The Christmas carols are done for another year, the happy new year’s greetings have been extended. Rather than being melancholy about what was, be celebrating what is and that’s everything this community has to offer, sure to include another full slate of action in our town this 2019.
Before I write another word, I want to wish our daughter a very happy birthday. It is hard to believe it has been 24 years since we were a duo on this day and became first time parents the next.
You may be happy the holidays are over, ready to settle back into routine or feeling the melancholy that it passed so quickly – but nonetheless the new year means a new beginning and plenty of opportunity to “put way” 2018 and start “decorating” for 2019.
The activity list may have slowed down in town however there are still “to do” options for you. Two sledding hills, outdoor skating rink, 24/7/265 movie theatre, hockey games, or begin the home purge that is always waiting for slow times in your life to do so. Sarcan and the Resource Centre are wonderful options for moving this pre-owned material without putting it in our landfills. The museum also hosts Sunday brunches so you can skip the cooking and support this weekly legion fundraiser
School zones will be quiet until next week but you can be assured that once they return on Monday, life around town will definitely show the pick up in activity once again.
With Christmas break nearly over and students returning to class on Jan. 7, both teachers and students alike have had a chance to regroup, refresh as well as reflect on what can they do to contribute to a successful 2019, and they welcome all the opportunities the new year will bring in both in their school life and personal lives.
Unity Curling Club is ready to rock and roll for a very busy second half of their season.
By all accounts, 2018 was absolutely another remarkable year for Unity. Hosting events seems to be the some of the heart and soul of the community and it definitely showcases our community to those who attend these events and activities. Unity Western Days feels their event is on the upswing and with the rumored chuckwagons returning to the event, it is expected this annual event will gain ground once again. The annual Fall Fair and trade show also was pleased with their attendance this year considering harvest was delayed and still on the go with many of the Ag folks who normally attend this yearly activity. Never underestimate the annual Winter Wonderland festivities for drawing in folks from surrounding towns to take part in the community festivities and shopping opportunities, with this year’s event hosting a record number of activities at businesses, mostly in the downtown area. Brand new this year, that definitely brought in out of town participants, was the fall 3-on-3 hockey event that generated a good chunk of change for the Outdoor Rec Venue and have already promised this as an annual event due to its success.
The ball diamonds laid out the biggest welcome mat this year hosting an unprecedented seven events at the diamonds this ball season that included tournaments, provincial championships and U19 Western Canadian softball championships that capped off the season with a big home win by the Unity Panthers. Each of these weekends brought in 200-300 additional people to town with the most estimated for the Girls Prairie League (GPLS) championship weekend that hosted 40 teams. Events like these can bring in thousands of dollars to our local economy as players, fans and visitors purchase fuel, food, accommodations and other shopping items needed or browsed for while in town.
Unity’s success story was verified when Baseball Sask awarded Unity Minor Ball with club of the year, fully featured in an Oct. 26, 2018 story. As well, a long time softball volunteer was awarded with an award of outstanding achievement, Don Robertson, again featured in Oct 26, 2018. Both awards represent the dedication and commitment by many to ensure the ball diamonds and the ball program are keeping aligned with the future, as well as experiencing continued success stories.
The town must never underestimate the value of school sports events that draw in additional traffic on weekends for tournaments and events like the “Friday Night Lights” football events. From volleyball season right through to basketball season, there is non-stop action in the UCHS gymnasiums hosting regular tournaments or district/conference events for the various sports the school hosts.
Commercial construction was definitely noticeable in 2018 with Delta Coop starting their 15,000-plus sq. ft. Home Centre in April and opening their doors in October. Cross Fit lair, in their fourth expansion since opening, are in the final process of their construction project set to open soon. “The gym” formerly located in the upper level of Bluez has moved to the new Crossfit building, now owned by the Crossfit Lair. Unity Credit Union began their renovation/construction project in the fall of 2018 and is expected to be complete in spring of 2019. As well, new construction beside JJ Lamon PetroCan bulk fuel has been taking place. The Richardson Pioneer Outdoor Rec Venue also began construction on the former swimming pool site and is expected to be completed in the near future with winter outdoor enthusiasts once again being able to enjoy an outdoor skating rink. Grondin Funeral Services also underwent a facelift in the latter part of 2018 updating the look on the corner of 3rd and Main. As well, Glassford’s Funeral Services building had some frontage facelift procedures in 2018.
Rise and Grind was a new business opened on Main Street with this new business addition of as speciality coffee shop that has also played host to pop up shops and in house concerts which has brought a little taste of urban life to small town Saskatchewan. The former Sears building was removed from the downtown centre making way for an open lot for business potential. Greenwald Redi Mix owners retired selling their business to the now owners of Prairie Town Redi Mix. Bluez also opened a second liquor store in their location, offering longer hours and easily accessible entrance. Jack’s Pizza, Crepe and Frappe held a soft opening Nov. 30. This new eatery is located in the former Frenchie’s Pizza place and will offer take out, delivery and casual family style dine in options. Will there be more new business in Unity in the future? Nothing seems impossible with the growth that Unity has experienced over the last several years, with 2018 being one of prominent business growth/expansion/renovation.
The community also welcomed the addition of another service club, installing the new Unity Kin Club in the early winter months of 2018. It didn’t take long for this new service club to spring into action as they served as volunteers at a number of community events as well as provided labour and material for the installation and rejuvenation of the Kin Park behind Centennial Crescent.
Unity schools all showed increases in enrolment numbers in 2018. Real estate has been on the move as newcomers find homes and others relocate to upgraded homes for their growing families or seniors downsize. So it seems, whether it be due to resilience, perseverance or commitment to growth and the future – another year has shown that Unity is defying the odds that other small towns in Saskatchewan have experienced.
Coffee row numbers have resumed and the groups are happily sharing their holiday experiences as well as their enthusiasm for what’s on tap for Unity this 2019.
So you can see life is full of fun and activity in Unity and our friends at coffee row sharing this traditional part of our community culture. Until next time…