Building A Legacy: The Remarkable History Of FWS

July 17, 2023

  FWS has a rich history spanning back to its foundation in 1953 by Frank Wiebe Sawatzky. Born in the […]

Headshot of Frank Sawatsky


FWS has a rich history spanning back to its foundation in 1953 by Frank Wiebe Sawatzky. Born in the aftermath of the great flood of 1950 in Winnipeg, FW Sawatzky Ltd. initially focused on home renovations but quickly expanded its services as demand grew. 


The 1960s To The 1990s 


In the 1960s, FWS made a significant stride by offering general contracting services for commercial construction projects. This marked a significant milestone as we undertook the construction of various establishments, including restaurants, gas stations, banks, shopping centers and offices.  


The year 1985 witnessed another turning point for FWS with the creation of the Ag-Industrial division. This division came into existence as a result of our involvement in agriculture, specifically in building slipform concrete grain elevators. This division became instrumental in serving the needs of the agricultural and industrial sectors. 


Recognizing the importance of diversification, we ventured into residential building in 1990. We took on projects involving multi-family housing and senior complexes, providing quality homes for individuals and families. This diversification led to the establishment of Sunstone Resort Communities, further expanding the FWS Group of Companies. 


The 2010s 


As we entered the 2010s, we embraced a combined Construction Management and self-performed work approach in our Ag-Industrial division. This enabled us to take on larger projects and deliver exceptional results through efficient project development. 


In 2013, our commitment to excellence was recognized when FWS was awarded the distinction of becoming one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. We have retained this prestigious status continuously since then, demonstrating our dedication to delivering outstanding results. In line with our commitment to continuous growth and innovation, we launched FWS Bulk Material Handling Ltd. in 2014. This expansion allowed us to cater to the material handling requirements of the port and mining industries.  


In the spring of 2015, FWS took a significant step forward by launching FWS Energy Ltd., a specialized division dedicated to bringing our integrated Design-Build approach to Canada’s Oil & Gas sector. The launch was accompanied by the addition of nearly 40 years of executive and management-level expertise from the energy sector. 


Additionally, in 2017, we unveiled Confidence Crane Ltd., a dedicated fleet of high-quality machinery designed to meet our client’s diverse project needs. This initiative not only enhanced project controls but also provided inherent cost savings. The same year, we solidified our position in the industry by acquiring a majority interest in KPIC Maintenance Services Inc. This strategic move enabled us to offer complete project development and ongoing maintenance services, further enhancing our ability to serve our clients comprehensively. 


With over 70 years of experience, FWS has continuously evolved to meet the dynamic needs of our clients. Our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional construction and project management solutions while upholding the highest standards of quality and integrity sets us apart. As a trusted partner, we prioritize understanding your unique requirements and providing tailored solutions that consistently meet expectations. Contact us today to discuss your project. 

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