Page 1


Leading Saskatoon Forward Together:

Municipal election policy priorities


Image: Tourism Saskatoon

September / October 2020










In these unprecedented times, Postmedia’s full suite of print and digital marketing solutions are designed to help your business. Our local experts understand your market and work directly with you to understand your business, set goals and implement a thoughtful strategy. Behind the scenes, subject matter experts manage the delivery and execution, to successfully provide your business with data-driven campaigns.


September /October 2020


Image: Tourism Saskatoon

Silvia Martini, Interim CEO Margot Orr, Director of Policy and Government Relations Terry Lawrence, Office Administrator Roz Macala, Office Coordinator Treena Skaalid - Events Coordinator Henry Buitrago, Creative Coordinator Benita Shodunke, Work Placement Intern


Chair Carla Browne - Real Canadian Property Management Professionals Inc. 1st Vice-Chair Jason Aebig - Nutrien 2nd Vice-Chair Graham Snell - Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan CeCe Baptiste - Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT) Todd A. Denzin - Nutrien Katrina German - Joseph Gill - McKercher LLP Juan Godinez - KPMG LLP Tara McKeown - Conexus Credit Union Adam McInnes - Med Hack Enterprises Incorporated Sandra Ribeiro - Canadian Light Source Inc. Heather Ryan - Federated Co-operative Limited (FCL) Tanis Taylor - CCA Consulting Colton Wiegers - Wiegers Financial & Benefits


Layout & Design: Henry Buitrago Contributing Writers: Elizabeth Ireland, Carla Browne, Silvia Martini, Margot Orr Photography: Henry Buitrago

Featured Content 4





New Members


Volunteer Profile:


Chamber Happenings


Recognizing the Strength and Resilience of our Chamber Community

Canadian Publications Mail Agreement No. 40052085 Return Undeliverable Addresses to: Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce 110-345 4th Avenue South, Saskatoon, SK S7K 1N3 BUSINESS VOICE is a publication of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

Copyright 2020 Phone: (306) 244-2151 Email: Website: Twitter and Instagram: @stoonchamber

Upcoming Chamber events

June, July & August 2020


Members in the News


Leadership Profile


Cover Story:


Chris GuĂŠrette by Elizabeth Ireland

Leading Saskatoon Forward Together: municipal election policy priorities by Margot Orr


Six Months in by Elizabeth Ireland Evan Drisner by Elizabeth Ireland

Chamber Events

- our 25th Anniversary SABEX




Chair’s Message

A Message from the Chair

Disclaimer: BUSINESS VOICE makes no warranties of any kind, written or implied, regarding the contents of this magazine and expressly disclaims any warranty regarding the accuracy or reliability of informations contain herein. The views contained in the magazine are those of the writers and advertisers: They do not necessarily reflect the view fo the Business Voice magazine and its publisher the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.




CHAMBER EVENTS What issues do YOU think should top our agenda?


SUMMIT Roundtables will be held in advance of the SUMMIT with results to be presented on October 14th th th

September 9 - 11 VIA ZOOM

Wednesday, October 14 th TCU Place

Registration at:



For more information on this event or for ticket sales, please contact: or 306-244-2151






STRONGER TOGETHER We must grow deep in order to grow stronger. Guiding principles when clear and well honed walk with well trained discipline and resilience to address times of challenge. If we have been regularly bench-pressing with our values, they will withstand the onslaught of inevitable storms. In the best of times leadership's achievements are heralded and celebrated. Yet, the glaring spotlight illuminates the challenges within an organization when risks emerge. The power of leadership is at its warmest brilliance when it is able to convey within principled leadership an empowered vision, purpose within its focused mission, meaningful engagement to effectively address understood risks, and to write a shared story of success. Sheer determination is not enough in such times as we walk. It must be supported by the humility to grow - by transforming through knowledge gained, and wisdom bridged. Appreciating crises can occur even within the most intelligent crafted strategy, effective and respected leaders flex, earning their following. Agility and confidence are paramount - with a splattering of bravado called upon, now and then. These times demand quality decision-making. Within well-cultivated discipline and principled leadership we grow, courageously stewarding teams to a reimagined new construct. The most effective leaders know we cannot, and must not walk alone. I reflect upon that which has demanded far more than we thought possible, and yet the stories within this issue of Business Voice resonate the deep and broad roots of our Chamber community. Within these pages we see transformation borne of intelligence, truth, resilience, compassion and a stalwart focus on purpose. Stitching the pages together is the strong thread of informed public policy to bolster a beleaguered and battered economy. Courage lives here. Our regrouped small and mighty Chamber staff team works tirelessly to purpose across disciplines. Daily they offer their gifts and talents and stretch in their depth and breadth. Within a renewed purpose and culture of trust, respect, creativity and collaboration they meet with passion higher bars of excellence. Grace, generosity and perseverance are keenly evident in our Chamber member volunteers, stretching their days and hours in support for that valued and common directed vision. Our Board of Directors are serving with heroic vigor, integrity and courage. Our Chamber voice must resonate in trust, intelligent discourse, common purpose and toward a new economic vibrancy. Our Chamber calls upon us to carry a clear voice, to be meaningful contributors to the very fabric of our community in its evolution into the future. We optimize strength from our engagement, and grow stronger through collaboration. I see this in action every day - my calendar and e-mail inbox abuzz with energy in vision, commitment and courageous change. This is our community, and you are our Chamber. Within this issue you will see demonstrated the very principles from which this organization is committed to upholding, and

Silvia Martini, Interim CEO Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce from which our staff, our Board, and you our members walk each day. Within these are clear values of courage, integrity, resilience, inclusivity, diversity, continuous learning, innovation and truth. Thank you for walking with us. Your membership, your contributions, your sponsorships are reinvested into our work for you. The Chamber is our Chamber. Change is inevitable. Transformation is a decision. As we engage with our candidates for our upcoming election, we have clear pillars for economic vibrancy. Let your voice be heard as we reach out to you for input. Engage. Your future is being written. Will you be part of its crafting?. Keep safe. Live Life.™

Silvia Martini, Interim CEO, Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Our Chamber Guiding Principles:

• We act with honesty and don’t compromise on the truth. • We act with courage, challenge the status quo and focus on the future, and look for new and innovative ways to grow. • We recognize and support the diversity of our business community and are committed to ensuring the Chamber is inclusive of Indigenous and New Canadian businesses and partners. • We value community builders who can connect and bring people together. • We are open, transparent and encourage people to share their ideas and values. • We value the use of knowledge and data.




(June, July & August 2020)

We joined the Chamber to be a part of a community of entrepreneurs that can learn and grow f rom sharing each other’s knowledge and professional advice. Being a part of the Peer Power Series helped ignite a flame in our leadership to develop training for entrepreneurs on how to grow and innovate during diff icult times. Hannah Wheeler, ZAP Creative

AquaTemp Plumbing and Heating Solutions Inc. First and foremost a service company and since 2009, have been serving both residential and commercial clients with a focus on heating, cooling, ventilation, and plumbing systems. Chelsey Voth

508 Railway St E, Hepburn p: (306) 370-8678 w: Plumbing / Heating / Air Conditioning

Christina Cherneskey Communications Helping clients develop and implement strategic media and communications initiatives. Christina Cherneskey

205-1013 Lansdowne Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 262-7090 w: Communications

BerryFirst Natural Products Ltd. A Health Canada approved company to research and produce natural health products.

CNIB Foundation A non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. Delivering programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams.

312-201 21st St E, Saskatoon p: (306) 717-8796 w: Biotechnology

1149 8th St E, Saskatoon p: (306) 374-4545 w: Non-Profit Organizations

Hongming Cheng

Brock Canada A leading multi-craft specialty services provider. Services: scaffolding, insulation, fireproofing, coatings & linings, abrasive blasting, rope access, facilities maintenance and operations support.

