Category Archives: Business

24 pages of locally relevant news

The November 24th issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald is a big one – 24 pages of local and locally relevant news! Check it out for:

  • a special section on the Unity salt plant, construction of which started 70 years ago;
  • an introduction to the candidates running to represent Battlefords-Lloydminster now that long-time MP Gerry Ritz has joined the ranks of the retired (there was an article on Conservative candidate Rosemarie Falk in the November 17th Press-Herald);
  • coverage on the Nov. 16 snowstorm; and
  •  photos of local music students.

And much, much more, including an update on plans for a Kin club in Unity, hockey reports and RCMP reports. Pick up a copy at grocery stores, drugstores or the Co-op C-store!

Below, the Compass Minerals salt plant at Unity SK is shrouded in fog as the winter sun rises.Compass Minerals at Unity

RCMP Reports for September 5 to 11

UNITY SK RCMP REPORTS for September 5 to 11, 2017

RCMP Members received a request from Saskatoon Prosecutions Office to serve a subpoena to an individual in the Unity Detachment area.

Police received a complaint of trespassing but it was unfounded.

Members attended a single vehicle collision. There were no injuries and no charges were laid.

There was a complaint of animal neglect. Members could not see evidence of animals in the residence of the subject of complaint.

RCMP received a report of a lost purse. The purse was located and returned to owner.

Members attended a vehicle fire on Highway 14 near Unity. There were no injuries and the fire was not suspicious in nature.

Police received a report of a combine fire. The fire was not suspicious in nature.

There was a complaint of damage at an abandoned farmyard. There are no suspects at this time.  Reported for information purposes.

RCMP received a complaint of a stolen truck in Senlac, Sask. This matter is still under investigation.

Members are investigating a break and enter at Suffern Lake Store.

There was a report of a lost wallet. The complainant later called back to state the wallet had been located.

Police received a Mental Health Act complaint. The subject of complaint was located and transported to Battlefords Union Hospital for assessment.

RCMP received a complaint of damage to post office boxes at Unity Post Office. The incident took place sometime overnight between September 10 and 11. Several mailboxes in the Canada Post Office in Unity were pried open. Various mail items were torn open and it is unknown if other items were taken. In addition, it was reported August 17 that several parcel items had been taken from the after hours parcel boxes. Suspects were gaining access to the boxes and removing parcels. As a result of these incidents, the Unity Post office has had to lock their doors to the public after hours to prevent further thefts. The RCMP would like to urge anyone with information on these or other incidents to contact the local detachment. There are no suspects at this time, and the matter remains under investigation.

RCMP were called to a disturbance. The subject of the complaint was located and spoken to.  No charges were laid.

There was also one false 911 call.

Persons with information about crimes being committed are urged to call the Unity RCMP detachment at 306-228-6300; the Wilkie RCMP at 306-843-3480; or the Macklin RCMP at 306-753-2171. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may also call Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at1-800-222-8477, or *8477 on the SaskTel Mobility Network. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for information which leads to the arrest of person(s) responsible for any serious crime. Crime Stoppers is anonymous and does not subscribe to call display, nor are your calls traced or recorded.

You can also submit a tip online at

Outstanding volunteers recognized at Celebrate Unity

Celebrate Unity is an annual event proudly hosted by the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. As well as recognizing milestone anniversaries (25 years and up) of local businesses and introducing new businesses to the community, the Chamber acknowledges the efforts of volunteer committees who host big events in town and bestows Exemplary Service awards on nominated outstanding volunteers who have made significant contributions to the quality of life in Unity and district.

The 2017 Exemplary Service award recipients were Sherri Solomko, Grant Huber and Twila Zunti.

Sherri Solomko

Sherri Solomko doesn’t just like to talk or tell stories about how great a community to live in Unity is. She puts her money where her mouth is and works hard to keep Unity a great community.

Not long ago, “Blast from the Past” reminded Press-Herald readers about Sherri winning a Kinnette’s Founder’s Award 20 years ago. The award was given for her participation in local, zone, district and national projects and event. She twice served as Unity Kinnette President and, even after the demise of the club, has continued and is continuing to volunteer for both Secret Santa locally and for the provincial Telemiracle event. Along with the Founder’s Award, in 1993-94 she was given an Outstanding President’s Award and in 2001 she was recognized as Outstanding Telemiracle Representative.

