The Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce was formally established in 1887.
As one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in Canada, the history of the Chamber is very much a history of the City of Prince Albert. It has worked in close partnership from the time Prince Albert was named the fourth town of the North West Territories in 1885. Preliminary organization of the Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce commenced in the winter of 1881-82, with the first meeting held in the Hudson’s Bay store.
During those first years the Chamber worked to bring the Rail Line to Prince Albert, welcoming the first train in 1890. With transportation options expanding, the Chamber began to actively promote Prince Albert as a destination for industry and trade. The ‘Prince Albert Route to the Klondike’ allowed local suppliers to prosper during the gold rush.
As Prince Albert was established a City in 1904, the Chamber actively promoted it nationally and internationally as a place to immigrate and do business.
Some of the industries explored and assisted by the Chamber in the early years included: Abattoir and Pork Packing, Forestry, Washing Powder Plant, Creamery & Cheese Factory, Foundry, Machine Shop, Grain Buying & Handling, Livestock Marketing, a Tannery, Mineral Exploration, a Cigar Factory, 2nd Newspaper, Radio Station, Pulp & Paper, and many others.
The Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce was also instrumental in the development of infrastructure including Rail Line Studies & Construction, River Navigation, Postal Service, Assistance to Settlement, Search for Electrical Power, Water Power, Road & Bridge access, Ferry Service, Shipping, and an Airport.
It was also instrumental in obtaining facilities for Health Care and Education.
In 1918, following the collapse of the La Colle Falls project, one of Prince Albert’s early settlers and entrepreneurs, Samuel McLeod, pledged his personal credit to prevent Prince Albert schools from closing. This led to the establishment of the Samuel McLeod Business Awards, which recognizes the legacy of Samuel McLeod’s pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship, civic leadership and unfailing faith in Prince Albert that we recognize in our business award recipients.
Over the years the Chamber witnessed the Riel Rebellion, two World Wars, the Great Depression, and times of peace and prosperity within varying economic cycles. Through it, the citizens of our District have demonstrated determination and tenacity, building bonds between people and communities.
Today, the Chamber continues to work on behalf of business and industry as an advocate to all levels of government and facilitating opportunities for business people to engage and connect.