Pool to be used as live lobster tank to raise money for students

Posted: April 1, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Lobsters willl be taking over the University's swimming pool.
Lobsters willl be taking over the University's swimming pool. Photo: U of R Photography

The University announced an initiative today to use the pool in the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport to support its signature fundraiser, the Prairie Kitchen Party.  An annual event, the Prairie Kitchen Party raises funds for student scholarships by hosting a lobster dinner and live entertainment.

Starting later this year, the dive tank portion of the pool facility will be converted to a lobster holding pound to allow the University to develop and sustain its own supply of lobster for the fundraising gala.

Prairie Kitchen invite

“We were looking for every opportunity to stretch our dollars as far as possible while still maintaining the signature aspects of the event that help us attract donations,” said Kim McKechney, University Director of Communications and Marketing.  “This initiative will help us drive down our margins, raise more money and give us the competitive advantage offered by being able to serve made-in-Saskatchewan lobster.”

The University will be stocking the dive tank with lobsters starting in Fall 2016, with the first made-in-Saskatchewan lobster being served at the Prairie Kitchen Party in May 2017.

Aside from the creation of a self-sustaining supply of lobster for the annual student fundraiser, the University will also be initiating a number of research projects aimed at exploring the viability of a large-scale lobster industry in Saskatchewan.  The tank will be used to monitor and document lobster reproduction habits, testing the hypothesis that Saskatchewan offers an ideal climate for mating as a result of atmospheric conditions in the prairies that enable crustaceans to produce more pheromones.

“As a faculty, we are pleased to be able to support this fundraiser, and carve out a unique research initiative on lobster breeding habits in the prairies,” said Harold Reimer, Dean of Kinesiology and Health Studies.  “I am proud that we are thinking outside the box – and inside the pool – to maximize the use of our facilities to further student success and support research with real impact.”

Disruptions to normal use of the dive tank will be minimal. Lobsters will be specially selected and trained to be friendly to pool users and to move to the sides of the pool when people are using the diving boards. It is expected that over several generations of training and special breeding the lobsters will become naturally friendly to visitors of the facility. Until such time divers should be careful to stay off the bottom of the tank.  

To purchase tickets to the Prairie Kitchen Party fundraiser please visit www.prairiekp.ca. This unique event takes place:

Saturday, May 7, 2016
Queensbury Centre, Evraz Place
1700 Elphinstone Street
Regina, SK