Press ReleaseOctober 16, 2023

Even though the Nakusp and Area Development Board (NADB) has been around for 34 years, we are embarking on only our third year with the professional expertise of our Economic Development Coordinator (EDC), Aidan McLaren-Caux, and we are excited about all the possibilities ahead of us.

Through the generous support of the Province of BC’s Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure Program (REDIP), we were able to maintain Aidan’s expertise until at least June of 2025.  We are also excited to welcome the newest professional to our team, Dawn Driscoll, whose role is generously supported by the Forest Impact Recovery (FIR) Program from ETSI-BC (the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior).

Since the inception of the EDC role, we have secured over $385,000 worth of funding towards community-led economic development for Nakusp and the Upper Arrow Lake Valley.  Various organizations have generously contributed to our success over the years, including the Province of BC, the Village of Nakusp, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Economic Trust of Southern Interior of BC (ETSI-BC), Columbia Basin Trust, Community Futures Central Kootenay, and the Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR).

We have leveraged that support to facilitate: a Buy Local campaign; a value-added forestry study in conjunction with NACFOR; a Signage and Wayfinding Plan in collaboration with the Village of Nakusp; developing ‘Grow Arrow Lakes’ to support and promote agriculture in our region; partially funding and securing a new electric vehicle charger next to the marina; supporting community partners, like the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce; updating our website and online presence; engaging with regional partners, such as the Economic Development Practitioners Network—who held their annual Dialogue here in Nakusp in March of 2023; conducting ongoing advisory service for our businesses and nonprofit organizations; and regularly engaged with community leaders to determine what are the most exigent economic issues facing our community.

Resulting from our latest public consultations, we have set our areas of focus for the upcoming year. These are determined based upon community feedback, projects that are already underway, a realistic understanding of what our capacity is, and review and approval by the membership of the board:

  • Economic Diversification/Workforce Housing
  • Local Agriculture
  • Business Advisory
  • Signage and Wayfinding

Our latest consultation, which asked attendees to postulate on an economic diversification strategy for Nakusp, held in September 2023, highlighted our main focus for the year: exploring ways to improve workforce housing for Nakusp.  This issue, while also ubiquitous throughout the province and across the country, was consistently at the top of the list of challenges for local organizations and businesses.  We intend to use best practices from our counterparts throughout BC and develop solutions that best fit our community.

Our agriculture committee, a group of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, continues to gain momentum as we seek to improve local food security in an inclusive and progressive manner, with ongoing support for Grow Arrow Lakes, contributing to the revived Harvest ‘n’ Heritage fair on October 1st, and pursuing even more exciting projects ahead.  Stay tuned for more!

Nakusp is replete with small businesses and nonprofits, and we are proud to continue to offer FREE business advisory services to any and all organizations that need help with anything from strategic planning to digital marketing literacy.  Our new advisor, Dawn, will be happy to hear from you, so don’t be shy.  Email her at:

After several rounds of consultation with the community (a comprehensive survey, stakeholder meetings, and a public feedback session), we have completed our Signage and Wayfinding Plan to improve access and update information for residents and visitors alike.  Keeping up the momentum on this project, we are working with the Village of Nakusp to pursue grant-funding opportunities to build and install the proposed signage.

As we look towards the various projects we have planned and underway, we gratefully acknowledge the support of our funders, our volunteers, and the community-at-large.  We couldn’t do this without you.  Thank you!  We are always looking for engaged, enthusiastic community members, so please feel free to reach out with ideas or if you are interested in becoming a member of NADB.  As always, you can reach Aidan, our economic development coordinator, at

The future for Nakusp and area looks bright, and we are excited about how we can help play a part in shaping that future for the benefit of our community and for generations to come.