The end of the Unity Kinnette Club did not spell the end of Sherri’s community involvement and volunteer work. She has served on numerous committees hosting big events in Unity, including the CTV Hometown Tour, Riderville and the Western Canadian Midget “B” Softball Championships in 2010, the Rider Pride Hockey Challenge in 2011, the 2014 World Junior “A” Hockey Challenge in 2014, the Montreal Canadiens Alumni Game, the Women’s Junior “B” Provincial Softball Championships in 2015 and the Women’s Junior “B” Western Canadian Softball Championships in 2016.

Sherri was also a member of the committee hosting the first Bantam All-Star Girls’ and Boys’ Provincial Softball Zone Championships; this committee was given an award from Softball Saskatchewan in recognition of their outstanding organization.

When she had a child at Unity Public School, Sherri served on the UPS Community Council and now is an active member of the Positive School Climate Committee at Unity Composite High School. It is during her time on the committee that the PSCC launched its Activate campaign, which continues to draw provincial attention.

Being a member of a family touched by cancer, Sherri takes part in Terry Fox Runs and Relay for Life and has done personal fundraising for these events.

From 2005 to 2013, each year she served as the manager for a Unity Panthers team.

She volunteered for the World Junior Austria versus Latvia game held in Unity a few years ago, and helps organize the junior curling for the Unity Curling Club. She also is the volunteer social media co-ordinator for the curling club. She is a volunteer at her church, including serving as a member of the board. She is on the staff club at the Delta Co-op and co-ordinates their volunteer time with Meals on Wheels.

Sherri is quick to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of others, not only writing stories for the paper but also taking the time to nominate people for awards such as this one and Unity’s Citizen of the Year. Now it is her turn to be recognized, acknowledged and thanked for her exemplary service to her community. Thank you, Sherri.Exemplary Service award - Celebrate Unity 2017

Grant Huber

Grant Huber has always been an avid curler and, since his return to Unity to set up Huber Machining and raise a family, he has worked endless hours for the Unity Curling Club.

He joined as a committee member in 1998 and took over the President’s position from 2000 to 2004. After that, he continued to serve on the executive until 2016. During that time frame, he has organized and fundraised tirelessly for the new curling rink floor, starting up the Trip of the Month draws (now run by the Golf Course) and the annual Oilperson’s Spiel (first one in 2001 and this past weekend was our 16th year). This bonspiel has been a great fundraiser for our club and still is.

When Grant started as President, the club was in the red. After many years of dedication, organization and hard work, our club is now viable and financially sound.

We have been able to renovate and improve our facility which has helped the club to grow, fill our leagues, increase sponsorships, host major events and plan for the future.

Grant was one of the main pushers behind the scenes, motivating and encouraging the executive and curlers to volunteer their time and energy to get jobs done.

On behalf of the Curling Club Executive and all of the club members, past and present, we would like to thank Grant for his years of dedicated service to the Unity Curling Club.

Exemplary Service award - Celebrate Unity 2017

Twila Zunti

Twila Zunti, busy business owner, busy mother of two, active, competitive barrel racer.

Even while busy planning the upcoming Western Days as part of that committee – of which she has been a key member for a number of years now – she spent the week of May 3rd to 6th, 2016, opening up her trailer and promoting donations from the community to go to relief efforts in the Alberta Wildfires. She didn’t just set up the trailer; she helped people unload their goods and load them in the trailer which she, herself, drove to the Edmonton relief centre the May 6th weekend.

This was the second time she didn’t wait for a call to action; instead she encouraged others by issuing the call to action. This was the second time she took her time from her own busy schedule to not only collect items but to personally deliver them as she also took on this task during the Alberta floods several years ago. The trips were all out of her own pocket.

It’s people like her that make us proud to be from Unity and Saskatchewan.

twila zunti of Unity


Celebrate Unity tickets still available

You have three more days, to and including Friday, February 24, to pick you your early bird price Celebrate Unity tickets at the Unity Credit Union! You don’t want to miss this year’s event, a professional duelling pianos pair from Calgary, Alta.

Brian Burn and Jamie Mahn – Burn ‘N’ Mahn – have been together since 2013 and perform about 150 shows a year, across Canada and on cruise ships. They claim to have driven enough kilometres touring Canada to circle the globe five times!

