Success Stories


Nakusp Search and Rescue

2023 was one of the worst years on record for avalanche fatalities in BC, and as backcountry tourism continues to increase, the expectation is that search and rescue groups will be activated more and more often. British Columbia search and rescue groups receive more calls than the rest of Canada combined, so it is imperative that they be well trained, well equipped, and ready to respond in difficult terrain.

Arrow Lakes Search and Rescue was recently given the financial support necessary to purchase new avalanche probes and shovels by the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation. This equipment meets the performance criteria established by the International Mountaineering Federation for rescue use, and is an essential component of any winter backcountry response. Our group, which has 28 volunteer members, trains regularly on Mondays, and participates in weekend training programs throughout the year.

ALSAR is extremely grateful for the support that it has received from the NACF. We have one of the largest response areas in the southern interior, at over 17,000 square kilometres, and as visitor and resident numbers increase, we expect that this new equipment will be put to use.

West Kootenay Rush

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The West Kootenay Rush committee sincerely thank you for your sponsorship for the May 7, 2023 5/10K run and walk. In our opinion it was an extremely successful event. We had anticipated the historical number of about 40 participants but were absolutely pleased to have 96 registrations. We were also pleased to attract participants from Alberta, Kamloops, East and West Kootenays and the Okanagan plus a large group of runners from Burton. We’ve had many requests for a repeat event in 2024.

Not only were we able to promote our community but we were also able to provide positive exposure to other organizations in Nakusp. The Rail Society provided rail car tours along with and next to our event, Arrow lake Search and Rescue provided on site first aid, the shop at Nakusp Senior Secondary laser cut wood medallions for the participants. We provided a donation from our sponsorship funds to the NSS woodworking shop and to our knowledge this is the first running event that had wood medallions which we thought was a great compliment to our local forestry heritage


SD10 - After School Programs

Cheer Club

cheer club

Outdoor Games Club

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The Kinship Connection Centre Green Space Project

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Thanks to the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation for proving funding for the fencing, yard work and labour costs to complete the green space project. The project will serve as a meeting space and socialization space for years to come, for youth and other service-users of the Kinship Connection Centre in a COVID-safe environment. The space has also provided seating for Farmers’ Market attendees. The kinship connection society is most grateful to all the team players that brought this project to fruition! Organizations like the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation make it possible for non-profit societies to provide greater accessibility, 0pportunity for better quality results in Nakusp.

Nakusp and Area Bike Society

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According to the Nakusp and Area Bike Society (NABS) “There is no such thing as shoulder season in the West Kootenays anymore, as fall is debatably the best season to get in some laps out at Mt Abriel!” Summer 2021 proved to be super busy for NABS. Seasoned riders kept an eye out for the new rippers who took part in the beginner’s clinics and camps put on by NABS this past summer. Funding provided by the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation was used to semi-subsidize sign up, and every one of the four youth camps, at various levels were sold out within hours of opening registration. NABS also introduced two new women riders to the sport with a women’s clinic. In total 36 kids and 2 adults participated and that’s 38 new and/or improved riders on the trails! There were lots of smiles and stoke levels were high!

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society - Caribou Maternity Pen

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In September 2019, the Arrow Lakes Caribou Society (ALCS) investigated opportunities to build a caribou maternity pen in an effort to find a workable solution for recovery of the Central Selkirk caribou subpopulation. A team of workers started construction of the fence in November 2020. Further work has been completed at the pen site to secure the fence by burying the bottom of the fabric and fastening another cable halfway up the fence to hold it in place. Two storage containers have been positioned outside the fence to store equipment and feed pellets for operations. The observation blind overlooking the feeding area is under construction on top of one of the containers and will be the main location where shepherds can observe caribou each day. The feeding area was thinned and cleared to allow for better viewing from the observation blind. Planning for the installation of an electric fencing system and a surveillance system are underway. Pen construction continued in 2021. ALCS received $4000 from the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation to purchase one of the storage containers and the other was provided by MFLNRORD from the Porcupine pen near Salmo. ALCS would like to thank all of the local stakeholders, businesses, and individuals supporting the maternity pen project. This project would not have gone ahead without the in-kind support, funding, and donations that ALCS has received.

In 2021, Nakusp and Area Community Foundation provided funding to ALCS to purchase an iPad and accessories and outdoor monitoring cameras. The iPad will be used by caribou shepherds to record and manage data at the pen. The outdoor cameras will be used as part of the pen monitoring system, allowing for 24/7 surveillance of the caribou and pen perimeter to ensure the integrity of the maternity pen and the safety of the caribou. ALCS is very grateful for the support that the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation has provided, as well as the many other supporters that have made this project possible through volunteering, in-kind work and supplies, and funding donations.


