Tag Archives: Unity and District Chamber of Commerce

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, townofunity.com.

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.

Grand in Your Hand winners drawn

Congratulations to residents Ed Lantz and Bob Heilman, winners of $1,000 each in the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce 2014 Grand in Your Hand draw.

Here’s Chamber president Helena Long reaching deep into the thousands of collected ballots gathered up in the back of a 2015 Chevy Traverse to pull the first of the two names drawn Dec. 23, 2014, at Unity, Saskatchewan.

2014 Grand in Your Hand

Celebrate Unity 2014 planning underway

Do you know somebody who makes Unity a better place, or a business celebrating a milestone anniversary? The honouree list for Celebrate Unity 2014 is being finalized so if you have a suggestion or nomination, please contact  committee chair, Gerald Hauta at 306-228-2688 or, by email, Gerald.hauta@unitycu.ca. You can also use the comment form on the chamber webpage: http://unitystories.com/chamber-of-commerce/.

Some individuals will be honoured for exemplary service, new businesses and those celebrating special anniversaries will be congratulated and committees who have hosted provincial events will be recognized.

Celebrate Unity 2014The gala evening, put on by the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce, will include a catered supper, the recognition/celebration program, a service auction and entertainment.

Hoja, the three-man cappella group who performed to rave reviews at Celebrate Unity last year, is returning for the 2014 event which will be held at the Unity Community Centre March 3. Hoja sings virtually every style of music, as well as vocalizing instrument sounds and other noise effects.

Last year’s Celebrate Unity audience was captivated by the talent of this Calgary, Alta., group. As the chamber-sponsored celebratory evening is open for any and all community members to attend, Celebrate Unity 2014 event is your chance to hear Hoja’s amazing talents live and in person if you missed out last year – or to enjoy them again if you were lucky enough to be in the audience last year.

Businesses and individuals willing to donate time and talent for this year’s service auction are asked to contact Geraldine Barrett at 306-228-2808 or, by email, sunrisewellnessspa@sasktel.net. Service items auctioned off last year included a half day of housecleaning, holiday decorating, cakes made to order and an afternoon of yardwork.

Celebrate Unity is your chance to come and celebrate the successes of your friends and neighbours, hear talented visiting musicians and bid on unique auction items.

Tickets for Celebrate Unity 2014 will soon be available – watch for ads and posters. In the meantime, mark March 3 in your calendar!

Unity’s Chamber of Commerce

OpportUNITY … it’s waiting for you.

With this great slogan, a partnership began between the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Unity.Unity, Saskatchewan

  • Billboards
  • Radio ads
  • A video blog
  • Newspaper ads
  • Online advertising
  • Appearances at trade shows

They all worked together to raise the profile of Unity throughout the province. In 2011, the campaign resulted in former Rider Scott Schultz coming to our community for his video blog, Global TV showcasing our town on provincial television and an award from the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association.

There is still opportUNITY in Unity as witnessed by the Chamber officially welcoming new businesses to the business community on a regular basis. New businesses receive their first year’s membership to the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce free of charge and are featured in a newspaper writeup.

New businesses and existing businesses in growth mode need employees. There is plenty of job opportUNITY in Unity, and the Chamber also welcomes new residents with a “welcome wagon” type bag. Newcomers feel appreciated at the same time as local businesses are promoted by information and/or samples being included in the gift bags.

Business and commUNITY — celebrating together

Unity & District Agricultural Society

Irene Lacoursiere, Joan Sperle and Elaine Sperle represented the Unity & District Agricultural Society at Celebrate Unity 2013. The society was recognized for 102 years of hosting events such as the annual fall fair and trade show.

The Unity Chamber of Commerce further recognizes the opportUNITY each year at its Celebrate Unity event which acknowledges new businesses, celebrates business milestone anniversaries, recognizes commUNITY initiatives such as hosting of provincial sporting events, introduces new owners and managers to the community and congratulates individuals who have provided exemplary business or public service. The celebratory evening includes a catered supper and unique entertainment each year, such as the a capella singing group Hoja in 2013.

Clark Ubell, Jaron Bearing

Kelly McLellan, left, congratulates Clark Ubell of Jaron Bearing and Hydraulic (1998) Ltd. on being recognized for the exemplary service he provides to customers. In his nomination letter, Kelly said, “So, for the farmer who has gotten his grain in the bins before the frost. For the trucker who has his truck safely on the road again. For the grader operator who keeps our streets and roads clear. For the mechanic who fixes the school buses our children ride in every day. For the town foreman who keeps things running without a hitch. And for the welder who needs to keep his business running smoothly to support his family. … Thank you.”

Stay tuned for details on Celebrate Unity 2014. And if you know of a business celebrating a special anniversary or of someone who provides business or community service “above and beyond,” please let us know! (You can comment below or talk to any member of the executive.)

For more on what the Chamber does, including sponsoring and organizing Santa Day, lobbying local and provincial government, promoting member businesses, life and disability insurance, training opportunities, Canada Day activities and the Western Days downtown barbecue, see http://unitystories.com/chamber-of-commerce/. For Chamber contact information, visit http://unitystories.com/chamber-of-commerce/contact-the-chamber/.