There are many duelling piano groups out there, as the committee learned in their entertainment search. Burn ‘N’ Mahn are experienced, professional, talented and unique. Not only does the duo travel with two pianos, they also bring, and play, a saxophone, trumpet, flute, recorder, tin whistle, harmonica, accordion, guitar and mandolin.

Of course, you will also get to find out who this year’s exemplary service award winners are. One special group being recognized this year are the hard-working people behind the scenes of the Unity Music Festival, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year.

The annual gala, sponsored and organized by the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce and member businesses, takes place Monday, March 6 at the Unity Community Centre. The evening includes a catered supper as well as the award presentations and professional entertainment.

Celebrate Unity ad

Now, here is a little more information about this year’s entertainers:

Brian Burn has been playing professionally for more than 30 years. He started playing piano at age four and started playing with bands in high school. Brian has toured Canada from one end to the other many times and most of the United States. He has been nominated Canadian Country Music keyboard player of the year four times and has won the backup band of the year award twice. Brian also went to Afganistan in 2004 to play for our troops. Over the years Brian has played with many different artists as well as having his own band.

Jamie Mahn made his debut performance at the age of four singing at an Oktoberfest celebration. His first impromptu piano show took place at age 12 at the Holiday Inn, Niagara, N.Y., where he entertained snowbound guests by playing their many requests. Jamie spent his teenage years playing guitar, keyboard, trumpet, bass and sax, gaining experience with his father’s rock and roll band performing at weddings, charity functions and dances. At 21, he joined Carnival Cruise Lines and performed in the piano bars of 10 different ships for three years. Jamie followed that by spending three years in duelling piano bars in the U.S. He has lived and performed in Holland and Singapore.

Yes, there is “OpportUNITY in Unity!”

Last year, the Town of Unity and the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce commissioned Prairie Wild Consulting Co. to determine where there might be gaps in the goods and services offered by businesses in Unity and what methods might help encourage entrepreneurs to fill those gaps.

business gap analysis front page

Unity’s economic development officer, Carey Baker, will be presenting highlights from the end result – a 140 page report, the Town of Unity Targeted Business Attraction Strategy and Business Gap Analysis,report – at a special public meeting Wednesday evening, Feb. 15. The presentation will be at the Unity Community Centre and begins at 7 pm. The report is also available on the town website,

The study concluded there are some business gaps and opportunities in Unity, inlcuding in the construction, retail trade and transportation sectors.

Along with identifying gaps, the report suggests various strategies to strengthen Unity’s brand, help promote existing Unity businesses and explore options for entrepreneurial training and assisting business start-ups. It also looks at strategies to encourage redevelopment of vacant downtown buildings, suggesting a variety of specific potential business uses for each building.

Support for employees and the general quality of life in Unity were also examined. Appendices include a review of what other municipalities are doing in the way of business programs and incentives, an inventory of existing businesses in Unity, samples and summaries of surveys conducted and a regional comparison of businesses.

The report concludes with these words: “Moving forward, the Business Attraction and Retention Strategy and Business Gap Analysis helps to lay out a path forward that will help to make Unity an even more thriving place to be – whether a community to live in, a community to do business in, or both.”

To learn more, be sure to attend the presentation at the community centre next Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 7 pm.

Next week’s paper

Thanks to freelance contributor Sherri Solomko, the October 26th issue of the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald has a terrific feature on a number of local athletes who are playing sports elsewhere. Be sure to check it out to see who you know!

Also in next week’s paper:

  • A summary of election results;
  • An interview with Dr. David Torr on flu shots; and
  • Details on where to take what when you’re cleaning house.

All that along with the RCMP report, Warriors football update, a Halloween Top 10 and more. Lots of specials and events to check out in the ads too!

Below: There have been several changes to buildings in Unity, including a demolition of the old J&E Convenience and FasGas store last week. See next week’s paper for more photos and other building changes.

building demolition in Unity SK

Co-operatives continuing to contribute to communities

For over a hundred years, co-operatives have been part of the fabric of Saskatchewan communities.

