Northern Pride named Meadow Lake’s Business of the Year
by Phil Ambroziak
It was another proud moment for Terry and Tammy Villeneuve.
The co-owners of Northern Pride Publications were pleasantly surprised March 14 when the newspaper was named Business of the Year during the Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards 2012 Gala held at the Meadow Lake Civic Centre.
“We were really surprised because the field was really strong – the business community here is quite vibrant,” Tammy Villeneuve explained.
Terry Villeneuve said the success is the result of a team effort.
“Our success is due to the fact we have a great team on staff,” he said. “They all are dedicated individuals who make huge contributions to the business on a daily basis.”
Other nominees vying for the award included Cavalier Agrow Ltd., J. E. Thomas Funeral Home and Crematorium, Meadow Lake Co-op, Shkopich Enviro, Stephanie Harrington Photography, Solitude and Woodland Inn.
“All of the other nominees on the list have impacted the community positively and we’re just proud to have been listed with them,” Tammy Villeneuve noted.
Northern Pride Publications was established in 1993 and, along with the weekly newspaper, produces Northern Aboriginal Spirit (a monthly news magazine geared toward First Nations and Métis people), annual phone books and offers a variety of commercial printing services, many of which are produced onsite.
The gala also served as an opportunity for the chamber to recognize community volunteerism with the presentation of its Volunteer of the Year Award. This award was claimed by Dawn Ethier, a long-time supporter of the Meadow Lake community.
“Thank you so much, I am very honoured,” Ethier said following the announcement of her win. “For me, volunteering has always been an act of kindness and is something that is very important to me and my family. It’s just a way for me to give to others and to give back to my community.”
Ethier is an avid volunteer with such events as Relay for Life, the Saskatchewan Summer Games, Telemiracle and more.
Cavalier Agrow Ltd. was recognized with the Customer Service of the Year award.
Home Business of the Year honours were bestowed upon Andrea Cote Photography and Design.
Other award winners included Cari Moffet and Craig Weran of Wholelife Wellness for Hospitality/Tourism Business of the Year and Waterhen Lake Forest Products Inc. for Aboriginal Business of the Year. Both awards were new this year, introduced as sectoral awards in an effort to recognize certain categories the chamber felt were often overlooked in past years.
Wall of Fame
Also new to this year’s program was the Community Builders Wall of Fame. Introduced in conjunction with the chamber’s 50th anniversary, five inductees were announced during the gala in recognition of the contributions they made to Meadow Lake over the years. Inductees included Allen Brander, the late Frank Fechter, Maxine Leschuk, the late Gordon Read and the late Ron Young and family.
“In the spirit of our 50th anniversary, we thought it would be nice to do something truly special,” remarked chamber director Kim Ackerman. “The Wall of Fame is for people and businesses who have contributed over a long period of time.”
The gala also included a catered dinner and a musical comedy show by Martin Janovsky. Prior to the presentation of awards, Mayor Gary Vidal addressed the sold out audience of 250, sharing his thoughts on the importance of the evening.
“Small business is the very engine that drives our economy,” he said. “To the chamber, we say well done tonight. To the sponsors, we say thank you and congratulations to all the nominees in all the categories for doing what it takes to be recognized by your peers in the business community. For those who don’t win, take pride in the fact you were nominated and, to the winners, congratulations for a job well done. And, to our community builders, a special congratulations. You are the people who make this city a better place to live for everyone.”