Karla Navarro

500-224 4th Ave S, Saskatoon p: (780) 465-9016 w: Construction Cafooda International Ltd. An agricultural food exporter focusing on finished ''make-to-order'' products and export products worldwide.

Yongfeng Ba

5-3603 Kochar Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 716-1319 Agricultural AND Import / Export 6 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON

Christall Beaudry

Dakota Dunes Resort Located on traditional Whitecap Dakota Unceded Territory, nestled within a beautiful river setting and surrounded by gently rolling natural sand dunes.

Darrell Balkwill / Amit Fogat

203 Dakota Dunes Way, Whitecap p: (306) 668-1888 w: Hotels / Motels dB Consulting Ltd. Business and management consultant specializing in organizations focused on continuous improvement and growth and development. TEC Canada Chair dedicated to executive peer group learning. Daryl Bitz

247 Nesslin Terr, Saskatoon p: (306) 222-5520 Consultants - Leadership



Flooring Cache Ltd. Order Online or visit our showroom located at 2924E Miners Ave, Saskatoon. Leshaun Hall

2924E Miners Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 500-2220 w: Home Builders / Renovations Flynn Group of Companies Focused on the Total Building Envelope. These scopes include commercial/ industrial roofing, roofing service, waterproofing, metal paneling, architectural products, glazing, and curtainwall. Sean Thompson

134 Faithfull Cres, Saskatoon p: (306) 242-5909 w: Construction Frances Murphy Sales and rental consultant for senior care residence. p: (306) 241-4797 Rental Haven Family Connections Incorporated A non-profit that offers preventative services with the goal of keeping families together. Running Haven Kids' House (formerly Crisis Nursery) and Family Support. Dionne Miazdyck-Shield

1020 Victoria Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 242-1082 w: Non-Profit Organizations


NEW MEMBERS Solange Bosse

2426 York Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 715-8832 Pets / Pet Supplies Pet Training Jother Contracting Ltd. A reputable, well established, familyowned company that can take care of all your renovations with the care and attention you deserve. John Salisbury

263 Nesbitt Cres, Saskatoon p: (306) 221-5769 w: Construction K.I.B. Cleaning Services Ltd. Commercial, janitorial cleaning services. Florabel Talavera

122 Lehrer Close, Saskatoon p: (306) 341-3125 Janitorial / House Cleaning Services KY Fitness and Nutrition Inc Online health and wellness coaching focused on fat fueled ketogenic nutrition and lifestyle optimization. Kalli Youngstrom

p: (306) 378-7419 w: Health & Fitness

Martin Charlton Communications The largest public relations company in Saskatchewan and one of the largest in western Canada bring a top-notch team of multi-talented professionals to provide clients with unparalleled results. Dan Gold

1012-201 21 St E, Saskatoon p: (306) 584-1000 w: Advertising / Public Relations AND Consultants - Business st

Maschek Billiards Installation and maintenance of pool tables.

Errin Hnetka

143 Blakeney Cres, Saskatoon p: (306) 260-9163 Leisure / Recreation OpenSail Digital Agency A marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing. Helping your team execute the digital portion of your marketing plan, supporting them wherever needed. Derrick Swanson

700-750 Spadina Cres E, Saskatoon p: (306) 441-5743 w: Advertising / Public Relations Premium Fire Protection Ltd. Inspecting, servicing and installing fire protection equipment including fire sprinkler, fire alarm, fire suppression, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and fire safety planning.

Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon Hotel 4 1/2 star, 249 room full service hotel located downtown Saskatoon, overlooking the South Saskatchewan River. Featuring 2 indoor waterslides, great for leisure and family travel. Shawna Nelson

612 Spadina Cres E, Saskatoon p: (306) 667-0191 w: Hotels / Motels The Print Baron Full-service print company, providing everything a business needs from business cards to flyers, posters, and signage. Decals for vehicles, store fronts, or to hand out. Now offering apparel. Travis Swatschina

8-3342 Millar Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 974-4455 w: Printing Services / Supplies

Sheri Buckles

220-105 Marquis Crt, Saskatoon p: (306) 808-3473 w: Electrical Contractors / Equipment / Services Restaurant Kashmere Serving authentic North Indian Cuisine. Every dish on our menu is made from scratch, therefore when you visit us for a meal please keep this in mind, every dish is individually created by our chefs. Harry Rai

820 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon p: (306) 980-5522 w: Restaurants Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation Works in partnership with Saskatoon Public Schools to support students, schools and teachers with a focus on literacy, wellness and innovation. Zeba Ahmad

310 21st St E, Saskatoon p: (306) 683-8550 w: Non-Profit Organizations


I joined the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce because of the incredible networking and speaking opportunities provided. I would not be where I am today without the support of their amazing team and all the opportunities to connect with the members. Thank you for everything you do for us; it is greatly appreciated!


Invisible Fence Brand of Saskatchewan Making life easier for you, while keeping your pet happy and safe at home. More cost-effective than a traditional fence. No breakouts, mixed signals or lockouts.

(June, July & August 2020)

Jolene Watson, Clarity Coaching & Development





I joined the chamber to both support the local business community and to receive support back. It is important to me to be part of the collective business voice representing the best of Saskatoon. I appreciate the opportunity to meet and connect with other like-minded individuals at the various events. Joy Crawford, Edward Jones

101047819 Sask Ltd. 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Co. Ltd. Accelerated Technology ADA Architecture Inc. Agri Biz Communications Corp. Management & Marketing Specialists AGT Foods AgVantage Solutions Inc. Alexene Immigration & Employment Services Inc. Allen Stein Anchor Managed Solutions Ltd. Arbutus Properties Ashley Tilsley RMT Assante Wealth Management - Briske Financial Group Athabasca Basin Security LP Aurora Workplace Solutions Inc. Avenue Living Communities Baker Tilly SK LLP Bamboo Shoots Barga Insurance Salvage BASF Agricultural Specialties Ltd. Bateman Jewellers Ltd. Benchmark Reliability Services, Inc. Besco Storage & Warehousing (1999) Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan Beyond Measure Design Inc. Black Dog Republic Blair Morin Blue Moose Media Boost Strategic Coaching Boyes Group Realty Inc. Breck Construction Bridge Carriers Inc. CAD Consulting Calidon Equipment Leasing Canadian Blood Services Canadian Bowling Center Canadian Tire Associate Store (Preston Ave) Central Animal Hospital P.C. Ltd. CertaPro Painters of Saskatoon Cervus Equipment Peterbilt Champetre County Checks 'N' Balances Business Services Chem-Dry of Saskatoon 8 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON

Cherished Memories Funeral Services & Crematory Church of Lutheran Brethren of Canada Inc. Churchill Garment Care Ltd. Clarence Campeau Development Fund Clifton Associates Ltd. Confederation Chiropractic Clinic Congregation Agudas Israel Cooke Agencies Ltd. Cornerstone Dental Centre Crestline Coach Ltd. Crooked Hill Creek Farm Inc. Crossroads Therapeutic Solutions Cut Casual Steak & Tap Dakota Dunes Casino Dan-Del Holdings Ltd. Dance Saskatchewan Inc. David Aplin Group Delta Bessborough Delta Hotels Downtown Saskatoon Denham Awning Makers 1982 Inc. Dingwall Guitars Inc. DirectWest DJ's Windows & Aerial Access Done Right Commercial Cleaning Inc. Dorothy Allen Dr. Annika Card Dr. Joanne Bourgault Dental Prof. Corp. Dr. M. Gurgul Podiatrist Prof. Corp. Drop Dead Gorgeous Day Spa Dunmac General Contractors Ltd. Ecosmart Developments Inc. EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. End of the Roll Enns & Baxter Wealth Management Enviroway / Ecologik Essence Recruitment ETK Flooring Ltd. Express Employment Professionals Farmgredient Foods Flaman Sales Frayling Denture Clinic Freedom 55 Financial Friedt Finishing Inc. Furniture World, Bridge City Ltd. Gibbon Heating & Air Conditioning