In Senlac, Saskatchewan, the first grain elevator was built in 1911 – a Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company venture. The farmer-owned SCEC was founded in 1911 and 40 elevators were built in the first year. The elevator at Rockhaven, with many Swarthmore area farmers among its members, was one of another 93 SCEC elevators built the following year.

In Unity, SK, the Producers’ Creamery was established in 1914. Although it was eventually sold to private interests, it started as a farmer owned co-operative.

Snow plow clubs in rural areas operated on a co-operative basis for many years, before rural municipalities took over the job of keeping country roads passable in winter.

co-op red sheildEarlier this year, the Luseland location of Delta Co-op held 100th year anniversary celebrations. Originally the Grass Lake Grain Growers Association Limited, the local co-operative was formed in 1915. In later years, the organization was renamed the Luseland Co-operative Association Ltd, and today is part of Delta Co-op. Delta Co-op itself celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2014.

The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan gives some early history. “Farmers … began to use co-operatives to supply themselves with goods and to help them take control of handling and marketing their produce.” The first co-operative named by the encyclopedia is the Grain Growers’ Grain Company, formed in 1906. The second was the elevator co-op.

The encyclopedia goes on to say, “the hardships of the 1930s strengthened the co-op movement, and co-operative methods were used to meet a wide variety of needs, including marketing, banking, insurance, the refining of oil, and provision of farm implements.”

“Banking by co-operative methods,” of course, are credit unions. Established in 1940, the Macklin Credit Union will celebrate its 75th anniversary later this fall. Unity Credit Union will follow suit with its own 75th anniversary celebrations in 2016. What is now Credit Union Central, in 1941 was the Saskatchewan Co-operative Credit Society – English Canada’s first credit union system.

cu logo

The longevity and continuing success of local co-ops and credit unions are a testament to the power of business by co-operation. In Saskatchewan, approximately 490,000 people – almost half the population – are members of 51 different credit unions. In Saskatchewan, 1,280 co-operatives continue to operate, employing some 15,000 people.

Those involved on boards and in management will say the success comes from the enterprises being owned and controlled locally by members, not by lone CEOs or far-off shareholders. Members are accountable to each other for decisions made, and those decisions are made democratically with everyone having a voice. Profits are returned to members via equity cheques and cash-back dividends.

Because members, directors and staff live and work in the communities served by their co-ops and credit unions, monetary and volunteer hour donations are made to other community organizations and events.

Since 1982, C-op Week has been proclaimed across Canada every October. Members of co-operatives and credit unions will celebrate Co-op Week Oct. 11 to 17 this year.

International Credit Union Day has been celebrated even longer, first being recognized in 1948. This year, Credit Union Day is Oct. 15.

“Co-op Week is a time to reflect on the contributions the co-operative sector has made to the lives of Canadians and celebrate the impact that co-operatives have in our communities,” says the Saskatchewan Co-operatives Association’s website. The Canadian site says it this way: “Co-op Week is the opportunity for Canadian co-operative and credit union members to celebrate the fact that they have collectively helped to build this country. Co-op Week is recognition of their continuing contributions at home and abroad.”

co-op welcome

Stop in at your local co-op or credit union next week to congratulate them and see what special activities they have going on as part of their Co-op Week celebrations.

Next week’s paper

As August comes to an end, the Unity Wilkie Press-Herald looks at what one area teen did on her summer holiday! Along with this story of a teen travelling to Nicaragua to volunteer, look for:

  • a list of the blocks in town being paved this year;
  • an interview with provincial NDP leader, Cam Broten;
  • a story on an upcoming move for KC Rescue; and
  • some Unity girls win another provincial gold!

Below, a paving crew works on 1st Street East and Unity SK motorists look forward to having a lot less potholes to swerve around.

paving streets in Unity

Unity Western Days Decorating Contest

Congratulations to the Unity Credit Union – winner of the Press-Herald’s Western Days decorating contest for businesses. The credit union transformed their branch into an old-time saloon, complete with a poker game in progress, wanted posters hanging from the ceiling and plenty of cowboy hats and liquor bottles.

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015


Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

Unity Credit Union, Unity Western Days 2015

And congratulations to Wildeman Sports Excellence for their second place finish, on the strength of their wonderful window display, which unfortunately does not translate well into a photo but here’s a hint.

Wildeman Sports Excellence, Unity Western Days 2015