Sak’s Music has had a place in the community since May 2006, when owner Alison Saklofske decided to set up her own shop for the first time.
Before ending up in Chestermere, Saklofske lived in Saskatoon, working for a small record store called Music Baron. She was then transferred to Top 40 Music, where she worked as a manager until she moved to Calgary. Saklofske spent a few years working for her uncle at the Sak’s Music location in Calgary, in the southwest community of Braeside, then in 2002, they opened up a studio in McKenzie Towne.
She worked there for four years before deciding she needed a shop to call her own.
“I decided to search for a new location, and I found a great spot here in the Chestermere Plaza,” Saklofske said. “I had a few teachers working at the McKenzie Towne location at the time who grew up in Chestermere.
“They said that it would be fabulous if there was a good place that people could go to for lessons and merchandise, since they never had any place to go to when they were young.”
Saklofske said that she has a very small musical background, as she only played piano and flute when she was young, and still now only plays around on the guitar from time to time.
“I know that is kind of weird since I own a music store, but running a business is quite the task as well,” she said. “I just love music and all of it’s benefits, so if I can help bring it to a community, I am happy to be able to do that.”
Saklofske said that she hires only the best to teach at Sak’s, where they offer lessons in piano, guitar and bass, drum, violin, vocals, theory and even some brass and woodwinds. She employs nine teachers in total.
“All of the teachers here are very qualified with either a degree or diploma and a Grade 9 -10 RCM background,” she said. “But the best part is that they are all passionate and experienced teachers who love what they do.”
Saklofske said that they mostly teach beginner musicians, but that they are able to take students through RCM exams if needed.
Besides offering lessons, Sak’s also offers a large selection of printed music, method books for most instruments as well as other popular books. They also carry all kinds of instruments, including guitars, keyboards, drums, violins, recorders, ukuleles, harmonica’s, and even guitar amps.
Saklofske said that they also carry a good selection of band supplies, such as clean kits, reeds and books, guitar stands, capo’s, music stands, keyboard benches and stands, headphones, Gig Bags, patch cords, guitar strings, and more. She said that also have musical novelty items and giftware.
“We will always try to accommodate your needs,” she said. “We don’t carry any super high end brand name gear, as we tend to cater to the beginner students, but it’s good quality, great priced equipment.”
As far as why she likes being in business in Chestermere, Saklofske said that she had met many great students and families, and that she generally loves the community.
“It is small and family oriented, kind of like we are as a business,” she said. “We will always strive to be that way.
“Everyone here has been very supportive of us and continue to be, we are very lucky to have such a great community to work in. I can walk my dog down the street and get at least one honk and wave, if I go to Tim’s or Safeway I always see a friendly face of someone I know.”
Saklofske said that their having been many memorable moments, such as Gypsy and the Rose coming out to play for them during their grand opening, the yearly recitals, and just the times where she gets to see all of the progress from students from year to year.
“That’s just priceless for me,” she said. “The special Christmas tree ornaments I have received over the years, handmade by students, are very special too.
“These are things I will remember and treasure for years.”
Music lessons at Sak’s Music run from September to June, but they take students all year long. All lesson are private and based on the child’s needs.
Sak’s is open from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 12 to 5 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.