Chamber Congratulates Milestone Members

Long-term members’ dedication to business community acknowledged

Celebrating arts and culture

Imagine a world without music, visual art, dance, or films. Sound bleak?

The reality is the arts are as integral to a community as recreation, schools, and sports.

The Trail and District Arts Council (TDAC) has given a heartbeat, personality, and vitality to South Kootenay communities since 1969, and celebrates a 40-year milestone membership with the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce this year. Also topping the charts are AM Ford, Columbia Filter Ltd., and Scotiabank, who have grown their business with the support of the Chamber’s network and resources for 30 years.

“Celebrating milestone members gives us the opportunity to take a moment to enjoy our partners’ achievements and commitment to growing our business community,” explains Chamber Executive Director Erika Krest.

In 2020, the Chamber celebrated milestone members, including 100-year-old business Hall Printing, during a Business After Business event at Waneta Plaza on March 12th—just three days before “the whole world shut down.” This year, the Chamber highlights 51 of its 280 members marking five-year incremental milestones by asking them to submit a photo that best represents their story and achievements.

In challenging economic times, flexibility and a willingness to try something different has been crucial for many industries. The arts is no exception, as it has arguably been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

“Gathering and live entertainment is in essence what we do, so we’ve had to adapt. Our sector is definitely getting creative and thinking about long-term changes,” explains Nadine Tremblay, TDAC executive director. “We miss enjoying music and events with our community, and look forward to the day we can all be back together.”

A well-loved performance artist herself, Tremblay points out that the absence of TDAC events has underlined how important they are in our lives. She adds that the arts have the ability to help people reconnect and recover from the impacts of isolation.

The vibrant not-for-profit organization has a history of collaborating with the Chamber on events. Last year, the organization hosted a Business After Business reception in their lobby, followed by a show in the Charles Bailey Theatre, which TDAC manages. Their staff are also on the Chamber’s benefits plan.

“It’s nice to know the business community is there with support when you need it,” says Tremblay. “It’s integral to the health of a place, and it’s why we remain Chamber members. This milestone is impressive and should be celebrated with all those who came before me.”

TDAC just launched its first livestream event and has been transitioning from hosting an average of 50 community events per year to operating as a temporary broadcasting and recording studio. Box office renovations are currently underway and they’re also planning large-scale infrastructure upgrades this summer.

The theatre is thankful for support from wage subsidies and generous patrons, which has allowed them to keep core staff. TDAC has been connecting with arts organizations across the Basin as it continues to learn how to adapt in the short term and plan for the long term.

“As a sector, we’ve never connected so much,” adds Tremblay. “Artists are change makers; it’s their job to notice and comment and tell our stories through their lens. Often it’s that different lens that helps us see more clearly and better understand who we are and what’s happening in the world.”

Photo credits: Larry Doell


Congratulations to all of our 2021 milestone members, who will receive certificates via mail. Please note the Chamber will be contacting milestone members directly via email to ask for photo submissions.

Interested in becoming a Chamber member? Our membership page has information on member benefits.

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