Yorkton, pop 15,107, is located in northeastern Saskatchewan about 175 km NE of Regina, at the convergence of three main highways: No. 16 (the Yellowhead Route), No. 10 (to Regina), No. 9 (to the US border). The community is a regional service centre for the surrounding area, which is known for its rich agricultural land. When explorers and traders first came through the region, they encountered the Assiniboine, Cree, Saulteaux, and Métis nations. In 1882 the York Farmers' Colonization Company, a block settlement group from York County, Ontario founded York City about 4 km NE from the present-day city, on the banks of the Little White Sand River, a tributary of the Assiniboine. Settlers came from eastern Canada, Manitoba, the United States, England, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1884 a post office was established, and the settlement was renamed Yorkton to prevent confusion with York, Ontario.
In 1889 the railway was extended westward from Saltcoats to present-day Yorkton, 4 km south of the original colony. In order to be alongside the new railway line the colony moved to its present site, where it prospered; it was incorporated as a village in 1894, and as a town in 1900. The railway brought with it a major influx of Hungarians, Germans, Scandinavians, Russians, Belgians and Americans, as well as great numbers of Ukrainians and Doukhobors. These immigrants provided the community with a population boost, a new vitality, and culturally diverse institutions and festivities. Yorkton achieved city status in 1928, and is today the province's fifth largest city. It is a regional centre for retail and wholesale trade, health and government functions, and a variety of commercial services. Yorkton hosts many events throughout the year, including the internationally renowned Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival.