There’s excitement and energy buzzing during the holiday season, but it seems a similar mood vibrates at Futuristic Industries. The supported workshop has its participants active on a host of fronts. On this day, it was signing classes. On other days, they breakout the instruments for a spirited sing-a-long. But every day, the key is in their name - Industries. The workers and the staff are among the most industrious people you’ll ever meet.

Steph Keller is the new community coordinator, and in 2022, everyone’s been on an exciting path with plenty of adventures to share thanks to the Enhancement Program that was rebooted in January following lifting of pandemic restrictions. 

“We’ve been to WWE (Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment) and concerts,” says Keller. “It’s been really good getting back to normal. We did our summer barbecue and raised over $5000 for our Snoezelen room.”

The Snoezelen room presents a calm and relaxing environment with sensory stimulation for those with anxiety issues. Unfortunately, the room’s construction was delayed until next spring when it was discovered the facility’s roof needed replacing.  

A few new contracts have the workers busy producing important construction and safety goods for BHP and their associated contractors. 

“The guys are actually drilling out blocks and painting them yellow to go on the rebar so that people see them. They’ve been pumping those out all summer. Western Concrete also gave us a contract for packing concrete pins for them. The guys pack these into 25 kg bags and ship them out. I believe it’s sixty 5000 pound bags they’ve sent out.”

Those pins are used to secure rebar together to help ensure a stable and reinforced pour of concrete. The workers can be proud to have contributed to one of the largest scale constructions in the province's history. 

Participants are happy to be back out in the community performing random acts of kindness, attending public events, cheering on the Broncos, and supporting community barbecues among other things. The SPCA is another favourite haunt where their furry friends wait anxiously for their visits and walks. The visit to St. Mary’s Villa was another hit with the Villa Residents and the Futuristic Industries participants enjoying music and each other’s company.

2023 will mark a 50 year milestone for the organization. There are big plans in the early stage to host a gala event with marquee musical entertainment and events that embrace the community that’s long supported the venture. 

“There’s going to be a celebration, but it's a sort of thank you because none of this happens without the support of the community,” says Executive Director Ray Whitton. There is no date yet for the proposed gala, but Futuristic Industries is prepping for some lead up events. 

In 2023, there will be more activities including a paint night with the museum and future improvements to the shop and equipment thanks to a $3750 donation by BHP. Add to that support from Sask Lotteries for the aquacize and curling programs, and that means plenty of chances for winter fitness. Two enhancement workers help facilitate the busy social and activity calendars for participants. Now, there’s a new conveyance that allows for easier transport to events. A new bus, purchased from DanWheels in Muenster, replaces the former 15 passenger van. 

“Between climbing in and out of the van, seat belts, our participants were squished in,” explains Whitton. “The bus actually allows us to improve the quality of trips. There’s an accessibility we didn’t have with the van.”

The big 2022 wrap up will come in January with a huge Christmas party featuring fan favourites 40 Oz Philosophy, a wonderful meal, and of course plenty of company.

“We at Futuristic Industries would like to wish our families and friends in our community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” concludes Keller. With awesome support, such as they’ve received this year, 2023 looks very bright for everyone connected with Futuristic Industries.