By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Awards season has reached Coaldale, as the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce honours local businesses this Saturday.
The chamber’s 38th annual Awards and Appreciation Banquet goes Sept. 22.
“I think it’s important to recognize people. It makes them feel good, that we recognize them, what they have done, either business-life or personal life or whatever people have done, a thank you is always nice,” said John Pollemans, chair of the awards banquet. “A thank you is good, and (to show) appreciation to the people who have succeeded, I think it’s the best thing that we can do, and as a chamber, it’s our obligation to award people with a thank you.
“By coming to this function, that is also a thank you to the businesses who have won.”
The Coaldale Inn won the Business of the Year award. According to nomination comments, the friendly atmosphere and successful resurrection of the Inn gave them the win.
“My goal throughout my whole life was customer service, and 100 per cent satisfaction. That’s what I practice here, and that’s what I grew up doing,” said Ken Schimdt, owner of the Coaldale Inn, who has been running the Inn for two years.
“I would have to give most of the credit to the staff, because of the great job that they do and how conscientious they are of the policies that we have of customer satisfaction, so kudos to our staff,” said Schmidt. “It’s such an honour, I couldn’t believe it when I was told. I didn’t realize we were nominated, and yet, here we are the winner. So an absolute privilege and honour.”
Small Business of the Year goes to DH Fencing. According to their nomination form, since moving the business to Coaldale in 2013, owners Jonathan and Marsha Wagewnaar have been involved in the community and supported the chamber, Gem of the West museum and the Coaldale Fun Run. In addition to growing the company into other markets, they also provide excellent service and growth opportunities.
Citizen of the Year goes to Dr. Mary Thompson. According to her nomination form, Thompson has lived in Coaldale for 37 years, and during her time here, she has been active in the community and has served as a part-time manager for the chamber, a charter member of Coaldale chapter of Communities in Bloom, supported the community garden, worked on the Friends of the Library development proposal to the Birds of Prey Centre and served on many other boards and committees.
The Customer Service award goes to Prairie Sky RV ltd. According to their nomination for, owner Attila Braun and staff are welcoming, friendly and quick to offer refreshments. They are always on hand to answer questions if needed and their products are excellent their warranties are always honoured, and the business offers a relaxed family-style atmosphere.
The Group Citizen award goes to the Coaldale Family Fun Run. According to their nomination form, it was created in 2011 to bring another element of community spirit in sports and recreation. It has raised over $131,000 for the Pinnacle Park reconstruction project, and has raised money for the Coaldale Food Bank and Alzheimer’s Society.
A Special Tribute award goes to the Kinsmen Club of Coaldale.
“Kinsmen Club of Coaldale is very proud to be the recipient of the ‘Special Tribute’ award that was given out by the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce,” said Jack Van Rijn, president of the Coaldale Kinsmen. “Coaldale Kinsmen have worked very hard in their own Community by engaging with community groups financially for projects that would otherwise have a hard time getting completed.”
Since the society’s incorporation in 1954, they have raised over $7.2 million, with 100 per cent of the funds going to support projects such as the spray park, Kin Picnic Shelter, various playgrounds, Coaldale and District Emergency Services, the quads/soccer fields/baseball diamonds and Coaldale Health Care Centre. The Kinsmen are also hosting their 28th Harley Raffle and are planning their 10th annual ‘Carnage in Coaldale’ Smash & Splash Demolition Derby and Mud Bog.
Tickets are available through chamber members. For more information, contact the chamber at 403-345-2358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In an early version version of this article, in a quote by Ken Schimdt, ‘conscientious’ was misspelled as ‘contentious’. The Sunny South News apologizes for any misunderstanding or confusion this may have caused.