It was just a delay!

We now return to our originally scheduled 2020, already in progress

By Jeff Baker

“My point is that we’re on the verge of one of those moments: the numbers denoting the year on our calendars will change from 2019 to 2020. It’s the rolling over of numbers that happens every year, but something feels different about this one.

Something about 2020 makes it seem like we should have a certain clarity of vision, a clear direction and direct path toward whatever is in the future. It all sounds either too good to be true or like a heck of a lot of pressure on us.

When we’re living and operating in a topsy-turvy world filled with chaos, where instability is the new stability, and up is the new down, having crystal clear vision is probably a stretch for most of us. So, what can we do to keep moving forward?


Focus on the possible… on the potential… on the paths not yet trodden.”

Yeah… that’s an extract from my Editor’s Notebook in the Winter 2019 issue. Boy, if only I’d had a crystal ball at that point… I might not have been so optimistic!

Perhaps, though, if it weren’t for that little hiccup that was the last nearly three years (also known as the COVID-19 pandemic), we might have had that year of clarity.


Over the last while, I’ve found myself looking both back to what was before the world changed, and to what is yet to come. I appreciate the opportunities presented by both perspectives.

Through the challenges that we’ve faced – collectively and individually – I’ve discovered that the clarity for which I was hoping to arrive in 2020 is now showing up in things today. And its showing up in things both big and small.

We’ve learned that a lot of our jobs and functions can be performed differently, that the ‘usual’ and ‘traditional’ ways weren’t necessarily the best we could do. We also learned the importance of pivoting and being agile in our responses to things unknown.

And we learned that maybe some of our priorities as a society had gotten a bit screwy. But maybe that’s just me.

In this issue

I’m thrilled to welcome you into this winter issue of Prairie Manufacturer. It’s been another adventure tracking down stories and contributors!

In this issue, we’ve got some valuable insights into the positive impact that diversity and inclusion can have on your company, your employees, and your community.

The Founder of Calgary-based Chic Geek shares how her organization is working to increase the rate of retention of mid-career women in the tech sector and connect them with meaningful opportunities with mentors and career role models. 

If you’ve wondered about increasing the diversity of your company’s board of directors (or even your executive team, read about the power of diversity and how to unleash it from board and governance expert, Linda Wood Edwards.

Work hard, play hard

If you’ve thought that manufacturing is all work and no play, well… I’m here to tell you differently!

Central Alberta is home to several manufacturers specializing in watercraft – both commercial and recreational. Meet one company that’s got their customers jetting across the waves in high style.

We then head southeast to Medicine Hat, where we introduce you to a fourth-generation family-owned and operated company making playground equipment and other outdoor furnishings that are sold from coast to coast to coast. Chances are, if you’ve found yourself at a Canadian playground, you’ve probably played on something this company designed and built. 

And finally, our friends at PrairiesCan introduce us to a Saskatoon-based manufacturer of e-bikes that are taking over the world (well, maybe the roads!). Charge up, hop on, and let’s go for a spin!

Coming in spring

This coming spring will mark Prairie Manufacturer Magazine’s seventh anniversary of publishing. As we add another candle to our cake, we’ll be taking an opportunity to refresh a few things and put a new coat of paint here and there. But don’t worry… it’s not a teardown!

In the next issue, we’ll explore the world of digital manufacturing, including games, apps, and other Internet-driven specialities. The products are built from 1’s and 0’s, instead of metal and plastic, but they’re enabling the transformation of traditional sectors into the realm of advanced manufacturing.

We’ll also connect with Prairie Manufacturers who are sending something of our corner of the world to all sorts of far-off destinations. After all, the Prairies are home to folks making things the world wants. 

And lastly, we’ll take some time to look at manufacturers working up close and personal with the natural resources sector as customers and suppliers.

Wishing you the best

So, with that, I wish you and yours the best as we approach this holiday season. Whatever and however you celebrate, I hope you can do so with the folks who mean something in your life – be they your family and/or your chosen family. 

For all of us at Prairie Manufacturer Magazine, our extended family includes you – the members of the Prairie manufacturing community. We wish you each the best of the season, and we hope you enjoy the read. 

Until we chat again.