Nakusp and Area Community Foundation funded $68,720 to community projects in 2020.

NCAF gave out $18,720 from NACF endowment interest. $10,000 from Vancouver Foundation for Food programs for Nakusp and Area schools. $40,000 from Community Foundations of Canada's emergency Community Funding, From the Federal Government for COVID issues. This was given to A&SLCS for Stop the Violence Program.

Nakusp Climbing Wall Opens Up


At the Nakusp climbing wall, the blue ropes no longer hang slack all day, and the paint is already showing smudgy shoeprints. Our dream has come true as the days have started where students are waiting to use the wall while watching others climb and belay each other. It has been an incredible journey – from conception to funding to construction to training - and there have been so many hurdles to overcome. The fact that the wall is being used by students has made all that hard work worthwhile. The final pieces were the certified safety mats, and thank you to NACF, NACFOR, RDCK and others for supporting this last part of the project. Now that several staff and many students have been trained in belay safety, we’re off to the races! We have scheduled classes climbing several times a week, and a climbing club has formed after school which seems to get slightly larger every week! Not only a great recreational opportunity, but the entire climbing wall project has also been a fantastic learning opportunity for students. We could not have done any of this without the generous support of local groups in helping us fund the project. When the pandemic is over, we look forward to inviting community members into the school to see and use the wall.


Nakusp and Area Community Foundation Funded $14,270 community projects in 2019.

Helping School students

Nakusp Elementary School and Nakusp Secondary School received support from the foundation to provide after school bus services to students living in rural areas. “Equity of access to extracurricular activities is important to our school and families. Extra bussing supported Jr. and Sr. Boys Soccer; Gr8 Girls and Sr Girls Volleyball and basketball. At NES, extra bussing allowed rural students to join after school activities: coding, drama and basketball. Feedback from parents indicated how much this is helping them out and hoping the program can continues. The partnership between NACF and School District 10 has allowed many children to get more out of their school experience. The effects of this go beyond just being able to access another sports practice- they connect with positive school climate and healthy kids” Mike Hibberson, Principal, Nakusp, Burton and Edgewood Elementary Schools.

Kootenay Adaptive Sports

Kootenay Adaptive Sport Associate and Kootenay Rockies Tourism and Access BC hosted the second stop of the Kootenay Try it Series in Nakusp. Focusing primarily on the accessible mountain biking trails at Mt Abriel Trail locals and visitors were treated to complimentary bike rentals and adaptive mountain bikes. Many new riders were introduced to outdoor recreation in our region. With the help from the Nakusp Community Foundation, this event was able to grow to a two day event that helped to educate participants on the benefits of universal access for all. The two day Try It event brought locals and visitors together in a space that promotes inclusivity outdoors and in our village.

Nakusp child Care Society

Nakusp child Care Society was thrilled to receive new indoor play equipment for the Stepping Stones Children’s centre. "We were so grateful to receive support in the form of this grant to replace equipment that was either borrowed or falling apart” commented Dawn Driscoll - board member for NCCS. "The kids were so excited that first week to see new equipment in the center.”

September 2018

Nine youth and two sup' Club facilitators gathered to complete the Food Safe: Level 1 certification course. Sup' Club, a program provided on a weekly basis by the Nakusp and Area Youth Network each Thursday for youth aged 12 to 18.

The evening teaches skills and comfort in the kitchen and helps teach youth teamwork, knife safety, food preparation techniques and budgeting. Selkirk College hosted the Food Safe group of 11 for a day focusing on creating a culture of food safety.

Thanks to funding received from the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation, the youth received their Food Safe certification at no cost to them or their families.

July 2017


Nakusp and Area Community Foundation provided funding to help the community put on the Canada 150 Celebrations on July 1st. This included funding towards the parade and various activities for the day including the band concerts.

June 2016


The Nakusp and Area Community Foundation provided some of the funding to help the Nakusp Rail Society bring the caboose and Plow Truck to Nakusp from Revelstoke. The items were donated to Nakusp by CP and the Society worked tirelessly to prepare the pieces for transport and placement in Nakusp. According to CP, both pieces of equipment either worked or are identical to the pieces that did work on the Kaslo Subdivision. The plow would be from the 1920's or 1930. The projects is a benefit to Nakusp, adding another unique sight and activity for residents and visitors to enjoy and learn from. Nakusp's history is based on the railway.