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Development Corporation Provides Foundation for New Enterprises
NADCO, the Neepawa and Area Development Corporation, started in 1961 with a group of shareholders and a dream, and over the years has evolved into a non-profit organisation run by four adjacent municipalities which each provide 2 Councillors to serve on the board and an annual investment of $2500.
Current NADCO Chairperson Murray Parrott explains that NADCO does not actually operate businesses but creates conditions in which they can form and operate in the community. Sometimes this takes the form of being an established entity that can apply for and oversee government funds on behalf of an organisation. Sometimes they help make connections between entrepreneurs and investors. In one case, they look after the physical building for the community medical clinic to eliminate the need for doctors to buy in to the practice when coming to work in a small communuity.
That work with the community clinic also extends to working with the physiclan recruitment and retention committee, which Parrott is very passionate about. The needs of the community continue to grow and the clinic has expanded twice in the last decade, doubling in size and adding a student suite to help facilitate training the next generation of physicians. A new rural training centre for LPNs is another project that NADCO hopes to be able to attract and help get off the ground in 2024.
The nature of their work means that NADCO works very closely with the economic development office of the Town of Neepawa, partnering on events such as What’s the Big Idea which seeks out and helps to foster new business ideas and entrepreneurs in the area. Because NADCO does not employ any of its own staff, administrative work falls to a combination of the Economic Development Officer of the Town of Neepawa and individual board members, most often Parrott himself as board chair.
NADCO has had its hand in some of Neepawa’s most beloved institutions, such as the Yellowhead Centre, the community arena that repurposed the old salt mine when it was decommissioned in 1970, and the Lily Festival, a huge community festival that ran from 1996 to 2014. But the breadth of their initiatives runs the gamut from working on a rapeseed (now known as canola) plant in 1969 to helping to originate the Settlement Services Office in the late 2000s.
“The biggest thing is having your ears and eyes open all the time and looking for opportunities,” says Parrott, “and not turning away from even the smallest of opportunities because a lot of them lead to bigger ones.”
As Neepawa and area’s local access television station, NACTV has been serving the community since 1977. The station is a community-owned not-for-profit organisation that broadcasts 24 hours a day and reaches homes throughout Manitoba and Canada on Bell ExpressVu 592, MTS Channel 30/1030, and WCG 117 as well as streaming online at nactv.tv.
NACTV’s content is primarily filmed and produced by local volunteers and focuses on issues, activities, achievements, sports, and news by, about, and of interest to our community.
Neepawa is located in western Manitoba, about two hours west of Winnipeg and 45 minutes southeast of Riding Mountain National Park.