Beginnings:

In 1989, Mayor Rosemary Johnson and her council organized a committee to represent a cross-section of the community.  The committee became officially incorporated as a non-profit society January 1989 under the name of the Nakusp and Area Development Board.  The first directors were Mayor Rosemarie Johnson, Denis Stanley (Chamber),  Nelson Woldum (forestry), Ken Davis (Bank Manager), Councillor Karen Hamling, William Cuthill (Area K Director), Lyle Thompson (Fire Chief) and Neil Surgenor (Accountant and Community Futures director).

Two primary areas were identified, resulting in the Board forming a forestry and tourism branch.  The Board was involved with issues such as timber licensing, the ferry fight, the local reservoir, promoting value added industry and trying to obtain a community forest and a training centre for forestry.   Other endeavors included a tourism workshop and study; promoting the area as a tourist destination, a Nakusp Hot Springs development feasibility study and Burton Trail project.  The board has also been engaged in a forest industry survey and report, a local industry directory.

The Board Broadens Perspective:

The board broadened its vision from strictly an economic focus to a more holistic focus in 2001 engaging directors sitting from several sectors within the community.  The sectors were: Social, Heritage, Arts & Cultural, Education, Economic, Forestry, Tourism, Youth, RDCK rep and Village Rep. as well as the position of president and Secretary/treasurer.  The new vision recognized the developing needs of communities and promote wellness and cooperation among all non-profit organizations.

2001 – 2010

The NADB was often involved in organizing citizens around an identified community problem.  They were instrumental in bringing in Community Futures of Central Kootenay to hold their ECTC community meetings for free.(Entrepreneurial Capacity Test for Communities- later known as Business Vitality Index- a way for a community to assess their capacity to work with and support entrepreneurs and to foster small business growth). Normally a $10,000 fee.  Two meetings were advertised and held in the spring of 2002, the first was to list the concerns of the community and the second meeting was to set priorities.   Four priorities were set from the community meeting: Youth and Adult Opportunity Identification; formation of a community foundation; buy local and increasing cooperation between business, government and citizens.  To date, all but the buy local campaign has  been completed.  Spring of 2003, the Development Board & Chamber of Commerce collaborated with Bootstrap to have the opportunity identification meetings take place.

Two public meetings were held and several project ideas were put forward.  Of these, the Community Forest topped the list and the Nakusp and Area Community Forest group  were given the impetus they needed to continue.  (A committee had formed in November of 1992)

The NADB has also been active in support the Mental Health Club House and applied for the HRDC training project to renovate a building purchased by Arrow & Slocan Community Services.  NADB has been supportive of youth projects, including the trail projects.  Recognizing the need for Nakusp to be proactive in ‘putting Nakusp forward’ the NADB took the opportunity to lend the Music Fest start up funding for the 1st and 2nd years of operation.

The board was also involved in encouraging Village council in the creation of an industrial park.  The Nakusp and Area Community Forest Committee formed from the NADB forestry section and obtained a Community Forest License in 2006.  (See NACFOR for more information)

The Nakusp and Area Community Foundation was an offshoot of the Social sector of NADB.  The foundation was formed as a society and then later received charitable status with the help of the Bootstrap Committee.  The NADB put a $10,000 deposit at Vancouver Foundation to enable the NACF to be able to apply for matching funds for the first two years of fund raising.  The first $25,000 each year will be matched by the Vancouver Foundation and The Columbia Basin Trust.

With the help of a tourism advisory committee, and the Chamber of Commerce, NADB led the formation of a Tourism Plan, completed in 2009.  Three initial projects were chosen:  A Tourism Website along with a Visitor Guide and an image bank.

2010 – 2013

Economic hard times in the Arrow Lakes led to a series of public meetings on economic challenge and opportunity (see Economic Summit).  After these meetings, NADB once again restructured and began a focus on economic development.