Yorkton Chamber of Commerce History 1998

1998 brought a new vitality to the Chamber – a festive spirit was in the air due to the fact that the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce became 100 years young. . . . yes indeed, in 1898 George A Bull signed the document requesting the Yorkton District Board of Trade, Yorkton N.W.T. to be registered for a noting fee of $5.00. 

A major issue, the By Pass which proposed a route from Highway #16 to Queen Street, of which the Chamber, in response to the business community, had stated their position publicly being that “a bypass has no economic value to its members”. This issue had it’s beginning in late ’97 and was put to rest in February and a lesser route was taken (Highway #52 would join #16).  

Winnie Spence and Keith Harper became Honorary Life members in recognition of their many years of service on April 17, 1998 in conjunction with the Farm and Leisure Birthday Celebration Bash. Past presidents, dignitaries, chamber members and the community at large celebrated the 100th birthday of the Chamber. John Miller, at a later date, was also installed as a Honorary Life Member for his many years of dedicated service to the Chamber.  

Yorkton, was again host to the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting on May 6 and 7th in conjunction with our 100 year celebrations. The Chamber hosted a “Smokin’ in Yorkton” BBQ for membership on the evening of May 5 for all delegates and membership to attend. A successful event for both the Sask. Chamber and the Yorkton Chamber. Our members support was fantastic . . . . .it was said that the Installation of the President on May 6, Wed. evening was the best attendance at this type of function. Another success for Yorkton! 

Education has always played a major role with the Chamber of Commerce. With the introduction of Entrepreneurship #36 at the Yorkton Regional High School, the Chamber has provided support along with other partners in helping to provide resources for this new concept in teaching. The “Business Resource Center” of the Regional High School will produce our future. The Chamber expects to play a vital role in helping to create our future entrepreneurs. 

The Chamber also has ventured into another area with regards to helping small business operators in Yorkton. Due to the success of the two existing programs run by the Good Spirit REDA and Yorkton Economic Development, a third program of the Small Business Loans Association was set up by the Chamber in August/98. The Chamber has entered into an agreement with the Yorkton Economic Development Inc. to handle the administration and application aspect. 

So often people traveling into Yorkton did not realize they were in Yorkton, therefore, the Chamber, to encourage commerce and promote Yorkton amenities purchased a LARGE sign consisting of 108 signbands. The sign is located at the Chamber/Tourism. A “Welcome to Yorkton” with a city map indicating where all advertisers are, now welcomes travelers into the city.  

How does Yorkton recognize the value of business/individuals? The Chamber, in partnership with the City’s Economic Development office initiated “1998 Celebrate Success” Awards to recognize the contributions and successes of business. The event was planned as a kick off to Small Business Week and was extremely successful with a sellout crowd. The Business of the Year Award went to Popowich Milling.  

Another success for the Chamber this year was the First Annual Santa Claus Parade which was held December 5. Excitement pulsed through the community. Approximately 50 floats participated with a large turnout of people lined the streets to watch the parade.