(June, July & August 2020)



Gibson Trucking Ltd. Government of Saskatchewan - Ministry of Central Services Graham Construction and Engineering Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Greenbryre Golf and Country Club Greenfields Agriculture Corporation Greenline Distributors GreenSTEM Technology Corp. GT Performance H2O Systems Inc. HairStyle Inn Salons Hats & That HBI Office Plus Inc. Holiday Inn Saskatoon Downtown HollisWealth Honey Bun Cafe Inc. Hub City Display Ltd. Imagery Imagine That Signs Decals & More Inc. International Furniture Wholesales Inc. Jennifer Kotko Jeremy Wiebe Mudding Jesjon Holdings Ltd. John Evers Joyce Doran Bookkeeping Services Jubilee Ford KEES Taekwondo Inc. Kenechukwu Ibezi KeyLeaf Koenig & Associates Inc. Kojo Barnes Laura Small Laurier Drive Medical Clinic Little Rock Construction LMNO Logia Consulting Inc. Luna Metal Works Ltd. Lutheran Early Learning Centers Inc. M.Y. Private Wealth of Raymond James Phil Mamchur Macro Properties Magnus Construction Services Majestic Cabinets (1990) Ltd. Manestreet Hair Marei Therapeutics Inc. Maximum Training




Rock Creek Tap and Grill RONA Inc. / HC Saskatoon - Preston Rooterman Royal Hotel Group Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate Royal LePage Varsity (Kamanashis Deb Professional Corp.) Running Room Ryan Mollberg iSask Mortgage Brokers Inc. Sandyridge Gas & Grocery Saskatchewan Craft Council Saskatoon Business College Saskatoon Council on Aging Saskatoon Disaster Services Saskatoon Fire Department Saskatoon Inn & Conference Centre Saskatoon Police Service Saskatoon Smiles Saskatoon SPCA Inc. Saskatoon StarPhoenix Saskatoon Transit Saskatoon Wash World SaskMetis Economic Development Corp. Scoular Canada Ltd. Seiferling Law SGO Mining Inc Sharie Ryon Shaw Cablesystems GP Shercom Industries Inc. Shift Development Inc. Sik Pics Productions Smith Industries Ltd. Snap Fitness Saskatoon Sound Lounge by tBone SRG Chartered Professional Accountants Stantec Consulting Ltd. STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service) Stewart Property Holdings Sugar Spa YXE Sunrise Foods International Inc. Syntrex Technologies Inc. Terra Modelling Services

Terrance Yaskowich The Coachman The Keg Steakhouse & Bar The Lemon Tree Salon & Studio Ltd. The Pot Shack The Sandbox in the City Thrive Hearing Solutions Thrive Wealth Management Thurber Engineering Ltd. TJ Fraser Holdings Inc. Topcon Agriculture Canada, Inc. Towriss & Associates Workforce Solutions Ltd. Triumph Construction Inc. Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corp of Saskatchewan Unaffiliated Hot Tub Home Care Varsity Dental Group VCA Frontier Animal Hospital Verdesian Life Sciences VeriGrain Sampling Inc. Virtus Group Chartered Professional Accountants & Business Advisors LLP Warm 'n' Cozy Care Inc. Weidner Investment Services West-Central Machine Ltd. Westbridge Capital Ltd. Western Carpet One Western Grains Research Foundation White's Pharmacy William Joseph Communications Inc. Willowgrove Medical Group Wilma Poole Registered Massage Therapist Wilton Academy of Music Inc. Wintringham Roofing WMCZ Lawyers Wolfecroft Signs Ltd. Your Mortgage Link Inc. Zee Medical Service Co. Zem4 Service Solutions Ltd.

Since the start off my career, I have always been a Chamber member. As an organizational leader and business owner, I have always found it a natural place to connect with others to grow both professionally and personally. For me, the Chamber is also an effective vehicle to undertake meaningful economic advocacy for the local economy and our roles therein, as keenly interested stakeholders. That level of overall coordination adds a credible voice and value to vital issues and policy formation at all levels of government, which is so necessary, perhaps even more so today. Thanks for the great work! David Smith, Logia Consulting BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON


McDougall Gauley LLP Meewasinota CRF Merel Kriegsman Media Michelangelo Midtown Stylists Boutique (1982) Ltd. MiEnergy Momentum Clothing Montana's Cookhouse Saloon MOTIF Marketing Ltd. New Community Credit Union Normandale Holdings Ltd. North Atlantic Potash Inc. North Ridge Development Corporation NRTLP - Northern Resource Trucking Limited Partnership NSC Minerals Ltd. O'Reilly Insurance and Financial Services - The Cooperators Oakville Investment Properties One Touch Automation Inc. Pally Performance Products Pet Planet (University Heights) PFM Capital (2010) Inc. PHL Prospector Holdings (2008) Ltd. Platinum Performance Ltd. PM Signs Points Athabasca Contracting LP Prairie Harm Reduction Prairie Meats PWM Private Wealth Counsel Quicklinkt Solutions Inc. Quint Development Corporation Ramada Hotel - Saskatoon Raymond James Ltd. Redekop Manufacturing Inc. Reel Communication Inc. Rempel Engineering & Management Ltd. Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Canada Ltd. Rivercity Innovations Ltd. Riverside Country Club Riverside Resort - Pets on Vacation Robertson Stromberg LLP Rock & Bloom

(June, July & August 2020)



MEMBERS IN THE NEWS Checks 'N' Balances Business Services

COVID-19 has brought many unique challenges to the Bookkeeping business. On top of offering our regular bookkeeping services, we have changed some of our focus to assist our clients with the ever-changing Government relief programs. It seemed at one point we were constantly watching the CRA website for the next change to the assistance programs being offered to small businesses. With a regular bookkeeping schedule, it aids in applying for assistance quickly and correctly. Contact us for help with government programs and any other bookkeeping needs. Stay Healthy!

Alexene Immigration & Employment Services

When the WHO organization declared that COVID-19 was a global pandemic, it is almost as though the entire world came to a halt. There is no doubt all sectors of business have been affected. Uncertainties have creeped into peoples emotional and mental health. As the owner of Alexene Immigration & Employment Services Inc, I had to learn to pivot and quickly adapt to the “new norm”. I saw this as an opportunity to reflect on the past 6 years and how I can improve the company to better position as the number one choice of immigration consulting firms in the province. I had to reassess some of the business approaches in the past and how I can proactively make the company more visible. Leveraging on technology and using the different platforms available, I quickly realized, you can be SOCIALLY CONNECTED while practicing PHYSICAL DISTANCING! In doing so, Alexene Immigration has been able to continue providing its services to existing clients and new and potential clients alike and expand my network. 10 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON

It's a Dogs life

Through the changes COVID has brought we have learnt our customers missed us as much as we missed them! We were happy to learn our business could withstand a closure and have changed some of our procedures for social distancing in order to open. Compassion and cleanliness have always been our first priority. We have learnt to diversify; we host a Pet Maintenance class which teaches you how to handle your pet through the grooming process. We carry Evolution Raw dog food, and a small variety of grooming supplies. We are so thankful for our clients, without them we would not be as passionate about always challenging our knowledge and skill level. Offering quality grooming and products we feel confident in our abilities to provide the best service in Saskatoon! Feel free to come and visit us for an appointment or a walk in pawdicure!



miEnergy is excited to be building the first utility scale solar project in Saskatchewan, with partners SaskPower and Saturn Power. The Highfield Solar Project, located east of Swift Current in the RM of Coulee, will provide 10 MW AC of solar energy to Saskatchewan’s energy supply. This is a significant milestone for the energy landscape in our province as well as for miEnergy as a local renewable energy company. Over 100 jobs will be created through construction, and the economic impact of the project will be over $20 million. Over 2,200 homes will be powered with nearly 30,000 solar panels on 70 acres of land. Let it shine!



