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NNSL Photo/graphic

Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce president Steve Meister stands below the group's new office space. The Chamber recently celebrated its 60th anniversary with a move into the NWT Commerce Place building. - David Ryan/NNSL photo

An anniversary move for chamber

David Ryan
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 19/06) - One of Yellowknife's oldest organizations has celebrated its 60th anniversary by moving in with some long-time friends.

The Yk Chamber of Commerce moved into new offices in the former Cunningham building, which has been officially renamed the NWT Commerce Place.

The third floor of the building will be occupied by the Yk Chamber, the NWT Chamber of Commerce and the NWT Construction Association.

"The new premises are a symbolic type of change," said Marino Casebeer, executive director with the Yk Chamber.

An open house was held April 13 to mark the occasion.

"There will synergies with the three separate organizations coming together," said Steven Meister, president of the Yk Chamber.

Being in the same office means daily communication on economic and political issues said Don Worrall, executive director with the NWT Construction Association.

"There will also be cost savings in terms of human resources."

The office is equipped with video conferencing equipment and the associations will be able to share reception responsibilities.

The chamber started as a government watchdog for the business community, said Casebeer.

As Yellowknife grew and became more of a government centre, the Chamber's agenda changed, said Casebeer.

The chamber became a stepping stone for members interested in getting into politics, he said.

These days, the focus has shifted to helping Chamber members get acquainted with each other.

That meant hosting bi-weekly business mixers, luncheons with business leaders and creating more community-related programs.

"There is a revitalized focus to engage our stakeholders and let them be part of our overall strategy," said Casebeer.