Bright sparks: Flyer Electric soars on the prairies

Founded in 1982 in Birch Hills, Flyer Electric started as a small residential and commercial electrical contractor serving local area clients in construction and agriculture. However, it didn’t stay small for long. Owner Bob Cockwill expanded the company in the 1990s, venturing into the industrial electrical construction and maintenance sector. Flyer Electric began serving Saskatchewan’s mining industry in the north, handling site service work for Cameco and Areva (now Orano) uranium mines. The expansion would see the company start a second office in La Ronge and put it on a new path of growth.

Growing up

Flyer Electric.

“Our move into mining was great for the company’s growth,” says president and CEO Terry Tessier. “However, we would pivot in another direction again in the late 2000s.” The economic downturn in 2008 led Flyer Electric to expand its services to new areas, exploring opportunities in potash mining and winning contracts with many of the potash companies working in the southern part of the province. Flyer Electric saw the potential in using their experience and quality of workmanship grown through the industrial environments, to execute projects in water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as design-build projects. “Our move to expand these lines of work saw us grow quickly, but still provide the quality work we have always been known for,” says Tessier. “We grew throughout the prairies, leaving no areas off limits, top to bottom and corner to corner.”

A new chapter

In 2011, Cockwill—the company’s founder—was ready to retire and find a buyer that could carry on what he built for almost thirty years. Athabasca Basin Development and Sakitawak Development Corporation saw the value that Flyer Electric offered, and together purchased the company in 2011 knowing that this investment was going to provide long term returns and opportunities for the various stakeholders. “Flyer Electric is a certified Indigenous-owned electrical contractor,” says Tessier. “Our work gives back to our owner communities and creates employment opportunities for the people within.”

Today and tomorrow

Flyer Electric is now the largest electrical contractor in Saskatchewan, with almost 200 people working on sites and in offices across the province and throughout the prairies. What hasn’t changed is the quality of work, and the high standards the company has been known for since 1982. “We have earned our solid reputation for excellent work on every project we complete, big or small,” says Tessier. “Plus, we also create wealth and opportunity for the province’s Indigenous communities. We’re proud of the work we do, and we are ready to deliver where and when we’re needed. All it takes is a phone call.”

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Flyer Electric LP

Flyer Electric LP services include:

  • System integration
  • Electrical construction and maintenance
  • Lighting solutions
  • Automation and controls integration
  • Data and fibre optics communication systems
  • Electrical, instrumentation and automation design
  • Fire, security and CCTV systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Testing, troubleshooting and repair

Athabasca Basin Development is owned by seven First Nation communities—Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids, Black Lake, Hatchet Lake, Wollaston Lake, Camsell Portage and Uranium City—and invests in companies to create wealth for its owner communities. Sakitawak Development Corporation is the economic development corporation for the Northern Village of Ile-a-la-Crosse, committed to building employment and economic opportunities in the north.