Martensville Plumbing & Heating

Established in September of 2003 by Mel and Tracey Fesiuk, Martensville Plumbing & Heating is a full-service plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and HVAC company who provides service and new construction to Martensville, Saskatoon, Warman and all of the surrounding areas. Our technicians have expertise in service and installations of boilers, furnaces, airconditioning, HVAC systems and all types of plumbing installations. We focus on providing quality, professional service with trained technicians and fair pricing. From our receptionist to our service technicians,

our staff strives to provide excellent customer service and great quality work. We were the recipients of the Service with a Smile award from the Warman Chamber of Commerce and were very honored to have been chosen Business of the Year at WMBEXA in 2017. We are Saskatoon and Prairie Sky Chambers of Commerce as well as SaskEnergy Network Members. Our office an d re tail sp ace is lo cated at 511 Centennial Drive N in Martensville. We can be reached at 306-934-0688 or

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy & Compounding Centre

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy & Compounding Centre is a locally owned retail compounding pharmacy. COVID- 19 Has created many challenges for health care and for patients. We are here to help. We offer FREE contactless prescription delivery. Our Pharmacists are trained in Functional and Integrative Medicine. This gives us the training and knowledge to be able to offer advice outside of just traditional western

medicine. We offer many specialized natural products and vitamins. Patients can call us to discuss what products may be right for them to support their immune systems, manage stress and keep them healthy during this time. We would be happy to offer a free online video presentation the staff of other Chamber members to provide information on stress and immune support. Contact us for more info.

Peggie Koenig and Catherine Gryba

Peggie Koenig and Catherine Gryba have launched a new podcast, “So You Want to Move to the Country and Raise Goats”. The podcast features stories from people who have gone through change. Change can make us happy, it can make us sad, and for the most part it can make us anxious. When it overwhelms us, we just want to move to the country and raise goats. Today, the world pandemic is creating change for everyone. Insightful people share their interesting change stories from all walks of life: artists, musicians, business people and politicians. They have one thing in common…change. BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON



Local Dollars Matter

measuring how locally they operate, from ownership to procurement. As well, they can use the process to find ways of increasing their local engagement in the Saskatoon region economy. Participants are given a Local Link Label corresponding to their level of localization. SREDA, in partnership with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce the first cohort of successful participants. All eight businesses have been awarded the Local Link Gold label, the program’s highest level.

With an increasing desire from Saskatoon region residents to support local businesses, SREDA knew that now was the time to create our Local Link program. Local Link was designed to assist consumers, wanting to buy local, better understand where their dollars are most supportive of the Saskatoon region. Though any economic activity helps strengthen our local economy, there are greater benefits from dollars spent at locally owned businesses. By checking for the Gold, Silver or Bronze Local Link Labels, shoppers can learn more about how close to their home a product or service is created. Saskatoon region businesses can apply to the program and work with SREDA in

• Pine View Farms • 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company • Pristine Kitchen Systems Inc. • Refresh Inn and Suites • Apex Performance Consultants Ltd. • Prairie Packaging Inc. • ICR Commercial Real Estate (Property Management) • Black Fox Farm and Distillery The businesses were awarded Local Link Gold because of their high degree of local purchasing and engagement.

“Local Link strengthens our support of the Saskatoon region economy at a time when doing so is vital,” said Alex Fallon, SREDA President and CEO. “Not only does the program help consumers shop in a way that benefits the local economy, it also aids us in better understanding our landscape of regional suppliers. We assess the procurement and outsourcing activities of participating businesses, which allows us to identify gaps in the local supply chain that present opportunities for potential growth and new jobs.”

“We've intuitively known this for some time in Saskatchewan, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear - making purchasing decisions as a consumer and business owner that support our local suppliers and industries has a resounding economic impact,” said Shawn Moen, CEO and CoFounder at 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company. “As a consumer, Local Link provides you a window into the economic impact of our local businesses and helps you make intentional purchasing decisions. As a business owner, it gives you a roadmap to understand how to meaningfully grow your business operations and recognition for prioritizing high quality local options.”

The first eight participants included a range of businesses from various sectors across the Saskatoon region:

Applications for Local Link are now open. For more information on the program, visit

Chamber members save 50%* on domestic and international shipments with UPS® Chamber members, take advantage of the UPS Members Benefit Program and save on a variety of UPS services! You’ll receive 50% off all small package shipments including imports to Canada*, 30% off brokerage entry preparations fees, at least 75% off freight shipments over 150 lb. and more.

CALL 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377) M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST VISIT *Incentives are based on the daily rates in the UPS Rate and Service Guide. The member understands that actual rates for shipments may vary and be less.




Chris Guérette Leads with Intention “Pivot, implement and get feedback – as a team we are good at reacting.” By Elizabeth Ireland Chris Guérette is CEO of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA). The organization represents 275 professional members involved in land development and residential construction in the northern half of our province. Guérette became CEO in February 2016. She began in her role with more than 15 years of leadership experience in the housing, notfor-profit, health and education fields already under her belt. Guérette also sits on multiple Boards, including SGI, Jubilee Residences and the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association. Recently, the SRHBA released its second quarter 2020 New Housing Market Analysis report and residential building indicators over the time period were not nearly as dire as expected. In fact, single family homes posted a nine percent increase in sales compared to the same period in 2019. “At the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions, we worked hard to make sure our industry was flagged as an allowable business by the provincial government so that new builds were able to continue on. While indoor home renovations saw a halt in work due to safety considerations, outdoor improvements and renovations such as decks and backyards picked up once spring arrived. Renovations increased nine percent, as well, when compared to the same period in 2019. Saskatoon region residents still need to live in homes and, despite the pandemic, continue to improve and buy homes. It’s hugely critical for our municipal government to keep going on permit processing and to not add any additional red tape to the process,” says Guérette. She credits favourable government policies and low interest rates for Saskatchewan’s resiliency in the sector. For home sales beginning on April 1, 2020, the Saskatchewan government introduced a PST rebate of up to

