Eleven other men and women joined Smith, Jones, King, and Lindner as the first board members. Modelled after the British Arts Council, the Saskatchewan Arts Board was the first organization of its kind to be established in North America.

Smith was determined that the Arts Board would not be a government committee or an advisory board to civil servants. While it would still answer to the provincial government, it was to be an arms-length board with its own budget. Government representatives, leaders in the fields of art, and ordinary citizens could all be found on the board. Care was also taken to ensure that they came from across the province, not just from Saskatoon and Regina.


SaskEnergy Rate Review report published

It was Benchmark’s pleasure to work alongside the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel on the creation of the SaskEnergy Rate Review report, which was released on Tuesday.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel advises the Government of Saskatchewan on rate applications proposed by SaskEnergy, SaskPower and the SGI Auto Fund. The Panel reviews each application and provides an independent public report stating its opinion about the fairness and reasonableness of the rate change, while balancing the interests of the customer, the Crown corporation and the public.

The Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel has recommended that the commodity rate proposed by SaskEnergy be reduced from $2.65/GJ to $2.575/GJ. The Panel confirms the interim reduction from $3.95/GJ to $2.95/GJ that took effect November 1st, 2018.

Read the full report on the Panel’s website here:

Summer researcher position available

We are seeking a summer student researcher to work for our client, the Saskatchewan Trails Association (STA), on the creation of a State of Saskatchewan Trails Report. This project will help the STA determine what the current states of trails are in the province, identify existing gaps and develop potential solutions.

Those who apply for the position should have the ability to manage a project with numerous moving parts. Duties will include developing and distributing a couple of surveys. One will be geared toward those who own, operate and maintain trails. Another will be used to obtain information from a user’s perspective to determine if our province’s trails meet current and future needs. The project will also involve conducting key informant interviews with STA key stakeholders to review their current situation and future direction. A final aspect of this research is to review how our provincial trail association compares with other provincial associations.

To be successful in this position, a number of skills are required. The candidate should be extremely well-organized. They will need to gather large quantities of data, document it appropriately and interpret this data to write a report. Strong interpersonal skills are also important, as the student will be collaborating directly and indirectly with many different recreation groups. The student should therefore have an outgoing personality and be comfortable around people. The student should also be able to communicate their findings clearly in a written document.

The STA loves working with students who are passionate about trails. In your cover letter, please talk about your love for the outdoors and the ways in which you enjoy exploring our province’s trail network. Please submit your resume to

Benchmark offering Designing Effective Surveys workshop

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018
Time: 10 a.m. to Noon
Location: George Bothwell Library, Southland Mall, 2965 Gordon Rd, Regina, SK

Fee: $100 plus GST



Are you currently conducting or would like to undertake your own surveys?

The introduction of user-friendly survey software and online surveys has changed the way organizations gather information and feedback from customers, employees, members, and the public through surveys. More and more organizations are conducting online membership or client surveys internally (e.g., membership priorities, membership political views, customer satisfaction, client loyalty, employee engagement, among others) instead of using independent research providers.

However, without clear and precise research goals and survey instruments, the data gathered may not be able to respond to the overall research questions and gather misleading information. Survey questions may be asked in a way that limits data analysis and depth of knowledge. Informed decision making is important for business strategy; a well-designed survey is the foundation of good data and in-depth knowledge.

Benchmark Public Relations is offering a seminar that introduces basic steps to consider when preparing to conduct research in-house, led by Dr. Sophie Gaudet, Vice President, Quantitative Research. The seminar reviews the link between research question, survey instrument, and data analysis. By understanding these links, this course supports an understanding of the various decisions and steps involved in crafting and executing a successful survey that will provide useful, insightful data.

This course will offer an overview of survey creation, including considerations and pit-falls to avoid in survey question development. Different approaches and challenges involved in creating survey questions will be reviewed.

The objectives of the course are:

  • To provide an overview of the link between research goals, methodology, survey, and data analysis.
  • To gain a basic understanding of survey and question design, including question logic and structure.
  • To provide an overview on how to create effective survey questions.



About the instructor

Sophie Gaudet holds a PhD in quantitative and social psychology from the University of Ottawa and has more than eight years experience conducting research for the private and public sectors. Sophie has extensive knowledge and research experience in social behavioural research, demography, and commercial market research. She has conducted a broad range of quantitative and qualitative research including program evaluations, segmentation, market share and market product testing studies, as well as employee engagement and satisfaction surveys. She is skilled in the use of surveys with multiple modes of delivery, focus groups, informant interviews, mystery shopping, analysis of large administrative datasets, and literature reviews. She has worked with clients in gaming, government, post-secondary education, municipal, healthcare, and financial services sectors to help them identify their data and research needs and create new research programs to support strategic planning and analytics.