Giving Back: Irene and Leslie (Les) Dubé create endowment with the Saskatoon Community Foundation
On May 17, 2021, the Saskatoon Community Foundation announced the creation of a $6 million endowment to support six charitable organizations: the Lighthouse, the Canadian Mental Health Association of Saskatoon (CMHA Saskatoon), Sherbrooke Community Centre, the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan, Hope for Malawi, and Food for the Hungry Canada.
Philanthropists Irene and Les Dubé, founders of the Concorde Group of Companies, have donated the funds that will be received by each of the organizations in 2021 and continue annually in perpetuity.
“We’re trying to be good stewards. We’d like to leave the world a little better than when we came in.” said Irene Dubé.
“Les describes how philanthropy feeds the soul,” said Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO Carm Michalenko. “Working with Les and Irene as part of their legacy planning to create the Dubé Endowed Funds has been a tremendous honour. Through their estate planning they are wisely using life insurance to plan their legacy for their giving priorities. We are inspired by their mission to help others and create a community where everyone feels they belong. As we serve all donors, no matter the size of their estate, we encourage them to create a charitable gift plan.”
Housing Starts Up
A Statistics Canada report released on May 17, 2021 on housing starts saw urban housing starts in Saskatchewan increased by 101.4 per cent, compared to the same period in 2020. Saskatchewan ranked second among the provinces in percentage change. As well, housing starts more than doubled for single-family dwellings with an increase of 160.3 per cent and by 86.4 per cent for multiple units.
This growth contributed to the increase of 8,700 new construction jobs in April 2021 compared to April 2020, according to the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey for April 2021.
Transition Metals will commence field work in Saskatchewan this summer on its Wollaston Lake Project in northern Saskatchewan. The company has applied for permits to prepare helicopter pads for mapping and sampling of copper targets.
Foran Mining Corporation announced on May 18, 2021 that its McIlvenna Bay project is now the world’s first carbon neutral copper development project. McIlvenna Bay, located in eastern Saskatchewan near Flin Flon, is a copper-zinc-gold-silver rich VMS deposit. Foran has completed the purchase of carbon offsets to compensate for emissions from exploration activities at the project over the last 10 years. The carbon offsets will benefit conservation projects in Newfoundland and Zimbabwe.
“Mining is critical to the advancement of the global economy and our collective ambitions of decarbonisation; it is for this reason that we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to produce the essential materials we need for a low carbon future (such as copper and zinc in our case) in the most responsible way possible,” said Dan Myerson, Executive Chair of Foran.
WESK Summit Gala Award Winners
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) celebrated five women entrepreneurs at their annual WESK Summit Gala held on May 20, 2021 during Women Entrepreneurs Week.
This year’s winners include:
- Community Involvement Award Recipient: Jennifer Denouden (Avana)
- Indigenous Entrepreneur Award Recipient: Jennifer Dubois (Miyosiwin Salon Spa)
- Innovation Award Recipient: Monique Simair (Maven Water and Environment)
- Resilience Award Recipient: Heather Monaghan (Helping Hands Care Group)
- Celebration of Achievement Award: Christine Hrudka (Pharmacy First)
“Congratulations to our award recipients for this well-deserved recognition. The importance of celebrating women entrepreneurs is even more amplified this year. Their grit through this time of uncertainty and risk is not only remarkable; but the resilience to pivot, adapt and remain agile is extraordinary,” said Prahba Mitchell, CEO of WESK.
25 Years of STEP
Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) celebrates 25 years of operations in 2021. The organization’s public-private partnership has built their role as Saskatchewan’s export advocate and service provider. “With trade being an integral part of our economy, STEP will continue to play an essential role in growing Saskatchewan in partnership with the Provincial Government,” Marlin Stangeland, chair of STEP’s Board of Directors and CEO of Shercom Industries Inc. said. “Coupled with the existing and newly announced international offices, we look forward to 25 more years of export success.”
This week, Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) announced phase one of Connected Saskatchewan—tools that will assist communities develop and make decisions about broadband internet access.
Funding for Women Founders
Innovation Saskatchewan will commit $60,000 annually for the next two years to assist growth in women-led Saskatchewan tech companies. The funding will support the existing Founders Table mentorship program.
“Founders Table has seen participant numbers double in its second year, with positive impacts to their business being reported, including leadership, stronger marketing, and a surge in hiring additional employees,” WESK Chief Executive Officer Prabha Mitchell said. “Support for this program will go a long way in continuing to help change under-representation in the industry.”
Applications to the program will be reviewed in August, with successful applicants proceeding into the program in September. Applicants must be from Saskatchewan, in business for less than five years, and with gross revenues of less than $250,000.
“We are very excited to be announcing our continued support of the Founders Table program,” Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, said. “Building a tech ecosystem conducive for women to scale their companies is critical to the ongoing growth of Saskatchewan’s tech sector and our Government’s Growth Plan—in which we aim to triple the tech sector over the next ten years.”
Next week: Disability Service Professionals Week – May 24 – 28, 2021
Disability Service Professionals Week recognizes the people supporting those with disabilities across Saskatchewan.