42 percent on the purchase of a new house used as a primary residence. “Saskatchewan rarely follows national trends in housing, and I think our second quarter 2020 analysis indicates a confidence that’s present in our province. With low interest rates continuing, it’s a brilliant time to buy a home here,” says Guérette. As a leader, Guérette and her team of five were faced with a tough decision right at the beginning of COVID-19. Their annual HomeStyles Home & Renovation Show was scheduled for the third weekend of March and it is a major revenue source. The SRHBA initially postponed the show to October to allow more time to process the pandemic situation, but eventually pivoted to wait a year and hold it in March 2021. “We put great value on building trusting relationships with our members and partners and we wanted them to know we don’t take their safety lightly or the safety of show attendees. It was a hard decision and not the type of news we wanted to deliver to our customers.” For business leaders around the world, the pandemic brought difficult decisions about working from home while maintaining an existing company culture. Guérette explains “Nothing else in my career is comparable to leading during COVID-19. March brought a sense of let’s hunker down quickly and analyse the landscape. But, by early April, we became very intentional with our members and asked them ‘what do you need right now? We’re here to support you now more than ever.’ Internally, we were also intentional about connecting with each other and we transitioned our weekly staff meetings to daily morning Zoom calls.” According to Guérette, advantages that served the SRHBA team well included an existing flexible work situation with home

offices and remote computers already up and running. She also points out that the team’s small size and agility meant they could pivot easily and implement change quickly. It also proved to be an excellent time to build a new home locator for the region (launching soon) which Guérette believes will be “a positive legacy of COVID-19.” Today, Guérette is back visiting building sites and connecting with SRHBA members. She summarizes “Our members want to share their successes and are generally thankful to keep working and to keep building and rejuvenating great communities.” The SRHBA focuses on the cities of Saskatoon, Martensville, Warman, Osler, Prince Albert and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. More information can be found online at




Leading Saskatoon Forward Together:

Municipal election policy priorities by Margot Orr




Image: Tourism Saskatoon

A time of great change is upon us. As we approach the municipal election, now is the time to reflect on areas of needed eff iciency, future growth and innovation.



So, what does this mean? It means that what we do to advocate for and work for our economy and business members affects the rest of our society by the health, vibrancy and sustainability of our community. This can be said for the employees of organizations, as it can for our many community minded and based members. When one aspect of our community is thriving others will see the residual spin off. The reason that we take this approach as an organization is to ensure we look holistically at our economy and what makes our city great. Part of this greatness is found in collaboration. In order to have a

Every year The Chamber conducts the annual SUMMIT roundtables, as well as conducts continuous surveys, member check ins and outside research. In tandem to working with our members, we also work to establish close relationships with the city’s other business and community associations. It is through the knowledge gathered by all of these organizations we're able to establish collective priorities, which will benefit our business community, and our city. The Saskatoon Chamber, Downtown YXE, 33rd Street BID, Sutherland BID, Riversdale BID, Broadway BID, Tourism Saskatoon, NSBA, SREDA, University Heights Business Association, Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors and the Saskatoon Construction Association regularly come together under the title of the Combined Business Group (CBG). The purpose of this group is to identify and address common issues and concerns and advocate collectively on important files. The municipal election is one such file. There are three key pillars that have been identified areas we believe the incumbent’s and future candidates should focus for the success of the city. Short term goals and policy priorities from the COVID-19 pandemic have also been identified, and areas where immediate action must be taken to mitigate escalating risks on Saskatoon’s economic success and future vitality. The short-term policy priorities identified are being addressed with the administration of the City of Saskatoon. These policy priorities will also be identified and presented to City Council prior to the election. Saskatoon’s businesses and residents have felt the effects of COVID-19 and it is our joint position, the City of Saskatoon must clearly demonstrate productivity and efficiencies, while addressing

First and foremost, our city must convey a message that we are business friendly and we are open for business and we must be well-prepared against an increasingly competitive landscape.

Image: Tourism Saskatoon

better understanding of our society as a whole we must first look to gather knowledge.

The past couple of months have brought with them great challenges. We have seen businesses having to adapt, some successfully and sadly we have seen other businesses falter. However, it is in times of great struggles where innovation is born. As an organization we have heard areas of concern and policy priorities our members have flagged over the years, which continue to be of great importance for the next municipal election. One such overarching message is: our business community, is community.



COVE R STORY mandates to move Saskatoon into a position of economic vibrancy. The main policy priorities identified for the municipal election, are: public safety/crime/policing; business attraction and retention; and sustainable growth.

Image: Tourism Saskatoon

First and foremost, our city must convey a message we are business friendly; we are open for business. We must be well-prepared against an increasingly competitive landscape.

Public Safety/Crime/Policing

Issues caused by poverty, addiction and mental health problems throughout the city are multifaceted and systemic. As a community we have seen increased nuisance activities on the streets centered around the downtown core leading to feelings of insecurity and high rates of crime. Members of the public are, therefore, reluctant to visit and support local businesses. To this end and amid growing global calls to defund and abolish police forces, our coalition of Saskatoon business advocacy organizations are instead seeking the injection of funds into policing to ensure that enforcement is fair and firm. As an organization we recognize the political climate generated as a result of police actions that enforce brutality. As a community, we need to look to our police service as enforcers of safety, which should be combined with increased resources for social services. We look to our municipal and provincial governments to venture outside the purview of the traditional forms of public safety measures. We encourage the analysis of best practices to create a safe and welcoming place in the core of our city. To this end the Chamber has partnered with the Interagency Task Force to address from a multi-discipline perspective the depth and breadth of the challenges, and how best to consider both the shortand longer-term sustainable strategies. We have heard you, our members, loud and clear: public safety and crime in the core of our city is a major concern. We call upon our municipal government to work collaboratively with key stakeholders and with our provincial government toward meaningful long-term solutions.

Infrastructure and investing back into our local economy is not only crucial during pandemic times but will create future capacity for growth and jobs.

Sustainable Growth

Yes, in my backyard! This slogan represents that as a city it is time to encourage sustainable growth in our community. Infills and ensuring infrastructure in older communities is kept updated, and addresses the challenge of urban sprawl. We must consider sustainable growth. Does growth truly pay for growth? What does this really mean, in reality? What are other jurisdictions doing to be more transparent in their plans for expansion? And, how does affordability for our citizens factor into this ideal? We urge the city’s elected officials (incumbents and candidates) along with the administration to consider the aforementioned policy priorities of the Saskatoon business community.

Business Attraction and Retention

Image: Tourism Saskatoon

Business attraction and retention are a difficult concepts to define. Many large-scale infrastructure projects have been identified in the past several years, designed to attract both business and investment dollars. Projects identified as important to the future growth capacity and economic growth of the city include the Downtown Entertainment District, the BRT and the re-location of the rail line out of the downtown core. The Downtown Entertainment District will serve as a destination and attraction for visitors and residents, creating wider economic impact through spending hotels, transportation, retail and dining. In creating this district in tandem with the BRTprovides transportation that is both easily accessible and affordable for patrons. BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON



YWCA Saskatoon

To say that 2020 has been a challenging year is an understatement. Organizations regardless of sector have been faced with issues that may have been previously contemplated but never fully understood. Despite these circumstances, many organizations have flourished. What’s the secret behind their success? I’d argue resilience and innovation. Non-profits are uniquely positioned to demonstrate resilience during crisis because the nature of our work is not only dynamic and complicated, but it’s also executed in an environment with significant resource

constraints. At the YWCA, our employees are used to doing more with less and they are deeply motivated to move our mission forward. When COVID-19 hit, our creative employees pivoted quickly by providing new support and programming to our clients – like individually safely packaged meals for those living in our shelter. We also enhanced the way we sanitize our shelter and daycare to protect those who are vulnerable. Our employees were able to shift because they had done so many times before. The YWCA’s culture fosters creativity, there are no bad

ideas and it’s ok to try new things. Innovation and resilience cannot exist without a close connection to purpose. The most effective companies are those that have a clear reason for being. It’s challenging to innovate when you don’t believe the work you’re doing matters or contributes to the greater good of your community. How can we all recover from COVID-19? Recovery will be dependent on an organization’s ability to support employees’ resiliency and to foster a culture of innovation.

Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra

Bringing Music to Everyone. With public gatherings taking down the last three months of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra’s (SSO) season, they quickly decided it was time to make a change. In May of 2020 the SSO launched SSO for You, an online portal creating a new way for patrons to interact. It featured videos of past performances, their first streamed concert, weekly live chats with musicians, and even a virtual fun run. In that month 18 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON

alone more than 30,000 people took part in the online activities - including folks across the province and country, and in Scotland, Guatemala, Columbia, and more! This fall the SSO launches the Digital Concert Stream, a subscription service where you can watch their concerts live and concert films on demand. The concert films, in 4K resolution, showcase interviews and behind the scenes features, and creates unprecedented access to the SSO’s programming.


Already known as one of the most innovative and successful orchestras in Canada in recent years, the SSO’s Digital Concert Stream will be like a NetFlix for concerts and will feature not only the SSO but other Saskatoon music groups and artists of all genres who are calling Saskatoon home during the pandemic.


Immigration Partnership Saskatoon Launches the #BeAnAlly Campaign

Immigration is important to Canada’s economy and population growth. It is estimated that Canada needs 350,000 immigrants annually to meet its workforce needs. By 2035, 25% of Canada’s population will be 65 and above. In short, Canada will need more workers to support the economy. Our local and provincial future economies and the associated health of our communities depends on making Saskatoon and Saskatchewan a supportive and welcoming place for immigrant families. Immigration Partnership Saskatoon (IPSK) was established in May 2017. IPS is a community collective that includes the Government of Canada, Province of Saskatchewan, City of Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan, United Way of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Public School Division, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and others. The Partnership is developing a Newcomer Strategy and Action Plan to make Saskatoon more welcoming for newcomers and to improve accessibility to services.

To further this work, IPS is proud to be launching its “Be An Ally” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of the benefits of newcomers to Saskatoon, build support for and understanding of newcomers

as an integral part of an inclusive, diverse workforce and a welcoming community. To learn more about how you can be an ally visit Immigration Partnership Saskatoon website at







Blue Moose Media

Travis Low and Ricky Forbes are business partners and co-founders of Blue Moose Media, which was incorporated in 2016. Travis is a community-minded philanthropist who founded and grew the most well-attended Parkinson’s fundraiser in Canada. Ricky is a storm chaser and action adventurer who worked to gain both a large social media following and a storm-chasing television show. Together, the University of Saskatchewan graduates created Blue Moose Media, the province’s leader in social media and digital marketing training, consulting and speaking. As of mid-August, Low describes how the team is back in their downtown Saskatoon office and “it’s nice to have some normalcy.” “We help clients identify the social media channels that best suit their organization and to consider the resources that they can realistically dedicate to social media. Pre-COVID-19, all our workshops were



held in-person because we believe in teaching, and then doing, as a way to empower our clients,” says Low. When COVID-19 hit, Low says Blue Moose “quickly migrated” to a modified virtual classroom format. “We had to make some quick decisions and really think outside the box. In terms of the decision not to lay off or furlough our employees, we felt strongly about our talented team and how important it was to retain them.” In-person Blue Moose workshops have begun again with sessions at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel (a bigger space allows for social distancing protocols). Virtual training sessions are also still available. “Our guiding principle during this crisis was community versus conversion. Meaning our approach is to give the most value to our existing clients – it’s worked really well,” says Low.


Cosmopolitan Industries

Sharlene Duquette is Executive Director of Cosmopolitan Industries and, after 28 years, she has “a broad understanding of the organization and its person-centred programs.” Cosmo typically employs 130 staff plus volunteers. As a non-profit organization in the Saskatoon community since 1971, Cosmo serves approximately 400 adults with intellectual disabilities by providing foundational day programs. The organization is funded by the provincial Ministry of Social Services, corporate donors and individual donors. “We had a flood at our building four years ago and COVID-19 has been worse than that. While our recycling and paper shredding divisions have remained open during the pandemic and not skipped a beat, our main facility has been physically closed since April 1,” says Duquette. After “getting our sea legs” Cosmo’s staff members began reaching out to program participants by phone to check in. Since then, remote and virtual programming for participants has grown to include recreational therapy, a horticulture group, crafting and a rhythm band. The team even picks up participants for a drive around the city with a stop at Dairy Queen or Tim Hortons. “Our staff are doing amazing things,” says Duquette. While Cosmo’s staff have gone to reduced hours or been deployed to other agencies to relieve pressure, no one has been laid off due to COVID-19. As schools re-open and family members return to work, Cosmo is working to bring priority participants back to the facility in small cohorts. The main facility is located at 28 34th Street East, as well as three smaller satellite locations and a day program within Sherbrooke Community Centre.




SaskMade MarketPlace

Julie Gryba manages two SaskMade MarketPlace stores in the city (the main location is at 1621 8th Street East and a smaller store is located in the Midtown shopping mall). The company is owned by entrepreneur Emily Yan. As with most brick and mortar locations, SaskMade closed down for in-store browsing in midMarch. Luckily, the team was able to quickly transition to curbside pick-ups and pivot to offer online shopping. The company partners with local farmers, processors and artisans to provide a range of unique, locally-produced food and non-food products. In this way, SaskMade proudly acts as a bridge between producers in our province and its customers. Some of SaskMade’s staff chose to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), but Yan made an effort to ask her staff “what works for them” and to always prioritize what each employee felt comfortable with.



Before re-opening, the team made sure that public areas were safe for both staff and customers, complete with sanitation stations and lots of space for social distancing. SaskMade’s 8th Street location re-opened to foot traffic in early June and the Midtown location re-opened in early July. Before COVID-19 hit, SaskMade had a close relationship with tour groups facilitated by Tourism Saskatoon, as well as conventions and tradeshows with attendees from out of town. The store’s most popular products include Three Farmers snack foods, Gravelbourg Mustard, and their own lovely gift baskets. Gryba says “right now, we are feeling positive and grateful. Our local customer base has been very supportive and we are managing the storm.”



With more than 425 employees, Vendasta is frequently in the Saskatoon media and the public eye. Dani Mario is Director of Corporate Marketing & Communications and the former journalist has been with Vendasta for two and a half years.

says the exception is new employees, who typically go to Vendasta’s physical offices from the beginning in order to absorb company culture. The company prides itself on the high caliber of talent that it is able to attract.

When COVID-19 hit, the software company was in the process of planning its transition to new downtown offices at Saskatoon Square (from its original offices in the Avenue Building on 3rd Avenue South). However, the pandemic meant other plans took hold in the immediate future.

Vendasta provides an end-to-end platform to companies who sell digital products and services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), such as marketing agencies. Mario says COVID-19 brought to light a drastic need for three things: e-commerce capabilities for SMBs in the form of digital storefronts, remote communications solutions, and e-learning opportunities.

“By April, everyone was working remotely except for a handful of people. It was quite easy because we already had accommodations in place for flex work. Friday meetings helped create a state of normalcy,” says Mario. By mid-August, Vendasta employees had the option to return to their workplace with social distancing measures in place. Mario

“There has been a massive shift in what a customer wants. It has been a wild roller coaster ride. We saw churn in March and April, then there was an increase in demand. June turned out to be our best month since Vendasta was founded in 2008,” says Mario.




Volunteer Profile – Evan Drisner by Elizabeth Ireland

Longtime volunteer Evan Drisner has worn many hats during his time with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. “My involvement in the Saskatoon Chamber has been very benef icial for both my personal and business development. There is a lot that I’ve had my f ingers in. As a volunteer, I’m passionate about giving back,” he says.

Th anks Evan!

