The history of the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce dates back to December 1905, when nineteen North Battleford business and professional men held the organizational meeting to form the North Battleford Board of Trade.
Urgent concerns of the newly formed Board of Trade in 1906 were sanitary conditions of the village, lobbying mills, manufacturers and store owners to locate in the village. Road conditions, railway crossings and the exact location of a proposed provincial asylum were topics of intense discussion. Brochures and pamphlets were printed for mailing to eastern Canada, U.S.A. and England, with a delegation traveling to England encouraging settlers and business to locate in the North Battleford area.
Battleford also formed its own Board of Trade which enjoyed limited success over a period of years, eventually replaced by a merchants association and becoming part of the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce in 1977 with the Chamber representing the Town and City business community.
Boards of Trade and Chambers of Commerce have historically been free enterprise in nature, guided by volunteer leadership, funded by voluntary membership subscription and motivated by areas of interest and concern as expressed by the member business community.
Since the first Board of Trade, independent of government affiliation, was formed in Halifax in 1750, and the first Chamber of Commerce in Kingston, Ontario in 1841, the broad definition of a Chamber of Commerce’s function in a community has not changed in any significant way. The original intent of people working together, to make their community a better place in which to live and make a living is our guideline today as it was 157 years ago in Kingston, Ontario. A more specific definition would describe us as a voluntary organization established to promote civic, commercial, industrial and agricultural progress of our community and district, to work for sound legislation and efficient administration at the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.
An evaluation of the role of the Board of Trade in the rapid growth of North Battleford in the early 1900’s clearly demonstrates the influence of this group of business leaders in attracting settlers, new business ventures, designation of railway lines, routing of roads and restoring some semblance of order to unplanned site development in the community.
Quality of life was an early priority with constant efforts to provide and improve community services such as hospitals, fire protection, schools and transportation services.
A review of history indicates that the North Battleford Board of Trade overpowered the efforts of the Battleford organization. The unrelenting pressure by the North Battleford group, using all the natural advantages at their disposal, complimented by political considerations, developed into a serious rivalry in the twin communities in the 1900’s that persisted for many years. The Battlefords Chamber of Commerce, restructured in 1977 to serve the business needs of both communities, was a positive sign of the communities’ awareness that together we have so much more to offer in promoting development and quality of life in the Battlefords.
Battlefords Chamber of Commerce
- Presidents & Commissioners - 1906 - 2018 -
Click on the links below for complete lists through the years.