Profile: Kota Graphics

The company has expanded into architectural films for feature wall upgrades and other indoor projects.

Building industry connections
In 2010, Kota joined the Sign Association of Canada (SAC), which Vass credits for making his business more sustainable, particularly in terms of establishing industry connections.

“I knew about SAC because one of my former employers, Gerry Weninger, used to be president of the Saskatchewan chapter,” he explains. “Within a year of joining, we had built great relationships with other sign shops in Saskatoon and Regina. We can tackle jobs together to make sure deadlines are met. It’s a great group and everyone’s really, really helpful when it comes to teamwork.”

For Vass, this arrangement has also helped highlight the need to add further capacity to his own shop.

“We recently hired a new designer and new installers and our current crew is the best we’ve ever had,” he says, “but we’ve been at capacity for a number of years and there have been times we’ve had to turn down a lot of business. We desperately need a source of new employees in this province.”

With that in mind, he has been involved in developing a new educational curriculum, which SAC is now rolling out, starting in British Columbia.

“I want to see that expand into trade schools in Regina and Saskatoon,” he says. “The sign industry is such a cool, creative place to work. The projects are so different day in, day out. We need to get that message across to students.”

Inspired by his experiences with SAC, Vass is now president of the Saskatchewan Sign Association (SSA). As such, he has set his sights on increasing membership across the province.

“Last year, we had SAC’s highest-attended Road Show event, which was an incredible time with friends from other sign shops,” he says. “It really showed me we could build a much larger chapter and benefit from each other in many new ways.”

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