For nine years, Drisner hosted the popular Chamber on Tap Evan Drisner networking event and led the Chamber’s Membership Development Committee. As the host of Chamber on Tap, he interviewed local “With 40 Nu-Fab employees, we made the tough decision to keep CEOs and entrepreneurs about their business lives and the (good our team solid and to not lay off anyone as a result of COVID-19. and bad) choices they have made along the way. We didn’t want to lose good people. I think we’ll learn a lot from He remembers his first time as the host of Chamber on Tap very 2020 and set ourselves up for success in 2021. I believe in four core well and laughs about it. Gerald Grandey (former CEO of the values: people, products, processes in place and then, of course, profit,” uranium powerhouse Cameco) was his interview guest and Grandey explains Drisner. was looking sharp in an elegant suit. In contrast, “there I was in my Banana Republic clearance rack suit,” says Drisner.

In his spare time, Drisner coaches minor league football and plays in a band. Confirming the small world that is Saskatoon, he served From 2011 to 2013, Drisner served on the Chamber’s Board of on the Board of the Parkinson's disease fundraising event Lows in Directors. He has also volunteered as host, mentor and Event Chair Motion for 11 years and the event’s founder is Travis Low of Blue Moose Media (who also appears in this issue of Business Voice). of the annual SABEX Awards Gala. He ran for Saskatoon City Council in the last municipal election in Drisner’s life began in Toronto and his childhood involved moves 2016 but he did not win. Drisner and his wife have two young sons to Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary before he finally landed at the who were coincidentally born three years and a day apart. University of Saskatchewan. He has two undergraduate degrees – one in music (percussion specifically) and philosophy. “Saskatoon is such as cool spot. We are a resilient province because wedon’t have the luxury of a large population. What we do have is In his professional life, Drisner is General Manager of Nu-Fab three things the world needs – food, fertilizer and fuel. I’m sure we Building Products. Nu-Fab is part of the All-Fab Group and supplies will get through these tough times together as a city and a province.” building materials to homebuilders, including cabinets, prefabricated building packages, and manufactured truss and floor systems.

WE’RE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US We’re just a phone call away

102 Wellman Cres, Saskatoon 306-974-7990 @espritlifestyle



Request a quote by calling 306.808.2280 OR


Employee Benefits with a Difference.

Simple. Stable. Smart.




Chamber Happenings

(Through a webcam)

The Chamber is continuously working to connect and build closer ties with our communities key stakeholders including the University of Saskatchewan. The University is a focal point in Saskatoon and is a center of research, culture and innovation. Just as the global pandemic has changed the way we all operate and conduct business, the UofS has been forced to adapt to the changing times. We recognize that the decision to move to a hybrid model of learning for the fall semester was not taken lightly and was done for the protection of the student body, faculty and countless staff that work on campus. As a forward-thinking entity, the UofS is producing the critical thinking great minds of tomorrow that will continue to shape and develop our region. As a Chamber we continue to build connections with this important economic driver within our community.

With each determined step, a journey unfolds. With each open-minded and respectful conversation we learn and grow. Such is the journey our Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Board has embarked on, its commitment to our Chamber's cultural development, and toward addressing its strategic pillar for Indigenous Economic Development and Reconciliation. Through the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce the Chamber Board of Directors and staff members are participating in Indigenous Awareness Training, facilitated and presented by Nick Crighton, Director of Indigenous Engagement.

and fundamental change. We look forward to continuing our journey through this program, and as we grow ever more in our understanding, compassion and respect to developing a new and successful future together with our Indigenous peoples and partners.� - Silvia Martini Interim CEO, Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

"This program has offered us opportunities for quality discussions around our table. Nick's generosity in sharing and offering opportunities for questions and dialogue have encouraged many questions and deep reflection on our Indigenous people's history. This is changing not only what we think, but how we see and what we do. This is a program I would highly recommend to any organization that is committed to deep growth, 28 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON



Chamber Happenings

(f rom 6ft apart)

Our first face-to-face safe distancing meeting was hosted at the Sheraton Cavalier. All felt WONDERFUL being able to connect in person - we certainly have missed our social engagement. With the Sheraton Cavalier's safety protocols fully in place our committee members felt safe and fully engaged in discussion. Topic? Hybrid events, and reimagining SABEX with a twist! Excellent session, although we did miss the handshakes and hugs - pivot to elbow bumps!

Watch it again!

Passcode: 7B37h2@h

(click for the recording)




CLASS OF 2020! to our very own Margot Orr, Director of Policy & Government Relations for receiving her Masters in Public Administration. We are immensely proud of our valued team member who leads our Policy & Government Relations efforts on behalf of our Chamber. Such a joy to work with you, Margot! Your Chamber team.

FREE Conexus business webinars!

Manager Training

Sept. 15, 2020

9:30 - 11:00am

Network and Business Development

Sept. 30, 2020

2:00 - 3:30pm

Risk Management

Oct. 15, 2020

9:30 - 11:00am

Leading Others - Building High Performance Teams

Oct. 29, 2020

2:00 - 3:30pm

To register for upcoming webinars, and view past content visit 30 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON


Brought to you by


For more information on this event or for ticket sales, please contact us at: or 306-664-0712


Recognizing the Strength and Resilience of our Chamber Community - our 25th Anniversary SABEX Harvest time is here, and with it we are comforted and grateful for the abundance of this bountiful season. There is much for which to be grateful. On this our 25th Anniversary of SABEX, we are determined to come together and celebrate this great city we call “home”, our resilience as a business community, and the generosity and bounty we share amongst us. We are ready! Under the chairmanship of Evan Drisner, and a carefully selected committee of diverse talent and expertise, we have consulted, and we are preparing carefully

to deliver a safe, entertaining celebration, messaging clearly “Keep safe. Live Life.™. As leaders, it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate to our community we are able and ready to provide safe environments for engagement. We are not only supportive of our business community we believe in its professionalism and readiness to deliver safe and quality services. Planning and executing safe events during COVID-19 has definitely been a worthy challenge. Our local event venues have

*These photos were taken before COVID pandemic and safe distancing. 32 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON


been forced to skillfully maneuver within a constant state of change and onerous policies. The reality is that these venues and the users that utilize these spaces are venturing into the unknown. However, it is within times of great struggle that true innovation is born, and this is something that we are seeing in plenty from our many community, hospitality and tourism based partners. Although things may be different right now, one thing will never change Saskatoon will always be a warm, welcoming city, professionally delivering on its promise in trusted relationships. Whether in person

SABEX AWARDS or in a virtual capacity Saskatoon’s hospitality is part of the vibrancy of the community and what makes Saskatoon’s reputation great! In shaping this year’s event we have been tasked to reimagine what events look like and how people can gather in a way that is successful, but safe. Your Chamber team and SABEX committee embraced the task. The tourism and hospitality sectors have been working collaboratively with us to create a plan based in fact, and one which provides all the tools and protocols to ensure our event is conducted to the highest safety standards. In choosing this year’s SABEX theme we reflected upon the challenges of the year and how we have grown together as a community. This year’s theme highlights gratitude by supporting in action the businesses that make our city great. At this year’s SABEX awards will be recognized in eight categories; Business of the Year, Customer Service, Community Involvement, Growth and Expansion, Saskatooning, New Business Venture, Entrepreneur of the Year and Marketing.

SABEX will also highlight this year’s Hall of Fame recipients. The night is sure to be one to remember. For the full list of finalists be sure to check out our website. Networking and gathering with our peers are a staple feature of the Chamber brand and something we have all missed dearly over the past several months. We encourage guests to enjoy Happy Hour in our many fine restaurants prior to arriving at TCU, our event venue, for registration. Guests will feel welcome, safe, at home and happy for the opportunity to see their fellow Saskatoon business community leaders. Dress? Think “harvest” “family” “laughter” “culture” and “appreciation”. Come to celebrate harvest, as our culture is celebrated. Eyes are the mirror of the soul, or so we hear, and they will be sparkling with joy behind masks in public spaces.

