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Local Business Polar Industries Ltd.


Manitoba’s Ice Road Truckers By Tania Moffat


I


f you ever have the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Kohaykewych, president and CEO of Polar Industries Ltd., you can sense how much respect and admiration he has for the remote regions of our country. Manitoba


born and bred, Mark built Polar Industries out of this in- fatuation for the North. “I’ve always had a passion for it. A buddy of mine from


university and I would travel the ice roads on day-trips to go ice-fishing. Some of the best ice-fishing this province has to offer is off those roads. Each year we’d push a little farther and stay out a little longer. We travelled any road we could on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. I saw freight trucks passing all the time and always wondered if there was any money in it. It was always an interest, but I never did anything about it,” recalls Mark. Mark went on to finish university then got into the con-


28 • Winter 2015


struction industry becoming part-owner of one of Winni- peg’s construction companies. “I guess it (Polar) started when we got a project up north


with St. Teresa Point First Nation. I decided to buy my own truck, hired a driver and away we went. We hauled our own freight up and then subcontractors started asking if we could take their loads up as well. Tat first year we took 21 loads up on the ice roads,” Mark says. And that is basically how Polar Industries got started. How they got to be one of the hottest shows on History Channel and listed as one of Canada Small Business Maga- zine’s PROFIT 500 top growing companies over the last five years is another story. Last year was Polar’s sixth year of hauling freight on the


ice roads. Te number of loads they carry has increased from a humble 21 to 712 in the past year alone. Tis means a lot


The Hub


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