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Prairie Sky Chamber Working to Unite Communities

by Shanine Sealey

In November of 2017, the Martensville and Warman Chambers of Commerce amalgamated into the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce (PSCC) and have since been working consistently to unite the two communities. Most recently, approximately 30 businesses between the two cities participated in the first annual Warman & Martensville Summer Sidewalk Sale. This event took place June 22nd and 23rd and offered retail stores and restaurants the chance to provide some storefront specials to local residents.

Since the amalgamation, the Chamber has seen great success and by uniting, is now the fifth largest Chamber of Commerce within Saskatchewan. “We have definitely noticed that our platform as a Chamber has risen considerably. Our voices are louder, we are attracting more interest from businesses, political figures and with the expanded borders, we have expanded the expertise in our membership, allowing us to bring in more speakers,” Executive Director of PSCC Jaimie Malmgren explained. “The Chamber works hard to advocate for our businesses and as a result of the amalgamation, we now represent close to 200 businesses in our region, making our voices louder and stronger.” In addition to advocacy, the Chamber’s role is to build community and bring people together and this amalgamation has led to more diversification within the membership and expanded the networking borders for businesses. “Both of these are hugely beneficial to business owners,” added Malmgren.

Recently, changes took place within the board structure of the PSCC as Chair Elise Hildebrandt’s term came to an end and Vice Chair Tracey Fesiuk of Martensville Plumbing and Heating moved into the interim position until the October 2018 AGM is held. Director Stephen Nicholson of The W Law Group then moved into the interim Vice Chair position. Hildebrandt was involved with the Warman Chamber of Commerce for many years, initially as a Director prior to moving into her position as President. “Elise played a large role in bringing the Warman & Martensville Business Excellence Awards to our region and was instrumental in the amalgamation of the two Chambers of Commerce. Her energetic demeanor is contagious and will be missed. I was honoured to work under her leadership,” Malmgren stated.

Fesiuk, who took over as PSCC Chair on June 11th, is looking forward to the opportunity to see the Chamber continue to grow. Having been a member of the Warman Chamber of Commerce for years, and a key component to the creation of the Martensville Chamber of Commerce, Fesiuk has seen the benefits of having a Chamber in both communities, and even more of a benefit of having a united business force within the cities. “I am excited to have this opportunity and hope to continue to see the two cities unite and have the businesses and communities working together,” said Fesiuk. With a goal to continue to encourage regional economic growth, Fesiuk noted how important it is to consistently advocate for the local businesses. “When people are supporting local businesses, they support local families, local employers, and businesses that give back to the community. These local businesses are the ones that sponsor the local teams, donate a scholarship to a graduate or give back to the community in a number of other ways. That is what keeps a community going,” Fesiuk explained. Fesiuk continued that, “Although the communities are so close, there is a lot that we don’t know about each place. The goal is to build within the region as our competition isn’t necessarily with one another, but more so Saskatoon. We want to try to keep people in this area and we have enough to offer them here, all within a close convenient distance.”

With numerous events planned throughout the year to continue to have the two cities working together, the PSCC is looking for business representatives that may be interested in joining the Chamber Membership and Board of Directors. “We are always looking for new people to come in and get involved. With new people, we get different ideas and talents, which is always an added bonus,” Fesiuk explained.

Some of the events that the Chamber hosts, or helps organizing throughout the year include: the Martensville Community Expo, the Warman Martensville Business Excellence Awards (WMBEXA), Small Business Christmas Party, the Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, the Warman Open for Business Exhibition (WOBE), and others. Monthly events include Business before Nine – a breakfast networking event, Business After Hours – an after work networking opportunity where businesses can attend, or sponsor and present information about themselves to other business representatives, luncheons, meetings and more. “We wanted to be able to provide a timeframe that would work for everyone, we try to offer as many different options as possible. It is a great way to get people engaged and to come out and network with one another and learn something new about other local businesses,” Fesiuk added.

If you are interested in more information about the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, upcoming events, membership, or learning how you can get involved, visit www.prairieskychamber.ca, call (306) 292-7066, or email contact@prairieskychamber.ca.

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