We are looking forward to celebrating in person with you once again as we host the 25th Annual SABEX, with a special Saskatchewan cultural harvest twist. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to visit our website for more information and get your tickets for this wonderful celebration. Our past SABEX Awards have been hugely successful and this year will be no exception as we support and message Business Community is Community, and build back “THRIVE” in our city! Keep Safe. Live Life. TM

Our hybrid event will be taking over the TCU facility as we host the event out of 10 separate themed rooms with intermingled hybrid audiovisual capabilities. It will be quite a production and a sight to see!




Working for You The Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce continues to actively advocate on behalf of its membership.

The summer is usually a time when many individuals take holidays and things slow down as people begin to take a breather, but not this year. Advocacy has been at an alltime high, industries are in need and we are quickly approaching a time of election both municipally and provincially. As part of our commitment to excellence and continuing

ADVOCACY FILE Crime and Safety in the City Center Ongoing Recovery of Restaurants and Food Service Industries Across Canada

to work for our business community, your Chamber wants to make sure that you, our members, know some of the work that we have been doing on behalf of our diverse membership. The Chart below highlights the high-level advocacy files that have been top of mind this summer:



● Ongoing consultation with Community partners. ● Chamber joined the Interagency Response to Downtown Safety Taskforce along side DowntownYXE as the representatives of business

● Ongoing meetings held to discuss next steps including funding proposal for safety initative provincially.

● Letter sent to all levels of government toward urgent action to asset our restaurants during this extraordinary time:

● The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has created the website dedicated to sharing stories and updates of one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic including how together both the public and our governments can take measures to assist in restaurants survival.

Federal ● Create incentives for Canadians to return to work by implementing the proposed improvements to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). ● Eliminate the automatic annual federal excise tax increase on beer, wine, and spirits. ● Encourage Canadians to safely return to pre-COVID activities while adhering to recommended health and safety protocols, as stated by the Chief Medical Officer. Joint Federal-Provincial/Territorial ● Extend the CECRA program, remove parent company revenue eligibility cap (removing the cap would prevent franchisees from falling through the cracks) and explore a means to substantially increase program subscription. Provincial ● Expand liquor licensing, or make permanent COVID-related licensing changes, to allow more restaurants to offer alcohol sales (including for take-out). Municipal ● Reduction or deferral of property taxes, patio fees, utility fees, and other fees as relevant. ● Ease regulatory burdens, which assist the industry without impacting government budgets.

Promoting Diversity and Fostering Inclusion

Event Venue and Regular Venue User Support

Municipal Election Combined Business Group Policy Priorities Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan

● Work with the Local Immigration Partnership on identifying barriers to social inclusion in the workplace and looking for opportunities for immigration in the growth of the City. ● Developed relationships with the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA)

● The Be An Ally Campaign has launched in conjunction with the intersectoral groups represented by the Local Immigration Partnership ● Participant from the SIA mentorship program was welcomed into the Chamber office to partake in a work placement.

● Event Venues and the regular users have been identified as groups that will be greatly effected throughout our city ● A roundtable session will be taking place with these various stakeholders to gauge next steps that must be taken

● Consultation is ongoing.

● Public Safety/Crime/Policing ● Business Attraction and Retention ● Sustainable Growth

● Support and advocacy efforts for these areas will be continuous.

● Regular consultations with Minister Harrison on next steps along with focusing on effecting and safe opening procedures.

● Consultation is Ongoing.

As we continue to address advocacy issues related to COVID-19 the Chamber has struck a COVID-19 Operational Committee. The committee's objective is to successfully see the transition of our members through this most challenging of times and in so doing strengthen 34 BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON

our value proposition to our membership and build stronger relationship bridges to stakeholders in the future. As we continue to work through the Re-open Saskatchewan Plan’s phases and into the eventual period of thriving, your Chamber is dedicated to


advocating on your behalf. As we move into the fall let us continue forward together in search of new ways to collaborate, address issues and work to make Saskatoon the best business climate in Canada.





A Message f rom the Chair

One thing that you may not know about me is that I love change…… now don’t get me wrong I do not love the forced change of tragic events of what this pandemic has brought to many businesses. What I do love is seeing and embracing all the creativity and ingenuity that many have brought. Seeing the work of our COVID-19 Committee (From Recovery to Thriving) and the work of the SABEX Committee are inspiring. They are showing us that we can overcome some of the challenges that we have been faced with to better serve our members in a meaningful way; while at the same time being thoughtful and understanding to the feelings of uncertainty. I have seen some of our members utilize technology in a way they never did prior, some restructure serving within their establishments, and two of our members launched a podcast. “So You Want to Move to the Country and Raise Goats” is dedicated

Image: Gina’s Portraits

Six months into the Coronavirus and this quote is one that really resonates. Change has become one of the only constants we can rely on these days. The Saskatoon Greater Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors along with our dedicated staff have been working over the past six months to ensure that we are supporting business in Saskatoon. Keeping information relevant and advocating for the needs of our members is a task that requires us to flex and adapt on an ongoing basis as we build on the new.

to highlight local individuals that have embraced change in their personal and professional careers. How brilliant to show that even though this pandemic is truly unpreceded times many have been facing change of all magnitudes prior. This publication is focused on change and all of these examples show how amazing our Saskatoon business community truly is. As our Chamber is going through changes to serve our members, we also are looking at decisions that will shape the future as we have both a municipal and federal election upcoming. Choosing a leader in government during this time is vital and as part of the Chamber network we are connected to government on a local, provincial and federal level. As being nonpartisan we rely on the members to voice what is important so we can advocate to the constitutes Saskatoon Chamber Board Chair Carla Browne on what we need to better shape our future for our members. These are you. At the Chamber we want to have these what I like to refer to as “fierce conversations”. conversations and be a central part of your This forces us to look at big questions such business both now and in the future. as: What is real? What is honest? What is quality? What has value? We must not forget that it is not an easy time We effect change by engaging in these robust conversations with ourselves, our colleagues, our customers, our family and the world. Whether you are governing a city or country, running an organization or business your ability to effect change will increase as you become responsive to the world around you and to the individuals who are central to

Keeping information relevant and advocating for the needs of our members is a task that requires us to flex and adapt on an ongoing basis as we build on the new.


Carla Browne, Chair Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” …. from the book: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.

for many but I leave you with this thought:

“Often when you think you are at the end of something, you are at the begging of something else”… Unknown Sincerely, Carla Browne, Chair Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce Carla Browne is the Chair of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and the Owner of Real Canadian Property Management Professionals Inc.


Carla Browne

Jason Aebig

Graham Snell

CeCe Baptiste

Chair Real Canadian Property Management Professionals Inc.

First Vice-Chair Nutrien

Second Vice-Chair Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan

Director Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)

Todd Denzin

Katrina German Director

Joseph Gill

Director McKercher LLP

Juan Godinez

Tara McKeown

Dr. Adam McInnes

Sandra Ribeiro

Heather Ryan

Director Nutrien

Director Conexus Credit Union

Tanis Taylor

Director CCA Consulting

Director Med Hack Enterprises Incorporated

Colton Wiegers Director Wiegers Financial & Benefits

Director Canadian Light Source Inc.

Director KPMG LLP

Director Federated Co-operative Limited (FCL)

Chamber Board of Directors Working for You! BUSINESSVOICE SASKATOON



92% OF PEOPLE STAY WITH THEIR CURRENT JOB BECAUSE OF A PENSION PLAN. Help your employees save at work. Join the Wealthcare Revolution.



1 (800) 667-7153


1 (306) 249-0047

Profile for Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce

Business Voice - September October 2020  

Business Voice - September October 2020  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded