The concerts put on by local non-profit River Street Promotions, including Homestand and Music Row at the Mae, put their profits toward youth mental wellness — Amanda Olson, Superintendent of Learning for Prairie South School Division, reveals just what that means. 

Since the founding of River Street Promotions (RSP) in 2021, more than $300,000 has been raised for a fund that disperses grants for projects in both Prairie South School Division (PSSD) and Holy Trinity Catholic School Division (HTCSD). Olson said that money is having real-world impacts across southern Saskatchewan. 

“The schools themselves come up with the ideas,” she explained. “School community councils, along with school administrators, work with their school community to determine what the needs of the school community actually are, in terms of mental health, so what are they noticing? 

“It might be having a keynote speaker in on a specific topic, maybe it’s social media that they’re noticing ... Some communities are focusing on that awareness piece, so they might put on a community fair ... We have all kinds of unique and innovative ideas that are helping meet the needs of the students.” 

Olson partners with Ward Strueby, director of education for HTCSD, to review grants applications from the schools in their area. There are three grant application deadlines throughout the year. The schools put in some money, and then are grant-matched from the RSP fund. The positive influence has a wide reach in the province's south region — there are 9 HTCSD schools and 40 PSSD schools.

Grant applications have to be specific for mental health wellness projects that don’t qualify for existing Ministry of Education dollars. Other than that, applications have been left open-ended — it could be a much-needed playground renovation, a conference to give caregivers and teachers more resources, an unused room being turned into a calming space, or an outdoors fieldtrip. 

“It’s hard to pick just one,” Olson noted. “We’ve had a number of schools access the funds to create outdoor learning spaces or enhance the outdoor equipment available to their students. 

“We’ve had a few student-led projects, as well ... One example is at Riverview — this one was particularly led by their students — they felt they wanted some space where they could go and calm (down) and just be themselves for a little bit ... so Riverview students have been re-creating some small spaces around the school.” 

Another project in Kincaid was brainstormed and led by students in a Mental Health 20 class. They bought games and made a cellphone-free space so they could spend more meaningful time together over the lunch hour. 

Olson said she remains affected by December’s ‘A Nashville Christmas’, which featured five Nashville singer/songwriters. Emily Shackelton, Jenn Bostic, Jonny Mo, Sarah Darling, and Lindsay Ell put on a public concert, as well as two special sessions exclusively for local students. 

“Wow, what an incredible event,” Olson said. “As I sat through the show, personally, twice, I jotted down the messages shared with the students. ... I had 20 that I jotted down, and I guarantee I missed a few. 

“I guarantee that every student and adult in that theatre that day walked away with a message that meant something to them, personally.” 

The next RSP event is Homestand ‘24, coming up this September 7. More than 90 per cent of presale tickets have already been sold since the official announcement, which revealed headliners 54-40, followed by Doc Walker, Belle Plaine, Trick Ryder, and The Steadies. Canadian supergroup Toque will close

Tickets are available from and more info is at 

Full list of mental wellness projects: 

  • Completed Initiatives
    • Central Collegiate hosted a gym blast between semester 1 and semester 2 to show students that it is all about balance when it comes to mental wellness.   
    • Coronach School accessed RSP funds to host an assembly and workshop titled The Power of Possibility, which equipped students with practical tools to develop a clearer understanding of how multi-dimensional they are.  
    • Coronach School had Brad Siroski, a certified Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor, facilitate two engaging and interactive presentations, one for Grades 7-9 and one for Grades 10-12.  
    • Craik School also had Siroski present to their student body about stigmas around mental health and how he battled back from addictions.  
    • The Riverview Collegiate SRC partnered with Journey to Hope Moose Jaw to create a presentation on avoiding extra stress that can be caused by the holiday season and healthy ways to cope through a season that can be tough on some.  The school then accessed RSP funds to host a school-wide Christmas dinner.  
    • Empire School used RSP funds to partner with Harmony Arts. Every grade level participated in a 45-minute to one-hour workshop to explore drama and improv, exploring emotions through theatre and building communication skills.   
    • Peacock Collegiate brought the three Moose Jaw Collegiates together to listen to Cadmus Delorme speak about his journey as a young boy who overcame racism.   
  • In-Progress/Upcoming Initiatives
    • Kincaid School hosted/will be hosting a workshop with Christine Ciona called “Capacities Unleashed”.  This workshop is geared towards grades K-6 and focuses on building connections, celebrations, and sense of self through the creative arts. 
    • Prince Arthur School has requested RSP funds to enhance the school yard’s outdoor play spaces. 
    • Avonlea School will be buying a copy of the book ‘Thrivers’ for each student/family.  The book is about the 7 characteristics of thriving children.  
    • Central Butte recently requested funds to purchase outdoor picnic tables and benches to create an outdoor learning space. 
    • Chaplin School will be utilizing RSP funds to enhance their extracurricular offerings, to purchase some new outdoor equipment, and to enhance their current nutrition program. 
    • École Gravelbourg is planning an engaging day geared towards student interests.  Students will circulate through 3-4 sessions throughout the day.  The overarching goal is to help share strategies with students to help them cope with everyday life. 
    • Eyebrow School is working with their community to create an outdoor pickleball court for student and community use. 
    • Glentworth School is working on creating an inviting space for students to come together and connect. The space would be like a student lounge where students would have access to games such as foosball and air hockey, encouraging them to put down their devices and genuinely connect with one another.   
    • Lafleche School is in the process of creating a games area on their stage for students to use as a space to bond and take part in unstructured activities to build deeper connections with one another. This safe space will be a space that students can enjoy and be themselves. 
    • Westmount School is planning an “Emotional Regulated Evening” for parents/caregivers in both PSSD and HTCSD. 
    • Riverview Collegiate has been working hard throughout the 23/24 school year to reimagine spaces within the school to give students spots to go when they need a break from the classroom.  They are in the process of renovating two spaces and are in need of items to go in the spaces.