How We Came To Be

The NSBA began as a fledgling association in 1965. The founding president was Harold Latrace, a true visionary and pioneer of the north end of Saskatoon. His business, Deer Lodge – a 40-unit Motel that opened in 1960 – was at the corner of Avenue C and 42nd Street. His was one of the first businesses in the area, along with a few others including W.C Wells, Saskatoon Salvage and Siemens Transport. Aside from that there was little in the area with the exception of open land and a very large slough.

Due to circumstances largely related to their geographic location, these business leaders found common ground and interest among themselves, which were somewhat different and unique from other Saskatoon businesses. The inaugural coalescing issue that Harold Latrace and his associates identified was the route of the soon-to-be-built highway to North Battleford. The NSBA founders wanted this route to include Idylwyld Drive. They felt a strong lobby would be effective in securing their choice.

Although they were successful in this pursuit, the first flush of victory did not create a strong, permanent base. Once the Idylwyld route was secured to North Battleford, the North Saskatoon Businessman’s Association (as it was known then) hibernated for about 8 years.

In the meantime, the north end of Saskatoon began to grow, largely by the expansion of Saskatoon’s business community, specifically in industrial and commercial applications. By 1973 interest was renewed by a number of businesses and Latrace found himself in the chair for a second time. The name of the association was changed to The North Saskatoon Business Association, to reflect the contemporary movement of women entering the business world in greater numbers.

Their mandate concentrated on practical infrastructure concerns such as roads, paving, traffic lights and bus service. The group made every effort to work with other business groups in the city promoting the overall needs of the business community. The founders of our association laid a strong base to work from: Honesty, Integrity and Good common sense.

Overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors, originally all of the work carried forth by the NSBA was conducted by these Directors. Eventually, committees were struck, which brought into the fold an even greater base of volunteerism from which to draw. Areas of concern included Government Affairs, Taxation, Labour and Economic Development.

Realizing their areas of interest were becoming more common with businesses from other areas of Saskatoon, the Board of Directors changed the Bylaws to include Associate Memberships. This new classification allowed businesses from any area of Saskatoon and beyond to join the membership of the NSBA.

From its grassroots origins of a handful of businesses, today’s NSBA consists of a membership in excess of 750. Members range from single, owner-operator proprietorships to large multinational corporations that employ thousands. Despite this variety, the common bond that appeals to every member is the practical, common sense approach synonymous with the NSBA. Founded by entrepreneurs and driven largely by an entrepreneurial spirit, the NSBA is also known for rolling up our sleeves and getting things done.

With a common goal of growing Saskatoon’s economy and creating wealth for the region, everyone’s voice matters to the NSBA. We remain true to our core principles of common sense, integrity, efficiency and safety. We will lobby any level of government on any issue that our members identify as one worth pursuing.

Between the four standing committees and the event committees struck for each of our major annual events, the NSBA has a rich, solid and dedicated volunteer base from which to draw. Approximately 75 people, or 10 per cent of the membership, serve as volunteers for the NSBA. Simply put, the NSBA could not survive or function effectively without the efforts of its dedicated membership.