Members of the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce gathered for their 117th Annual General Meeting. For the first time in several years, the gathering took place face to face. Members and the Board gathered at the Canalta Hotel on April 5 to review the operations of the past year, set plans for the coming one, and introduce new Board members.
The Chamber found its financial position bolstered thanks to some grant money for recovery and specific initiatives. One of those initiatives was the “Shop Local” campaign which included a series of ongoing videos highlighting the best of Humboldt’s businesses. Part of the grant funding allowed the Chamber to purchase high end camera equipment for the production of its promotional content. Member businesses can access the camera for ongoing projects.
Chamber President Brent Walker’s comments were presented by presiding officer Anne Thomas in his absence.
“As a Chamber Board, we had a planning session to review our strategic plan and set our strategic priorities for what we need to be focused on over the next five years,” Thomas read.
In his remarks, Walker also expressed appreciation to Humboldt Mayor Michael Behiel for his presence at Board meetings and fostering strong two-way communication with the city.
In his Executive Director report, Brent Fitzpatrick highlighted several initiatives in addition to the Shop Local campaign. The Training and Employment Network (TEN) project received funding to bring regional awareness on Indigenous issues and opportunities that may be present for the business community. With the help of Elan Buan of Schollie Research and the City’s Cultural Services Department, the Chamber hosted several virtual sessions for Chamber members and the public. Among these were an Indigenous awareness training session with Lyle Daniels and a primer on understanding Treaties with Amy Seesequasis of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. The project culminated with Mayor Behiel and Brent Walker being invited to the 2021 National Indigenous Day at the Horizon School Division.
“When the TEN project was initially offered, it didn’t quite fit what the Chamber of Commerce was able to do, so we turned it down.” explained Fitzpatrick. “Then we changed it to be more of an awareness campaign, and it had a stunning success. I’m very proud of that project and what we did as a Chamber of Commerce.”
The Chamber unveiled its new logo in 2021. A trio of converging stripes representing business, community and partnership. The new imaging was at the forefront as the Chamber worked to attract groups like the Women on the Go Tour, a group of more than two dozen Regina based shoppers who targeted Humboldt for a retail getaway.
Fitzpatrick reported that the Drive-Thru Hallowe’en event was a success, although it's unclear whether the event will continue in the post-pandemic world. Finally, the Festival of Lights had another successful season.
The meeting also saw the swearing in of new officers on the Board. Brent Walker remained as the President with Chris Hergott as vice-president. New and returning Board members included Elan Buan, Greg Riou of React Waste Management, Jennifer Brooks of Carlton Trail College, Mike Yager of Spotlight Sport and Corporate Wear, and Megan Getty of RBC.