Issue 34

A new year brings new opportunities. At EDR we believe in developing and sticking with long-term strategies. We are just about to begin the consultation and research process that will lead to a new five-year strategic plan for our organization. I am pleased that we were committed and invested in in our current strategic plan, and it is good to see the results created. But nothing is as constant as change. We must be always vigilant about new developments in the Saskatchewan and global economies. These changes can result in emerging opportunities to be exploited by companies in the Greater Regina Area. Our eyes and ears are open for “what’s next”, while we continue to work on the targets and goals we have set for ourselves. And one thing that does remain constant, is that we always challenge ourselves to Think BIG!


By Bruce Johnstone

Kevin Stricker of Fries-Tallman Lumber says participating in Economic Development Regina’s Investment Partnership Program is a good way of boosting the local economy, while giving back to the community.

“It’s a great investment in the city,’’ said Stricker, referring to the company’s $75,000 contribution to EDR’s IP program over three years.

In fact, Stricker, who’s been with Fries-Tallman since 1983, says all similar-sized businesses should feel the same level of commitment to the city.

“I think medium-sized businesses are going to be expected to contribute to the betterment of our society,’’ he said in a recent interview for Think Big Regina!

Fries-Tallman is one of 19 partners in the IP Program, which aims at generating $1 million for EDR’s Regina Advantage Initiative. The initiative was launched in October 2017 to promote Regina as a great place to work, live and invest.

Fries-Tallman Lumber was founded by business partners, George Fries and Gordon Tallman, in 1956 in the midst of the post-war housing boom. The company bills itself as “one of the oldest independently owned retail lumber yards in Saskatchewan.’’

“It’s a great story,’’ Stricker says. Mel Richardson, patriarch of the famous curling Richardson family, was a “silent partner” in the founding of the company 62 years ago. Stricker’s father was also an owner. Kevin and his wife, Joan, bought 100% of the company in 2001.

Fries-Tallman has survived the ups and downs of the Saskatchewan economy, including a 20-year stretch of slow to no-growth. “Like any business, we’ve had our triumphs and struggles,’’ Stricker says.

While locally owned and operated, Fries-Tallman belongs to a 22-member buying group, which enables the company to compete on price with the big box stores and home improvement chains.

But Stricker believes local ownership has been one of the factors in Fries-Tallman’s success over the past six decades. “I think our biggest key to success is really giving back to the community,’’ Stricker said, citing the company’s support of local charities, like the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, and sports teams, like the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Regina Pats.

“Moving forward, medium-sized businesses are going to be expected to contribute to the local economy as far giving back to the community.’’

That’s why Fries-Tallman is putting its money where its mouth is by participating in the Investment Partnership Program.

“When John Lee sent me the package over, I thought this is exactly what we should be doing to invest in the betterment of society of Regina and the citizens of Regina.’’

Stricker says business owners have a responsibility to support their home community and the Investment Partnership Program is one of the best ways of doing that.

“I’m very proud to be from Regina. Regina has been good to our family and I feel Regina is going to continue being a great city.”

“Fundamentally, we’ve got a lot going on here. And the business community has to reinvest in the city.’’

Learn more at:


For the last several years EDR has been a co-host for the Aboriginal Business Match (ABM). They have recently re-branded to the Advanced Business Match and they are hosting this year’s event February 25-27 in Regina.

Advanced Business Match (ABM) connects your business with Indigenous communities for specific projects that provide mutually beneficial outcomes (like services, training, employment, trades and more.) It’s a unique chance to capitalize on a growing market with limitless opportunities. ABM engages two thirds of Indigenous communities across Canada.

How does it work? ABM employs sophisticated business matching technology that pre-qualifies and pre-matches you to key decision makers in your selected fields/industry. Once you select the potential partners you want to meet, ABM creates up to 31 pre-scheduled appointments between you and those potential partners in a 2 ½ day hyper productive trade show event.

These face to face appointments keep the conversation focused and efficient to help determine next steps if a business match was made or is possible. ABM events eliminate geographic barriers, condense time requirements and reduce costs.

ABM Indigenous: Prairies, co-hosted by FHQ Developments, Yorkton Tribal Council, the Clarence Campeau Development Fund, the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation and Economic Development Regina Inc.

If you are ready to register, click here.


15 restaurants, 12 days, exclusive menus and fixed prices! There is no better time to check out the unique culinary styles of downtown restaurants than at Regina Restaurant Week!

This year marks the fourth annual Regina Restaurant Week (January 28 – February 8, 2019). This culinary festival is an opportunity for restaurants to engage with customers during a typically slow time of the year. Restaurants create a fixed price menu ($25-$40) that will introduce customers to their business’ culinary style. Have a look at the participating restaurants menus here.


This is the first in a series of articles written by Bruce Johnstone for EDR, discussing some of the fundamental ideas behind economic development and why it matters to everyone in the community.

By Bruce Johnstone

What is economic development? Why do we need economic development agencies to foster growth in our population and economy? Why do we need to grow our economy and population in the first place?

These are questions that citizens and taxpayers may ask themselves from time to time.

Some may question the need for economic development agencies to promote economic and population growth. After all, isn’t that the job of city hall, provincial and federal governments and the private sector?

Others may ask why taxpayers should subsidize the creation of jobs, provide tax incentives to attract new businesses, dole out grants to out-of-province companies, or foot the bill for expensive junkets to faraway places in the name of economic development.

Other people may even argue that a growing economy and population are not always desirable in that they contribute to overcrowding of roads and public spaces, urban sprawl and environmental contamination.

This series of articles hopes to answer some, if not all, of these questions. Read more


Evraz Place is working hard to give Saskatchewan food producers a fair opportunity to supply their needs.

Watch video